Sunday, August 16, 2009

Camping + Triathlons = Less Fun.

So, I had what I thought would be a fun idea.

Camp with the kids so we can have fun in the great outdoors before/ during/ and after the big race.

Um. Not So Much.

I LOVE hotels. Especially with pool's and hot tubs!

So, the kids and I arrive late on Thursday night, with barely enough time to set up camp before it gets dark. I am of course without my husband because he has to work. No biggie. I can set up no problem.

Tent Camping Sucks. My top 3 reasons why....

1.We did great. Until 5am. When we woke up to thunder and rain. Thankfully the tent did not leak and we were all good. It was supposed to be isolated thunderstorms all day Friday. I just wish it wasn't Breakfast and Lunch. Need I say more? I did not want to bother with a tarp or cover for cooking so I did not pack any. Needless to say, I was not really interested in cooking outside the rest of the trip and had over packed on food.
2. Oh, and I love the fact that I do not live in a sand pit everyday. It gets EVERYWHERE. I swear I can taste it at times.
3. Ice cold water anytime I want. Ahhhh. The life.
Yep. I have become a wimp with camping.

I love biking on trails and swimming and fishing and exploring... oh, and of course s'mores, but urgh, forget the complete and total immersion in nature. I like controlled temps and beds for sleeping way to much.

Ok, back to triathlons... Reasons to love....
1. My boy Z did the kids tri on Friday night. His was a 50 ft swim (aka water walk), .6 bike and .21 run. He did great. That was so fun.
2. I loved to see and was encouraged by the kids doing this event. The boys in his age group were pushing and shoving a bit before the swim. It was nervous energy. They couldn't wait to get out there and we waited about 20 minutes to start.
3. Transitions. Zeb was less nervous than I was... I put his helmet on before his shirt in transtion and he said to me "Mom, How am I supposed to put my shirt on with my helmet on?" Opps. "Its big I will just push it on." I said with a smirk. At least he was thinking. He really did great and of course he FINISHED! Yaaayyyyy!!
4. Pre Race baked potato dinner.... yummy!

Ok, so on to my triathlon... my girl Dez, let me sleep in her cozy well tempered home (ahhhhh) the night before the race. Yay Air conditioning! I almost felt guilty leaving Duner (yes he made it up for one night and the boys sleep out doors in the heat) Anyway, I woke up exactly 9 minutes before our alarm was to go off. Ate my oatmeal, over ripe banana, (thanks to the heat) and peanut butter. Got ready and headed out.

Dez drove us in her topless (and without doors) jeep to the event. I must say it was so FUN getting there. I was a bit chilly so I used my OFFICIAL Tri Fox towel for warmth on the ride. We arrived in plenty of time, parked in the dump... really it was a landfill. This Tri had 900 participants. We needed the room.

This race was the complete opposite of the last one. Last time, I was in the 2nd wave, almost no waiting, with this race, I was in the LAST wave. My number was 865, Dez 866. We no other waves behind us to catch us or to help us either. That was different for me. Kinda scary. I didn't want to come in last.... not in a wet swimsuit. ewwww! (sorry for that visual)... other than that and my new anti fog goggles... here are my top reasons why I loved this triathlon!

1. The water was so warm!!! It almost felt longer than the 1/2 mile swim at Wausau, but my goggles kept getting water in them. Must be the 'anti-fog' feature of them... they get water in them to rinse away the fog. Hmmmm. Brilliant.
2. I saw a lot of mountain bikers and 'cross' bread bikes. I felt like I was FLYIN' compared to my Wausau bike, this was a breeze!!! I tried to encourage each and every biker I passed, especially if they were bigger. I loved to see them! So motivating to see that! I was a lot of passing. SWEET~ That was a change let me tell you!
3. We headed out on the run together. She was having some cramping issues, but pushed through them. I was hollerin' and talkin' to the crowds cheering us on. I got a group to give us the WAVE! Woo Hoo!!! I was cheering for so many people Dez asked me if I knew a guy or girl that I had cheered for, but I didn't. If they had a Tri Fox Jersey or were heavier or just were struggling, I was trying to encourage them.

We made it through the finishing chute and my family was no where to be found. They had gone to breakfast and didn't realize I would finish so fast. Ha. ha. SO FAST HUH? But it was all good. I had so much fun. I chatted with a fellow tri fox friend Jessie and his wife Angie for a while till my family appeared.

I managed a pretty GREAT PR for my bike. Average speed of 18.5, SWEET!! (My average was 16 mph) It so pays to do that Wausau tri. I may just have to do that one next year!

Results were...
Swim (.25 mile) : 10:21
T1: 4:30
Bike(12.5 miles): 40:31
T2: 1:38
Run : 21:04 (I took it easy too!)
Total: 1:17:51
Placed 45th out of 191 women!!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Woodson YMCA Olympic Distance Tri... Race Report

Ok, so when I signed up for this thing I had no idea we could have the coldest temps for the summer in a long time and the hills of the bike route... Considering I missed 2 full weeks of my 'training' schedule in July alone, (!) I was a bit worried and the weather was not helping.
My last run was a 6 miler in the rain (for 5 miles of it). Let me say that rain does a really nice job of cleaning your shoes!! And my ipod is officially water resistant for up to 50 minutes of rain. I know, SWEET!
I managed a couple of quick brick workouts this past week during the 'taper' week, while I also got some SCHOOL shopping in... Yes, it is that time already...
Ok, now back to the race. Forecast called for 60 degrees and possible THUNDERSTORMS from 7am to 10am... (the race began at 8:30am)... Yep. Great weather for a large metal object between your legs.

Anyway, Duner, kiddos and I arrived in Wausau the night before to get my packet and drive the race course one last time because they had to change the route due to construction (aka- 10 ft sections of gravel I had already ridden on 2x during my training) since it was already pretty hilly I wanted to punish myself a bit more and find out if it would be more hills now that it changed. Guess what... YEP, MORE HILLS.. GREAT! Who doesn't love them more than me! *hint: that was sarcasm... but I am beginning to ENJOY THEM. I know.. sick.
Ok. So we drive the route and scope out the swim, um, I mean the ENTIRE LAKE THAT WE WILL SWIM AROUND. (Ok, so it was a small lake, but figure in the temps in the 60's and 14 mph winds, my mind kept saying BRRRR.)

That night we met two women at our hotel that were doing the race for the first time. They were doing the sprint part. We had a mini-question and answer session about last minute things they had questions on. I loved that they were older than me and not skinny or athletic looking. Love that! Great motivators for our 'future' first timers out there!

That night I barely sleep a few hours. I was afraid I was going to miss it. My alarm was not going to go off... I was somehow going to sleep in (??), was I ever wrong!
I tossed and turned. Afraid to get to warm or comfortable. I heard the rain come at 3am and leave at 5:50am. I got up and looked out the window and yep... it was CLEARING! I turned on the weather channel and they showed the radar... we just passed the rain!!! YES!

I had to use the coffee maker to heat the water for my 'pre race' tradition' of oatmeal, PB and Banana. It turned out a bit watery but all was good, considering I had to use 2 coffee cups to mix it (since I had no spoon, only a stir straw) and drink it.

We arrived with many athletes already in the transition area. Got all set up, met up with my partner in this crime, Dez. She brought her Dad and Step Mom (I think). He is a big time bike rider so he had all kinds of tips for us. It was sweet to see him trying to be so helpful.

We were in the second wave of 30. Right behind the 'elite' or champion group. So we only had 3 minutes after the race started to begin. I really liked not standing on the beach a long time. I am going to try that in the future. We had to wear specific colored swim caps for each wave. Ours was white. Champions were orange. The group behind us was Yellow. I was having a hard time controlling my fat from wiggling due to shivering at the beach, so when I was able to get in the water I was grateful. It was WARM! (ok, warmer than the air)

Here is how my swim broke down:
First 5 minutes: Piece of cake... taking my time... nice and easy. Hey I am passing people...
5-10 minutes: Ok still passing people, yuck, curve... ok too much curve, here I go zig zag. Where is the dang line at the bottom of the lake?* just kidding there is no line.
10-15 minutes: Ok, goggles fogging, where am I? That guy had a yellow swim cap.. I am beginning to get lapped. EEK! I just swam into the arms of a life guard that may have been telling me he was there, but I can't hear anyone with ear plugs in!
15 -23 minutes: Ok, my goggles are a nice shade of FOG so I will just look for white and yellow caps to tell me were I am to be. Thank God, I can see people on the shore. W-e-e-e-e! I am done!

Dez was already dressed by the time I got up there. I hurried up, while she waited for me. Put some chamois butt'r in some select spots, socks, shoes, helmet, water, gu... let's go! Really bad time, but that was ok...over 6 MINUTES!!! I waved to my support crew. We chatted a bit what can I say. As I was leaving transtition Zeb yelled, 'I hope you don't get hurt Mom!'... (everybody say) AWWW.

BIKE: (I thought Chicago was the windy city)
Dez and I played tag the entire bike, which was helpful to make the entire WINDY AND HILLY 28 mile ride go fast. She does hills like nobody's business and I am good on the down and flats. We would ride together at some points but not the entire time and watched for riders coming up behind us. We were being nice about it. At one point 'Wolfgang' (yes, his real name) scared her when she rode up next to me for a bit, then gave her some grief about it in the run. We averaged 16 mph for the bike. Pretty good for me. She motivated me up those hills. One hour and 45 minutes for the bike. All intersections were not controlled by police, so the voluteers could not stop traffic. That was a bit scary. You never knew if the cars were going to stop or not.

3 minutes, Not sure why, but I did grab my i-pod for the run to have some music. Grab some water, Hammer gel and my running hat. I had been a very good girl on the bike and drank lots of water and my bladder was begining to tell me that it was ready to go. I tried to ignore it.

RUN: 3 miles into the wind, 3 miles at our back.
The run began by looping in a parking lot, then past the finish line. It was an out and back course with a little side run to a dead end road. It had 3 water stations but no potty's on the route. Bladder still full, I was debating if I should try finding a spot in the woods but I decided against it. Dez stopped to tie her shoe and I kept going. After the 3rd mile I passed Wolfgang, I realized we were close to the last of the finishers. There were not many people behind us. But I wanted to enjoy this race. It didn't matter if I placed, but if I had fun. I was still cheering for anyone I saw coming, or passing. As I reached the dead end turn around part I recognized the two girls from the hotel. One was doing GREAT the other was leaning way forward struggling to run. She was the bigger of the two and not as confident about the race. As I got closer to her I tried to help her out, but her friend was a great support for her and she was going to finish. I loved that she looked AWFUL but was NOT GIVING UP AT ALL. She pushed through the agony and kept going!! Shortly after that I got the burst I needed. My husband and kids were waiting by the road for me, cheering me on! I picked up the pace a bit and pushed into the wind to the finish line! Dez was just a few seconds behind me and followed by Wolfgang. While we were taking our 'finish line' photos Wolfgang joined us wanted in on the picture. It was all good. Shortly after those 'ex-newbies' joined us at the finish line! They did it! Together! I just love a happy ending... Ohhhhh, but that is not quite the end... while we were catching up with some old neighbors that we had 6 years ago (who just happened to be into triathlons, too) I heard my name... yep. It was was the AWARD CEREMONY! I actually placed in my age group.... I ran up there!! Woo Hoo! I got a hat, for a 3rd place finish for Women 30-34!!!
Um, ok, so there were only 3 of us in that age group to begin with... but hey, it just goes to show, sometimes you don't need speed. Just endurance.
P.S. Thank you to any of you women age 30-34 that decided not to do the Woodson Olympic distance Triathlon this year!!!