Sunday, July 10, 2016

Race Recap: Mingoman Sprint Triathlon (7/10/16)

I love lists.  Like, LOVE them.  My phone has an app on it called "Keep" where I can make lists and cross things off.  I think that's my favorite part--crossing things off!  But making them is super fun too. To-do lists are my favorite, but really I believe that all lists are super awesome. 

Bet you're all wondering why I am talking about lists in a race recap!  On the bike leg of my triathlon today, I started to make a list of what was going wrong with my ride (ooo, foreshadowing...).  That list got pretty long, and after a bit I decided that I should stop and try to make a list of things that HADN'T gone wrong.  A much shorter list (it seemed at the time least), but it helped me get my head on straight again.  I thought that it would be fun to make this a blog of lists.

List #1: What went well during today's race

1) I met my "A" Goal (which was a sub-2:15), with an overall time of 2:14:12.  Why am I not more excited???  See list #2. 

2) I didn't fall off my bike, or crash, or get a flat tire, or embarrass myself in any other way during any of the legs of the race.  There were a few crashes, and one bad injury. I need to be grateful that I wasn't hurt.

3) I had zero anxiety during the swim.  This is huge for me, as it's been an issue in the past.  I felt very relaxed.  Maybe a bit too relaxed... wait, that's not for this list!

The water was perfect today--77 degrees!
4) I got to see so many friends on the course!  Many friends were racing, and a few were there to cheer.  I loved it every time that I'd see someone. (Except for when Megan and Melanie zoomed by me on the bike... oh, wait, not this list...)  

5) The run went *exactly* as I'd planned.  I had my watch set to 4 min run/2 min walk intervals, and I followed directions to a T.  Even better, the final run interval started with 0.1 miles to go, so I got to run into the finish feeling super fresh.  Woo hoo!

6) I got to the race super early, so I had plenty of time to do everything and not stress about being rushed.  I love when this is the case.

Pre-race selfie! (That's my friend Jenny in the background)
7) Fueling seemed spot-on.  I had peanut butter toast + bananas for breakfast at 4:15 AM, and a honey stinger waffle at around 6:00 AM.  I sipped a bottle of water with skratch added from 5-7 AM.  I had a Hammer gel at around mile 12.5 on the bike, and sipped my skratch water bottle throughout.  I drank water from my hand-held during the run.  And NO STOMACH ISSUES. Wait... that totally deserves its own number...

8) NO STOMACH ISSUES!  No bathroom issues at all! This is always a very, very good thing!

9) My timing chip stayed on.  Okay, maybe a silly addition to this list, but since I've experienced it falling off during a previous race, I need to celebrate the littlest things.   Granted, I did have it safety-pinned on (thanks to my friends' pre-race advice)... but I digress LOL.

10) Both transitions went well, at least inside the transition area.  I did go past my bike mount in T2, but realized it pretty quickly and was able to get back to my spot. 

T1 set up

On to...

List #2: What did not go so well today:

1) The bike. Oh, the bike.  I have no clue exactly what happened.  I had trouble clipping in at transition to start; it took me a good 30 seconds just to get my first cleat in.  That was foreshadowing for the rest of the ride.  For whatever reason, I just COULD NOT get settled into my ride.  It took about 30 minutes for me to feel somewhat into it... but even then, it felt like I was pedaling uphill the entire time, even when I was definitely going downhill.   My chain has been grinding a lot lately, but even with that I have been able to ride at 16-18 mph for every ride. Today's pace was a sorrowful 15.2 mph.  On our 47-miler my average was 16.2 mph.  For 21 miles, I ought to be able to go faster than 15 mph, especially given the fact that I was actually TRYING to go fast!  At around mile 10 or so, I finally gave into the fact that this bike ride was just not going to go well, regardless of how hard I tried, so I focused on giving kudos to the riders passing me (and there were scores of them!) and enjoying the farmlands that I was cycling past.

2) The swim was a bit too relaxed. I knew it while I was doing it... that I could definitely go a bit faster. But I also had the goal of making it through without getting overly anxious, and that goal trumped pushing it too much.  I checked my watch upon exiting the water and saw that it said 0.53 miles and 15:10, which is around 1:38/100 yards.  This is definitely slower than I do in my faster training swims. My pace was 1:31/100 at my open water race.  There were a lot more people in the water this time, though! Still... I do need to pick it up a bit on what's supposed to be my best leg.

3) I had watch issues.  No problems at the start, and at the first transition into my bike.  As I left T1, I pushed the "lap" button to end the transition and start my ride. My watched buzzed to indicate the transition had ended, and then a second or two later it buzzed again (this is because I forgot that I had it set to "auto pause" if I was going less than 10 mph... which of course seeing as I wasn't even moving yet, it paused). I was so flustered, I pushed the lap button again, unknowingly telling my watch that I'd finished my bike and was in T2 already.  UGH!  This was so annoying, as I had to do my entire ride without my watch telling me much at all. I knew the approximate distance (after T1 my watch said 0.8-something so I was able to subtract that away from the total distance), and was able to see an overall time, which was how I knew how slow I was going.  But it would've been nice to have my mile splits buzzing at me.  Wait... maybe that would not have been so nice, given how slow I was actually going.   
4) I had to walk during the run.  I know, I HAD to walk... this was part of my plan.  But it was still not easy to do so.  There were times when it was... like when I got to walk up a huge hill versus tackle running up it.  But mostly, it was annoying.  I'd pass a few people, and then it'd be time to walk again.  It sucks being smart sometimes.

5) My legs didn't feel great during the run.  My hip felt fine, which actually should be on list #1, as did my plantar fasciitis.  But my calves felt tight off the bike (an issue I had last year), and whatever muscle/tendon/tissue is below my shin, right above my foot, felt super tight, especially on my left foot. Walking actually was more uncomfortable than running.  I am going to chalk this up to the fact that I *just* started to run again, and my legs need more time to get back to normal.

So that was a relatively short list, especially given that I thought the race was a total wash at first.  One more list for you...

List #3: What I will do differently at my next triathlon:

1) I will learn how to fix a flat tire. I saw a woman whose tube blew up (literally!) at mile 1.5.  I need to learn how to do this ASAP!

2) I will get my bike gears figured out.  If the Westerville Bike Shop can't figure it out, I'll take my bike elsewhere.  I know that it needs something.

3) I will work on my bike-run bricks so that my legs are used to running off the bike.  

4) I will bike more often, and longer, and on routes with more hills.  I have basically memorized the course at Alum, and this is honestly doing a disservice to me.  I need to be ready for novel roads like the ones I had to ride today in Delaware.

Final stats:
Swim: 16:25 (this includes the "run" up to transition, which was 0.61 total by my watch), 9th overall out of 82
T1: 2:31
Bike: 1:22:40.  68th overall out of 82
T2: didn't register (1:25 by my Garmin)
Run: didn't register--my Garmin said 31:07, which would've been 59th overall out of 82.  
Overall time: 2:14:12  (55th overall out of 82, 15th out of 31 females, 3rd out of 6 in 35-39 AG)
A few more pictures from the race...
Post-race MRTT picture!  

Pre-race with several MRTT mamas!

Pre-race with Jenny, Megan and Becky!


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  2. I really enjoy reading your insights on this... the flat tire on a bike really would cause me anxiety as well. I'm not much of a swimmer but I throw around the idea of getting a bike and getting a duathalon or something accomplished... great job on your finish!