Sunday, June 14, 2015

Grand Rapids Triathlon 2015

Grand Rapids Triathlon 2015 (Olympic Distance-1500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run)

I had one goal today for this triathlon:  be as aggressive and as fast as possible on the bike.  I also had wanted to get in the top 3 overall to win some money.  I actually succeeded in both!  I’ll start with this weekend.

Saturday morning we had to wake up at 4:20am to drive to Mike’s road race in Mt. Pleasant, MI.  I was a bit worried this would have an effect on my race today since I had to get up so early and drive to Mt. Pleasant the day before.  I tried to sleep in the car during his race, but that didn’t go too well.  I was pretty exhausted all day long.  It’s ok though, it was the only way this weekend would work the best.  So once Mike finished his race (on his cross bike because his road bike was in the shop since he crashed), we drove over to Grand Rapids, MI so I could pick up my race packet.  Lots of driving in one weekend!

As a result, we were in bed by 9pm.  I got about 8-8.5 hours of sleep and felt awesome race morning.  However, when I woke up, Mike looked at the forecast.  Rain and thunderstorms the whole morning.  It was POURING when we drove to the start of the race, but eventually slowed some once I got out of the car, thank goodness!  I was running a little late, because I took my time in the morning and thought maybe the race would be delayed.  I gave myself about 30 minutes to set up transition.  Well…that didn’t happen.  The road was blocked off where we were going to turn, so we had to turn around and go all the way around here and there to get to the start.  I had 10 minutes in transition.  Mike dropped me off, you had to walk about a half mile to get to transition.  I started walking, and realized I left my helmet in the car!  So I called Mike, thank goodness I had my phone with me, and I ran back to the car to grab it.  Then I ran to transition.  Nice warm up, I thought.  10 minutes to set everything up.  I used every last minute.  And I had to run back to put my sunglasses in, which I didn’t need anyways and lost L Lesson learned, make sure you know where you’re going race morning and give yourself plenty of time.  This is my number who knows how many triathlons, I should have this down LOL.  The blonde in me :)

Anyways…onto the swim!  It actually stopped raining when we started.  My wave was the very last wave that went off.  This was the Clydesdale and Athena Nationals, so there were women of all ages and Athena in my Olympic women wave.  This was the first race where I wore my long sleeve wetsuit, too.  It actually worked out great, fits well!  As soon as we went off, everyone sprinted.  I started out in the front, but it’s always annoying when you have who knows how many swimmers splashing around you in the water.  After about maybe 30-40 seconds, I was able to pull away, thank goodness, and follow who I thought was the lead girl.  I enjoyed the swim, it was out, around, and back, nice and fast.  I got dizzy again pretty early on.  I’m not sure why I keep getting dizzy now during the swim.  I wonder if it has to do with the cold water?  If anyone knows, let me know haha.  At least this time it wasn’t so bad and I didn’t almost fall over multiple times.  I ended up with a 23:27 for the swim.  Pretty good.  Second place overall swam a 20:17, I guess I never saw her, and the girl in front of me swam a 22:50.  That was the girl who I thought was first out of the water, and me second.  Nope! 

T1:  Well, I was a bit out of it and dizzy again, so I felt I needed to take my time getting my wetsuit off, shoes on, and helmet on.  I certainly tried as fast as possible, but it was still slow compared to the 2 girls ahead of me.  2:43.  Yeah that needs some work.  Oh and I started running the wrong way with my bike LOL.

The Bike:
As I said…my goal today was to go as fast as possible on the bike.  I was tired of having sub-optimal bike times lately when I know I’m strong.  My watts/kg is 3.77, I should be able to put out a great 40k time.  At Island Lake, it was 1:11, but I was very fatigued from the 4 hour high effort at the adventure race the week before.  So I wanted to redeem myself.  My goal was a 1:05.  At Nationals last year it was 1:07:03.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to pull off a 1:05 but I was going to try my best.  I didn’t even care about my run much, I just wanted a good bike time.  Mike adjusted my aero bars, so I was lower, and more aero.  He also let me borrow his aero wheels for the race.  I would have had a disc wheel, too, but the one we ordered didn’t quite fit, so I couldn’t use that for the race today.  Which is OK.  When I left transition, I thought I was in second place.  So, I pretty much rode as fast as my body would let me.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have my power tap because I had Mike’s aero wheels.  With my power tap, it’s on one wheel, and you can’t switch it between wheels.  I really wish I knew what my power was!  I was passing people all the time, and near these two guys for most of the race.  We kept passing each other the whole time.  Towards the very end, I blew past them finally, turned and looked around because I thought I saw a female, stared at her right in the face, then took off :)  And I was in second. 

I have a 2000 Ironman Cannondale that I bought off a friend for cheap.  It’s aluminum.  My 40k TT time was 1:02:48!  That’s 23.7 mph I can’t believe it!  I’m still shocked!  My thick yet small Italian curvy legs can put out some power :)  Who says you need a Carbon frame to be fast??  The bike course was very flat and fast, hardly any turns, so that helped for sure.

T2:  2:11.  Horrible.  But I was so out of it from cycling so hard I couldn’t help it.  I should practice these I guess.  But it’s hard when you’re out of breath during the actual race.
Run:  Well, I got passed in the first mile by the girl I passed on the bike.  Her bike time was 4 min. slower than mine, but she had a fast swim and transitions, so that’s how I was able to catch up to and pass her on the bike.  I struggled on the run.  Not much to say about this except my legs were so sore from pushing so hard on the bike, that I think it definitely effected my run.  It was also pretty humid.  No matter what positive thoughts I was telling myself, I just couldn’t make my legs run any faster.  My run time was 48:54, which is a 7:52 min/mi pace.  At Nationals and Island Lake I was able to run a 47.  Still not that fast, but ohhh well.  I’m super happy with my bike time.  Hopefully I can get my run time down some by the end of the year.  At least a 46:00 would help.

So, my overall time was 2:20:05!  That’s a PR for me by about a minute and 40 seconds!  3rd overall female, second place female was 2:17:00, and the first place female was 2:11:50.

It was a great day!