Sunday, April 18, 2010

Rumpass in Bumpass 2010

Race: Rumpass in Bumpass
Date: Saturday, April 17, 2010
Location: Lake Anna, Bumpass, VA (Between DC & Richmond)
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Division: Athena
Time: 3:15 (unofficial) - Personal Record!

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Race Report:

Race morning

Lesson learned: set two alarms! At 5:00 AM I woke up on the spot, woke up the family and we all got ready and were out the door by 5:25 AM (perfect since I didn't want to leave after 5:45 AM).

I was a little off schedule with my eating because I knew we'd have a 2-hour trip to the race venue so I didn't want to eat too much before I left. I attempted to get a quick bowl of oatmeal but the oatmeal exploded all over the microwave so I knew I wouldn't get the meal I had planned on eating. Instead, I grabbed a banana w/peanut butter and then had a Lara bar at the race venue. I probably didn't eat enough for this race and I think it showed a little later on.

When I got to the race venue at 7:30'ish, it was COLD!!! I had clothes on over my tri suit and as I walked toward the lake my teeth began chattering. I knew it was going to be a colder day than expected but not THIS cold! How in the world would I ever make it through the swim let alone being soaking wet and then biking???!!! Well, as the time got closer to the race the sun actually came out and the wind died down so it became bearable.

The race venue was really nice. I plan on doing more races at Lake Anna (they have several there!). Everything was very centrally located and the family had a very easy time getting to and from the car to rest and wait for me.

Before the race I was able to meet two of my Facebook friends - Kevin & Renee. I know most of the people I'm Facebook friends with (really, I do) but I'm friends with many local triathletes that I've never met because in the small world of triathlons you know you're pretty much assured to meet them one day! Kevin was there as a race referee and Renee was there to rock the race with me. It ends up that Renee is also going to rock Eagleman with me in June! We're both hoping to do better there! :)

Swim (1500 meters) : 40 min (approx)

As I'm writing this report, I'm looking back at my race report from the Reston Tri last fall. At the time I was complaining about 72 degree water temps. Well, chalk this race up to my coldest water temps to date - 66 degrees!!! Brrrrr!!!!

The water temps weren't my only problems in the swim:
1. My wetsuit was choking me to death! What the heck? I guess I'm going to have to invest in my own suit so I can get one that doesn't choke me so much. I had to stop several times just to pull the suit away from my neck.
2. I had to stop three times and massage my calf muscles because of horrible cramps. I'm assuming I must have been dehydrated and that would make sense since I really hadn't done a great job of hydration the previous week and had drank this 200 mg caffeine shot right before the race (duh!).
3. I couldn't see because my goggles were all fogged up and the sun was right in my eyes!
4. I drank about 2 gallons of lake water
5. The water was pretty rough for a lake.

During the swim I kept thinking I was going to get a DNF (did not finish) on this race! I didn't know if I'd ever make it out of this swim alive. As I finally approached the finish line for the swim and was helped out of the water up onto land, I noticed I was feeling very light headed.

I was feeling VERY light headed. As I tried to take off my wetsuit I thought I was literally going to faint. That DNF was looming beyond the horizon and I didn't think I could stop it from coming. I took my sweet time in T1, had a packet of honey (thanks for the suggestion, Lou), and headed out on my bike.

Bike (24.9 mi): 1:18 (approx)

Getting on my bike I wasn't sure if I would be able to go too far. But, within a few minutes I was starting to feel better and decided to start pushing it. I knew the bike was my strong area and if I didn't push it here I'd be really far behind my goals.

The bike was two loops of a fairly flat course. There were a few small rollers on the course but nothing I couldn't handle. I began pushing it hard and was very proud of what I was accomplishing. At one point the wind was really strong and I was on the edge of the road and I was blown over into the ditch! Thankfully it was a grassy ditch and I was able to have control of the bike and get back up on the road without even clipping out of my pedals. Whew! As my two fellow triathletes said as they passed me "What a save!" Moments later I thanked them as I passed them! Those guys didn't like getting passed by a girl too much! :)

Uneventful...except I forgot to pick up my race number.

Run (6.2 miles): 1:12 (approx)

Again, as in Reston, my toes were numb and hurting. And again, it took me about 3 miles for them to warm up! So, the first 3 miles were all about just pushing through the run and knowing I'd be better soon. Of course, once I realized I could feel my feet again I immediately started feeling the blister that was forming on the top of my foot. OUCH!

Although I never noticed it on the bike, I still had water in my ear from the swim. But, with each and every step I took I could hear the water swishing around in my head and it made for a very annoying and slightly out of balance run.

Around mile 3 I started to get some energy and I picked up the pace for a pretty strong finish and a PR!

Post Race:

It was SO GREAT to see my family at the finish line. And today I got a special treat because Dakota (my dog) came out to cheer me on, too!

Summary and lessons learned

Get anti-fog goggles!
More hill practice on bike & run so I can get stronger
More longer bricks so I can feel my feet after mile 1 rather than mile 3!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Learning my lessons

I'm so excited because my first tri of the season is coming up in two days! It's an Olympic-distance race and is my "small" race this year. WHAT? My small race? Last year, the Olympic-distance race was my "A race," "The Big Race," "My longest race ever!" Now here I sit with only one Olympic-distance under my belt and I'm getting ready to race this one as (what my coach calls) my "warm up race!"

I thought it would be a good idea to go back over my blog from the past two years of racing triathlons and remember the lessons I was supposed to have learned from my other races. So, here it goes...

  1. Practice lateral breathing. Hmmm...I haven't done this much.
  2. Practice hills on both my bike and my run. Check!
  3. Always have a water bottle on my bike before the race begins. Yep, gotta remember this one.
  4. Always have my race numbers ready and attached the night before the race. Well, I won't be able to do this one since I'm picking up my race packet the morning of the race. I'm a little nervous about doing this since I've never done it before.
  5. Learn more about cycling. Check
  6. Go back to basics with the swim. Check
  7. Always set two alarm clocks. Gotta do this one!
  8. Always stretch, stretch, stretch. Lesson learned here big time!
I'm totally excited about my race and the beginning of my third triathlon season. Let the games begin!!!

My Road to Ironville

I remember it clearly, I had made a post on a local triathlon Yahoo! Group in July 2009. I was trying to figure out if a local half Ironman race sold out quickly or if I had time to wait, think about it and register for this June 2010 race at a later date which was closer to the actual race day. The unanimous response was that I needed to register NOW! I thought to myself - what if I can't do a half Ironman? What if I get injured between now and NEXT YEAR? And, most importantly, how in the world am I going to cycle through the winter? I mean, this is DC for heaven's sake!

Thankfully, I received a response from the team at Amaiza Fitness telling me that they had training going on currently. And, if I joined their team, I would have CompuTrainers available to get some cycling training all winter long. It wasn't quite the response I was looking for because since 2002 I've probably done about 90% or more of my training by myself. I couldn't even imagine training with a team. What if I'm too slow? What if I'm too fast (okay, I didn't actually think that...)? What if I don't get along with the women on the team? But, having a good way to train on my bike throughout the winter was very intriguing.

In my wildest dreams I could have never imagined how this whole "team" thing was going to play out. The first day I went to train with Amaiza Fitness I went on my own. My coach still tells me she was shocked that I came out by myself to train with them. They were a very tight-knit group and I guess most people would feel a little intimidated to just show up and train. Of course, what she didn't know is that she was dealing with one of the biggest extroverts on the planet!

My first workout with the team was a long run through Algonkian Park. I remember it like it was yesterday. There were men and women of various training levels all running together. I remember a crazy conversation between my coach and a woman who has become a very close friend of mine - Kristen. They had this crazy scattered conversation about keys and bikes and how they were going to get the bikes back home and the keys to the right people. I swear, I felt that conversation pretty much went on the entire run! My second workout with the team was my form of initiating myself into the group. After the bike ride I proceeded to fall, very gracefully and slowly from my bike in front of everyone! From that point on I knew I had made friends for life because they didn't laugh (at least not too loud) at my little incident.

This was a tough winter - 2 blizzards and several other considerable snowfalls. If it weren't for the CompuTrainer I am pretty confident I would just now be beginning my cycling training for a race that is only two months away. Yeah, I would have gone to the gym and rode a stationary bike but it wouldn't be near the same. All winter I trained with people who were considerably better than me - my coach, her husband, a spin instructor, and two much more experienced rockin' tri girls! I couldn't help but improve because these folks left me in their virtual dust all winter long. However, when I go out on the trails now I feel strong. The "hills" I used to struggle with last year don't even get a second thought now. I've gotten stronger and faster training with this team!

I was pretty confident that even if the weather was bad I would still get my other training completed on my own. I was wrong. I didn't really know how much training was involved when training for a race of this distance. If it weren't for my coach and teammates pushing me through the winter I would have given up. I would have sat on the sofa. I wouldn't have set my alarm for those 5 AM swim workouts. My coach motivated me through the winter to attend outdoor track and bootcamp/crossfit style workouts. I would complain but she would just remind me of my goals and I would show up (sometimes begrudgingly) for the workout. I never regretted going to a single workout (freezing temps or not) and was so thankful to be part of a team on so many occasions. Being part of this team motivated me and held me accountable to workouts I might have...would have...missed if I would have been training on my own.

Recently I have felt myself being pushed to my limits and sometimes even beyond. I find that training with other people has a tendency to do that for me due to my competitive nature. I've put in many "useless" miles on my own and I'm glad to finally be making every mile count now. I know it will prove to be beneficial on race day.

So, here I sit, two months from my first half Ironman and I feel confident I'll be able to complete the race. I'm still working on my training but it all seems to be coming together quite nicely. And, as long as I can stay off the injury list I should be good to go by June.

As far as my training partners go - I give them 5 stars and two thumbs up. They are AMAIZING (yes, a play on words) women and have become some of my best friends. I guess that's because we all get the same "beatings" together each week and need the moral support that comes with that! And, my coach, well...there aren't enough AMAIZING words in the world to describe her. Thank you all for your support of me and my goals - you are the greatest!