Thursday, May 13, 2010

REV3 Knoxville Race Report

*** Photo credit goes to Eric Willis*****
Where to start?  Well I had signed up for the Rev 3series and I assumed this would be my worst placing of the three races mainly because swimming is always my weakest link and proportionately it counts more in the Olympic distance than the full.  So let's hope it holds true and each race gets better...we can hope anyways ;-)

So the week leading up to race week was vacation week which was nice.  I was able to hit all key workouts and even get in a bunch of open water swimming...bonus!

Friday and Saturday, I enjoyed a nice mini taper for Sunday's Oly tri.  I was very laid back about this race, probably more than I should have been.

Saturday was an early start to a busy day.  I actually spent a lot of time making sure everything was laid out and in good order (no more forget the timing chip fiascos or goggles or anything like that this year...fingers crossed).  I had wanted to get in a little more course preview time (which I did not end up with any) but was trying to balance my weekend with keeping the husband happy.  We had a nice day and I must admit I was not as well behaved with my intake the day before a race as I need to be (especially when it comes to those longer races).  Nonetheless, thankfully all worked out and come race time I was all good and had no issues on that front...which most of my friends know me for!

Race morning I woke up and had hotel coffee with a nutrigrain bar as I was trying to make it with what was available.  Then as I walked down to the race I sipped on my First Endurance 1 scoop of Pre-Race drink.  I set up my transition super easy since my bike was already good to go from Saturday.  Then I hit the portopotty which only had a short wait and made my way down to transition.

It was a gorgeous morning but only in the low 40s and I was absolutely frozen.  Thank goodness, the husband was there as he could carry my jacket and sandals from waterside.  Once I got to the swim area I sprayed myself down with some TriSlide.  It was the first time I used it with my wetsuit and I am not sure if I liked it more for how easy it made getting into my wetsuit of getting out!  It was actually so painless to get my suit on!

Watching the pros go off for their swim was amazing.  Time must have been going slowly for me because I kept waiting for them to come back after heading out to the buoy and although it had only been a short time, it seemed like forever as I kept thinking it was going to take me like double their time which was going to be forever.  I was starting to fret about getting in the water because I was so cold.  As I made my way towards the start, I chatted with teammates Meredith and Rachel and this seemed to make me feel more comfortable with what we were about to do.

As we made our way down to the dock, I was cold and noticing that our wave of women 30-39 and men 29 and under seemed pretty big.  "Oh boy, what did I get myself into," I thought! But it was time to take the plunge and I hopped in the water and it actually felt warm.  WAHOOO!  I had a chance to take some strokes and position myself about 3 people back on the right next to the buoys and was off.  I felt bodies all over but just sort put myself in my comfort zone and pretended it was just another open water swim and felt surprisingly relaxed.  I hit the first turnaround buoy pretty effortlessly and had a long swim back.  I think I sighted pretty well and probably looked more than I should but I figure that costs me less time to do that than to swim out of my way.  I think it helped that I stayed right close to the buoys.  I am definitely getting more comfortable in the water as in the past when people infringed on my space I kind of tried to get out of their I feel comfortable holding what was mine.  So for the 0.9 mile swim I was thinking it would probably take me 29-30 minutes.  I hit the deck and hoisted myself up and looked at my watch which read 25 flat!  I was thrilled and it felt easy!  That is not to say that I might have heard rumblings that it was short, but regardless I felt good about my relaxed steady swim.

The run up was not pretty.  My wetsuit rip cord has disappeared and both arms were reaching back there as I tried to get my legs moving and by the time I crossed the mat my swim split registered a 26.10.  Moving into transition my bike was towards the back so I ran back and peeled the wetsuit off and tried to get out of T1 quickly.  It took 2:35 which was far too slow.  I will practice transitions.  Transition=Free time  REPEAT!

Out on the bike I wanted to be careful to ease in.  I think some tri's I have went out super fast which just resulted in tight hammies and slower overall time.  Within a mile or two I was starting to feel a little bit better and after the bridge my heart rate started to come down and then the passing began.  Once we got out of the city I was loving the course.  Rolling and scenic.  I was lucky enough to score a First Endurance prototype gel and I had tucked the flask in my tri-top pocket.  On the two bigger climbs I pulled it out and spun up the hills while I took in some gel and water from the aerobottle which worked well for me.  I feel very comfortable on the descents and was passing quite a few people on them especially as the downhill speed pushed me up the next hill.  All those twisty mountain roads that I rode this past week were perfect little training rides with all their sweeping corners.  Oh and of course I love the thrill of the downhills, sort of feels like riding my motorcycle!

*** Photo credit goes to Eric Willis*****
Again I think I was feeling too comfortable and next thing I know a 17 yr old passed me and we leap frogged some.  Then another girl passed who looked pretty strong passed and I kept her in my sights for awhile.  As we drew closer to the city the 3 of us had changed positions a few times and all came in pretty close.  Overall I felt strong on the bike and very few people passed.  I probably felt too good and now regret not pushing a little harder, although it always weighs in the back of my mind that I still have a run ahead of me!  I was hoping for a faster bike split which I know I am capable of, but I guess that would have required more pain! 

T2 was rough too.  My feet were so numb and would not go where I wanted them to.  It was ugly and after too long I was finally off. 

Off on the run, my heavy legs and very numb feet=not a good combo!  First mile was 6:55.  I was smiling and cheering for Trakkers peeps the opposite direction, heck I was even giving props to the Terrier team (this was deserved as one of their men came up on me with one heck of a pace!)  I was passing people but just was not pushing like I know I should have been.  I think I was resolved at that point with finishing a steady race and feeling comfortable....ahhh, but that is never enough when I look back! 

*** Photo credit goes to Eric Willis***** 

A few things slowed me down like the 5 steps and the U-turn but all in all it was a nice run course and I love getting to see racers on the out and back!  I hit one water stop after taking another swallow of the FE gel and cruised into the finish line.

So here are the stats-

Distance:  0.90 Mile
Time:  26:10
Overall Place 66
Division Place 13

Distance:  24.8 Mile
Time:  1:48:44
Pace: 18.6 mph

Overall Place  38  (Gotta like those drops!)
Division Place 6


Distance:  6.2 Mile
Time:  47.0
Pace: 7.34 min/mi

Overall Place  35

Division Place 6

Total Time:  2:36:20

All in all, it was probably a solid start to the tri season.  However, I think I was not as mentally prepared for this race as I should have been.  I knew the competition was so strong that I think I let it get in my head which resulted in me not pushing as hard when I should have just raced my own race for myself.  Lesson learned.

Also, while I would have liked to have made myself work a little harder, the Oly distance never was the target race and I take comfort in the fact that I felt very good all day and it was still a respectable time. Not only that, I really enjoyed myself while racing and really liked the course/venue!  Oh and I was not even really beat up which was a bonus!
 *** Photo credit goes to Eric Willis***** 


E-Speed said...

You did great, I am betting that course was a hell of a lot harder than Chicago which was my best and exactly the same as your time :) You'll be taking down that time next Olympic with no trouble now that you know what you have in ya!

goSonja said...

Nice work chica! Super solid effort for your first race out of the gate. Can't wait for Quassy now!!

Megan said...

YAY! So good to meet you this weekend. way to rock it, and i look forward to racing with you again soon!

Jamie said...

Great race! I realize I barely even got to say "hi" last weekend. There was just so much going on!

I guess I'll see you in CT and OH though..

Mike said...

Congrats on a job well done! Thank you for sharing!

jessithompson said...

Loved, loved, loved your race report. Thanks so much for sharing. Wish I could have been there!

solarsquirrel said...

HARD CORE GIRL!!! Great report and great photos (oh - and great time!!!)

Kim said...

janet, you did friggin awesome!!!! congrats girl! looks like team trakkers has a blast - and jamie is on the team - even better!