So with all my research stuff going on, I was most definitely not in the mindset of having a big race this weekend. But the Big Creek Tri was going to happen whether or not I was ready.
So I was not quite prepared for this. I had done no exercise in the previous two weeks. My foot hurts still. My week had consisted of a lot of time out in the sun, probably not drinking enough water, and eating crap. But I paid my money, so I was going to do it! I also figured that if I didn't do so well on my first Olympic distance tri, then at least I would have a low bar for PRing next time :-)
We met at 5am to caravan down to the race, which was only about a half an hour away. Like always, we were there right when transition opened and got a good spot and then waited for an hour and a half for the race to start. I hate the waiting!
I am the suckiest swimmer ever. So I was hoping to be out in less than 45 minutes. Compared to the washing machine at Cornman, I was surprised that I found a space and pretty much swam uninterrupted the entire way. It helps to be slow and to be dropped by your wave quickly :-) And with the 4 minutes between waves, the waves behind me were spread out by the time they caught me. The swim was surprisingly not as bad as I thought it would be - pretty much I just took my time. I hit the beach at about 43 minutes and there was a long run to transition.
1500 m in 44 min (2:44/100 yds)
This course is advertised as flat and fast. When I rode it before I indeed found that it was. There was a pretty good wind from the northeast today (which is totally opposite of what it typically is in these parts). The course headed east, then south, then north, then east, then west. I worked as hard as I could through the south leg of the course and my average speed was in the high 19s until the turn around. Then the wind hit. And my average speed slowly started dropping to the low 17s. Then when you turn west for the final bit, I was able to pound it out a bit more to finish it up at a 17.5 mph on average. I was really hoping to be in the 18s. But I spent a lot of time on the bike being conservative since I didn't want to trash my legs too early or kill them for the run. I was most definitely not the bike passing diva that I am at the sprint distance. But considering that is a faster average pace than all my sprints, I really can't complain when the bike was 10 miles longer than those races, can I?
25 miles in 1:25 (17.5 mph)
Here is where things got fun. Have I mentioned how hot out it was today? It was in the 80s when I started my run at about 10am. Between my foot, my non-training, the heat, and my horrible track record with the 10k, I took it easy on the run. I was getting sorta crampy anyways, so it was hard to push. In fact, my heart rate was the lowest on the run out of all three events. That never happens. I could not muster up the energy to go faster.
The race said there would be water, gatorade, and gels every mile. Liars. They pretty much just had water. I was sorta counting on the gatorade during the run, but I sucked it up and drank water every mile. I had one and a half bags of Clif Shot Bloks on the bike, so I just hoped I had enough calories and electrolytes. The first half of the run was brutal. It was very exposed. It took me 38 minutes to run the first 5k. I was a little more willing to try and run harder on the way back and there was a little more shade and I started seeing people I wanted to pick off so I got competitive. So in the most random turn of events, I negative split the run by 5 minutes. That seemed like the longest 10k ever. When I saw the end I started sprinting and I thought I was going to die.
10k in 1:11 (11:34 min/mi)
Total time: 3:25
When I crossed the finish line I couldn't talk (from sprinting) and the woman grabbed me and forced me into the ambulance because apparently I wasn't sweating. Funny how I failed to notice this detail. They asked me if I wanted an IV, but really I mostly felt fine so I just took some water and sat in the AC and they gave me a snow cone.
In my head, I had been hoping to get in the 3:10 range, so part of me was disappointed until I realized:
1. That was my fastest race bike pace.
2. I negative split the 10k by five minutes.
3. I got dragged to the ambulance after I crossed the finish line, so I can probably safely say I left it all on the course.
And of course, hopefully this means it will be easier to PR next time! Given my injuries and whatnot, this is my last tri of this season, but I think I am going to aim for the Hy-Vee Triathlon next June. After this race was when I was going to focus on running and getting ready for the Twin Cities Marathon, but I don't think that is going to happen for me this year. I need to go see the doc about my foot, but I am pretty sure "marathon training" is not going to be on the list of things to make it feel better. Oh well! More time for research (so I can graduate) and my other hobby!
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