This was my second time doing the Couples Triathlon, but my fourth time doing this particular course (with varied swim and run distances). The full sprint course (with the 5k loop rather than 2mi loop) is really quite the pain in the ass! No, really. My butt muscles hurt today. I PR’d the course by 10 minutes, but didn’t go as fast as I wanted.
As noted in the last two blog posts, I tried a few new things with nutrition, and think it didn’t do well for me. I’m planning my attack for Jack’s Generic Tri – no gluten or dairy for at least 48 hours before the race, longer if I can. And, some kind of potato and salad for dinner.
Now, for the dirty details!
Couples has a long swim for a sprint – 800m. I didn’t swim all week last week, because I kept getting rained out, but I was feeling pretty confident since my last open water swim the week before was REALLY fast when I learned how to draft off of a teammate. My goal for the entire race was based on the swim, and that goal was to find someone to draft off of.
The waves are different in Couples since we compete in “Couples” – so for the wave we were in (Married ages 70-94 Combined), men and women started together. I thought it’d suck, but it was awesome. I was able to “latch on” to my hubby for a while, and when he took off, I was able to find another dude to draft off of for a while. I think I drafted for maybe 50% of the entire swim, and when I did I tried to relax a little but it was hard.
The benefit to drafting – you do less work. The downside to drafting – you’re at the mercy of someone else’s sighting. So, if you’re a really good sighter like me, it kind of drives you nuts to go off course. About halfway, I decided the guy I was drafting off of was going too far off course, and struck out on my own.
I figured I was doing well when I started passing the breaststrokers and slow swimmers from the 2 waves before. I got out of the water and saw my friend Shannon who came out to cheer, who yelled at me, “Go catch Kyle! He’s only 30 seconds ahead!” .. which was kind of 50% true. He finished a minute faster than I did. That’s huge progress!
Previous PR Pace: 2:28 / 100m
Last race pace: 2:28 / 100m
Goal pace? No “goal” pace, but goal to draft.
Couples race pace: 2:24 / 100m
This is a hilly course, and I’ve cycled it many times. I’ve done better on it before in training, but this was my best time in a race on it. I had a really hard time getting my heart rate down from the swim this time around. I started off taking a gel (that I think didn’t do me well calorically) The first three miles or so went by in a blur, and I remember telling myself to chill out, but I forgot that as soon as I got to “that turn.” It felt like the cones were laid out sharper than usual, and a girl ahead of me was taking the ENTIRE freaking lane! I yelled “on your left!” a little too late, and lost my momentum to get up Big Tard (steep m’fer). I got about a quarter up it before I had to drop gear and stand up, which is way too early. I dodged the people who were walking it, got up, and again.. fought the high heart rate. I powered through the rest of the hills on the course and made it out OK, but the last hill on 130 was definitely slower going than normal. My legs were feeling a little heavy.
Overall, I didn’t do bad at all on the bike. This was where I thought I’d do a little better than expected, though, and I didn’t. I think it was because I was having a hard time with getting my heart rate under control, and I was feeling a little hungry.
That just tells me I need to get out on the hills more often. I’ve been doing lots of sprint workouts, but not nearly as many hill workouts. I’ll have the opportunity Wednesday..
Previous PR Pace: 17.6 mph
Last race pace: 17.6 mph
Goal pace? 16.5 mph
Couples race pace: 16.5 mph
I hopped off the bike, ran in and got my trail shoes and hat on, and took off. I spoke to Coach Jen before the race, and she reminded me to watch my ankle on this run – its a trail run, and it rained last night. I took it easy at first to get my heart rate under control, and it STILL wasn’t working. I kept feeling an arrhythmia, so I stopped to walk a little bit and calm that down.
My watch was somehow off, and was telling me I was running 10:30′s. Mid-way, I pretty much wrote off the run. The trail was full of mulch that they laid down to absorb the water and generate less mud.. and it worked, BUT it had a lot of easy opportunities to roll an ankle. At the first turnaround, I saw teammates Vince, Kim, Elle and Joanne ahead of me, and I thought, “WTF! I need to pass these mo-fo’s! I’m the stronger runner!” and really, the only one I *needed* to pass was Vince since he was in my wave. I forgot the others started 12 minutes ahead of me on the swim. I was still fighting my heart rate, and I didn’t go as red as I did on the bike, but it was still pretty bad:
I caught Joanne and Vince in mile 2 (my fastest mile), and Joanne was super sweet and yelled a lot of really positive things at me (I was clearly in need of them). I caught Vince, warned him of Quadzilla up ahead, and took off. Just after mile 2, I passed Elle, told her that if she catches me she needs to push me up the hill (and she laughed at me ), and then caught Kim when I hit Quadzilla.
Quadzilla isn’t as bad as I remembered it. It’s still a steep hill, and I run it most of the time… but I didn’t really have it in me. I stopped to talk to Kim, who was walking it, so I heard about her race (which really was going badly – she had 2 flats), and tried to get her to run with me up the rest of it, but she wasn’t having it. Haha. I picked up my pace to hit the finish line, and saw my time was 1:35:34. Well, I beat my last Decker time! Not by as much as I wanted to, but I’ll take it.
Previous PR Pace: 9:10 / mi
Last race pace: 9:10 / mi
Goal pace? 9:30 / mi
Couples race pace: 9:53 / mi
The After Party
High Five Events throws the BEST races ever. Seriously. After having done tris in three different states, nothing really measures up. There is after party food (substantial food!) from My Fit Foods, free ice cream, a beer tent (with New Belgium beer, yum), and tons of fruit/sodas/chips/water around. Kyle and I hung out in the beer tent for quite a while, and caught up with a few friends, teammates and coaches. Its always great to hear everyone else’s immediate race stories, and I had a bitch-fest with one of my teammates on the run course. Haha. It made me feel a little better. We stayed there socializing until the last finisher came through the line – and everyone stopped to cheer her in – and the awards started. Three friends placed! It was a lot of fun.