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Monday, September 18, 2006

Last Triathlon of the Season

The Portage Lakes race put on by HFP racing was my last triathlon this year. I've been wanting to do it for years since my first miserable performance in 2002 (more on that later), but it always fell on DWD weekend. However, I had mixed emotions on race day. Part of me was done with triathlon for the year and ready to just do running races. Part of me hated that this signaled the end of warm weather and a return to training in the cold or indoors. But, it was so great to see everyone from the triathlon club and my in-laws were fabulous spectators!

Fog delayed us for 1.5 hours. I can't blame the RD. You can't do anything about weather. My biggest concern was whether my nutrition would hold, because I ate breakfast at 4:45 AM. It turned out okay thankfully.

On a side note, I think I finally have control of my nerves. I wasn't nervous at all before this race. In fact, I was dancing to most of music played by HFP. I'm sure the other competitors thought I was a nut, but what do I care what they think. This wrangling of my mental game has been going on for years. Time and confidence have been key to getting this under control. I also credit my husband for pointing out that I'd do much better in my IM training if I didn't stress so much. Okay, back to the report.

We were scheduled to swim in the 2nd to last wave, but the RD changed it up and put us in the 2nd wave. There were 25 women total in the International distance race - truly fierce competitors too. The horn blew and we were off. I'm not a great swimmer, but I've improved dramatically in the last year. I got a little off track, but I think it saved me from being pummelled by the 30-39 male wave. A little chop in the water and bodies sliding by doesn't bother me anymore, but I really didn't appreciate getting my ankle yanked down a few times. Oh well. As I always say, "never get mad and never apologize". Before I knew it, I was getting out of the water. My watch read 34 minutes, which was the fastest international swim for me yet, but of course, I had to run up the hill to transition.

Then, after an uneventful transition, I was off on the bike. It is a 2 loop course that has some rollers and one good steep hill to keep you honest. This is my favorite part of the triathlon, but for some reason on the first loop, I was thinking "Why the heck did I do the international distance?" That passed as I started to pass people in front of me. The second loop flew by and I had a big negative split. Overall bike time was just shy of 1:13. My husband, the triathlon bike master (IMO), did his bike in 1:04, so I really felt great about my time. I was disappointed that the bike was 23 miles instead of the standard 24.8, because it would be harder to declare a PR.

Next was the run, which I'm okay at, but not great. For some reason, I was just flying on the run and felt great the whole time. I was determined not to get lapped by my husband and I accomplished that goal. I finished the hilly 6.2 miles in under 58 minutes, which is almost a good stand alone 10k time for me. Overall finish time was 2:49:15. My prior international distance PR was 3:01, but with a longer bike course. I figure that had I maintained the same speed, I would have PR'd by over 7 minutes. Not too shabby for a tough course!

After the race and today, I've been very sore. Dances with Dirt and this race were fabulous confidence boosters for me, but now I need some rest. My coach has prescribed at least one full week off from training. Normally, this would bug the crap out of me, because I haven't had a full week off in years. But, I think it is just what the doctor ordered. I can heal some nagging injuries, catch up on some sleep and start my IM training program with a fresh head and body.

Oh, and about the 2002 race. It was my 3rd triathlon ever. I did the side stroke on the swim while wearing aqua shoes and no wetsuit, rode a hybrid bike and was running with a slight shin overuse injury. I finished the odd distance race (.5 mile swim, 18 mile bike and 4.1 mile run) in 2:36. I was third from last OVERALL. I beat an old guy and a lady with a knee brace. And, I got beat by an old guy with a white beard and potbelly (think Santa here) wearing purple spandex! Still, it was fun and somehow I wasn't discouraged. I was just glad to be there. These days, I'm more competitive with myself and others, but I hope to not lose the basic love of the sport that I eat, drink and breathe every day now.


Blogger TriSaraTops said...

Yay! You have a blog! :) Now I can get my IM fix through you. ha ha

Great job on the race! I know...I too am going through triathlon withdrawal...guess there's always a few road races to get my fix.

8:11 PM

Blogger Jodi said...

Great race report! I think that you can declare your bike PR based on MPH. That's my new rule.

What a fun race. I hope that I can get off of school to do the whole thing next year.

I am so excited that we can live the IM journey together. You are a great partner.



8:42 PM

Anonymous Matt said...

It's true - she was dancing to the music on the loudspeaker in transition before the race.

Jen - I keep telling you that you have every reason to be confident. It's been a lot of fun watching you come so far in the last tri season, but I know that you'll go even farther in the future!

8:49 PM

Blogger E-Speed said...

Hell Yeah you have a blog!!! Awesome now I need to start reading!

9:27 AM

Blogger E-Speed said...

I am glad you let me in on the 23 mile bike course. Amie's time was inching a bit too close to my PR for comfort, especially since she didn't wear a wetsuit.

You did great out there! talk about finishing your season with a bang!

9:37 AM

Blogger qcmier said...

We got someone else sucked into Blogland. Hehehe.

Can't wait to hear all about your experience to IM.

10:55 PM


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