And it was super fun! And I have been told I will lose my Midwestern card because I didn't know what cheese curds were. And also, Minneapolis is HOT! Who knew?
Whirlwind weekend with Team Evotri this weekend in the Twin Cities! We headed out to do the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon. I had signed up for the Olympic waaaaay back before I had my stupid hamstring issues. I have to admit I was a bit nervous for this race, and definitely regretting not signing up for the sprint. But who travels to Minneapolis to do a sprint? That's not a very high mile-t0-race ratio. If I have to pack up the bike, I need to make the distance worth it, right? So the plan was to get through the swim, hit the bike hard, and somehow make it through the run.
Friday afternoon I touched down and we hit the expo and then had a tasty dinner at the Italian Pie Shoppe (yum!). I watched my teammates eat ice cream (since dairy does not do well with me the night before a race--especially if it's a hot one) and then we turned in.
The next morning Rural Girl was up and at 'em early so I was, too. We had some coffee and I tried to ignore the possible thunderstorms that would be hitting us. The heat and humidity was definitely not good for me, but I figured it wasn't a 70.3, so I could probably get through it without it being too much of a factor.
I lined up for the time-trial start and, hey! I've never done one of those before. I really liked it! I demand a personal start time for every race I do now.
The Swim: Goal--get through it in a respectable time
So the lake was 83 degrees which made wetsuits illegal. That didn't bother me too much but I didn't have much open water training in so I was a little concerned if it was choppy. Nothing I haven't had in Lake Erie, I figured. What ended up happening was I muddled through, drank lots of water, had horrible form and dropped my legs every time I tried to sight, seriously thought the yellow triangle buoys were messing with me and started swearing at them, and came out in a very disappointing time. It's gotten to the point where I'm embarrassed to admit I have been swimming since I was 3. What was once my strength is totally my weakness. Arg. I'm not sure how to change this except swim more, which I know is not possible now. So, I'm going to have to make peace with being mediocre (at best) in the water, which frustrates me because deep down I know I'm better than that.
T1: I couldn't find my bike and ran down the wrong row, but that only set me back a few seconds I think. Other than that, I got in and out relatively smoothly.
Bike: Goal--break 20mph average and keep my watts up
Reality: 19.4mph average but I think watts were good! ( I'm having a problem with the software on my Mac and really need to call CycleOps for help--note to self, DO THAT TOMORROW.)
I had heard this was not necessarily a PR bike course but tried to kind of block that out and go for it anyway. Sure enough, the potholes were pretty rough in parts. I am used to that as I live in a city that gets a great deal of snow, too, but I gotta say it was pretty rough in parts. To my NEO peeps, it was like the Rocky River Valley Parkway, but worse. I could tell it was a pretty course but I didn't get to look much because I was so focused on the road. It was also a pretty technical course--lots of hairpin turns which zapped some of my mojo in places. For some reason, all 4 of my teammate's PowerTaps said that it was about 25.8 miles, which was odd.
But I really had fun out there. Once upon a time, I was early out of the water and then dead last at T2, getting picked off one by one. I gotta say I had an absolute BLAST on this course reeling people in. I picked off quite a few girls in my AG and only got passed by a few. Looking at my splits compared to the rest of my AG, I had a pretty good ride! I've really made serious progress here.
T2: Nothing too eventful--I found my rack faster this time, yay me!
Goal: Get to the end, hopefully somewhere around a 9:15 average and ideally not walking
Reality: 9:18 average pace
To say I'm disappointed in my running this summer is an understatement. But I have to face the music: I am injured. It sucks. I hate it, and I'm trying to fix it, but I don't want to shut down this season so I'm just going to keep going the best that I can. Normally a good day for me is to do an olympic race 10K in around 50-51 minutes. Today I was pleading for 57. I told Matt it would be a miracle if I was holding 9:15s, so to finish close to that is good. I guess.
(It still stinks, but whatever. I know I'm my own harshest critic.)
I haven't ran more than 5 miles since the marathon. I wondered how badly this would hurt, but figured I'd just HTFU and get through it. I didn't fly all this way to walk.
The first loop wasn't TOO bad--I was holding around 9 minute pace, actually, and was pretty happy about that! But then it started to really hurt, and I felt my stride get shot to hell. I took my wee little baby steps and just counted the steps to focus on something else besides sucking. I did kick it at the end and then was toast. I don't do well in humidity and heat and it was definitely pretty hot and humid, although arguably could have been MUCH worse! I was so happy to have a nice cold towel from the volunteers. Best idea ever! And my awesome teammate Rural Girl WON her age group! She's a machine, people. A MACHINE.
Place: 21/47 AG
Significantly off my PR. That's okay, I guess. I would have loved to have a better race but I knew I was not really ready for that.
What I Need to Do:
1. NEVER a spring marathon again if I hope of having a decent tri season. I'm not cut out to only run run run run and stop all things tri, and then beat the crap outta myself in May, and still be able to hammer hard in the summer. LESSON LEARNED. Half marathon in spring = OUTSTANDING. Full marathon in spring = BUNK.
2. More open water and either make peace with my swimming situation or change it.
3. Get over this injury somehow so I can have decent runs in my next two races. I'll be doing a sprint in 2 weeks and was hoping to do an olympic in late-August. It would really be nice to go faster than my previous easy-long-run pace.
Last night we had SO much fun at an awesome place called the Chatter Box Cafe--I got super excited because they had old-skool Nintendo games! Bonus! And I got to hold Baby Henry, who is so cute I wanted to eat him up. I also got to see quite a few of my teammies which is always SUCH a blast. I really wish I got to see them more often! And we even topped it off with some Izzy's Ice Cream (YUM!) and I got to see Mike and Rachel, two super cool people. Wish I had more time to see more of the Twin Cities Tri peeps--there are so many of you out there! Loved your cities. It's really nice up there!
Oh, and I had some fried cheese curds. And also discussed the merits of Greg Gagne and Kent Hrbek. And said "that's what she said" a lot. And pretty much laughed for 48 hours straight.
Back home and snuggled lots with Bug and Bean! Time to get ready for the next race. It's good to feel like a triathlete again!