Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sprinteriffic races - Mpls tri and Key Biscayne Trilogy

Sunday I did the Key Biscayne Trilogy race and the week before I raced the Minneapolis Tri. This post is really a race report of the KB race but there is a fairly large part of comparison between the two.

I'm going to skip the preliminaries about getting to the race and stuff because well it was the same as all the other times.

Special Weather Excuse Section
However let me just say that the weather today was not spectacular. It rained off and on throughout the race. There was actually thunder over the water while we were lining up to start then a few minutes of hard rain while they started other waves and then (poof) the rain passed and I started my wave. The clouds did keep the temperature down to 84 and the humidity was well about 100% because it was raining (officially 80%).
This was the rain when I left the race.

Recap (.25s / 10mile b / 3.1 r)

Swim: horrific swim, seriously felt as though I had forgotten how to swim. Wished for water wings or a noodle. Just bad. 11:32 ... I know sooo sooo slow.  I'm really trying to figure out what happened. I seriously kept thinking in my head ... keep going silly you just swam this distance last week. Then I would do 8 strokes and feel like I was out of air again and my heart was bursting out of my chest. Bleh ...

Insert excuses here: there was a current against us and some surf from the weather. We had 10 mph winds so we had little waves. 

I would quite honestly put this as my worst race swim since 2 years ago with the first race swim. I was totally underprepared for that swim. Amazingly Sunday I was still 13th out of the water in my age group which is exactly the middle. How that's possible I can't quite grasp. 

I was very calm at the start. It was an in water start. The tide was out ... way out ... way way out. Seriously there were people standing up throughout the course. So, we waded into the water and then the guy yelled "go." I know totally lame ... where was the "beep machine?"
This is me coming out of the water in MPLS. In this swim I came up on 3 breasstroking gals and was able to just go around them. This logic failed me in Key Biscayne. I think the time trial start may have let me get going at my own pace. I "borrowed" this picture from brightroom.

I tried to get into the second row of women because I know there are faster girls than me and I don't  like to go out too fast. It didn't work. I took a step back and so did the people around me. So I started with the first wave of girls. I followed the feet in front of me until I passed them and I was fine for about 2 minutes and then I got boxed in behind somebody and there were also people on both sides and someone behind me. That did sort of mess with my swimming mojo. So I popped up and usually I can just see a space to go to for clear water but not today silver caps everywhere. In hindsight this is silly I should have just swam between the people but my mind didn't process that until, well, now.

I felt like everybody passed me when I popped up because I was boxed in but that isn't correct because my placement was 13/26. I was around 45th out of all the women and there were 2 waves. So now looking back a few days I am guessing maybe that I was closer to the front pack than I would have guessed. That would mean I went out way too fast.

One thing I was focusing on during this race was pushing even if I was uncomfortable because it's a short race. But it didn't work during the swim. I couldn't override the feeling of "must have more air!!!"

So, I did some breast stroking and that's no good for me. I feel like it makes my heart rate go up and doesn't help me catch my breath at all.

So frustrating. I have to admit that I'm 3 for 3 in not awesome race swims. Grrrr.....

Bike: 31:57 sometimes it is a little bit about the bike. I think I am simply just faster on this bike. This is a fast bike course - straight with one hill and I know the course by heart. It is also just 10 miles so my only challenge was to keep the speed up. I was almost exactly 1mph faster overall today than in Minneapolis. My average in MPLS was 17.7 and the average on Key Biscayne was 18.7 mph.
Me on the blue genie in Minneapolis. Can you see the missing bolt at the front? Luckily the bike held together. I hope there is a picture of me on the bike on KB because I might finally have an aero photo but I will say I was passing a group of slowpokes at the top of the bridge so most likely I won't have my own photo.

The weather was dicey today so the roads were wet. But since I had done my recent training in the rain in Clermont I was calm as a cucumber about that. I was aero like an aero fool. I even went down one side of the bridge in aero (and miraculously did not pee in my trishorts from fear). And no I did not hit my brakes either time going down hill.

There is a spot called bear cut (also sometimes called the "little" bridge which is a joke because it's like a 3 foot incline but it's where there is a break in the key and you can get big wind cutting between the 2 pieces of land.  Sunday we had big, huge, gusty wind there. When it hit my bike jumped about a foot to the side which was scary and I did come out of aero because I felt more in control and basically held on for dear life until I was past the tree line on the other side. 

What was fun for me today on the bike was that I passed a lot of people and was passed by only 6 people 5 of which were guys (so I expect them to kick my butt). Also fun I had the 4th fastest bike split in my AG. Progress!

One last thing about the bike. My goal was to have a 20mph average but I only got to 18.7. What is amazing to me about that is that I was at or above 20 every time I looked down during the race. Which I think means that simply the start out of transition, the climbs, the u-turn and the bear cut area were slower. Just a teeny bit pulls the average down super fast especially in a race this short. So that means to average 20 over the 10 miles I need to be hitting 22-23 for the straightaways. Yikes time to get back to work!

Run: 28:36 I felt faster this week and yet I had almost exactly the same time as in Minneapolis (28:38 in MPLS see almost exactly) This befuddles me.  However, this is my fastest 5k yet in a tri so that's good.
Running in Key Biscayne. Why is there apparently garbage on the run route...hmmm don't remember that because this is right at the stupid hairpin turn that goes to the finish line. Seriously add 30 feet in the parking lot and let us finish on the straightaway sillies. This photo was taken by a Hammerhead. Thanks guys!

There is one other thing about my run that befuddles me and it's this. Yesterday I biked 49 miles and then did a 20 minute transition run. During that 20 minutes my pace was 8:49 so why am I so much slower today after a much shorter bike?

I will say I feel sluggish on the run and I wonder if some of this is a strength issue. So, I am going to add strength training to my weekly routine. As a note I hate strength work. But I do think it will be helpful. 

Thoughts on the Trilogy races
Now that I've done so many cool races this race course is really kind of well just okay - mediocre even. Okay the swim is pretty spectacular on a beautiful beach but the run course is basically in a parking lot which is dumb.

I will say that the race production company Multirace appears to be really declining. I used to be their biggest fan so this is a change of heart for me. Today they changed the location for the start of the international distance swim and did a crappy job of letting racers know. A ton of people missed their start. Lame ... really lame. 

It also appeared to me that the race registration was down because there were about 20 empty bike racks. Sure enough there were only 419 participants today. A few years ago these races got 700+ people. That might not be because of the race production company but maybe with so much competition for races people are choosing other events.

But it has two huge things going for it.
  1. First, I know a lot of people racing so it's fun. 
  2. Second, it's the same course over and over so it's a good comparison for improvement which in the triathlon world can be really a challenge.
Goal Accomplished (miracles do happen!)
So my goal was to come in under 118 and I finished in 1:17:55. Goal achieved. Not exactly how I envisioned it but achieved nonetheless. I'll take it! I missed the swim goal by 3 minutes (ouch), missed the bike goal by 2 minutes but came in under the run goal by a minute and a half. The other time was cut out of transitions so that works.
That's Gabe on the right. I was clearly on the wrong side of the podium but you get the idea.

In other news almost all my training buddies podiumed today.  Gabe in his first full tri got 2nd in his age group. Benji got third in his AG which is a young super fast AG so that's really impressive. He totally wasn't expecting it and left without checking. And Janine also got first in her AG. Amazing. I train in fast company apparently.  So, I aspire to join their speedyness in the future.
I'm in this photo which I found on Facebook taken by another Hammerhead. Just proof that you never know who's taking your pictures. This is my training group. Diane is in front taking our picture from the front. And then the butts from left to right are Benji, Janine, Me in front you only can see my leg and hat, Gabe and Doug. Doug and I were the only ones in the training group who didn't podium. We were both 8th in our respective AGs.

Next up
The next big race is Rev3 in Sarasota 10/28/2012. My ambitious goal for this race is 5:30. That will be very fast for me so it's going to take some work and I will absolutely need to execute on the swim. More on this later because this post is really much too long already. 

1 comment:

  1. congrats on beating 1:18! you are faster than I am on bike and run .. must learn to bike more efficiently. You are the only other S. Florida Tri blogger I know of so I love reading your posts!

    congrats again!