Summer Swing

by Beth on June 10, 2012

Summer is finally here, which means lots of fun things to do and plenty of training adventures.

There have been some open water swims with friends:

There was a group ride to preview the Liberty Triathlon course:

I did the Race for the Cure with my friend Lisa and her family which made for a special Mother’s Day:

And Mike and I did the Tour de Cure:

This weekend was my first race of the season, the Liberty Olympic distance triathlon. This race wasn’t on my training schedule, and with early season injuries I thought it would be better to do this race as a relay. I did the swim and bike and my friend, Holly, nicely stepped in for the run. Here I am with Mike and Holly before the swim:

The weather was warm and the water was fine for swimming, so the swim should have uneventful. For some reason, I thought I was starting in the third wave with the rest of the women. I should have realized that relay participants would be in a different wave. With what I thought was 7 minutes until my wave start, I decided to go to the bathroom one more time. As I came out, Mike was looking for me to tell me that I was actually in the first wave. That wave was starting in 1 minute. He helped me get zipped up and I had just a few seconds to get into the back of the wave as the horn sounded. This left me very flustered and out of breath. I was off course immediately and struggled to figure out where I was going for the whole 1,500K swim.

This was my first race wearing my Garmin 910XT which gives swim stats, and I was really glad I had it on. Before the race, I was hoping that I would have a swim time around 31 or 32 minutes. I was off course so much of the time, I was thinking my time would be closer to 38 minutes. When I got out of the water and saw my time was around 33 minutes, I was fine with it. Knowing my time was a relief. I wish I hadn’t started the race off in such a flustered and frustrating way, but I’m slow enough anyway that a couple of minutes doesn’t matter.

Being in the first wave did have it’s advantages. There were only a few Olympic relay teams, so almost every participant in my wave was a young male. I let everyone else go ahead so I never got bumped or pushed. The other waves started in 3 minute intervals behind me. Only the faster swimmers made up the gap and they were good enough swimmers that they did not swim over me. Of course, when I was off course, which was much of the time, I was all by myself. So while I technically didn’t do a very good job on the swim, it was contact free and the water was really nice.

Here I am after the swim:

Thinking about my plan for the bike before the race, I had assumed I would be in the last wave. I usually swim an average swim time, so I figured most of the participants would be in front of me. Having started in the first wave, now I had a lot of the participants behind me. Going out on the bike, I mentally prepared myself to get passed a lot. I knew that a lot of the people from the later waves would have closed the gap on me in the swim, so now it would just be a matter of time until I got passed by hordes of people on the bike. It turns out it wasn’t too bad! I actually passed a few people and only got passed a little bit. In the next post I’ll write more about my pace and thoughts on the bike, but for now I’ll just say that I’m happy with my effort and my bike split. The course was about a mile short, but my official time of 1:13:48 for the distance I had on my computer gave me an average pace of 18.8 mph. My official speed was faster since the distance was short, but I’m thrilled with my actual bike speed. Next post it will be even clearer why I’m so happy with my speed.

Here I am coming in from the bike:

I have a weird look on my face because I’m looking for Holly, my relay partner. I had told her I thought it would take me 1:20 to bike, so I was worried she wouldn’t be looking for me at 1:13. She was right where she was supposed to be and she took off the chip off my leg, put it on hers, and was gone in 30 seconds.

You can see that I was sporting my new aero helmet which Mike gave me for Mother’s Day. I thought a shorter race would be a good time to try it out and I’m glad I did. It was windy and I need to make sure that it fits properly and that it is comfortable before Ironman. Before the race, I would have said I would only wear it on race days. After, I think I will wear it anytime that it’s windy. It’s nice to have the visor instead of wearing glasses and I did feel like it reduced the┬áturbulence around my head. I figure I already look pretty dorky on the bike, so I’ll just go with the look and wear it.

Boy, I was glad I wasn’t running. By the time the run rolled around, it was 90 degrees and pretty humid. My legs were feeling fine and I think I could have done it without hurting myself, but I didn’t need to at this point in my training. I’m doing another Oly in 3 more weeks and I can give it my all then. Holly ran very well and I think she enjoyed being part of the race and running fresh. She did a great job and I’m so glad that she was on my team!

Here she is at the finish with me giving her a wave:

It was a fun day with lots of friends racing and cheering. Here is a group of us afterwards:

Entering week #10 of training, the first practice race is done and I’ve had lots of fun. Although I have to spend a lot of time stretching, icing and doing my strength exercises for my early season injuries, I’m doing most things pain free and feel like I’m getting stronger. After one more week of base training, it will be time for the build phase of the plan. That will involve adding time and intensity to the workouts, so I’m glad that I’m feeling better. I’m looking forward to my first race doing all three legs in three weeks, Minneman. I have some things to work on before then, but so far summer is off to a good start!

{ 2 comments }

Linda June 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm

The only way I would ever be able to do a tri is as a relay. I would love to try it and have been thinking about looking for something in the early fall.
Hope your build up kicks in and you have continued healing.

Black Knight June 12, 2012 at 3:01 am

As Linda said, the only way I would ever be able to do a tri is as a relay too because I cannot bike (too scared after my motor bike incident).
33 minutes for 1500 meters in open water is a very good finishing time. Congrats for the 2 legs and for the whole tri.
The Garmin 910XT will be my next toy, I hope to buy this item on Saturday.

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