adventures of a mere mortal in fitness and life

Posts tagged ‘sprint triathlon’

race report: Island Lake Spring Sprint 2014

I kept staring at the comment that was posed on the screen by one of my EN coaches, “The question is not whether you NEED to race.  Do you WANT to race? Because that is all that matters.”  I had hit them up in the forums about racing this weekend and whether is was “necessary” to race before my 70.3 in June.  Before he responded, I had decided that I didn’t really want to race this weekend.  Too much admin, time, money wasted on a course I could do any day of the week.  But once I read his reply, my inner thoughts immediately jumped to, “Why don’t I want to race? Isn’t that the whole point of training-to race?” And I knew immediately that even if I didn’t want to race, I NEEDED to race- to save myself from falling into a common training pitfall- not being able to see the forest for the trees.

Most athletes train to compete.  For many, the competition is their favorite part.  I like to compete too, but I like the predictability that day-to-day training brings me. I can get VERY comfortable training.  Which is not a good thing.  However, my training has been very uncomfortable, off-schedule, and unpredictable lately, which made me grumpy, exhausted, and frustrated.  Throwing a race on top of trying to balance the schedule?  No thank you.

But I needed the race to remember why I do all the regimented training.  And also to remember that it’s OK sometimes to not follow the schedule exactly and if you’re tired, it’s OK to skip a workout here and there.  I’m not out here saving lives.  I’m just trying to have fun.

So I went into Friday with that attitude.  I tested out the long sleeve wetsuit in the pool Friday morning, picked up my packet late Friday, and took the bike home from the rack room at Hometown after we figured out how to adjust the back brake so it would stop rubbing.

Saturday morning I got up extra early because I knew I would forget something- the beginning of the season I always have jitters because I haven’t done any pre-race routine in so long.  When I got there, I saw Claudia right away in the parking lot and she saved me with a bike pump, since I hadn’t remembered to bring mine or pump up my tires -*head smack* . It was nice to have  a friend in transition with me, since I haven’t had that since moving away from CO.  It was also so nice that so many people from Hamburg Fitness tri team came out- Deb, Rex, Marcelo, Wes, and everyone else!  They have really welcomed me to their team and that’s been a lot of fun.

Me and Claudia before the start.

Claudia and I before the start.

It started before I was even ready– not much time to warm up even, since I spent more time talking and le ss time prepping!  The water was warmer than I thought, making me wish I had worn the sleeveless since it is so much easier to get off.  As I imagined, without ear plugs (forgotten!) I was super dizzy coming out of the water and had a hard time getting the wetsuit unzipped, much less off my feet.  My first transition time was SLOW.  Embarrassingly slow, but what could I do?  So I hopped on the bike and took off- with a purpose, of course.  The main goal of the bike was to “flatten” any hills, keep my cadence consistent, and not cross-chain (or I would never live it down at the bike shop).  The course is very familiar to me, as I ride it at least once every couple of weeks, so I knew I could work on keeping the cadence at a reasonable  85-90 RPM.  Keeping the power consistent and “flattening” out the hills proved to be more difficult.  My competitive nature tends to kick in, and with a sprint, I just kind of went for it. Overall, I was satisfied with how I felt on the bike.  Unfortunately, my time was not as fast as I hoped, but I had held back a little, reminding myself I needed to survive a brisk 60 mile ride the next day!

On the run, I just went for it because I was feeling pretty good and happy!  I was SO GLAD that I raced, and I knew I was doing well.  The run course is fairly easy, so it felt great and I was able to clock a new personal best 5k- 24:06. I was surprised when I crossed the finish line to find out that I had finished first overall in 1:17:20.XX!  This was a great experience for me to have before my “A” race, although in the past week I wished I had the guts to have raced the Olympic with the “big guns”, I can take away the satisfaction of knowing that I am out there doing something for the right reasons when I race Rev3 WI Dells in June. Now I can’t wait!!

Woot Woot! 2 Buck chuck and a duffel bag for the winner. :)

Woot Woot! 2 Buck chuck and a duffel bag for the winner. 🙂

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race report: Island Lake Sprint Summer

There isn’t much to “report” about this race, but it was another successful race on the books.  I wanted to win my age group in this race so I could qualify for age group nationals for next summer in Milwaukee, and I did.  I wouldn’t say that my race strategy was great, since racing like the hounds of hell are chasing you isn’t going to turn out your best race performance generally, but whatever.  It’s a sprint, right?  So I sprinted…

sunrise at Island Lake Tri

sunrise at Island Lake Tri

Good *new* things that happened in this race/training for the race:

  • I swam an open water leg of a triathlon without a wetsuit (I did the 5k swim last weekend without one too, but so did everyone else).  I can’t tell if the wetsuit makes me faster or not.  The swim was fairly terrible since I couldn’t see any of the buoys as we headed straight out into the sunrise.  I am certain my zigzagging all over the lake was not helping my swim split time. However, I did remember my ear plugs, so I wasn’t dizzy this time. What do you all think about wetsuits?  Do they make you fast enough in the water to offset the time it takes to get it off?
  • I did the bike and run without socks.  I don’t like a lot of crap to put on or take off, so I have been experimenting with no socks.  This was my first sockless race, and I think it’s a good strategy going forward.  How many people go sockless?  Yea or nay?
  • My run split was my fastest 5K EVER.  YAY!  For me, I will add again that I have been trying my best to incorporate the advice from the guys at Running Lab, which was to shorten my stride and increase my cadence.  I am certainly not at the suggested 180 steps per minute, but I imagine I started at somewhere like 80 and have increased it to well over 100 (maybe 120?) in the past few weeks. Previously (with video evidence to prove it!)  I was reaching with my foot and heel striking , and the advice I received in order to achieve more of a midfoot strike was to run as though I am running in place (you might have to actually run in place to get the feeling for this-I did!).  Thus, my body position is more upright and my feet are (sort of – at least in my mind) landing underneath me.  I should probably video my running again just to see.
  • As a result of these changes, and with my move to sea level vs. 6600 feet, I dropped my mile splits from 9:00/mi to 8:22/mi last weekend.  My mantra during the run leg was “Foot speed, foot speed” over and over–  I was kind of shot after the bike, so it was tricky to keep the legs cranking on the run (I now know how much time I will need to spend on my bike trainer this winter…a ton!)
  • Right hip and lower back pain continues to plague me and be a mystery.  I KNOW I need to strengthen my hip and I need to be doing those kinds of exercises every day…competing with yoga, stretching, core work, rolling, etc (like I have this kind of time?), and once I get on a schedule when the kids go back to school and the House Purchase from Hell saga ends, I will. I plan to experiment with both technique and training ideas after my last tri of the season (in a couple of weeks) and will be your guinea pig if any of you are looking to improve your run or decrease your injuries/pain in these same areas.  Running is definitely my weak link-  I want to be sub-8:00/miles by next summer.  In a 10k.  Yup, dream big!

Anyhoo, this race result kind of set up my dream plans for next summer.  Of course, I had dream plans for this summer which didn’t really pan out due to life’s natural interruptions, but being able to compete at nationals in Milwaukee next summer will be very cool.  Plus, the AG win puts me one step closer to a commitment to the DREAM BIKE from Mr. Prepared…I even got to drool over a few in Ann Arbor last weekend.  I’m a lucky girl.

Wine.  Hey, at least it's practical.

Wine. Hey, at least it’s practical.

Place Oallplace Name No. Age Rank Swim Tran1 Rank Bike Tran2 Rank Run Final
1 30 Susan Ogilvie 321 36 1 13:40 1:04 1 37:50 1:02 3 25:05 1:18:38

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