Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's a little crazy and that is what makes it awesome, right?

Brrr. Race report is going to involve a lot of adjectives relating to cold, just so you are prepared.

We woke up in the hotel on race morning to 29 degrees outside. Yeah, I know. This was my planned wardrobe, with the exception of the race briefs and tri top I already was wearing and the thermal shell (jacket) I was also already wearing.

That would be...
Tights, running shorts, smart wool running socks for the bike, a dri fit long sleeve shirt, and wait, what is that? Yeah, let's get a closeup of that...

Do I see a hat, fleece gloves and pink arm warmers there at the bottom. For a triathlon? Wait a minute?

So off we went. We drove the 5 minutes to the race site, picked up packets that happened to contain cowbells and went to get the bikes organized. Did I mention we could see our breathe?

We got transition all set up and look what we found.

Look closer.

Yup, your eyes did not deceive you. That was, in fact, a bottle of Miller Lite on a BMC. To stay warm maybe? It was zip tied on so that it wouldn't crash to the ground. That's awesome.
Mr KT was in wave 7. We were ordered by our swim times, slowest to fastest with relays starting off first. It was a pool swim and so it took about 15 minutes to get one group in, swam, and out before next group could start. What a handsome devil, huh?
He looks a little nervous here.

There, that's better.
He had a good swim and came out of the water in one piece. This was a very good thing. Into T1. Wow, was that a cold transition. From, warm and humid to wet and frigid in a matter of seconds. Remember at this point it may have been 32 degrees. I could actually see the steam coming off the racers as they came outside, I just couldn't catch it on my camera.

Off he went.

I may have said, "atta boy" at this point to which Mr KT promptly rolled his eyes. It just popped out, Those are the kind of things I say at work to my little patients.
Now it was my turn to hurry up and wait for my heat, #11.
Finally, my turn. In I went, got smoked by the dude in my lane by at least 3/4 of a lap, and out into the cold air. It was like getting out of the hot tub at the ski resort and making snow angels (well, maybe not quite but a close second). I felt like I was going to puke during the swim and I think that maybe it was because I had a NutriGrain bar at 6:30 like I would for any other race but then my wave didn't leave until 11:30. I had no idea it would take that long. Anywho, out to transition to add the dri fit, arm warmers and the jacket as well as a hat and gloves. I also pulled on running shorts because I felt weird riding in briefs on the lower half and three layers on the top. I had considered tights but didn't think I would be able to get them on wet. Off on the bike.

The sky had been gray and cloudy all morning but the rain had held off... until I put my feet on the pedals. You guessed it. Rain, about 15 mph wind, and well, cold. The rain was plinking off my jacket and my sunglasses (didn't remember to bring my orange tinted racing/riding glasses) and my helmet. The wind was blowing up my shorts and all I could think about was how cold it would have to be to get frostbite. :-( I kept thinking, "It's a little crazy and that is what makes it awesome, right... right?" The streets were getting slick and the volunteers kept yelling out to be careful on the turns because of the conditions. It was a little lonely out there, to be honest. I got passed by one guy right away and then passed someone towards the end but because of the wave start we were each out there by ourselves.

Here I am, coming in off the bike in all my wet clothes.

And here, trying to get that tiny little bike to hang from the rack.

From here, I meant to drop my jacket and keep my gloves but I did the opposite. Oops. I ended up taking off my coat and dropping it on someones lawn just out of transition which I know would normally be illegal, but I knew nobody was going to care. My hands were cold and my feet were so frozen where the wind had come through the spaces for the cleats, I felt like I was still running in my cycling shoes. Seriously, numb and then moving to painful until I started mile two and everything kind of thawed out. At the turn around I headed back and saw there was a gal just behind me in an Ironman hat. My new mission was to not get run down by this chick. I found another gear and off I went. I felt really good. I just kept pulling farther and farther away from her. Come to find out later, she actually won the female division so I felt good about my run.

Transitions were a little strange at this race. The official times are swim and T1 combined, bike and T2 combined, and then the run. The times on my watch were slightly different from the official times but close enough.

500 yd swim time on my watch: 7:33 (1st fastest in my age group)
T1 (as calculated from official results): 2:19
Bike(14 mi)/T2: 48:37.0 (17.9 mph)
(2nd fastest in age group)
5K run: 25:07.3 8:06
(I timed it out to be 23:20 which would have been a 7:30 pace)
Total time: 1:23:36.3
Age group place: 3/9
Overall place (men and women combined): 34/100

Mr KT also placed 3rd in his age group even with an 11th place swim. He's too fast on the bike and run for his own good. Although I have to say that he has been lobbying pretty hard for a "faster bike". We'll have to see. Seems to me like he should practice his swimming but what do I know?


J-Wim said...

Spring can come anytime now, I think we are all ready!

Great race despite less than optimal circumstances.

TriGirl Thea said...

beer on the bike! I like it!
Maybe I'll strap a baby botle of champagne on there for my first tri! I'll be a certified athlete and a lush all at once. oh yeah!

Well done in your race though. Third in your age group is pretty impressive! :D

I hope they gave you a medal! Cos I'd expect one from the Queen if I finished third. Seriously!

TRI-ROB said...

That sounds like my version of HELL! COLD! Yuck!
You're WAY more tough than me! Great job Kate! You should be really happy about your run!


Cara said...

Awesome race report and congrats on the stellar finish! You have to be tough to race (and race fast) in conditions like that!! Congrats :) btw, nice bike.

SUB6 said...

Great pics. Must be great to do a tri with your partner. My wife would never do one but I think (hope) that I'll do a tri with my kids one day. That'd be cool.

Love the race report.

moonpie said...

I did a sprint race just like that early April in OH and I swore I would never do one again! Emerging from the indoor pool into the frigid outside was awful.

Good job to both of you! Mr. KT looks like a swimmer...teach him ;)

IronJenny said...

Great race report!! Way to be tough,.... thought we Minnesotans had a monopoly on that...

blink140pnt6 said...

you guys both had great races, gotta love that weather. Glad you had a better day for your 1/2 mary, hope it went well.