Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Moving on...Naperville Sprint Triathlon

I had a whole race recap started for the Naperville Sprint Triathlon that I participated in but I was never able to seem to finish it.  So it will be very brief...and with pictures!  Yay!!  Need to just move on here!

I went to pick up my packet the day before the race.  While there, we (Derek and I) participated in a race day preparation clinic.  It was very valuable and helpful.
Pre race preparation clinci

The signs that were going to be held up to line up for swim

Still pre race clinic - view of the beach we would be swimming at

Transition area

Race morning started bright and early.  We got up at about 4:00 a.m. (seriously, I need a new hobby).  The important thing was that the transition area would be open from 5:00-6:45 a.m.  We were advised to get there early as you don't want to be rushing trying to get your bikes and all your stuff set up!

We got there by maybe 5:30, parked our car and headed down to transition.

Race morning - our bikes
On the way into the transition area, we had people marking our numbers on our arms and writing our ages on our calf.  I was told about this in the pre-race clinic but I still thought it was a little odd!  Although later, during the run, I really liked sizing up my competition...or seeing who looked really good for their age!  They also checked our bikes, made sure our number was on them, etc.  Then we finally got into the transition area and scoped out our spot!

The key in triathlons is to see where your bike is located in relation to the "Bike Out" and "Run Out" areas.  Some triathlons, you get to pick your own spot and some area assigned to you.  This one was assigned to us based on our bib numbers.  I found that my spot was in great location to Bike Out (Score!).  After trying to set up my area and for some reason forgetting the million things I'd been told about it, I finally finished and went to check out Derek's spot.  I told him that I was unsure how to "site" my bike spot.  Basically I needed some landmark so that I knew approximately where my bike would be when I was done with the swim and running to my bike (and to put my bike back before the run).  Derek mentioned that my spot was directly in line with the path when we were running in from the swim and lined up with the tree.  I just had to run over the little grass and my bike was second from the end.

I then made my way over to the port-o-potties and waited there for approximately 30 mins!  I brought what I needed and left everything else in transition as I wasn't sure I would get back to transition before it closed at 6:45.  While in line, I noticed one of the two straps on my goggles were broke!  I slightly freaked out and had brought a cheap spare pair but it was in my back in transition and I was in line for the bathrooms!  I decided that my goggles should hopefully hold out for the swim and tried not to mess with it.  Finally made it out of the bathrooms right around 6:45 and headed back towards Derek.  We then made our way over to the swim area.

The swim area had signs being held up with signs that were basically "under 10 mins" and "over 10 mins" ...more or less.  I had gauged my swim to be about 10 mins.  I knew in the pool I can do it between 8-9 minutes but wasn't sure how our open water (man made open water) swim would be.  Derek and I watched some of the elites swim the course before we lined up.  A woman was in the lead coming out of the water!  I told Derek good luck and I went to go line up.  However, when I looked at the mass of people waiting to get into the water, the pace signs were no longer there!  Now I really had no idea where to line up.  I walked all the way over to the side and kind of slid my way up a bit.  I really just wanted to get in and get done.  Before I knew it, it was my turn.  They were letting people go in 6 at a time, about every 10 seconds.  I couldn't believe how fast they started us and was already confused before getting into the water!

The swim was in a man-made beach and they shaped our lane as an M.  We started at the lower right corner and worked our way through the M shape,  The lower end of the M was shallow enough that you could stand and walk.  Being the awesome swimmer that I figured I was...while everyone walked in as far as they could before starting to swim, I jumped right in and started swimming!  BIG MISTAKE...

By the time I got half way up the right side of the M, I was tired.  I lifted my head up and realized how far I still had to go before even getting through the one side!  I'm used to swimming laps and grabbing the side each time before I turn around.  There were no sides to grab here.  If you needed to, you could grab the bouys or the lane lines but I didn't want to have to do that.  So I had to implement a "one-two-three-four-breathe-lift head up-curse" stroke method.  And I pretty much did that until I got through the one side of the M.  Shit and F- words were common phrases of mine.  When I started going back down the 1st side of the middle part of the M, I just wanted to get to the part where it was shallow enough to walk.  I couldn't believe how hard this swim felt to me.  And it was only 400 meters.  Since I only had a short piece of the M to do before I could walk, I just put my head down and started swimming and much as I could.  I finally was able to stand and walk around the middle part of the M before I had to swim again.

I finally made it through the swim.  At the shallow end near the end, everyone started getting up and walking through the rest of the M.  Even though I was tired, I realized I was going faster swimming then others were walking, so I swam past people to finish up.  Finally, I got up and wanted to start to run but my legs felt like jelly!  I really just wanted to sit down and not move. I was exhausted, disoriented, and had jelly legs.  But all the spectators were watching so I forced myself to run.

(This is where it becomes short and sweet)

I hit transition and used all the info I had learned prior to race day. Big fail on wanting to put capris on over my swim suit and it got stuck.  But I was committed so I pulled those suckers on and got my bike and hit the bike course. 

The bike was great.  It was a 2 loop course and with the exception of 2 U-turns (that we had to do twice), it was smooth sailing.  I did better on the bike than I anticipated.

Back to transition to rack my bike and put on my visor.  After putting on my visor, I stood there looking around like an idiot all dazed and confused.  "Oh shit!  I'm in a race!"  I had to get moving!  Not sure what I was thinking.  And out to the run I went. 

I was dreading the run portion (even though it was only a 5k) because I had such a hard time at the duathlon I did.  So right away I saw water and stopped to walk and drink water.  But I started running and felt pretty decent.  In fact, every mile was better than the previous mile and I ended with negative splits!  I was pleased.

I had no idea what my goal should be ... but I decided I was shooting for under 1:40. 
My total time... Total 1:26:44  (WHAT!?!)  I was shocked when I got the results!  Very pleased!

Here is the breakdown:
Swim: 10:01
T1: 4:35
Bike (20km): 40:36 (pace: 18:31)
T2: 1:35
Run (5k):  30:00 (pace 9:41)

Again, very pleased with these results!! 

And great job to my boyfriend Derek on his first sprint triathlon.  I will say that I did beat him (smiley face) but in all fairness, he doesn't really swim and that's why I beat him overall.  I only beat him by about 2.5-3 minutes.  I honestly think we both did great!  And had a lot of fun!  Another sprint triathlon is definitely in my future...next year!