Sunday, August 10, 2014

2014 Sylvania Sprint Triathlon report: Making a comeback

As promised, here is my race update.  I had a few goals for this race -- out of the swim in less than 10 minutes, 18 mph on the bike, and my biggest goal, to run the entire run and not walk (or limp). I made 2 out of three of those goals, and came very close to the third. 

This was my first race after being named an Enell Ambassador, and though I haven't gotten my official equipment yet, I wore my trisuit with my Enell underneath, just like I said I would. It kept everything nice and secure for the whole race, with no chafing. I always tuck my swim cap and goggles into my top before the race so that I don't accidentally sit on them or drop them, and tucking them under my bra strap meant they really weren't going anywhere. 

With my friend (and training buddy) Alicia before the race
The swim was relatively short, 400 yards, with a run from the swim to the transition area.  I felt strong in the swim and managed to stay focused and keep working hard.  According to my husband, who served as photographer, domestique, pack horse, and official timekeeper for me, I got out of the water in 8 minutes and 55 seconds, but my official swim time was 11:06, which includes the time to get from the beach to my bike.

Swimming is great, but why all this running? Glad I have my Enell...
My goal for the bike was to keep it at 18 miles per hour pace. My bike pace for the last race was 17 mph and I knew I could do better.  The bike course was flat and fast, but we did have some wind out there. My friend I came very close, at 17.9 mph. I had to slow down quite a bit as I approached the dismount area. I also had a misunderstanding on the course where a police officer looked at me and said "right after this lady" and I thought he was letting a car go in front of me. I stopped and he said, no, you go, they wait.  It was a rookie mistake but I really was confused by it and did not want to get hit by a car.  Still, I was happy when I got off the bike because I knew I had done really well (with no idea how close I had come to my goal).

Feeling confident on the bike

The run was the iffy part. My hamstring issues have kept me from training as much as I'd like in the run, but I felt good and was able to run the entire way, stopping only once to loosen the laces on my shoes, which I had pulled a little too tight. The new shoes held up -- I think changing to a wider width was the right thing to do. Last race, hamstring issues and foot pain contributed to a 40-minute slog. Even though my run time was only 2 minutes faster, it felt a lot better. 

I wore a red Team Toledo shirt over my trisuit for the run -- I had pinned my number to it ahead of time.  It provided a little extra coverage and also got me a lot of support from other team members. Someday I plan to buy the Team Toledo racing suit so I can look really professional.

One of the better run photos
I was getting tired and thirsty during the race, so I started telling myself lies to stay focused. "There will be cherry popsicles at the finish line." I don't even normally like popsicles that much, but it sounded like the best thing in the world at that moment.  Continuing to work hard when I was tired was my biggest victory today.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere!
There were no cherry popsicles at the finish line, but there was beer, and yes, I had a beer at 9:30 a.m. on a Sunday. Why not? It was refreshing. I got one for my support crew as well. 

A little sunburned, but happy!
After the race, I showered and put on my race t-shirt and medal.  This race generally has epically ugly t-shirts, but I liked this one a lot, and the logo, which is a version of the City of Sylvania's logo, also made a nice medal. I hope they keep this design for next year. 

Love this design!

I was really emotional when I found out that I had come in 2nd in my age group in the swim and 3rd in my age group on the bike (and 9 out of 10 on the run), 8th in my age group overall (age group results link).  I really feel like I'm making a comeback from my injuries and other issues.  Overall, I was 73rd in the swim, 132nd in the bike, and 213th in the run, and 171st overall (overall results link).

The run is obviously where I need the most work.  There were a lot of race photos I didn't love because I could see the "hip drop" that the physical therapist at Fitbloggin' noticed. My knees seem to collapse inward, which is inefficient and also is probably contributing to my problems. I think if I can do some strength work to rehab my hamstring and strengthen my run, I can really see some big improvements.

This was a fun race. I'm looking forward to a great season next year.

6 comments:

  1. Wow! Great job. And you look happy and confident the photos too. You should feel really good about your performance!

    Sometime I want to do a race back home closer to sea level and see what I can do. But I don't have a good reason too go back now that my mom has passes, and it would be a pain to get my bike out there. :(

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    1. It would definitely be challenging to do a tri at altitude.

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  2. Nice! Proud of your results, but REALLY proud of your pushing through and hitting those goals! I'm so impressed!

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    1. Thanks! It felt good to really challenge myself.

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  3. If I ever start doing tris again, I need to hook up with you to find ones that have bling. Congrats on a great race!

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    1. This racing company seems to have realized that bling matters, as all their races seem to have really nice medals.

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