Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Greater Cleveland Tri Race Report
Saturday morning I went for a nice 2000 meter swim at Lifetime and headed over to work the expo for the Cleveland Tri Club. I had carted a ton of club stuff in and after working my shift I managed to forget my packet on the table behind me so I was thankful my friend Brandon could bring me my stuff race morning! Idiot move on my part as I like to have everything ready to go ahead of time. Oh well...this resulted in multiple trips in an out of transition as I got organized.
It was no big deal tho as I did have plenty of time. Race morning I had woke up at 4:30 and drug the husband and I out of the house by 5:10 to arrive at Mentor at 5:45. Race morning, I ate a bagel with some PBJ and had one of my normal coffee mugs for the road. Then about an hour out I started drinking my FE PreRace drink concoction! I went out for about a 1 mile warmup run but started running pretty quickly on my way back afraid transition would close and I would not have my shoes in there! However, I still had plenty of time and then made my way back for the pre-race meeting that I could not hear.
I made the long walk with DM and JC on the path to the swim start. I had a chance to get in the water and get in a nice lil warm up which always makes me feel more comfy! Unfortunately the wind had changed and we were going to be swimming against the current with some good waves. TG I breathe to my left! The Oly Tri Men and Women 30-39 started together and were the second wave. As I ran into the water and tried my best dolphin dive, I stopped a couple times as my goggles were leaking. I got the goggles fixed and settled into a rhythm. We swam out to the buoy and then had a long one way swim back. Sometimes I would sight but had trouble as I could not see over the waves but all in all, I think I was doing alright and surprisingly I felt pretty relaxed and focused on making sure I stayed that way! A couple times I did catch myself swimming a little out of the way but made it out of the water in 29.12 (8th of 42 females and already 5+ min behind #1). My transition was slow. The timing chip was digging in my ankle and I could not get my wetsuit over it and then I wasted time trying to get my garmin going. ( It is just to much of a pain I think for me to deal with that when I am trying to be fast!) T1: 1:26
I hopped on my bike and headed out onto the bike course into the headwind. My hamstrings felt really tight and I was trying to ease into the bike so they could have a chance to loosen up. I was lucky to have borrowed race wheels and I was just trying to use the hills to my advantage on the freeway overpasses to stretch out a bit. About 3 miles on the bike, I took some electrolytes and gel #1 with some water. I always break this course into 3 sections. The first 1/3, which is boring Heisley has lots of traffic, then the hilly section with the one big hill and plenty of uphill grade and then the long downhill to the finish. As we turned off Heisley, I was looking forward to getting into the hills and trying to use them to my advantage. I worked keep momentum into the corners and accelerate out of them and was passing riders along the way. I felt pretty good and climbed the big hill without too much difficulty as I have practiced that hill plenty of times. As I hit the final 1/3 which kicks off with the big downhill I tucked in super tight and absolutely flew forever and was saving energy. There was a nice tail wind on the way back and took gel #2. As the sprint course merged back in I was trying to pass as many as possible as not to have them hold me up on my way into the park. The park road was just a little less than a mile and we are not supposed to pass or risk penalty. As I pulled into the park a moderately paced guy passed the slow paced guy in front of me (which is not legally permitted in this race). I thought about it too as this guy in front of us was going SO SLOW. He was going at least 1/2 the speed I was going but I did not want to risk penalty but this really did cost a fair amount of time. I sat up and rode with one hand and tried to affix my garmin in my wrist. To be honest, this huge chunk of lost time bothered me a bit as if it was a close race, it could make the difference and it just seemed like it would have been no big deal to safely pass. (2nd fastest female Bike split 1:10:53 at 21.0mph avg, #1 was 1:09:49 so perhaps we could have been even if I could have passed in the park...so not bad but definitely not making up anytime from that swim!)
Anyways I hopped off the bike and heard Beth say #1 was about 6 minutes in front. I am not sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. Problem was at this point it seemed #1 was out of reach. I started running on the path by the lake which was nice and shaded and then we turned out onto the hot open industrial parkway. Mile 1- 6:50, I was happy to see the Fleet Feet Aid Station and waved and kept on going. Mile 2-7:11. Mile 3 had some hills and I kept trying to tell myself even effort up and down. Mile 3- 7:56(too slow!) I think it was around mile 3 where I saw #1 heading back and as someone on my team I was happy to see she was looking strong but I also knew my chances were not optimistic in catching her! As I started to countdown the miles I just decided to run a nice steady pace...missed mile 4, but 4&;5 were 14:42. I had also passed #3 and it seemed pretty clear the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place overall females were not going to change much this run as we were all spread out a fair amount. I finished the run at 46:14 (a 7:28 pace, second fastest split behind #1 at 7:18 pace). This is not a pace I am particularly satisfied with but I suppose it was just more or less I settled as my rank was not going to change. Next time I need to run for myself!
I was happy to see the finish line as I was super thirsty and proceeded to down water like it was my job. Finish time was 2:28:36. (#1 was 2:20:39, #3 was 2:38:27 so we were all pretty spread out!) When I got done I particularly happy that BAFF girls went 1,2 and 3rd overall. The results had some issues but I am sure they will get fixed here and nonetheless, we know what they are!
As I always look back at the results and see where I am coming up short, it always comes back to the swim. I lost 5+ min there, and everything else was marginal and could probably go either way (although truth be told #1 beat me by a bit on everything this day including transitions). I was not displeased with my swim but I really just need to continue to work there if I want to be more competitive.
As always, I appreciate all of the efforts that went into the race by the many spirited volunteers like the pirate track team, Fleet Feet, SnakeBite, CTC members and all the people who gave up sooo much time making it possible! Thank you, thank you! Many of these people were my friends and it does seem like such a shame when I see racers getting upset with these volunteers who have donated their time and most often the volunteers that racers are complaining to are typically not the ones responsible for whatever issue people are complaining about...so please be respectful!
Last week was an easy week leading up to the race and now it is back to work as the big day is less than 5 weeks out now!!!