Monday, August 19, 2013

Graniteman Triathlon re-cap

Transition area all set up (above) and the swim course (below). That buoy is really far away. 
So, considering it was my first bike ride all summer and I really didn't train at all for it, I did pretty great.  Finished 8th out of 14 in my age group.  The race has some weird distances.  It's a 3/4 mile swim which felt even longer this year.  Several people commented on that after the race.  15 mile bike which absorbs the transition times because they only time you coming out of the water and heading out on the run.  Then a 4.2 mile ridiculously hilly run.  I did the swim in 30 minutes, usually I think I'm around 25 minutes.  The bike took me about an hour then a few minutes for both transitions.  And the run took me 43:48.  My total finish time was 2:21:48.  My slowest time in the 5 years that I have done the race. 

Previous times were:
2009 - 2:06:43
2010 - 1:56:09
2011 - 2:00:40
2012 - 2:13:09

But without really training and with about 20 extra pounds dragging me down, I'm ok with those results. 

I was really nervous before the race, unsure of what to expect because I hadn't been on my bike all summer.  I knew I could do the swim and then gut it out for the short run, but the bike really sort of scared me.  I was afraid I would get a flat or some sort of mechanical issue.  None of that happened.  It was actually really nice to be back in the saddle.  And since it isn't USAT sanctioned, drafting is allowed.  So, I found a friend/competitor within the first mile and grabbed his back wheel and hung on as long as I could.  Without realizing it (or on purpose, who knows) he blew a snot rocket right at me and I got a nice mist in the face.  That's what I get for being so close.  I stayed with him until the first long downhill, then I used gravity to my advantage and slingshotted ahead of him for a few miles.  He passed me on the next climb.  And stayed just out of reach for the rest of the race.

Once I got off the bike and started running it took a while to settle into a pace.  I couldn't feel my feet for a good 2 miles and the first two miles are pretty much all uphill.  The run starts out with a super steep section that I decided to walk up this year rather than get winded and totally smoked in the first quarter mile and then not be able to run fast for the rest of the race.  So, I trucked myself up the hill and then there is a section of relatively flat road at the top and I relaxed a little and got comfy.  The last 2 miles are downhill for the most part so I cruised.  I finished strong, a little disapointed but feeling good.  Really didn't have any time goal going into it, just wanted to finish and feel good, so mission accomplished.

Afterwards was the annual BBQ at the Cains, the house across from the start/finish, family friends of my Massachusetts Mom Ann (or Annie as they call her).  I brought a cheesecake as usual.  S'mores - graham cracker crust with a marshmallow/chocolate chip filling topped with chocolate ganache, graham cracker crumbs and toasted marshmallows.  It was pretty awesome, but the ganache was too thick and difficult to cut through.  If I make it again I will just sprinkle chocolate chunks on top with the marshmallows.

I stayed up in NH Saturday night and drove home Sunday morning.  I had planned on doing 16 miles, but felt pretty spent from the tri and decided that rest was a better idea.  I still have 5 weeks of long runs to go.  I really want to get at least one good solid 18-20 miler feeling good and maintaining a pace under 11:00/mile.  I figured rather than do a sucky 16 and feel bad about it after, I should rest and let my body recover from the race and then do a really good strong long run next weekend.  I've got a few 14s and 16s done already, so if I can go out and do an 18 this weekend and crush it I know I will be mentally and physically ready for Berlin with a few bonus runs inbetween.  Plus, I really need to try and drop a few pounds before race day.  I'd like to at least lose 10lbs. in the next month. 

I've got 41 days til Berlin, then another 100 days until Dopey.  I can do this.  FOCUS!  Get back on track!  Oh and of course have some fun.  :)

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