Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sylvania Triathlon 2016

I had big goals going into the Sylvania Olympic distance triathlon.  I wanted the overall female win, and I wanted to PR.  I had invited my parents and my mother-in-law to come to watch the race, and my sister and her puppy came, and so did Mike.  I really wanted to win it for them, too because I didn't have a great race at the World triathlon in Chicago last year where they were watching.  I also did not taper for this race, either, I just slept 12 hrs on Friday night and went for a short walk yesterday.  I am getting ready for the Delaware half Ironman 2 weeks away, where I hope to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 Worlds if possible, or podium, but they only take top 2 in each age group, and the competition is much bigger at an Ironman event.  I also wanted to race as fast as I  could for this Olympic distance tri to get an idea of how it will feel like in Cozumel, where I'm racing the same distance as today.

My goal was to win, and my time goal was a 2:15,  or close to it.  I managed to get pretty close, with a 2:16:11, which is a PR for me in this distance.  In addition to winning female overall, I happened to finish 2nd overall out of 108 for the men and women.....pretty cool!

The swim:  Before the swim, I was intimidated by a fast looking girl next to me in transition which made me more nervous. When we went off, she was on my left, and Meredith Erwin was on my right, and a few others.  After about 500m, the girl on my left started to fade, and I was able to hold my pace.  It was a great swim for me.  I felt strong the whole way.  Sometimes I don't always have a great swim, but today's swim was so strong and so smooth.  I ended up being the first female out of the water with a 23:10. 

The Bike:  I was really hoping to bike as close to an hour for the 40k as possible, but the wind made it tough to do that today. On the windy roads, I just let it be and tried to stay within my power range.  I had to shift down 1-2 gears, but it certainly saved me for the run.  I felt pretty strong on the bike and stayed within my power goals, so that was good.  I did this leg in 1:06:05, which is 22.57 mph.  (I really wanted closer to 24mph but the wind made it tough).  No other female passed me on the bike, so I was still in the lead when I got into transition, yes!!

The Run:  As soon as I exited transition, Liz Young said to me, "You were the first female out of the water, enjoy the run now," and that really helped me.  I did enjoy the run.  My legs ACTUALLY felt fresh.  I usually am somewhat sore off the bike.  I wanted to PR on the run, too.  It's something I'm always working towards since running is my weakness.  My legs felt fresh all the way to mile 3, I thought I would slow down then.  I just didn't know if I should push harder in the first few miles because I felt so good.  I bet I could have ran even faster than I did, but I had never maintained a 7:18 pace before for a 10k so I kept everything in check.  At about mile 5.6, Mike was in the road and started running me in.  I quickly asked him who was behind me, if there was a girl behind me.  He said no, so I kept running as fast as I could.  Just before mile 6, I asked him again if there was a girl gaining on me.  He said no, so I felt relaxed about this issue, haha, but still pushed hard across the finish line.  I won, and I PR'd a 10k in a triathlon with a time of 45:20, that's over a minute faster than my best from last year I am so happy!  All the intervals, tempo runs, and long runs in 90+ heat and humidity is paying off!  I'm so excited!  

Two more big races, and then I can take a bit of a break.  Just a little bit, I'll relax in Cozumel on the beach the week after my race, and will stop swimming until next March or May.  As long as I keep cardiovascularly fit, it comes right back.  I love swimming, but it takes the most mental toll out of me because you are staring at a black line the whole time.  I'm looking forward to riding my fat bike more and fall running after Cozumel.  

It was so nice to have my family and husband there cheering me on, I really appreciated it!  It was also nice to race with a bunch of friends and people I know.  It was a great day, a great race put on by Elite Endeavors, as usual!  Thank you!!

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