Sunday, August 5, 2012

Maine State Triathlon

Part of training is researching the competition, checking results and tweaking the training accordingly. Every Sunday I do a triathlon at race pace around a local pond-Durand Lake. Although I am going hard its much different than race day where the adrenaline, the other racers and the atmosphere are a factor.

Looking at last years National results my run times during these mock triathlons, are not super competitive. I need to take off about 3-4 minutes to be closer to the top three. However that's last year, the competition will be different this year. Ten women raced in my age group in 2011, this year there are 38 registered! I worked with my coach Steve Vosburgh who I cannot thank enough! We did some interval training and he cacluated what my race pace needs to be. After doing two sets of 3 x 200's then repeated downhill relaxed running -near impossible but I figured it out after a while, followed by 2 x 400's. I know exactly the pace I need to run to finish in the low 20's. Not feeling like I can keep it for the entire three miles but I've got two weeks left.

The five days leading up to the Maine State Triathlon I was guiding a mountain bike camp with seven 13 year old boys and raced in two weekly mountain bike race series. One of the campers did not speak english-try explaining how a bike shifts, how to use the correct gears for the terrain traveling upon, having correct form and describing the next trail to a kid from Tokyo.  He was here with his dad who was on a business trip and got to see the Yankees and to try mountain biking! Back to my race.

I felt pretty prepared except I knew my legs would be tired from all the riding, but I had to give it my all. I checked in: goodie bag, timing chip and body marking then set up my transition area so  I could be closest to the entrance.

Warm up was a 10 minute spin on the bike with some sprints, 5 minute run with some quick spurts and then into my wetsuit which was a challange today with 100% humidity!

I walked down to the pond and the water just about had white caps it was so windy. Warming up almost made me sick being tossed side to side. This will be a tough swim. Most races start on a beach so there is usually enough room for each wave to be relatively spread out. Not here, we started at the Bethel Inn Lakehouse, with your typical lake front- small with a short set of stairs. All the men started together then a few minutes later the women and all Aquabike competitors followed by all novices. We were asked to come down the stairs single file, I wasn't worried about where I was in line I would make my way to the front of the pack once we got into the water. I was about halfway down the stairs when the race director yelled "10 seconds to start!" I ran and was in the water to about my ankels when she announced "GO!" I was stuck in the back of the pack. I got kicked, grabbed, swam over and elbowed in the face. All the swim training was going by the wayside it was survival now. I couldn't get into a groove and siting was near impossible. The bouys were pretty small, the waves I swear were 5 feet high, and my goggles fogged up which shouldn't happen, I forgot the anti-fog. I finished in 17 minutes which didn't show for how hard I've been working on my swimming- so glad that was over. I transitioned from swim to bike in 1:29 fastest in my age group!

Now my strongest leg; the bike! The course was very flat with just a few short hills so I'd be in the aero bars for most of the 15 miles. That works your legs in a different way. I averaged 20.5 mph and again was the fastest in my age group. T2 transition bike to run 55 seconds-fastest in my age group.

I went out slower than I wanted but was able to pick up the pace as I settled in. I passed a few runners and was passed by one guy. I caught and passed him around the 3 mile mark. As we came into the finish chute I heard him on my heals so we sprinted our brains out. Photo finish has me beating him by a hair! We chatted after and agreed we both pushed each other the last 1/2 mile. I was spent and very frustrated with the way my swim started and that my legs were tired from bike camp- the only thing I can do is learn from it.

Much happier after cooling down & elevating the legs

Yup...that's exactly how I felt!

I finished 2nd in my age group, 11th female, and 43rd overall out of 139. I completed my race in 1:30:19 my slowest sprint race ever, but all my other races have been a 12 mile bike and 3.1 mile run this was a little longer with a 15 mile bike and 3.6 mile run. I can't be too hard on myself considering a five day bike camp and the rushed swim start.

It was nice to share the post event with Regina and my friend Sally Micucci and her family. Sally raced the Aquabike consisting of the 1/2 mile swim and the 15 mile bike. She also finished 2nd in her age group!

Thanks to Regina for the great photos and coaching and supporting me throughout the race.

1 comment:

  1. Truly Inspirational!! Good Luck in London, give it all you have worked hard for and deserve!