Sunday, May 04, 2008

Faster than a speeding bullet!

Or not.

My goal for this race was to beat my time from last year.

On Friday, Kecia, Kirsten, and I drove out to western Iowa to do the Siouxperman. Kori was supposed to come but got really sick on Friday and had to bail. We were all sad she missed out! (I just want to note here that Kimberly is my other running partner - we kid about changing my name to Kanielle).

The drive out was rainy and windy. I used my new rooftop rack for the first time and I was paranoid the wind was going to blow the bikes off (even though that would be physically impossible). We got to Sioux Center and got our packets and unloaded our bikes and all we could do was look at each other and go "This is crazy." It was somewhere in the 40s, with blustery winds and pelting rain. All night at the hotel the wind was roaring outside my window.

So even though the weather forecast predicted it, it was a pleasant surprise to wake up Saturday morning and have it be a gorgeous sunny day.

At least from the confines of the hotel room.

In reality, it was sunny, but about 30 degrees and 20+ mph winds.

But in a nice change of pace, transition didn't close until 9:30, so we totally got to sleep in. And because they started people in order of swim speed, we all had late-ish starts between 11 and 11:15. So the day did warm up a little by then to the mid-40s, but the wind was still howling.


As our time approached we got in line (they started swimmers every 20 seconds). I put 7:30 for my swim time for 300 m. There was almost no time between the person ahead of you leaving and starting by the time you got in the pool. Sooo, completely forgot to start my watch. Doh! So off I went. And like last year, about halfway through the pool I got caught. By a breast stroker. Seriously! How slow can I be?! This turned out to be okay because I swam the rest of the way in her wake, right on her tail. Why don't I swim in wakes more often? The swim felt supereasy doing that. In fact, I got frustrated because I felt like I was going too slow because I wasn't out of breath really. On the last lap I tried to repass her but I could just not do it. So I just settled in and followed her out of the pool.

The swim time was something like 7:20 (sorta forgot to look and that was when I noticed my watch wasn't started). That was the easiest 7:20 I ever swim! There was a long ass run outside back into transition (where the mat was) - while we were waiting to start we would watch people leave the building and start sprinting their asses off because it was so cold and they were running soaking wet and barefoot on cold pavement.

Apparently the timing mats were messed up, because it says I did the swim in 76:48. After some figuring, I realized this was my combined swim/T1/bike time.

I got to transition and threw on some fleece pants and a fleece shirt over my wet clothes and hopped on my bike. That sounds a lot faster than it was. I would not be surprised if I spent five minutes in transition, but due to the timing mats, I have no clue.


I head out and I am cruising at 20 mph or so. Then we turn North for the long leg of the ride. The weather from yesterday says that during that time, there were 20 mph winds with 30 mph gusts coming out of the Northwest. After the turn, it was as if a wall of wind just hit you and did not relent. It did not blowing the entire time. Combine that with the hills and everyone pretty much said they were spinning in their lowest gears, even downhill, and were excited to break 8 mph. I had to turn my tire to the left to keep from being blown over. It took me almost 40 minutes to get to the half way point of the 15.5 mile ride - my average was 12 mph, mostly due to the speed for the first couple of miles before the turn (since I most definitely did not average that after we turned).

When the halfway point came, it was pure bliss. Immediately I was effortlessly going 25 mph and hitting 30 in several spots. Biking was fun again. Wheeee! I wanted to reassure everyone I was passing who was coming into the turnaround that it was heavenly. I had my bike in its highest gear for most of this portion.

Then... we turned back west and then north again for a couple of miles to get back to the transition. And it was just as bad as before. I made it back to transition in about 25 minutes (compared to 40 on the way out). Again, I don't have an official breakdown because of the mats, but 1:05 roughly seems about right based on glances at my watch.

This was so frustrating. Last year I did this course 10 minutes faster. I know it was because of the wind and everyone was suffering, but it completely kept me from doing my thang on the bike. I'm all about the bike! That's where I get my leg up in these things. I'm good at the power involved and keeping up a good cadence in a high gear. But the wind just wasn't going to allow that. When you are pedaling at the bottom of your ring like everyone else, there is little advantage to be gained! I mean the winners in my age group did the bike this year in the time I did it last year. There was no way I was going to do the same! And I did pass a heck of a lot more people than passed me. There's always that.

Anyway, total swim/T1/bike time was 76:48. which is 11 minutes off last year, which was good enough for 11/34 in my age group for that portion of the race, so I guess I shouldn't whine that much.


So by the time I got off the bike, I didn't really care how I did anymore. I knew I couldn't beat my time from last year so I sorta gave up. Interestingly, because my bike consisted of a lot of low level spinning, my legs were actually pretty good for the run. And I actually passed people. That never happens. I just ran it out and actually came in faster than last year on the run at 29:58 for the 5k (22/34).

So overall, I came in at 1:48:03, good for 16/34 in my age group and 38/95 for women.

I'm not going to lie. It was discouraging. And it is making me rethink my summer triathlon plans. I hate that I lose so much position on the run. So maybe I should go back to basics and focus on running again? That's how I feel right now.

Or maybe I am just a whiner who needs to HTFU and go find some wind to ride her bike into more often.

In other news, both the bikes and my duck taped side mirror stayed on the entire ride back. Score!


Jenny Davidson said...

Yes--but your race report makes it sound like you did very well under difficult circumstances! As a non-athlete, coming solidly middle of the pack sounds to me highly respectable. And in my experience, doing absolutely no speedwork but just running consistently three times a week and doing fairly serious triathlon-type cross-training leads to some speed improvement on the run, especially if you sometimes run with someone who is just naturally faster! Good luck with this next stint of training, Kanielle...

KrissyGo! said...

East side!!! This is why you should race on the "right" side of the state -- with MOI! :D

Seriously though, you clearly rocked it out under some sooper-crap conditions. And I will second Jenny's sentiment re: middle of the pack. I covet your middle-of-the-pack finish!

P.S. I'm afraid I'm out for the Madison-Chicago run. But I'll be in your neck of the woods for the Dam-to-Dam and the Dutchman. What are the odds you'll come out here for Lake Geode?

Wendy said...

What the other gals said.

We can be our own worst critics.

Borsch said...


Rainmaker said...

Yeah, wind sucks (errr...blows). either way, good job pushing through. Plus - it'll make ya stronger so you can kick more ass next time. Duct tape...stylish.

Nitmos said...

It's a long season and the results in one race lead to some fine tuning. So, now you see where you need to work. Your results compared to others show you are still in the top half of the participants. Sounds like you demand a lot of yourself, which is great!

I haven't done a tri. So I know very little of what I'm talking about.

Brent Buckner said...

Wind is not our friend.

peter said...

Nice run after a hard bike ride. Top half--always a good thing.

jeanne said...

how is 38/95 the middle of the pack? wouldn't the middle be 95/2?????????????? (I'm working on my math skillz.)

That was some rough wind you were facing, but ya did it! c'mon, CELEBRATEWITHME!

Your run is stellar too! in my world anyway.

yes, rejoice, you did, you were not last and you were ahead of the middle!!!!

i'm having a party on your behalf.