Saturday I had the pleasure to race some of the best amateur triathletes in the country. I wasn’t exactly sure who would show up in my AG but I was not disappointed. There are some FAST dudes in my AG. I marked this on my calendar as one of my “A” races because I really wanted to see how I stacked up against the best of the best but I also wanted to kind of gauge my speed
I would LOVE to race for Team USA in Chicago at the 2015 ITU World Championships. After racing Saturday lets just say I have some work to do!
I drove up Friday morning to get in a practice swim at the swim venue and get my packet and all that fun stuff. The swim venue was really nice. It was in a protected area so there were no waves and the water temperature felt nice. After the swim I made my way to my hotel and got some food. Did the normal pre-race routine and went to get dinner with my parents. As always I got a salad and some carbs, this time I got the best tater tots I’ve ever had! Then we headed to get another pre-race must; something sweet. We got custard from this place that ended up being on the run course (which was torture running passed during the race).
Woke up at about 5:45 race morning to eat, get ready then head to transition. My wave didn’t go off until 9:08 but transition closed at 7:30 so there was a lot of sitting around to do. My parents came to pick me up and we were able to find some good seating around the finish area then watched some of the first waves at the bike mount line which is always fun to watch. Oh, and my pre-race breakfast was a chocolate chip muffin. I am not too picky with my breakfasts so sometimes it’s PBJ, PB and bagel, Nutella and bagel. But I might have found my good luck charm in the muffin!
Swim: (24:37, 1:30 min/100 yards) 89th AG
As usual I wanted to push the swim. The only problem with this tactic is EVERYONE was pushing the swim and everyone was pretty fast. I started in the middle, big mistake, and quickly got engulfed by other swimmers but all was going well until I got cracked across the head with an elbow and it messed with my goggle a bit. I tried to fit it but I was getting swam over. So I swam directly to my right, over a few people, sorry!, to get to a kayak to fix my goggle. Then it was off again. I am disappointed that happened but it was my fault for not starting in a better position. I ended up making some progress and catching others but really just focused on getting in my groove and swimming. Got out of the water and made my way to transition. Nothing special here.
Bike: (1:00:38, 24.6 MPH, 234 Watts) 45th AG
I really wanted to push this bike ride because I knew it was a course to really hammer. But the ride had a lot of up and downs which really killed my power. I still had my compact crank on (50/34) which meant I was fine going uphill but I lost some speed and time going downhill because I ran out of gears. So that sucked. My HR was high at the start of the bike because of the swim and the fact that I sprinted through transition. Made it on course and got into a little groove but then my right glute started to lock up but it wasn’t bad enough where I couldn’t ride, it was just a bit uncomfortable. I started passing some people which was good then I got passed by a few in my AG and I quickly followed and started to ride with them, legally of course! We would take turns pulling but at times it got frustrating that someone would pass then slow down so I had to slow down to get out of the draft zone before I repassed. Other then making a pass and hitting a HUGE pothole and thinking my front wheel broke the bike went pretty well. I for sure could have pushed harder if I had better gears because that wattage is on the low side for me but whatever. Jumped off the bike and flew through transition.
On a good note, my transitions are getting better! My T2 was 55 seconds which was 13th out of everyone and 5th in my AG. That’s free time right there!
Run: (37:06, 5:58 min/mile) 13th AG
Got on the run course and knew I could run pretty quick because the course was flat and fast but also the weather was good and my legs felt good too. Started to run around 6 min/miles and started to pass some people. The run path was narrow but I didn’t really have any issue passing people or getting anything at aid stations. Miles start to tick off and I hit that magic 4 mile marker for me which means I am going to start to pick it up a bit. If you look at my Garmin file you can see that my HR started to climb pretty quickly here. Lesson of the run is try to pick it up a bit earlier! Got to a mile to go and kept picking it up. Then I heard “a half mile to go” and I put it into like 8th gear (yeah I know my 8th gear isn’t that fast compared to others but whatever!). I saw 3 guys ahead of my in my AG that I knew I could pass but I wanted to try to pass without them really knowing just in case they had more left in their tank. So I was able to sneak inside of a pair of them then made a decisive pass on the last guy and picked it up a bit to see if he would follow. Saw the finishing chute and sprinted it out. Finished the race and got my medal from none other than the multiple time Ironman World Champion, who is also undefeated at the Ironman distance, Chrissie Wellington. That was pretty cool but I had no idea because I was too busy being a triathlete and stopping my watch! I did get a good picture with her after though.
Finish: 2:05:03 37th in AG and 151st Overall
Not too shabby. Would have loved to placed better but I don’t know how much faster I could have been on the day so I won’t complain too much. It was also an almost 5 minute PR and a run/bike PR. And big thanks to Chi Tri Bloggers for all the amazing pics you took! Thanks!
My parents and I also went to Kopps after the race for a burger and some amazing custard! And boy oh boy was it good!