Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sorta forgot my "A" race was this weekend...

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!


Audrey said...

wow that family looks wholesum!

dude, Ivs=good stuff! i speak from dehydrated experience (though mine wasn't race related...more alcohol related...)

good job in the race and i really hope your foot is okay. where does it hurt exactly?

Danielle in Iowa said...

My foot hurts on the inside of my arch back by the heel. I think it might be plantar fasciitis. I am going to advil my way through the GRR :-)

Wendy said...

Ah, you're not alone in the not noticing category!!!

Way to get 'er done in spite of the foot. Glad to hear you'll get it checked out.

And I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, you are definitely not the suckiest swimmer ever!

Kim said...

awesome job danielle!! you do NOT suck at the swim! your bike was fantastic, congrats!

Phoenix said...

Totally awesome! And I think I got you way beat in the "suckiest swimmer" category. If by sucky you mean slow - Beat Ya! Your bike leg was awesome - and you neg. split the 10k while you were dehydrated?!?! I'd say you rocked! Plus, you know how incredibly tough you are now.

Jay T said...

Given all of the obstacles you had to overcome, you did a tremendous job!

Hope you bounce back quick, the foot heals up fast and you have an awesome time at GRR.

Greyt Times said...

Sunday was brutal - you did awesome! I was amazed at how long the run was from the swim into T1! Slightly uphill to add a little extra burn to it all. What a champ you are to finish despite the foot issue.

peter said...

Go John Edwards!

21stCenturyMom said...

That was great! You are definitely one of those kind of people who passed me on the bike.

You are correct that getting a bad time for your first Oly means there's a PR out there just waiting for you to grab it. That having been said, you beat my PR Oly by 8 minutes. So rock on!

kt said...

Hey girl~

Way to tough it out. I am with you, that was a miserable run. I posted my (extremely long) race report this evening. They are frighteningly similar. =0)

Wish I would have been able to meet you. Maybe next year at HyVee!!

Sempre Libera said...

Yikes, that was quite the race experience - nice job on the bike especially! As for running in that heat without anything but water - no wonder they pulled you into the medic area! Glad you were ok though.

Coach Tammy said...

Egads, for a split second there I thought that was Mitt Romney. Whew! Glad we can still be friends..hehe.

Oh yea, and congrats on that AWESOME race. Nice bike baby, niiiiice.

Laurie said...

Congrats on your first Oly! I was secretly cheering for you and the other Vardos from afar.

I am glad that you are happy with the end result given all the circumstances surrounding race day. A negative split 10K and a great bike ride are two big accomplishments. You did a great job!

Laurie said...

Oh and I think it's funny that John Edwards is now a hobby ;)

Amy said...

Congrats on "going BIG!" I love the race but I don't know if I would have followed through in the heat. Fantastic effort and results!