Last Sunday I opened up my triathlon race season at Rev3 Wisconsin Dells. It wasn’t supposed to be my opening race of the season but after I got hit by a car, see blog post, I was not able to race 2 weeks before that. Prior to getting hit by the car I had high hopes for this race. I had heard it was hard and hilly but my training had been going well and I was feeling good. But after I got hit by the car June 3rd I had to take a lot of time off and was not, and still not, feeling in top shape. My shoulder and hips were still bruised and my road rash was getting better but was still sensitive. But even with that I wanted to race all out and have a good race.
My girlfriend and I drove out Saturday morning to Wisconsin Dells so I could get a swim in the lake, first open water swim of the year, and do all the race check in and all that. Got all that done and went to our hotel, which wasn’t really our hotel since the hotel we reserved closed but a hotel next door took over. I did not get a good nights sleep before the race but that usually doesn’t happen so no biggie.
Swim: 32:13 (1:48 min/100) 4th AG
It was a time trial start which was pretty cool but because of that there wasn’t much of a chance to draft during the swim. I got into a nice rhythm and kept swimming. It was open the whole way but there was a little confusion on the way back where the buoys weren’t well-marked so some of us swam towards the out section and lost some time. But swim felt pretty good and it was my first race in my new Xterra Vendetta wetsuit which felt great! There was a nice long transition up a hill which was really tough because my heart rate sky rocketed. Got through transition and got ready to ride.
Bike: 2:44:48 (20.4 MPH, 235 Normalized Power) 4th AG
I was excited to get my first race done on my new Felt DA with my sweet HED wheels but I hadn’t been on the bike more than 30 minutes since the accident since it was in the shop until Friday. But can’t use that as an excuse. Got off and got into a little rhythm and was focusing on my race plan and getting nutrition in. But that was harder than expected. I was able to get a Clif Bar and a bottle of Osmo Hydration during the first hour of the ride but after that it was a struggle to get much more in. Aid stations seemed to be very far apart and the aid stations are so short that by the time I filled my aero bottle it was over. The marshals were very clear about littering, as well they should be, so I was stuck with an empty bottle with nowhere to put it. I was wearing a one piece suit so I couldn’t just put it down my pants or up my shirt. I tried to put it down my back but I dropped it. I slowed to get it and thankfully I did because the marshal was RIGHT behind me. They waited to see if I picked up the bottle before they drove off. A minute lost is better than a 4 minute penalty. So I rode with a bottle down my back for another 12ish miles.
To sum up this course it was HARD. I think it was hard even if you’re used to hills but it was really hard for me coming from Chicago and flat lands. I quickly realized that my body wasn’t really ready to ride the way I wanted and that became very apparent during the “run”. I also realized during this ride that I can’t bomb down a hill like some people. I hit 40 MPH during a section of a downhill but I was always on my brakes slowing down. Maybe that was because of my accident and knowing how much it sucked to hit the pavement, maybe it was because I am not used to crazy fast downhills. But whatever reason I just was not comfortable.
Another mistake I made was at the last aid station. I took a bottle of Gatorade so I could drink some calories before the run. But the problem was it wouldn’t squeeze into my aero bottle. So instead of stopping to fill it I tossed it. And it was a LONG last 10 plus miles home.
Run: 1:43:36 (7:54 min/mile) 5th AG
The only thing I can say about the “run” was it was a death march. It was hot, humid, hilly, and the worst 13.1 miles I’ve ever gone. From the start I could feel I had no legs. The combo of biking above my fitness level and nutrition mistakes, as well as still niggling pains from the accident, I set myself up for a brutal last segment of the race. But to make matters worse the curse was partially on a rocky trail which hurt my feet, and there was pretty much ZERO shade anywhere so the hot sun really took its toll. I don’t think anything would’ve helped me on the run but drinking warm water, Gatorade, and having no ice made it worse. I know I sound like I am making excuses but I have come to grips with the fact that my body wasn’t ready to race the way I wanted it to race so I raced above my fitness and paid heavily!
Finish: 5:03:19 5th AG/15th Overall
All in all I can’t be too mad about the race since it wasn’t my day and I still managed 5th in the age group. Ate a lot of pizza after the race, took an ice bath, and shared one of these sweet Cokes with my girlfriend!
Up next ITU Chicago this weekend! I am excited to race at home on a flat and fast course! I just wish there weren’t as many U Turns but oh well!