OC International Triathalon Recap

22 May

This morning did not start out the way I wanted it to.  The plan was to wake up at 5:30, get dressed, eat breakfast and ride to the start (about 2 miles from my house) and be set up by 6:20.  Marc woke me up at 5:57 saying “don’t you want to leave by 6?” SHIT! (excuse my language but I am sure you have heard that word before)  See, I am the gal who is at the airport 2 hours before her flight.  I have spent many hours in my car waiting for interviews or appointments because I am soooo early.  I HATE HATE HATE to be late, rushed, frazzled.  SO….this was NOT the way I wanted to start my day and it may have lead to a few hiccups in my day.

Hiccup 1: I am a little superstitious about my pre-race breakfast.  I eat a piece of PB toast, banana, water and 1 cup of coffee.  All I had time to do was shove a banana down my throat.

Hiccup 2: I forgot my chest strap for my heart rate monitor.  I don’t use it to much during the race, but I love to know how many calories I burned!

Marc drove me to the start and Ali was riding to the entrance at the same time.  I wasn’t late but I was nervous, frazzled and very absent-minded.  This was the first race where I had to set up 2 different transition area.  We set up T2 the night before, which was odd for me, so I only had to set up my T1 gear.  I kept feeling like I was missing something.  I would loose my timing chip, panic, then find it.  This kind of drama kept going on and on all set up.  Marc dropped me off and went home to meet up with Molly and were to walk over to the lake.  The walk was taking longer than expected and I knew they were going to miss my start, which they did.  It was okay though because I had Ali with me.

SWIM – 1.5 KM (appx 1 mile)

After my terrible swim last weekend, I was a bit apprehensive having to swim twice as far.  Good news was this swim was much better!  Whew, I felt pretty calm and relaxed and was actually able to swim the whole time!  Crazy right?  I did have some issues staying on course and a couple times I was lax on my spotting and found myself off by my lonesome.  That wasted time.  I was slow, I really need to work on speed in the water and spotting.  Right now I am unilateral (only breathe on one side) and really need to work on bilateral breathing.  Supposedly it helps you stay straight.  If you were wondering….I did wear my wetsuit along with most of the other competitors (we had a lively pro/con discussion on the Team page).

Time – 40:02 – yikes, not great

Hmmm I guess someone warned the Fire Dept that I was on the course, so I didn’t use my bike mounted flam thrower this race.

BIKE – 40KM (appx 25 miles)

Ahhh, the bike.  Half the swim I chant…”just get on bike, just get on bike…”  This is a challenging course, no 2 ways about it.  There is a lot of climbing during the ride and the run.  Since I am racing in my backyard, I knew the bike course like the back of my hand.  But just because you know where the hills are and how long they are, doesn’t make them any less of a hill.  There was one guy I could not shake.  He was pasty while (now I am pale, but this was blinding) and he was wearing a white speedsuit (one piece tri suit) and it was NOT pretty.  At this point I realized that there is a different caliber of athlete racing a Olympic distance tri vs a sprint.  I missed all my friends who had zero bike experience or riding on a mt. bike or hybrid.  (Read – I missed passing people)  Instead I was being passed by chicks on tri bike with big fancy race gears and for the first time I really thought that I might want a tri bike. They were able to pedal down hill and pass me when I was out of gears.  I needed the bigger gear to catch up and I just didn’t have it.  I did eat a few Honey Stingers during transition and drank some water on the bike, but clearly not enough.

Time: 1:27:53 – decent, I will take it.

RUN – 10KM (appx 6.2 miles)

Off the bike, I grabbed a few more Honey Stingers and gulped down some water.  I started running a felt pretty good.  I have to be honest, I really don’t know how to work my Garmin.  When I started running it said I was running 8:28 min/mile and I knew that was not right.  I don’t know if it need a little while to collect data in order to give me an accurate pace, but all I know it that my pace was way off for at least the first mile.  To say that there was a few hills on this course is an understatement.  I did pre-run it, once and knew what was coming.  I knew around mile 3 there was a huge hill and that was about the same time I stopped sweating and got goosebumps.  I have never walked in a triathlon and I walked during 3 different sections.  I knew I needed to stop, that this could be serious but I just kept pushing forward.  I figured I could suck it up for 30 min and then it would all be over. I made myself take in water at every aide station but kept telling myself “it is too late”.  It was brutal and a total pure test of will to keep moving.

Time: 1:05:03 – I wanted to run it an hour and know I can, it just wasn’t in the cards.

Once I crossed the finish line I saw a swim buddy Amir, he want to give me a hug and I almost fainted.  I sat in the grass and was very light headed.  I got up in search of water and no one had any.  All of the volunteers and spectators were drinking bottled water and none was left for us.  Brilliant.  Thank goodness Marc and Molly found me and they had a water bottle for me.  I sat in the shade, drank ate a few orange slices and felt much better.

What I learned:

  • set 2 alarms
  • breakfast IS the most important meal
  • I MUST work on my nutrition during the race, this is imperative
  • I need to run longer distances off the bike
  • always spot, even if you think you are swimming straight

RANK 14/24

My 2 goals each race are to 1) finish top 50% and 2) top 10 on the bike.  Goal 1 was not achieved BUT goal 2 was I ended up number 10 on the bike and I was stoked about that!

Running to the finish

Me, Ali, Amir


3 Responses to “OC International Triathalon Recap”

  1. Chrystal Logan May 22, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Shannon you are kick ass! I always love your wit but you truly are an inspiration. One of these days I will get off my scaredy cat ass and enter a tri. You rock!

  2. Laura M May 22, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Great race report! You have inspired me to go for that international/olympic distance race…one day!
    p.s. So sorry you woke up late…I know how frazzling that can be…been there.

  3. vegastrigirl May 22, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    Great recap! I would’ve been so rattled by waking up late too!

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