This past weekend Nina & I went back to Atlanta for the Iron Girl Sprint triathlon. It is a 1/3 mile open water swim, 19 mile bike & 3 mile run at Lake Lanier Island Resort. It is a great race venue.
Saturday was packet pick-up & bike check in. We headed over around 11AM. I took a bunch of Clif Bars to hand out to the ladies waiting to check in.
While working the line I found Swim Bike Mom. I have been following her blog since I started blogging. I was excited to meet her in real life. She is one cool chick!
|SBM, Me & Nina|
|Back of the shirt. So true!|
We finally left Lake Lanier & headed back to the hotel to chill out for a while before meeting my friend Kara & her husband Larry for dinner. Kara did the Iron Girl with me in 2010 but I have been unsuccessful in getting her to do it again.
We were back to the hotel & lights out by 10PM. We decided to set the alarm for 4:30AM this year.
Usually at some point during race day I have a 'why the hell do I do this' moment(s). For this race, my moment was at 4:30AM. To date, I have never gotten a good nights sleep before a race & this was no different. It was a bit frustrating too since I wasn't nervous & I wasn't trying to set any race records. I think it is just the fact of having to get up so early that worries me.
We were dressed & ready to go just after 5AM. We got to the parking lot around 5:25AM & make the 15 minute trek to transition. (In case you are wondering why all the detailed times - I referred back to last years race report several times this weekend. It came in so handy to know what we did last year & how we should plan this year.) I found out the night before that fellow Tough Chik Karen was race number 982, I was 987 & SBM was 995 so we all shared the same bike rack. We had transition fully set up by about 6:10.
Nina aged up this year so she got to go in the 7:15AM wave. I was still in the 7:25AM wave. So we still had about an hour to wait. We headed to the beach to chill out on the beach chairs. We made a final pit stop then headed down to the swim start. Air temp ~60 degrees, Water temp ~74 degrees.
This is the 3rd year I have done this race & every year the swim is different. They call it a 1/3 mile swim but I think they use that very loosely. This year the swim start & exit were right next to each other. It was a rectangle swim. They also moved the timing mats from right next exit to quite a ways away from the water.
I usually place myself way in the back of the wave but this year I decided to get up close to the front. I was off to the side & was about 2 people back. I thought the people in the front would start off swimming & not lollygag. Boy was I wrong. When they started our wave it seemed to take forever for everyone to start swimming. This was the worst swim I have ever done. It was like a washing machine. I got kicked, hit, swam on..I kicked, swam on, got hooked on someone shoulder & inadvertently pushed someone down. It was terrible. I kept trying to get to the left but it was crazy. Every kayak had tons of people hanging on them. I started to see some clear water when I got to the first turn but had really burned a lot of energy getting there. Once I made the first turn I was able to get into a bit of a rhythm & when I made the last turn I really found my groove. I was finally able to swim for real. I passed quite a few yellow caps & even a couple red caps. These were the earlier waves. This never happens so I was thinking I was swimming pretty strong. I didn't bother wearing a watch this year so I had no idea what my time was when I got out of the water. It was a good thing too because I would later be very frustrated with my time.
T1 was uneventful. I did have a little difficulty clipping in at the mount line but once on the bike I was good to go. I did have my bike computer on but really only wanted it so I could watch my cadence. My goal was to average 90 & keep my legs from burning out too quickly on the hills. Since I had only been on my bike 4 or 5 times this season & my longest ride was 18 miles I had no idea what to expect time wise. My plan was to rip it as fast as possible on the downhills because I knew my hill climbing was not going to be strong this year. Over all the bike was smooth sailing. I only had a couple cars to contend with which was much less than previous years.
I headed back into T2 again not having any idea what time it was. I dismounted, took off my bike shoes & ran in to rack my bike. I got my run shoes, hat & bib on & then headed out for the run. My plan was to listen to my body & see what I could do. Thanks to my injury I had not run 3 miles since August. I used the Couch to 5K program to slowly build up my running but my longest run was only 2.6 miles. I felt surprisingly good on the run. I never got too hot or had any cramping issues. I felt the slightest twinge of piriformis pain a couple of times but was able to keep it mostly at bay for the entire run. As I approached the finish line the clock said 2h29 minutes. I did some quick math in my head & realized I finished in about 2h05minutes which is only 5 minutest longer than last year. I was super excited.
I waited at the finish for Nina. Since she started before me this year we finished within a few minutes of each other which was awesome. We met Charity, another fellow Tough Chik at the finish line.
|Thanks Charity for getting this shot!|
We chatted for a while with Charity before heading back to transition to pack up our gear.
After a quick stop at the hotel to change & we met SBM & friends for lunch. Best way to end a race - new friends & beer!
|SBM & Friends|
2012 Iron Girl Atlanta by the Numbers:
My time is exactly 5 minutes longer than last year which I am super happy about since my bike & run training was a lot less this year. Steve told me what my times were shortly after I finished & I was pretty frustrated with my swim time. It was only 25 seconds faster than last year. I had such high hopes for a faster swim this year because I put so much effort & focus on swimming this past winter.
Once I was back at the hotel I fired up my laptop & started doing some comparisons to last year. That was when I started to think the swim was long this year. Here is why:
2011 Swim Time: 18m45s
2012 Swim Time: 18m20s
2011 Swim OA Rank: 810/1005
2012 Swim OA Rank: 494/1038
2011 Winning Swim Time: 7m57s
2012 Winning Swim Time: 10m34s
Either the entire pack was slower this year or the swim was long. I am going with the latter because it makes me feel better :-)
I did set a new PR on max bike speed. 42.6 mph. There are some screaming fast hills here & I took advantage of them to help get my average speed up.
Saturday night dinner - Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken, yukon potatoes, haricot verts & a beer. Oh & some bread pudding. So maybe not the best pre-race dinner.
Sunday morning - Mix 1, ice coffee, banana & water. Gel 20 minutes before the race & water
During the Race - 30 oz water on bike & gel at mile 14. A little water at the 2 water stops during run.
After Race - I ate pretty much everything in sight. Muffin & fruit at race, nachos, chicken wrap, fries & Fat Tire for lunch (Taco Mac). Ice Americano mid afternoon. Hibachi grill (Shogon) for dinner. Bruster's ice cream for dessert.
On a sad note - one woman had a pretty bad bike crash today. Rumor is that her front wheel fell off. Keeping her in my thoughts for a speedy recovery.
Race safely y'all.