Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tri Dunkirk Race Report...My 1st OLY!!!

Tri Dunkirk
Olympic Distance Triathlon: 1500M/40KM/10KM

I DID IT!!!!!! Sunday, I completed my very 1st Olympic distance Tri! Thanks to Michael for giving me awesome taper advice! It worked! You are Da-Bomb!

So here's how it went down.....

We had to drive to Dunkirk on Saturday...it's only 3 hours away, but that is just a little too far for a same day trip, especially since transition closed at 6:45am.  So after taking Think 1 & Thing 2 to the 5K that they wanted to run on Saturday morning (they did great, btw: 18:25 & 19:31...they are ready for XC season!) we hit the road for Dunkirk.  We checked into our hotel and then hit packet pickup.  Very easy and quick.  It was at the race site so we were able to scope out the water and transition.  We got a tech shirt and some arm/calf sleeves????? Not sure which...you decide.  I'll be honest...Dunkirk is not a very nice town.  And, quite frankly, I think we drove through the hood to get to the race site. We tried to find a nice pasta place, or even an Olive Garden...but all we could find was an Applebee's.  I guess since Dunkirk lies almost exactly in between Buffalo & Erie, all the good chains were there instead.  Wasn't quite brave enough to try the hole in the wall that the hotel clerk suggested...was probably good but not taking any chances the night before a race....especially since we got weird looks carrying our bikes up 3 flights of stairs to our room. (Probably a place with 'Inn' in it's name was not the best choice.)  But I have had HORRIBLE luck booking chain hotels for our last 2 events so I went in another direction this time...oh well....
Loco crammed into B&B room...nice wallpaper ;s

Racked and ready!
We had an early evening and were up at 5am.  It didn't take long to get ready & we were off.  We thought we'd given ourselves enough time to set up transition, but they were REALLY strict about transition closing time.  All the other tri's we've been in, once you were in transition, they really didn't kick you out if you were working. Not here.  We barely got our tires pumped up in time! That was a whole lot of hurry up so we could wait, wait, wait.

The Swim: 1.5KM  35:40  46/85 overall

I'll be honest, usually I have all the confidence in the world about the swim.  I know it is my strength in triathlon.  Today, however, when I walked to the beach and saw the buoy's WAY out there in Lake Erie, all I could think was "I have to swim that... TWICE?!?" I was a little afraid.  It just looked so very much farther than I had been swimming in practice...and it was getting choppy & I wondered just how deep it was out there.  Plus, everyone around me looked like serious athletes....you know, the ones that are all tall, ripped & dripping with easy confidence.  I felt out of place. The start took a while, but I have to say it was my favourite swim start yet.  It was done as a time trial start.  We all lined up by bib number and they sent off 2 people every 20 seconds.  The other weird thing was that I was going to have to run in from the beach without sitting in the water getting acclimated. That turned out ok because the water was a beautiful 73F! It turns out a time trial start is glorious! You have tons of free water around you and no one kicking you in the face or swimming over you! I LOVED it! I think a LOT of people had trouble sighting in a straight line, but I didn't.  I wasn't course correcting at all.  The only part that was annoying was that the second buoy was directly in line with the sun so it was hard to see. When it was my turn, I just ran as far as I could and dove in, quickly settling into a steady pace.  One of the things I don't like about triathlon is that if you don't have a watch, you have no idea how much time the swim took.  I decided that I'd wear my old crappy work watch & that worked great for me.  First lap, 16:55 so I swam nearly identical loops. Actually the second was slightly faster, but equaled out on the run across the beach to transition.  The swim was a little conservative because I wasn't sure if trying to kill it would actually kill me in the bike and run.  I am happy with how it turned out and know I can be a little more aggressive next time.

T1: 3:26: I don't know what went wrong.  I was slower than molasses! I just could not get it together and figure out what I was supposed to do in transition! I had a ton of sand on my feet and it just would not come off and when I finally tried to put on my socks, it was awful.  I had trained in bricks with my compression socks on but I never dreamed how hard they'd be to put on damp feet! And I had chosen my tightest fitting ones!  OMG....I barely wrestled into them! Plus I had not factored in the ankle chip...yup, felt that grinding into my ankle the whole bike ride.  Nice abrasions I got....lesson learned I guess.

The Bike: 40KM: 1:35:13  76/85 overall   15.7mph

I felt pretty good on the bike overall.  I had really been hoping to crank at 16mph but I just could not do it.  It was not a horrible bike course, but it was not the 'mostly flat with one big hill before the turnaround'.  It was actually rolling hills the whole time & lots of turns...which was not the terrain I trained for. Still, I clearly need to work on my biking skills.  I was a little worried at one point that I was actually last.  I counted 6 people behind me after the turnaround, but since I was one of the last swim starters, just counting didn't work. I dropped into an easy gear on the last mile and really started in increase my cadence in preparation for the run. Still though, my biking sucks.  I can make it better though.  I didn't get a flat and I didn't fall...it's all good.

Oh please let me buy this picture so I can remember my muffintop forever...said no woman ever.
T2:  2:04: I had an awesome transition. Bike racked, helmet off, running shoes on quick, fixed the chip grinding into my ankle and headed for the exit.....and then I realized I forgot to put on my race belt with my number.  Ugg! Had to go back for it as I didn't want to get DQ'd for not having my number on the run.  Probably cost me 20-25 seconds.

The Run: 10K: 1:04:18  66/85 overall, 10:22 pace official (10:08 using garmin distance of 10.2km)

I felt pretty good out on the run.  I was surprised. Really, by the time I got out of transition and on the path, my legs were settled in and I found I was running at a pretty good pace & I figured that I'd just go with what felt good for as long as I could.  I passed SD as I hit my first mile and he was heading home on his last. He looked STRONG! He told me he was close to a PR! Exciting!!! My first 3 miles were: 9:38, 9:57, 9:56.  It was a 2 loop course and at the turnaround I realized that the course was a little long when I hit the 5K mark before I turned.  Both SD and I got about 10.2KM on our Garmin's.  Miles 4,5 & 6 were harder, but I was still able to run at a decent pace: 10:17, 10:32, 10:25 & then 10:11 for the final 'sprint'.  The funniest thing on the run was on the last lap, with about a mile to go for me, I passed an older guy still heading out on his second loop who says to me in all sincerity with a big smile on his face: 'you look more stunning everytime I see you'....made me laugh out loud because I was clearly a hot mess!

I finally crossed that finish line! I felt so tired and happy!  I did it!  This distance definatly challenged me and I love that it did! It feels so good to finish something that was hard and know that all the work I put into training paid off.  Now I have thoughts in my head about going bigger...like 70.3 bigger.  Big decision though...and now I have to concentrate on getting some miles in for marathon training....4 weeks! Yikes!

And a BIG shout out to SD who killed the course and PR'd with a 2:37:30 (& ran a 5th place overall 45:38 10K+)!  Came 14th overall & didn't even get an AG award! Would have placed 1st or 2nd in every age category....except his :(.....I think he rocks though!


Kate Geisen said...

Wow, great job to SD and great job to you!! I think your picture looks great! Sounds like a pretty awesome day, other than the transition stress. Next stop...70.3!!

Kathy said...

Great job!!!! I wish I was a stronger swimmer ... ah well, something to work on this winter I suppose.

Jamie said...

You both did amazing! 70.3 is in your reach, I know it!

TriMOEngr said...

Awesome race report. Congrats on finishing the Oly distance (and rocking it!) Sounds like a great day all around for both of you. Love the smiles in the last pic!

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

The thought of a tri is great. When I read all of the tried race reports, the reality is I'm terrified of the swim, haven't gotten on a bike in a decade plus and just can't imagine the dedication it would take to train for it. I salute you and the time and effort you put into training for the race!!! Great job!

Unknown said...

Dang TUR you make it sound fantastic. If I were a better swimmer....hahaha! Awesome everything! Way to rock the swim.