I know it has been awhile since I have posted. This week has been one of the busiest weeks I have had in a long time. Coming off two really hard weeks of training, I was feeling it.
This week was a taper week leading up to the Lake St. Louis Olympic distance triathlon. This was the 28th year of the event and it shows, they really do a great job, the lake is beautiful and it is just really well run. This year was different because it was Rene's first Olympic distance triathlon and was her "A" race.
I don't want to dwell on how this week was but I can't remember a time where I purposefully decided to take two days off from my workouts mid-week. I felt like I was fighting being sick all week, I had a trip to Bloomington that started at 4am one day and back on the same day, many meetings, and it was just a tough week. Friday night, we went to dinner and I thought for sure I was getting sick, things were not shaping up for a good race. However, on Friday night, I did do a 30 minute bike and a 10 minute quick run just so my legs could remember what they were supposed to do. I did feel a little better after, finished packing my tri gear and to bed, we had a 4 am start on race day!
Rene and I were up early and out of the door. We had storms all night and they were calling for rain but fortunately, it stopped by the time we got to the race. Transition was assigned spots by our wave starts and we were right by the entrance/exit...sweet!!! The water temp was just shy of 90 degrees so no wet suits. We set up our transitions, talked to some of the other folks we knew, and we were surprised to be met by Keith Timmins of Metro Tri Club, he introduced himself and brought us our club T shirts. We chatted with him a bit and got ready to race. We walked down to the lake to watch the challenged athletes go off at 7am and then we waited until it was our time. We chatted with our coach and several other Tri smarters and waited for wave 6. I hadn't been in an event until now where the women and the men share a wave except this one. Rene and I wished each other luck and waited for the horn, and we were off.
Swim: I had a mediocre to average swim. It was slow and I knew that, but I was able to sight pretty well, avoid traffic and just keep trudging away. During the swim, it seemed long and it was, I was almost 3 minutes slower than last year but last year was wet suit legal. My swim could have been faster but I must have missed something in my technique. I know my tri suit slows me down so I will be switching it out. Drag = Slow and it doesn't fit me as tightly as it should.
T1: was pretty good, I shaved 20 seconds off my last years time. Not blazing fast but okay. My sunglasses got tangled up in my bike helmet; that cost me a few seconds but not horrible.
Bike: Much different bike course this year. There was road construction on the normal course so they really changed it up. Still rolling hills but much more technical (triathlon speak for lots of turns) It was really hard to get into a long rhythmn on the bike. Now the bad part: my nutrition plan (triathlon speak for what you are going to eat for energy during the race) was to take in about 400 calories of this syrup stuff called EFS. It comes in 5oz bottles and is pretty much vanilla tasting syrup. Not the best tasting but an efficient energy is key when you have to carry it around with you. I was also going to take in 60+oz of gatorade. It was a great plan except 3 minutes into the bike I dropped my EFS leaving me with nothing to eat with a 24 mile bike and a 6 mile run following a 36 minute swim. I almost stopped but I was cresting a hill when I dropped it and it went sliding down the hill. There were cars around and stopping would have been pretty dangerous so I decided "to drink more gatorade" Not the best of plans, but all that I had. Lesson learned - pack more than you need just in case. Long story short, (or long in this case) I was able to hit my wattage goals on the bike and push 210 (actually 215watts) for the bike, is what it averaged, even with no nutrition.
T2 was pretty fast due to our position in transition. In and out in a little over a minute.
Run - The run was okay. I immediatly took int 2 GUs (100 calorie sugar gel in a pack)at an attempt to make up for my lack of nutrition on the bike. It helped, but not nearly as good as it would have been if it were in my system on the bike. The run was consistent: 8 minutes per mile, I would have liked it to have been a little faster but, oh well. My run this year was slower than last year's, but it was okay.
My total time was 2hours 41 minutes, about 4 minutes slower than last year, all pretty much gobbled up on the swim.
Rene's goal was to finish (which I knew was not a problem) her goal was 3:06, but her over-reaching time goal was 3 hours.... she finished 3:01 and was very pleased. She did awesome, and after complaining the last several weeks as to how much of a drain training has been, she is now trying to find another race. HA! This was to be her last race of the season, with the kid's activities ramping up. She will probably do one more this year, though. Funny thing about this sport, if you get bitten by the bug it gets you.
Post race we talked to the Tri Smart folks, swapped stories etc.. Rene and I sat next to our new friend Keith (who won his age group in the sprint BTW) and Bob Patterson, a local 60 year old who finished 31st overall (and is the best ambassador to triathlon) and we watched the awards from the grass and talked about the race.
It was a great day. I want to give a shout out to my buddy Danny Soshnik who is in the final taper for Ironman Wisconsin in three weeks. Quick funny story, he signed up for this event with a plan to only do the swim... as practice... I don't even think he brought his bike. Finished the swim, took a shower and turned into a spectator. Too funny.... He appears and looks so ready to rock his first IM. Good luck Danny!!
Coach Jennifer hasn't populated my calendar with training yet so I can't start complaining yet :-) that will start next week.
All for now