Tuesday, May 19, 2015

TriFest Olympic Race Recap

So it's been 10 days since I finished my first Olympic triathlon and I'm still riding high from the accomplishment. So before I lose all memory of the event - or do another race - I wanted to get some notes out. 

Tri Fest is a two day tri, aqua bike and duathlon put on by Headfirst Performance out at Taylorsville lake. I'd been told there was always a good turnout from the Landsharks & I thought an Olympic about 60 days out from Muncie would be a good test. Boy was I right. 

The sprint started at 8am and the Olympic at 11 so I set my alarm for 8. I think I ended up waking up around 630 out of pure excitement. I fixed half of a bagel and mixed up some powerade. They were calling for hot temps so I started hydrating early in the week. I made myself some hot tea after my bagel and watched tv. At about 8:30 I had the second half of my bagel and peanut butter. Woke Hubz up around 845 to go on the coffee run while I packed everything into the car. In a crazy twist we were actually out the door on time at 9 for the 45 min drive to Taylorsville Lake! 

The event took place out at a state park less than an hour from Louisville. Luckily is been out there for the OWS clinic the previous week and knew exactly where I was going. Hubz and I drank our coffee & enjoyed the ride. The late start made it so much more enjoyable getting there. 

As we pulled up the sprint was still finishing. Parking was plentiful and I tried to stay out of the way while getting everything together. My friend Emily was there cheering on fellow Landshark Stef and it was really cool seeing her. we run together often so it was a little boost of confidence. Transition filled up quickly but I scored a (close to the) end spot and checked out the lake. 

Things were really heating up by 10:30, literally. The lake was 74 degrees - 8 degrees warmer than the week before! I got body marked, had a honey stinger waffle and took a ton of fluids. After a lot of back and forth I decided to wear my new Cat 1 wetsuit. The water was just cool enough & id never worn my suit so I thought, why not? 

Just a quick pre race briefing and the. It was time to swim! 

The Swim - 21:00 (by Hubz watch)

The swim was just about as perfect as can be. The wetsuit kept me floating through the short mele that was the mass start (though it wasn't nearly as bad as id expected). My strokes felt strong and I sighted perfectly. The only minor mishaps were that my cap, which was about 10 sizes too small, kept slipping off my head and pulling my goggles with it. Also, one of the bouy's moved to the left quite a bit and threw off everybody's line. Minor things, really. I was out of the water before I knew it. Hubz wasn't even ready for me! 

T1 - 30:17
I don't really remember much about T1 so it must've been pretty standard. There's a hill for the boat ramp up to the transition area which was a real bitch. I was going to bypass the wetsuit strippers but the lady damn near pushed me down. I'm excited that I beat the other two girls in my age group out of T1 by 3 minutes!! Huge accomplishment for me. I got my socks and shoes on and was ready to ride! 

The Bike - 1:57:44
I knew going in that the bike was challenging. Considering my novice status and my spectacular fail on the sprint course the previous week I really had one mission: survive, stay upright. There is a MONSTER hill comin out of transition that sucks hope and optimism right out of you. After that it's basically a rolling course 12.4 miles out, then a little bit easier on the way back. I kept a good clip going out, allowing myself to rest a little on the downhills. I shifted well and kept a really good cadence! I stopped at the turnaround and took some chomps and had some fluids. Since I was treating it as a training ride I let myself just hang out and do what I do on training rides. I stopped again at 20 miles and had another chomp and fluids. I rolled back into transition and saw Jessie, a fellow Landshark, and Josh waiting for me. I was elated I'd made it. A good number of people were hanging out after the sprint, cheering and volunteering. As I zoomed in to dismount I shouted, "I didn't die!!!"  I survived the bike and I couldn't have been happier. 

T2 - 2:10
I got off the bike and would've been happy just to get a diet coke and a beach towel. It was starting to get hot and i had no interest in running. Josh met me and helped me spray down in sunscreen. I got a high five and off I ent on the run. 

The Run - 1:31:33
This picture doesn't capture this hill at all. It feels straight up and endless. I can't lie, I felt defeated. By the time I took off on the run it was 1:40ish and the heat was blazing. There was absolutely no shade to be found. I had my handheld with me and it saved me a million times on the run. I stopped at the top of the hill and seriously contemplated walking back down. If nailed the swim and survived the run; what did I have to prove? I knew I could do a 10k so who cared if I did this one? I did. I choked back tears (honestly not wanting to spare the water or salt) and kept walking. In my head I just kept saying "movemovemove" over and over. When I got to the first water stop I felt like I was cooked. I asked one of the volunteers, "is there a course time limit?" She looked at me with such empathy and shook her head. "So I can walk this whole thing if I wanted to?" I asked. "Do whatever you want, we'll be right here," she replied. And that was that. I had permission to walk, to be kind to myself. To surrender to the race and just gut it out. So I did. I walked most of it and just made myself run a little bit each mile. I continuously drank water and dumped water over me. I took chomps at miles 3 and 5. All in all it was less than 10k and I do not care one little bit. When I ran down that monster hill I saw Hubz smiling up and me and cheering me on. I was home free and I finished. 

All in all I give Tri Fest an A+. The only thing I would change would be the weather and hell, that's a toss up here in May. Muncie will likely be the same if not hotter and by then I will have had 3 months to get acclimated to the heat instead of 7 days. 

So now, for the first time since the Flying Pig, I feel like I've really accomplished something. I signed up for another Olympic in June as a final tune up before Muncie. I have a long way still to go, but I am having a blast getting there. 

Finish Time - 4:01:45

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