|The sweet t-shirt we got.|
This was my first race since completing the Twinsburg Duathlon. I learned a lot during that race and I had been looking forward to applying it in this race. I didn't race as well in Twinsburg as I had hoped. My legs were still sluggish from the marathon that was 2 weeks prior and I didn't have the power on the bike I typically have. It felt like I was a gear short. So, I spent the past 3 weeks in one of my favorite training spots. The high hills of CVNP. I live near the southern tip of CVNP on the edge of a large valley. There are a plethora of 4 and 5 mile long hills. It was torture for 2 weeks, but I regained the power in my legs. During the 3rd week, I focused more on speed and running.
|Post race with Colleen and Laurie|
I went into this race with a lot of excitement. It was a 1.5 mile run, 12 mile bike, and then a 5K. With a shorter run to start, followed by a longer bike. I felt like it suited my abilities fairly well. My legs were feeling pretty good as I spent the prior 3 days recovering. Most exciting of all? I had a new secret weapon. My new Cervelo P3!! I'd been contemplating the purchase of a TRI bike for about a year now and finally made my decision on Thursday.
This was an early race with no pre-race packet pick up. It worked well as they had our corral assignments listed and our packets below our rack. It was nice having everything in one spot, so you didn't have to worry about forgetting anything. After getting everything set, I met up with Heather. She was doing her first TRI. Next, I warmed up and made my way to the start.
Going into the first run, my goal was to run harder than usual as it was short and to get out on the bike without being in too big of a hole. The route started up a slight climb and I was initially in 4th place. Through the 2nd half of the route, I dialed it back a bit to conserve energy. The leader was off like a rocket and I wanted to be a little fresher on the bike to catch up. I hit another climb and was descending the final part as the Women's TRI was already heading onto the bike route.
1.29 miles in 9:49 for an average pace of 7:34
I entered the transition and got stuck in a lot of TRI traffic. I arrived at my rack after doing my best juke and jives. CRAP!!!!! While taking off my 2nd shoe the laces went into the not! I fumbled and fumbled with it and finally got it out. Taking a swig of Gatorade, I headed out.
Going into this race, my intent all along was to ride my road bike. I have no clue what I am doing on my TRI bike yet and I'm not really comfortable riding in the aero bars for long periods of time. After riding it the past couple days, plus some encouragement from Bike Authority. It was clear that I am faster on the Cervelo, even without being in the aero bars full time.
I mounted my trusty bike and took off. The bike route started with a climb as well. It helped as it gave me some time to get my legs used to the bike. After cresting the hill, I took off and was munching on riders like pac man. This wasn't a USAT race, so rules were a little more relaxed. It helped as I just wound up the big diesel engine and stayed a little to the right. After a few miles I dropped into the aero bars while hammering away. Rider after rider were no match as I repeatedly yelled passing...passing...passing. I made it through the first five miles in 14:11. I began to fatigue from the aero bars and there were no flats on this course. You were either up hill or downhill. I decided to climb out of the aeros and coast the hills fully tucked to save energy. This strategy worked as there wasn't anyone faster on my portion of the course. I did leave a lot of speed on the bike as I probably spent 70% of the route in a non-aero position.
|No flat roads on this route.|
12 miles in 35:16 for an average speed of 22.4 mph
The end of the bike was down a descent and I think I came in a little too hot. The look on the race volunteer's face was priceless when I slammed on the breaks and my Zipps squealed to a stop. It was really cool as there was quite the crowd cheering me on. I tried to act cool and that I new what I was doing as I was one of the first off the bike.
|The run-in to the finish|
One of the biggest mistakes I made this race was not taking any liquid out on the bike. Normally I would never do anything so stupid, but I don't have any aero bottles for my new bike. I had my road bike set up to train on, but I didn't want it as I thought it would hurt the aerodynamics of the bike. Boy, I was dying for fluids 7 miles into the bike. As a result, I decided to start my run carrying my bottle of Gatorade. It cost me a lot of time. I ran mile 1 in 9:00 and felt terrible. My shoes came untied again!!! After chucking the bottle, and getting fluids. My legs came to life and I ran as hard as I could. Doing miles 2 and 3 in the low 8's. The finish was along the lake and I kicked while trying to not twist an ankle as the ground was not even.
My finish time was 1:12 and was good enough for first in my age group!!!!!! I've never placed in an event before, so I was beyond excited. I had a blast at this race. It was a challenging course and there was no let down. I've been enjoying this Duathlons, but its time to step up and do my first Triathlon *gasp*
|First place bling and celebratory Christmas Ales.|