Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hy-Vee Triathlon

It was a good weekend.

I woke up Saturday morning to do a nice 5 mile run. I didn't do any training on Thursday or Friday and was ready. I also hadn't had a good run since before I had been sick. I felt great. Ran Kona to the fountain, let her go "swimming/wading" walked back up the stairs and headed back towards home. Showered, finished packing and headed out.

I drove the 2+ hours to Des Moines, IA and then got lost on the way to the mandatory pre-race briefing. Finally found myself and went in to listen to them tell us all about the changes for the race, not to draft, and all about the course. If you have read any of my earlier posts or have been following, this triathlon was changed to a duathlon due to the exceptionally high water levels and bacteria in the lakes. Apparently this cleared up a little with some sunny, warm weather and the triathlon was back on, just in a different location in West Des Moines, IA. I checked my bike in, dropped off my T2 bag 2.5 miles away, had some dinner, and crashed out. My alarm went off at 3:45 am the next morning and I pulled myself out of bed. It is at this moment before each race where I think to myself, "I pay money to do this? I actually love this sport?" It usually only takes me about 30 seconds to snap out of it but wow, 3:45 is still totally night-time.

Transition opened at 4:30, I think, and closed at 5:45. The first wave went off at 5:45 (physically challenged athletes) and the first age group wave went off at 6 am. We had to park our cars at a local mall and be shuttled into the race venue due to the sudden change in location and the lack of parking. There were 35 giant buses going back and forth. You had to be very organized though because if you left something in your car you were 3.5 miles away and would probably be out of luck. The other issue was extra gear. Note that we were in two different transition areas. So the plan they gave us at the briefing was this; drop off bike in T1 and running stuff (shoes, visor, race number, gels) in T2 the night before. It has rained like crazy in Des Moines so I put all my stuff in a plastic sack and then put that in my transition bag mainly so my shoes wouldn't get wet. Then in the morning after you got T1 all set up, you put everything in a white plastic trash bag with your name and number on it. After you came out of the water, you were supposed to put EVERYTHING in that white bag before you left on your bike and volunteers were going to come around and pick up all the white bags and drop them off in T2.

1500 m
1:47/100 yds

My wave was a little late getting in the water. We had to wait for jet skis to pull two people to shore. Not sure what happened there but I can tell you that if I paid the kind of money I did, traveled to the race and got my butt out of bed at 3:30 I would sure as heck do everything in my power not to DNF in the first 100 yards, although I realize there are times when calling for help is the best decision. Apparently there was a man a few waves after mine (45-49) that had a heart attack in the water 150 m from the beach and was pulled out. They resuscitated him but he died after being life flighted to the hospital. Super sad. My swim was ok. I started inside and got trapped by a bunch of girls flailing about. I went under one, over another, and around a few more to find some clear water. I am a strong swimmer but I am not used to wearing a wetsuit. I borrowed one from a friend and it fit pretty well. I hadn't been in the water in it at all because there are very few places to open water swim in my neck of the woods. Speaking of necks, mine was definitely being rubbed by the wetsuit but it wasn't unbearable. This was the first time I have ever really thought about my form as I swim open water. I kept hearing my masters swim coach telling me to keep my left arm low, pull long and strong, and roll. It felt pretty darn good to be moving and I ended up passing people from several waves in front of me.


Stripped my wetsuit very easily, ran into T1 and straight to my bike. It was a bit of a run through a giant transition area but I found my bike quickly, got into my shoes, grabbed my nutrition, helmet, glasses, shoved everything into my trash bag and was off.

19.13 mph average

I had a KICK ASS bike ride. Last year I rode conservatively. I was trying to get my nutrition organized and my goal last year was not to be sick when I got done. This year, I hammered. I just wanted to see how it would go. And guess what!? I freaking passed people. Over and over, I passed people. Who would have ever thought? I know! So, one interesting thing was that early this morning I had decided to take the unlocker thingy for my car off the key chain and leave my keys in my car. I wasn't all that confident that my trash bag would make it to T2 with my keys so I thought I would just tuck that in my tri top pocket. However... when I got to T1 it dawned on me that putting something electronic in a soaking wet pocket was probably a recipe for mechanical failure. So what did I decided to do? I held the stupid thing for 20 miles of the bike. Yeah, no kidding. Not awesome. But regardless, the bike went well, I rode hard and felt great on the hills. I ate half a package of lime Sport Beans at mile 5 or so and drank most of a bottle of Gatorade Endurance throughout. I also sucked on two Enervit Tabs towards the end of the ride. I really wished that I had brought water. I need to figure out a new hydration plan for the HIM in July. I don't have room for another bottle cage on the frame of my bike and my aero bars were fit too close together for an aero bottle so I am going to have to go to bottles behind I think.


I know, I know, it looks like I stopped and had a sandwich, and a pickle, and a whole watermelon but really what happened was this... Coming down towards transition I pulled my left foot out of my shoe and as I did that my calf cramped. I have never had a muscle cramp while I was working out and I quickly pulled my toes back to release the gastroc, the exact same thing happened on the right and I had to take a sharp left turn as I was trying to pull up my toes on my right foot. Because I was distracted with that problem I left my left pedal down on a sharp left turn and caught my shoe on the ground. It popped off and went flying. I checked behind me to make sure no one was there and turned around to go get it. Just as I got there some well-meaning volunteer picked it up and chucked it across to the other side of the street, no kidding. Damn. So I rolled over to it and put my foot back in my shoe so that I could clip back in and pull my foot out... again. And again, my calf cramped briefly. I was shaking my head with a scowl I am sure and somebody in the crowd yelled to me, "Go have a good run!" That made all the difference in the world. I have no idea who said it but it was perfect. I rode up to the dismount line, jumped off and took off into transition. I was still a bit flustered and mind you I was now in a whole different transition. I could not remember where my rack spot was. I was totally turned around. They were numbered and I remember standing there thinking, "crap, I have no idea where I need to be". I started checking numbers and finally figured it out but man, it felt like forever. I threw my bike on the rack, pulled open my bag, ripped open the plastic sack, sock, shoe, sock, shoe and grabbed my visor but couldn't find my race number. Why the heck wasn't it in the bag! I took a breath and checked the transition bag again and found it on my race belt. For some reason it hadn't gotten into the plastic bag but all was well. (Oh, and in case you were wondering, I left my car unlocker in my cycling shoe.)

8:24 min/mile avg

I took off trying to keep a faster turnover than I usually use. Apparently that works, my splits may be slightly off but here are the approximates
Mile 1: 7:15
Mile 2: 8:05
Mile 3: 8:10
Mile 4: 8:20
Mile 5: 8:40
Mile 6 + .2: 9:40
Apparently I am in need of a little more fitness in order to maintain but overall I was pretty happy with this. I walked the last two aid stations because I was starting to feel the effects of the heat and I walked about 20 steps on a step hill at the end but other than that I felt good. The last 2 miles I was all about just getting it done but I really still was doing great. I have to admit that I was cursing the people with "R"s, for relay, on their legs. Lucky people with fresh legs. I kept thinking, "don't you dare walk, you relayers. You have no idea how lucky you are!" The only nutrition I used on the run was one Enervit tab and water at each aid station.

After the race was just a giant mess of trying to get to your car, find your way back to T2, get your bike, find your bag with your number on it. It was ugly and I think I will spare you the details. I do have to commend the volunteers and race officials and director. It was a well done race for having to get things organized for that many people in less than a week. There were some little kinks that weren't great but just being flexible and understanding went a long way. Congrats to West Des Moines and to the race director for doing a great job and doing the best they could with a lot of people under the circumstances!

So, totals:
15/69 in age group (F 25-29)
521/1257 Overall
84/400 for Overall Female

I believe this was a P.R. for me but I haven't confirmed that quite yet. In the next post I will post some pics of the pros. It was so much fun to watch them again this year. Hunter Kemper and Sarah Haskins both joined the US Olympic team! Yay.


Benson said...

Great job! Really good!
sounds a little crazy with the changes but you came through fine.
funny about your car opener but hey, if it works, go for it.

Steve Stenzel said...

NICE JOB!! Great splits all around!! I want your speed in the water for my Oly in 2 weeks!!!

Way to go!!

Supalinds said...

Hey thanks for the nice comments you left on my site! It seems like if people like us can stick together we can show the loved ones in our life that it does get better!!!

Great race, btw!! Are you doing ironman soon?

TRI-ROB said...

Hey Stinker! Fantastic job in your race! Looks like you went out too hard... but what are we if we're not constantly learning right? Stay after it!


Mark said...

Awesome job and way to kick ass on the bike!

Jamie said...

Nice race Katie! You are a machine!

I can't wait to see those pics.