Saturday, August 23, 2008

Black Squirrel Race Report

Hm, well that was interesting.

I rode with some friends out to the race in good old Council Bluffs, Iowa. Yuck.

Checked in and got body marked by some high school girl with a very pointy Sharpie marker. I had to check to make sure she didn't draw blood. I picked up my timing chip which was gigantic and put it on with the sensor on the inside as is customary.

Got transition organized and walked down to lake for the pre-race meeting. And then the race started, literally. I mean one minute we were standing at the water's edge and the next minute we were all rushing in, ready or not. There was no gun, no "ready, set, go", nothing. All of a sudden, we were just going. So strange.

Distance: 1000 yds
Time: 13:06
Pace: 1:19/100 yds
Swim place:38

Ok, so... The swim was short. I am sure of it. I was not the only one who thought so. I clocked myself coming out of the water in 12:26 but I don't know actually how short the course was so not sure of my actual pace. I just know that it wasn't 1:19. It was a mass start and getting all thrown in to the dudes who are willing to club anyone in their way, over the head, is not as great as when we start in waves.

T1: 2:03

There was a decent distance run from the water to the transition area. I'm not sure where the mat was and to be honest, I am not sure what the point of the mats was because as we went over them they asked our numbers and some guy punched them into a box. Really, welcome to Council Bluffs.

And yeah, my T1 time is a little long. Get this, I totally got stuck in my jersey. I usually pull it on with nothing in the pockets and then stuff my stuff in. Today I had everything in the pockets and was trying to pull it over my head and got it all wrapped up on my wet shoulders. Suck. I struggled with it for WAY, way too long. Annoying. Oh well. I also had a truck load of sand in my cycling shoes when I left T1. I knew that wouldn't be good eventually but decided to suck it up.

Distance: 21 miles
Time: 1:05:34
Pace: 16.7
Place 85:

The bike course was not awesome. Bike paths, bumps, railroad tracks, not well marked, blind turns, tight turns, blind underpasses, no room for passing, etc. At one point I ended up with a group of riders who missed the trail head turn. We did at least .6 miles before we turned around which lost us about 4 minutes. Damn. The other thing that was frustrating was the amount of drafting going on. There really wasn't room to pass, nor was it safe, on the bike path. In addition, this was not a USAT sanctioned race so there were no officials and the course was not closed. People were in small groups of two or three and big packs. It's just frustrating when you know the advantage they are getting.

Although the avg speed seems a bit low. I was ok with my ride. I kept my speed above 20 mph except on the technical stuff where I slowed down. There were bandaged up athletes everywhere at the finish line. All of them were male (sorry guys) who had just been too aggressive on this particular course. I like to go fast as much as anyone but there is a time and a place and if you come around a corner and take out a mom with a jogging stroller you've crossed the line.

Nutrition on the bike: 14 oz of Gatorade. Period. With all the twists and turns and bike handling I was afraid to pull anything out of my pockets. Hmmm, what kind of a run will that make for? Read on.

T2: 1:03

In and out. My feet were still covered in sand. Sock, sock, shoe, shoe, visor, go.

Distance: 10K
Time: 53:41

So with all of these crazy variables; the no nutrition, the sandy feet, the crazy timing chips, etc. I still had one of the best runs that I have had in a race. I felt great. I picked up the pace to be about an 8:08 average. The course was a little long. It ended up being 6.5 miles instead of 6.2 so that helped the average out a bit. One of the track guys jumped in and ran my loop around the lake with me. He was out for his long run and ran his first loop with the really fast guys and then jumped in to do the second loop slow, with me. He didn't pace me but he definitely kept my mind on other things. He told me about his miserable IMOO race. Poor guy puked for 15 hours. It was nice to listen to him talk about stuff while I gasped for air.

Clock Time 2:15:27
Overall Place 60 / 132
Gender Place 6 / 36
Division Place 4 / 13 (Girl from my division won overall.)

Lessons Learned:
* You don't really have to push very hard to create a mark on the skin with a Sharpie marker. If you forget this fact, it hurts.

* I can run faster than I think I can. It is mental for me.

* It is ok to reconfigure your race plan in your head if what you were going to do initially is dangerous. (aka; go as hard on the bike as possible)

* It makes me crazy when people race with iPods, draft, or do other equally uncool things during a race. Who cares if it is USAT sanctioned, do the right thing.

So, overall a pretty fun race. If they changed the bike course I would do it again. If the bike course stays the same, I will not. Too sketchy.


Danielle in Iowa said...

Dude, 21 miles in 1:05 is more like 19+ mph not 16.7! So you were rocking!

bigmike600 said...

You did really good. You should be happy about those times for sure.

I love the name of the event. Black Squirrel, it just rolls off the tongue and sounds sweet.

Happy training.

Jamie said...

Wow, sounds like a pretty crazy race experience, but you still pulled it off.

To still be cookin with a nice fast pace on the run when it went long too?! Awesome!

I think you definitely can push it a little harder. Those track workouts may have paid off.

blink said...

Sooo, I take it your not moving to CB any time soon? :)

Better for us that you stay here.

Who was the IMOO GUY?

BTW, a date that we did not talk about was the Beer and Bagel run. Must do! When I find out the date I'll pass it along.


TRI-ROB said...

I've been TELLING you this KT... for a while... like... FOREVER! You're faster than you think! Geesh woman!

Believe and do.