Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kinetic Half

Two Saturday’s ago was my first triathlon of the season, the Kinetic half distance in Lake Anna, VA. This was one of the High Cloud Dream Team races so I sported the High Cloud kit in this race. Ron did a relay with Dream Team members, Anna and Shireen. There were so many athletes racing from both High Cloud and DC Tri which made it very motivating out on the race course later!
High Cloud Pyramid

Ron and I stayed in Fredericksburg the night before which prevented us from having to get up at 4:00 am since the race started at 7:00 am. Once we arrived at Lake Anna we needed to stand in line to get our race packet and then another line to get the timing chip. This portion of the race was not real organized but that was the only thing about the race that wasn’t. I tend to take awhile setting up my transition area and stare at my setup awhile (a bad habit of mine!) to be sure I didn’t forget anything. This time, I had to rush since I didn’t get everything until about 6:30 and transition closed at 6:45. I’m one that likes a lot of time to get ready and just chill a few minutes before the race. Ron is the opposite and sometimes jokes with me about how stressed and anxious I get before races. It’s the pre race jitters! So, I hurried to get my bike off of Ron’s roof rack since he was still in line (well actually had to have a very nice race spectator help me get it off since I’m so short) and hurried to transition to get set up. It was 6:45 when they started telling us to finish up and that’s when I started to panic a bit since I wasn’t ready. I still needed to get body marked with my number/age and put sunscreen on. I was freaking out a bit because I couldn’t find my sunglasses. I found Ron before heading to the water and asked him if he could go look in the car for them. Come to find out later, he tore the car apart and ended up finding them in my transition bag by my bike right in the sunglass pocket where they always are. Oops! Then he told me later that I had forgotten my water bottles with all my Infinit nutrition in them and he had run back to the car for that. Holy cow! Now, this is why I don’t like to rush through race set-up because I do stupid stuff like that. I had set my bike helmet on my back water bottle holders. If Ron had not noticed that something did not look right with that, seeing I didn’t have my bottles, there was no way I would have had the race that I did. Thank you soooo much Ron for saving the day!!

The main reason I get so jittery before triathlons is because I don’t like open water swimming and I’m not the best at it. Once I’m past the swim, I’m a lot more at ease and just pray I don’t get a flat on the bike! Luckily, the lake was not choppy at all. A few times in the open water I started going off course so citing better is something I know I always need to work on. Also, when I'm racing I can't seem to get comfortable breathing every three strokes and was breathing to the right most the time. I did the alternating breathing a few times and started to get kind of dizzy. I don't know why I always have an issue with that. Oh well, I do what works to get me through the swim. I came out of the swim with a time of 37:53 which is what I had clocked myself at in the pool earlier that week. This was my best 1.2 open water swim, so was content with that. I know swimming is something I will always need to work at….I just don’t really enjoy it so makes it more difficult for me to get motivated for the workouts. I know I need to work hard to cut off a few minutes of my time at all distances in order to be competitive.

I got to see Ron right out of T1 as he was getting ready to bike for his relay team. T1 was relatively uneventful which is always good. Off to the bike course. The bike course had rolling hills and just a few steep/short ones. False flats and some wind. It actually felt a lot flatter when I rode it a week ago, but I also had fresh legs for that ride. I was pretty happy with the way it went. Right around mile 25 I see Ron up ahead on the side of the road. I yelled out and made sure he was ok. I found out later he had run into some bad luck on the bike course. First, he got a flat and then later a girl cut the corner and ran right into his leg and derailer. That sucks! Bike support had come around and stopped to help him. They turned his bike into a fixie. So, Ron rode over half the race in one gear! I felt so bad for him when he told me the story after the race.

Around mile 30 or so into the bike I was actually getting real annoyed with some 'cheaters' on the course. There were a pack of girls I kept going back and forth with who insisted on drafting off each other. At one point I yelled out to them to stop it b/c it was getting so annoying seeing how obvious they were being. Kind of frustrating, but I just did my own thing the fair way. :) At times it was hard to not draft when people got all packed up every once in awhile but what they were doing was ridiculous. I think I saw a course marshall once on the course so they could get away with it easily. I was happy to finally see the finish of the bike as my hamstring was starting to get real tight.
Bike – 2:39:43

The run was challenging and I ended up being very happy with the way it went! It was three loops and right at the beginning of each loop was a steep hill out of the transition area. Then a long gradual climb out of the park. Awesome downhill to the finish! The motivation on the course was seeing so many of my friends and cheering each other on! I got to see many of them all three loops.

Run – 1:37:11
Finish - 4:59:02 (I finally broke 5 hours!!)

AJ, Janie and I posing with our age group awards.
 Overall, I was very pleased how this race went! Especially, given that I didn't taper a lot for it and that it wasn't an 'A' race for me. I got 2nd in my age group and this was the first time I got a podium place in a half! High Clouder, Emily Long and DC Tri Elite team members AJ Morrison and Janie Hayes, also got a podium finish!
It makes me happy where my training is right now, and I also realize what I can keep improving on. This was a great first race test and I'm excited to see that the training Mackenzie is giving me is helping me a lot!! After looking at my heart rate data, Mackenzie told me I can push a little bit more in some of my workouts since during the race I could hold a higher heart rate for awhile. I thrive on race day adrenaline and that tends to push me on race day. Now I know that I need to push myself a bit more in my intervals when training.
Taking a water break during the century ride.

Last Saturday I did the Casa Century in Martinsburg, WV. This was a rolling, hilly course and I actually liked biking on the hills! Did you hear that.....I’m finally starting to like hills…woo hoo! (I'm usually a flat course racer!) It was so beautiful and it felt great to ride out on the open roads, not having to suck in the exhaust from busses in the city! Adrianna told me this ride was similar to rolling hills in the Louisville course.

This Friday, I will be going to Iowa to visit my family and friends for ten days! While I am there, I will have more time for training which means a lot more swimming and more time in the saddle! I'll also be racing in a sprint triathlon, which I've never done before! We'll see how these slow twitch muscles handle the fast twitch racing. Yikes!

1 comment:

  1. I love the picture from the awards! Congrats on an awesome race!

    I also was so frustrated with all the drafting going on. I mean, really. Hope they enjoyed that free speed.