So when my July plans were hatched, two things did not occur to me:
1. I was going to be on my bike A LOT.
2. I was going to have three straight weekends of meetups with creepy internet friends!
First there was the Lake Geode tri with Krissy, where I got by butt kicked by the hills of the Mississippi Valley.
Then there was RAGBRAI, where I got my butt kicked by 140 miles of hills near the Missouri River. Here Blink rolled up next to me in his blink apparel and rode the last 50 miles with us and introduced us to the Count the Lances game. We also took a picture with corn, because, well, it's Iowa. And being from Massachusetts, all things corn entertain me. Seriously, did you know teenagers here spend their summers detasseling corn? Anyway, there are a lot of bad hair pictures floating around the internet of me lately, and this picture doesn't help - really, I have nice long flowing curls but they just don't hold up when being sporty.
Then this weekend at the Chisago Lakes Triathlon, it was blogger extravaganza!
So here is my race report.
I signed up for this about ten days ago for a variety of reasons. Even though it was a solid three hour drive away.
I drove the bike course the night before and started salivating. After all those hills, 17 miles of mostly flat with just a few rollers was like heaven. Plus, that's really where my bike can perform. Because God forbid, *I* actually perform - I just want my pretty bike to do it for me.
My friends Chrissy (who did the WWR with us) and Laura were both doing the Half-Ironman (it was both their first) so I stayed at Chrissy's parent's house in the MSP burbs. I slept horribly. I tossed and turned all night and kept dreaming that my alarm didn't go off. Nevermind that there were three of us and someone would get me up. But I oddly the correspondence of me dreaming that my alarm didn't go off and it not actually going off are quite high. The last occurrence was in September when I woke up at 6am for a 9:30 flight from an airport three hours away. I was going to a wedding. I hadn't packed. I was still in my clothes from the bar the night before. That should probably explain why the alarm didn't get set right... But I will say that my dreams before the race this time also included me having to drive some hawtie elite triathlete to the race, so while we were both stressed out, at least there were cute boys in the dream.
Anyway, yeah. I set my alarm for 4:40 PM. But I was anxious enough that I was up anyway.
We get to the race site and I pretty much have the worst transition placement ever. I was pretty much as far from both the bike in/out and the run out as I could be. I was right near the swim in, but that just meant I had to run farther with my bike.
As I was getting set up, Miss Allycat strolled up to my pretty bike and started molesting it. Okay, maybe not, but she had that look in her eye! As we were chatting, Steve in a Speedo waltzed up with his empty bucket. He's one of those feet washer types. After making sure that all three of us had smiley faces adorning our calves (I wanted him to write VIRGIN all over Allison's leg as it was her first race) we all stripped down to our spandex and headed the to beach.
The Half-IM people went off before us and I watched Chrissy and Laura get in the water and get out before I even started. Eventually Wave 24 (that's me!) was up. From shore, the farthest buoy did not look that far. But it seemed to take forever! There were lots of people thrashing about and I got my goggles knocked off by an elementary backstroker. I hit the sand in 11 minutes. Steve and I both think the course was long. But since Lake Geode was probably short, I guess it all evens out. I didn't hit transition until 13 minutes because of the mountain they made us climb up to get back up there.
SWIM: 400 m in 13:06 (3:16/100 m - I think not!)
Transitions went pretty smoothly for me, and even with having to run a long way with my bike I was still out of T1 in 1:50.
Then the bike began! I was excited for this. My goal for this race was to see if I could average 20 mph. I hopped on my bike and pretty much kept it in the big ring the entire time. I passed a lot of people and mostly just got passed by some speedy men with sperm helmets. In the first couple miles I yoyoed with one lady who pissed me off by passing me really close without calling that she was coming up on my left and ran me into the part of the road that was crumbling. I hit a huge pothole really hard and I was worried about my tire, but it was all good and then I hunted down that beyotch and left her in my pretty bike dust.
I was pounding on the bike. I hit the halfway point at 25 minutes (so a little faster than a 20 mph average). The rollers came up next and this is when I started to feel the 140 miles of hills that I rode on sunday and monday. But I kept working and the bike felt great and I was in aero most of the time. I rode into transition 53 minutes after I started, so I didn't make my goal of 51 minutes, but close enough.
BIKE 17 miles in 53:42 (19 mph - fastest bike pace ever for me!)
T2 was also pretty uneventful, coming in at 1:58.
Then the run. This is where I sort lost it. Which is probably to be expected after hitting the bike hard. One of the side effects of riding in aero the whole time is that it stretches my back such that when I get off the bike, it is often sore. This makes it hard to run. Normally I load myself up with ibuprofen to avoid this, but I forgot. I headed out and my legs were pretty dead. This lead to My Worst Sprint Run Time Ever. I came in at 32:30. Normally I pound out the 5k in a Sprint Tri in about 30 minutes. So while I was happy about the bike, the run? Not so much.
And this leads to my biggest pet peeve about the whole race. The waves were based on when you registered. So I didn't start with other Athenas. I was 1:15 out of third place (and there was one other girl who came in 15 seconds ahead of me). Both of them started waaaay before me. But you can bet that I would have worked a little harder on that run (as based on our times, I would have come out of T2 ahead of both of them so they would have passed me there). But alas, that was not how it was.
RUN 5k in 32:30 (10:29 min/miles)
TOTAL 1:43:08 (good for 5/15 in the Athena division)
After I finished, Steve and I cheered in Allison and then we went to the run out to watch the Half-IM racers. There we ate Swedish pancakes and bumped into Jumper. We saw Ironmom Jenny, TacBoy, and TriMama all run through and after Chrissy and Laura came through, I hopped on my bike again to go out on the half-marathon course and cheer them on.
Now, if Chrissy would have told me she was going to be blazing on the run, I might have reconsidered this. After Laura passed through, I started riding and I didn't catch up to Chrissy until Mile 5 or so, so I got to add another ten miles onto my biking day. Chrissy was looking strong and passing people. Laura was holding up well too, especially for someone who had never run more than 8 miles in her life. After checking in with them, I headed back to the finish to cheer everyone in.
Now, before the race, Chrissy and Laura were both worried about making it before the cutoff (which they thought was 7 hours, but I don't think the course had one so I think they were on crack). Chrissy told her mom to come watch them come in at 2pm or so (7 hours after the start. Yeah, at 5:40, who comes blazing up the path? Chrissy was totally rocking that thing and knocked out a 1:47 half-marathon to finish her day. Laura came in about 50 minutes later.
So long post, lots of bloggy peeps, and now I am excited about going half-Iron next year. Totally doable while trying to write a dissertation, right?
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