Thursday, July 14, 2016

Ft Desoto Triathlon #2

The sun is up and we are ready to do the triathlon!

July 9, 2016

After having a pretty good race back in May, I knew what I wanted to work on before this race. The bike! I feel like I did a pretty good job of building my leg strength. I'm not a great deal faster, but there has been some improvement.

Our transition set up:
Carolyn's bike on the left, mine on the right.
Race morning: I had talked Carolyn into the race, so we both headed up to Ft Desoto early. Leaving my house at 4:45 am. We got there in plenty of time. We got our bibs, got body marked, then made our way to the transition area. We got there early enough to get a great spot on the bike rack! We got all our gear set up, before heading back to the car. Another trip to the transition area, then back out to set up our chairs in the post race area. Restroom stop, and then off to the beach. The water was pretty flat. You could see the current moving from the north to the south, which was a bummer as most of our swim was going to be heading north! Oh, well. At least the water was calm. It was super hot out in the days leading to this race. This morning was no different. Temps in the mid 80s at the 7am start time! We had a little bit of waiting around before we got to start. Since we were doing the international distance, we would go early. The non age group athletes went first. Then the under 40 year olds went out 3 minutes later, followed by our group, 3 minutes later.

Swim: The swim was good. I knew I wouldn't be as fast as last time, no wetsuit, but I knew I could do it in a faster time than I have previously at the Siesta Key Tri. Instead of trying to get as far away from other swimmers as I could, I tried drafting off of a guy. I hung with him until the first buoy. I think I was bothering him, because he kept looking back at me. I wasn't touching him! He must have felt the water movement from my hands, on his feet. At least I didn't hit his feet like the guy behind me was doing with his hands on MY feet. Geesh, after hitting me 3 times, maybe you should move over? Once we passed the first bouy, and started swimming north, I lost track of the guy I had been behind. There were a couple of guys to my side and then some further ahead. I did pretty good of not swimming off course. I felt very comfortable the entire time. Once we passed the last bouy, making the turn back to shore, I tried to swim a bit faster. We hit a sandbar, so I stood up and ran through the water. All that did was make my heart rate pick up, so that when I swam again, I struggled a bit. I did some dolphin dives, to pull ahead of the guys who had been near me, then swam it in. I remembered to hit the lap button on my watch, as I crossed the timing mat. The run up the beach was tough, lots of dry, deep sand. Then through the parking lot, into transition area. I need to work on getting my socks and shoes on faster! Carolyn was at her bike when I got there. She started off a minute or two before me. Swim - 18:20, T1 - 4:36

Bike: My speed on the bike, to start off, was pretty fast! I was seeing 18 and 19 mph, when I would look at my watch. Of course, that didn't last. My breath was heavy, so I needed to pull it back a bit, so I would last the entire 20 miles. We head south on the island, before curving to the east. Once we hit that stretch, we had a bit of a head wind. About 4 miles in, a bug hit me hard on the chest, then fell down my shirt! I yelled a little, just as I reached Carolyn. I reached my right hand, down into my shirt, felt the bug, and scoped it out and away from me. I have no idea what it was, but it was gross! At the end of the road is a big circle, with a great view of the Skyway Bridge. We head back the way we just came. I pick up speed again. Once we make the curve, heading North, I feel the wind a bit more, which slows me down again. At the end of this road, there is another circle that takes us back out again for loop two. The second loop is tougher. Definitely going slower. I was struggling to keep it in the 16ish mph range. No bug attacks on the second loop, though. I rolled into transition, got off my bike, feeling pretty good. I drank a bunch of the tailwind drink I had on my bike, since I only got in 3 or so drinks during the bike. I knew I was going to need it for the hot run! I racked my bike, took off my helmet and bike shoes. Slide on my newtons, visor, put my bib belt (with water bottle and pouch) on and grabbed my wash cloth. Bike - 1:05:25, T2 - 1:22

Run: Heading out of transition, I passed by a woman in my age group! Well, she was in my AG, but I was just guessing she was running the same distance as me, and not the sprint. Pretty sure all the sprint athletes were out there running already! Anyway, with that woman not far behind me, I quickly had to decide if I wanted to make a restroom pit stop. I had the unfortunate visit from Aunt Flo (sorry guys!) on Wednesday, so today's triathlon, came with some limitations. I didn't feel like I needed the restroom, urgently, so I figured I would try the 3 miles, and if I needed the stop on the second loop, I would stop then. I had taken off 3 minutes on the bike, from the previous time, I didn't want to add it back on the run! The run was going to be slower already, because of the heat! Mile one was great. The loose sand, didn't bother me too much. When I hit the pavement, I picked up speed a little. I took a small drink, or dumped water on my head, at each water stop. When I finished the first loop, I was really dreading going through again! It was just so hot and there was no break from the sun. The second time through the sand, was much slower. When I hit the water stop at mile 4, I walked through, then kept walking. I really had to push through the mental wall I had. I started running, and then the sun went behind some clouds. It felt like it cooled off by 10 degrees! I was praying it that cloud would stick around. I had it for about a mile, but then the sun was back in force. During the last mile, I told myself over and over, "It's jut a mile", Then "it's just half a mile". Finally, I saw the finish line. Pushed it through to the finish. So happy! I was hoping for a sub 1 hour finish. I was close! Run - 1:00:31
Finish - 2:30:14
Age group finish: 3rd!

Finishing with a smile. :)!

Race shirt with finisher medal and 3rd place age group medal.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Long bike ride in San Antonio, FL

July 2, 2016

Normally, I don't write up a recap on a training ride/run/swim, but I figured it would be good for me (if not anyone else!) to remember the details of this ride. Specially the nutrition and hydration.

Wendy, Roxy, Carolyn and I met up at the Starbucks near the interstate, at 5am and were on the road by 5:15. Roxy programmed the address for our destination, into her phone navigation, so we had a pretty easy trip north. We arrived at the athletic center at 6:30ish. We met up with Dave and Jennifer, hit the restrooms and got our gear ready, then hit the road 2 minutes before 7 am!

I had packed a lot into my rear bag and back jersey pocket. I brought 2 bottles of water, each with Berry Tailwind and Electrolyte salt, mixed in. I brought two extra packets of Tailwind for later, plus the peanut butter snack crackers, Honey Stinger Chews, Honey Stinger waffle and a Gu. I wanted options and I didn't ever want to be feeling hungry! :)

Within a couple of miles, we hit the first big downhill, followed by a big uphill. The hills were tough, but somehow, I managed to make it up all of them, without getting off to walk. A couple of times I had to stand up on the peddles to get up to the top, but I did it! Dave gave us pointers on using the gears, in particular, the front gears, at the pedals. I had never bothered with these! I always used the back gears. It seemed to make a big difference! He also suggest I add a bigger gear to the back, so I could make it up the hills easier. I plan on getting my bike in the shop for that, before our next trip!

After a few stops, and forgetting to restart my watch, Dave suggested I add the pause function to the bike mode on my watch. I was able to to it quickly, while we waited for the others, at the top of a hill. What a great option! As soon as I would stop, my watch would pause. I didn't have to think of it again for the rest of the ride.

Our bikes lined up at the pit stop.
I went through 2 bottles of drink, by the time we hit the gas station/pit stop at mile 25ish. I had meant to bring 3 bottles, but forgot, so happy I was fine with the 2. We used the restrooms and bought a couple of big jugs of water, to refill all of our bottles. I poured in the packets of Tailwind I had brought, but didn't add anymore of the electrolyte salt. I shared a few of my crackers, then finished up the rest of them, before we headed out again. I had also had half a bag of the Honey Stinger chews. That's it, but I felt great. The Tailwind was giving me good calories.

After the pit stop, we hit the biggest hill. Ice Cream hill. I had heard about it from a few people. It was a killer. Thankfully, I didn't know that it was THAT hill, till I had already gotten up it. It was tough, sure, but I didn't think it was a great deal harder than the others. I did have to stand up and peddle to get up the last bit, but I made it!

The last 10 miles seemed to be a little easier. More rolling hills, than steep climbs. I finished the last of my chews and another bottle of water, plus half of the other bottle, before finishing. We all rolled into the parking lot with big smiles and a sense of accomplishment. We did it! Many thanks to Dave, for leading us today. We wouldn't have made it without you!

Me, Jen, Dave, Roxy, Carolyn and Wendy

The elevation chart of our ride!