24 May 2009

Stansbury Park Olympic Triathlon

On Saturday morning, I woke up at 4:30am, got ready and headed over to pick up Tim to head down to Tooele, UT for the race. I had no expectations for the race and was mostly just looking forward to getting my first tri of the season done and under my belt. We arrived at the race site and headed over to packet pickup. I feel like I'm sort of becoming old hat at the whole race morning routine. I'd eaten my poptart in the car and was feeling pretty relaxed.

After I got my body marking done, I headed over to transition to start setting up my stuff. This was Tim's first experience at a triathlon, so he was taking it all in. The racks were sort of tiny and I didn't feel like I had much room. I set up my stuff and made sure that Oscar was in an easy gear and then we headed off to check out the lake. I wanted to get a feel for the ins and outs of the course and I also wanted to relax.

The lake looked totally murky and the swim course looked fine. There was a long run from the swim exit to the transition area, but no worries. Tim and I grabbed a spot on the hill and talked and relaxed for awhile. I was mentally planning my race and just chilling...not a bad way to spend the time before the race. My heart rate was low and I felt pretty relaxed.

When it was almost time for the pre-race meeting, I went back to transition, grabbed my wetsuit, swim cap, and goggles and then headed over to the meeting. The race director did a very nice job of describing the course and asked us not to pass on a certain section of the bike course (this becomes important later). After the meeting, I still had some time so I walked back over to where Tim was sitting and then my hands started shaking. We watched the men start, and then it was time to get in the lake. Tim said good luck and off I went.

I walked in the lake and was surprised that it wasn't as cold as I expected. I swam around a bit and noticed there was alot of grass and seaweed and junk. Plus, the water smelled like duck poop...oh boy. I peed in my wetsuit to warm things up and then we lined up for the deep water start. The race director said "go" and we were off.

I started swimming nice and easy and made sure that my breathing was good. I was mentally calming myself because I had grass on my face and stuck in my fingers and it was kinda freaking me out. I haven't swam in my full sleeve wetsuit since last June so I was getting used to that and my shoulders definitely felt tired. I had no problems with other swimmers bumping in to me and wasn't sure if it was because I was going too slow or what. I did try to swim in straight lines and noticed that most of the other swimmers were about 12 feet away from me and I wasn't sure if I was swimming long or what. Anyways, the first loop went fine and I actually sped up for the second loop. In my head, I was hoping to be out of the water before 30 min, so I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at my watch and the time was 27: something. I felt like I had a solid swim with no freaking out and that I was doing ok.

The run to the transition area was long and my heart rate was high, but once I got there, I got my wetsuit off with no problems, wiped off my feet, slipped on my bike shoes, helmet and sunglasses, grabbed Oscar and was off.

The bike course was a two loop course. I lost one of my water bottles before mile 2 and debated on whether to go back and get it. I decided I would just take the penalty. I felt like I was doing well on the bike and that I wasn't hammering too hard but that I was carrying my speed fairly well. I wasn't seeing any other women and was a little worried that I was WAY behind (I was) but decided to just get the bike done and get to the run. I did get stuck behind a man that was going just slower than me on the road that we weren't supposed to pass on and that was frustrating. I passed him on my way out to the second loop and then he passed me and then I hammered and pulled away from him. I didn't want to get stuck behind him on that road.

I kept hearing lots of sirens and was a little worried, but got really worried when I noticed lots of flashing lights ahead and cars stopped and stuff. I didn't know what had happened, but there were 3 cops, 2 fire trucks, an ambulance and some cars stopped. I had to weave through there and was really hoping that someone just crashed and didn't get hit by a car. I was almost back to transition so I upped my cadence and was definitely ready to be off the bike. (I've been dealing with some saddle sores so I was definitely uncomfortable during the second loop.) I was hoping to finish the bike around 1:30, so I was pleased with my time on the bike.

Tim was waiting for me at the bike transition and I waved and then ran over to my spot. Of course, someone had racked their bike in my place and moved my stuff around which was a little frustrating, but oh well. I racked Oscar, slipped of my cycling stuff, put on my running shoes (note to new yankz), grabbed my race belt and visor and was off.

The run course was also 2 loops and it was starting to get hot. I grabbed some water at the first aid station and then started trotting along, hoping to get my legs under me. I made it the first turn around, drank some Heed and water, and then headed back. I was starting to get a blister and some rubbing in my usual spot, but wasn't worried. I finished the first loop and knew that I was running at a pace that was working for me. The second loop actually went better. I started picking off some runners. I was working hard and feeling good, but was a little worried that I hadn't seen anyone else in my age group. I was hoping to finish my run in 1:06, so I was thrilled when I finished in 1:01.

Tim was waiting for me at the finish line. He got a big sweaty hug and I got some water. I was definitely thirsty and really wanted to blow my nose. I grabbed some chocolate milk, looked at the results and then we headed back to transition to gather up my stuff. I changed into some comfy clothes, whined about my sunburn, and enjoyed my chocolate milk. We loaded up the car and then headed to Best Burger and had the most delicious cheeseburger of my life. I was all wound up and Tim was cracking up because I was literally inhaling my food and chattering about the race and all of that.

I ended up coming in last in my age group and at the bottom of the Olympic racers which was a bit discouraging. I felt like I had a good race and that I was well-prepared and that I gave a good effort. Oh least the first race is done and now I can enjoy the rest of the season and hope to see some more improvements!

Oh...Tim has decided that he's doing a triathlon in July...apparently my addiction is contagious!

Swim 28:07
T1 ?
Bike 1:25:58
T2 1:15
Run 1:01:45

Total 2:59:07


Barb said...

Last or did it! That's what is important. Congrats, again!

hillrunner said...

So, who is this Tim bird?????

See You at the Finish Line said...

Congrats on a great race AJ! You made it look easy. (Behind the "looking easy part" has been many months of preparation. Well done!)

Hannah said...

Nice work AJ!