Thursday, July 21, 2011

Race Review - Trilogy #2 2011

Race day starts early - that's just the way it is.

Race morning traffic jam going onto Key Biscayne.

Key Biscayne Trilogy #2 Sprint Distance
There is an international distance and they start first so there is a huge amount of waiting before the start. Seriously it's about 30 minutes from when the first wave of elites go out and when my start wave begins. I was a little lonely without my tri buddies (Shana was in Greece, Katie doing the duathlon, Melissa and Chris were volunteering, Roni moved to England, Jeremy moved to Minnesota, Amanda also moved and is wayyyy preggo) but I found people I knew from Hammerheads to chat with. I am seriously thinking of doing the international just to start earlier. Just kidding. Well, a little bit kidding.

I did forget my Luna bar which is my second breakfast ... Oops. I was hungry at the start.

Swim 8:36
I said I would start with the group and I did. I really wanted an 8 minute swim and I got that. I was stuck behind feet a lot. So, the new goal is to start in the front of the group because I'd rather be swum over than constantly have to swim around people. Other than that the swim was good. There is no surf and no current to speak of in this location. But there is some serious slimey muckity muck when you first step in. Say it with me, "ewwwww!"
Didn't recognize me? New race outfit. The pink one has been retired after a solid year of use. I think this is my strongest looking swim finish photo notice that I'm actually jogging. Except Trinona where the photographer was all the way up by transition. There I look like a rock star in my wetsuit.
This was me last year.

Transition 2:15
I did not miss the .25 run in the sand. But I also didn't love the barefoot jog on asphalt. I think I walked a bit to avoid the rock under foot stuff and I was breathless. I need to unbuckle my bike shoes in setup because that does take a few seconds.

Bike  35:06
The new course hits the bridge immediately. I thought I would hate it but actually I like getting it out of the way. I still don't really think I know how to pace myself or push myself on the bike. Not sure how to fix that ... More time on the bike I guess. I have definitely improved in climbing and also I can easily get my water bottle without swerving which is great. Yes that is a basic skill but I'm really a beginner cyclist so these things make a big difference.
Well there I am. I never look quite as tough on the bike as some others that I see. Gonna have to work on my game face.

Transition 2 1:18
This is a super easy transition. I actually passed a person running with the bike into transition. That felt good.There is an extra step in this course in this transition - put on bug spray. The run is through mangroves. Even if that adds time it cannot be skipped :-)
I'm grinning here at the start of the run because I just got splashed with ice cold water. Which felt great and clued me into how overheated I was. I started a walk break about 30 seconds after this just out of view of the transition :-) Gotta maintain my rep you know.

Run 31:00
This is my easiest leg but I had just run 10 miles the day before so I had no idea what to expect. The water stop coming out of Transition is staffed by the hammerheads. I did a little dance and my buddy Melissa doused me with an ice cold cup of water. That was AWESOME!

I think I figured something out during this race. I think that I don't notice how hot I get on the bike leg because of the wind. But then as soon as I stop I feel like it's 10,000 degrees. I think in the next race I'll try to drink more and pour my water bottle on me in transition to speed the cooling off.

Surprisingly I felt okay on the run. It's a crowded course. But it's shaded so that's good. I settled into a groove in the second half with a woman who kept me on pace and then close to the end (it's a blind finish) she told me it was coming up so I could speed up a bit. I didn't have much kick but I gave it what I had.

Initially when I saw my time I felt slow.  My run times this year have all been below 30. But when I saw that it was 3 minutes off from last year I felt pretty good. I think the heat is a big slowdown. Oh and the long run the day before may have impacted my speed (Ya think?!)
All done. Again people cheering for me. There is just nothing like having people cheer for you during the race. I love this picture. I may actually buy it.

Finish 1:18:14
We had to wait a while for the results. The Multirace miracle workers had a network issue and the magic printouts were not available. I've always been super impressed that they had instant results so I wasn't upset and they did post them the old fashioned way pretty quickly. Not fast enough for some spectators but those people need to drink less coffee or something and just relax. (Are you listening cranky man standing next to me after the finish? - probably not)

I finished 14 out of 26 racers in my age group. I think that is both a big field and a fast field. I was surprised at this but that's the way it goes. This time is 10 minutes faster than my last time in this race (1:28 August 2010). Of course it's not in the same location but I'm gonna ignore that for comparison although I will admit the first transition is a 3 minute savings. This time is just one minute behind my fastest time this year and that was a shorter run by .1 of a mile and there was no hill. All good things.

Room for Improvement
A podium finish is sub 1:05. I'm not sure I'll ever get there I mean it's a 13 minute time drop. But I'd be lying if I said I don't think about it.

Here are my random thoughts about how I can improve.

My strongest event compared to other racers is the swim. Go figure. 12/26 in my age group.The fastest swim in my age group was 6:45. That's fast. I have started swimming with a masters group to be able to really focus on my swim. Okay, I've only done one workout :-) Also to get out of that pool at LA Fitness which I just hate

I will have to improve in other places as well to see a big jump. The bike is the most obvious weakness it's also the longest leg of the race so it should be the easiest to drop significant time. The best bike split in my age group was 28 minutes (that's speedy) Sadly, I don't really know how to get faster on the bike. Looks like I have a research assignment.

Improvement on the run I don't think I'll see this season because of the marathon training. But we'll see what happens. The fastest runners in my age group all finished in 23 minutes - speedy. I'm not going to worry about this - this year.

Also, in the room for improvement category is hydration the day before. With a long run on Saturday I have to focus on this because it makes a big difference in overheating. Next is sleep. I didn't sleep well Friday or Saturday night. If I could make an improvement here and get a good nights sleep that would be really good.

Next up
My next scheduled race is the Trilogy 3. But after that is going to be some juggling because in September my long runs are really long. I thought I'd do the Escape to Miami but that would mean racing on the day after 16 or 20 miles.

Uh, I think not. 

Soooooo .... what to do, what to do, what to do. I'd like to find a half marathon in September or early to mid October but the schedule is empty. Decisions Decisions.

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