Monday, June 21, 2010

Chinook Olympic Triathlon – Race Report

So if you read the prelude to my race report for the Chinook Olympic Triathlon you may be discovering what the word of the day is: crap!!!!  So without further ado, let’s talk about the race!

The Swim: 1500 m

We crossed the timing mats and stood on the beach, waiting for go time.  I seeded myself about 3/4 of the way back, just behind some men.  9:15 came and it was time to go!DSCN3847DSCN3850I took a few steps into the water, then started swimming right away.  For all my worries about the cold water, race adrenalin is a pretty amazing thing.  I didn’t feel cold.  I was able to put my face in the water and breathe normally.  I tried to stay within a pack, swimming and popping my head up every once in awhile to sight.  We were swimming to yellow buoys, but there were some further out orange buoys from the half Iron distance swim.  The yellow buoys were a bit smaller and I was having trouble seeing them.  We were swimming in a triangle, two laps of 750 meters.  As I rounded the second buoy heading back to the shore I realized I was right next to my friend Tara.  She moved in front of me and I decided to just slip in behind her and hang on to her feet.  All of a sudden I was back at the shore.  I ran out on to the beach, around the buoy and got in for lap number two.  Let’s get this done!  I was amazed that I was still within a pack of people on the second lap.  I tried to hang on to feet.  On the final lap I realized I’d better hurry up and pee on the swim so I worked hard on that.  Peeing on the swim is important to me, especially in Ironman!  It is free pee time, right? :)

Anyhow, all of a sudden, the swim was over.  I was close to the shore and people were standing up around me and walking in from there.  I waited until I could grab sand in both handfuls.  I stood up, grabbed the neck of my wetsuit as I stood up to let water in and tried to start getting that wetsuit unzipped.  Over the timing mats.  All done with part one!

1500 meter swim: 36:17 (172 out of 247)


I tried to get my arms out of my wetsuit and have it around my waist before I got to the wetsuit strippers.  All the strippers were busy though and myself and a lady got to a guy to strip at the same time.  She hadn’t unzipped at all and he started helping her right away.  Argh!  So I just pulled off the wetsuit down to my ankles, sat down and someone came over to pull the suit off.  Let’s go!DSCN3860I ran down the pathway and into transition, put the bike gear on and got ready to ride!DSCN3864

The Bike: 40 km

It was crowded coming out of transition and the adrenalin was pumping.  I really wanted to have a great ride.  The traffic was really heavy as we turned on to Highway 22X.  The drivers didn’t really have a clue what was going on and I almost had to come to a stop as I was trying to merge on to the shoulder and a driver was trying to merge on to 22X.  The ride is a fairly rolly out and back.  I played leap frog with a few people, passed a few people and a few people passed me.  It was a slight uphill on the way out so I really wanted to push it on the slight downhill back.

I decided to try something different on the ride given that this was an Olympic distance race.  I recently made up a new formula of Infinit for my long training runs.  It doesn’t have any protein in it and I decided to drink my calories instead of go for water and gels.  200 calories on the bike, just like at Oliver.

All that pushing it and I was back to transition.

40K bike: 1:14:24
40K bike + transitions: 1:18:48 (84 out of 247)


I made it to the mount line, got off my bike and ran the bike into transition.  I flubbed a bit trying to push the bike by the seat, the front wheel whipped off to the side and I almost tripped over my bike.  Oops!  I racked my bike, changed out shoes, grabbed my hat, fuel belt, Garmin and booted it out of there.

Run: 10K

I decided I wanted to try something different, I was going to run with a fuel belt.  I wanted to know how it felt in case I wanted to use one at Great White North or at Ironman.  They were also serving Heed on the race course, of which I’m not a fan, so I decided to run with Infinit instead.  I struggled to put the fuel belt on, turn my race number around and I hadn’t even put my Garmin on yet.DSCN3872As I tried to move the race number around it came off.  Crap!!  Two races in a row with race number issues.   I folded the number up and put it in my back pocket.  As I put my Garmin on I looked down.  What on earth?  I had it set in “Other” sport mode from my open water swim on Thursday and I had forgotten to set it back to “Run” mode.  Crap!  I wouldn’t know my average pace for the entire run, but oh well…

I also discovered as I forged on was that my legs were dead.  Hmm, maybe I had biked too hard?  I slowed it down hoping that my legs would come around, but the feeling never changed.

My nervous stomach from earlier in the morning also reared its ugly head.  Ugh.  Stomach problems, seriously?  Crap!!  It was one slow 10K run.  There would be no sub-1 hour run today.  Thank goodness for the finish line.  Someone yelled at me that there was a girl right on my heels so I managed to find a second gear to hold her off.  Good thing too, as she was in my age group!DSCN387810K run: 1:04:14 (207 out of 247) sigh….

Final results: 2:59:18 (happy to squeak in under 3 hours)
Overall: 158 out of 247
Women 30-39: 21 out of 31

Lessons Learned:

  • I hate running with a fuel belt.  If I could have ditched it and gone back to pick it up later I would have.  It bounced around and it just drove me nuts.
  • Stomach problems…again?  Ugh…  There are a few possible culprits.  My heart rate was really high on the bike – like run rate high.  Did my stomach shut down thanks to that?  My stomach was already having issues long before the race, before I ate breakfast…  And then I remembered the carbo load and the meat lasagne I ate.  Ugh oh….beef and I are not good friends when I eat it the night before a race.  Sigh…  Who knows, maybe it was a combination of many factors?
  • More important than bike splits and run splits are bike + run splits.  Going hard on the bike can wreck a run…
  • SPF 30 is just not nearly enough SPF for me.

I’m not disappointed in my race though.  I think I learned some important lessons, and 2 out of 3 isn’t bad, right?  After the race I was chatting with friends, I reach up around my neck and realized my chain was funny.  It turns out the chain broke during the race and I lost my RoadID tag.  I have a new one ordered already though.

So that’s it for the short races.  The Great White North Half Iron distance triathlon is coming up in less than two weeks!  Thanks for all of your great comments!!


Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete said...

I still applaud you for going all out for this race! In reality, you should be learning something if not a lot of somethings from every race you race in. Otherwise, what is the point if you can't grow, you know?

I'm learning some things for my first race of the season coming up this weekend. I was thinking about using a fuel belt, but I was afraid of just what you talked about. so, i don't think I will be doing that! Thanks for the heads up!

Beth said...

Great race Leana - congrats!!! The bike/run is hard to figure out - how hard to go on the one vs the other. But that's what keeps us coming back for more - that quest to get it right, at least once!! :)

J said...

Awesome job on the Tri!! You ran a great race and it was good that you tried some new things to see what works for you and what doesnt!

Marlene said...

Congratulations Leana! You worked hard out there and the most important thing is learning lessons along the way for your big(ger) events later this season.

I'm with you on the fuel belt! Have you considered going handheld?

Julie said...

Congrats!!! This sports is all about pushing your boundaries -- diving headfirst into that discomfort zone -- and you totally did that!! YAY!!!

You did great -- Figuring all this stuff out BEFORE IMC is what its all about baby!!! You have just fit one more piece in the puzzle. :) :) :)

Nikki said...

Well isn't that the main reason for doing all of these prep races? To learn things for the big one? I find it my fuel belt isn't totally reefed tight it bounces around too, but I'm too used to having it along to give it up!

Beth said...

Sorry the run didn't go as planned, but you still had a great race. And they are all learning experiences, right (I need to take some of my own advice on that one!).

aron said...

congrats girl! you had a great race, way to get in under 3 hours too :) these shorter ones are all practice towards that BIG one you have coming up!

Wes said...

Definitely valuable lessons learned. I ran with a fuel belt at Florida for half of the marathon before ditching it with the wife. With all the aid stations, it just isn't necessary. Smart to learn that now though.

Molly said...

Great job on your race! With all the hard training you've been doing for IM, this was a great chance to test things out.

Peeing on the swim was definitely essential at IM! :-) I have so done the near-disaster trip over my bike trying to run it by the seat, I just can't do it.

Great job!

Heather said...

Great race!!! Your time is amazing!

TNTcoach Ken said...

Wow, you beat me with that time! I would practice with a fuel belt of bottle belt of some sort if you feel the need. A hard bike makes for a soft.............

Badgergirl said...

Having the opportunity to test things out and figure out what works is what all these races leading up to IM Canada are for. Nice job on the race!

Nicole said...

Wow despite your issues you did AWESOME!!!

You always have great race photos!!

Bob Almighty said...

Congrats on a good showing at the Olympic. I have to agree with you on the fuel belt. I love running with it during training but I just can't stand the bouncing during races. Hope all goes well with Great White North and you are going to rock Ironman.