June 29, 2010

I did, but I didn't

SheROX Spring Tri Race Report:
If any of you remember from my last post, my goal for this race was not to PR, but to do better in the swim.  For those of you who don't feel like reading through my entire race report, I can say that I kind of reached my goal, but also ended up getting a PR, but I still don't know how I feel about this race.  Let me explain.

The Swim:
I was excited to see that I was in the first swim wave.  I have never been in the first wave, so I was pretty happy that I'd be the first group in.  All of the 25-34 yr. olds were grouped together and there were about 80 of us.  I got my wetsuit on and headed to the water.  They announced that the water temp. was 67 degrees and it actually felt refreshing.  I did a couple practice laps and felt good.  I saw my family about 10 min. before my start time and went over to talk to them while I waited.  It was great to have them there for support.  :)  Finally, it was time to head to the start.  I just kept repeating in my head, "You can do this, you can do this, don't freak out!"  I got in the water and lined up near the front.  I know I'm not a fast swimmer, but I am done with starting near the middle or back.  All that leads to, for me, is more people kicking me and lots of confusion.  So, I start at the front and if people want to pass me they can.  This may make some fast swimmers mad, but I have found in tris I HAVE to do what's best for me to get through the swim.
Anyways, they did a count down, then we were off.  I actually felt good in the beginning.  I was swimming fast and was in a rhythm.  One person tried to swim over me, which I wasn't about going to let happen, so I did a big kick to get them off.  It worked.  I continued to the first buoy and still felt pretty good, but I kept running into people and people kept running into me.  I could not for the life of me find a clear path to swim.  A couple of times I had to stop and side stroke to find a path of my own.  I was breathing so hard and my heart rate was sky rocketing.  Finally I saw the finish arch and soon was at the finish!  I got to the sand and heard my family cheering!  It was great.  I was having a hard time catching my breath and had to walk part way up the LONG path from the water to the transition area.  I got the top of my wetsuit off and felt so much better.  I thought I had a good swim so in a way I met my goal, but I really didn't because of my time.  I was pretty disappointed and just really frustrated when I got my results.

Swim:  750yds + long run from sand to transition
Time: 21:03....Ugh!
Rank: 90/322

My wetsuit came off great.  My bike shoes, helmet, and glasses went on and I was out of there!  My bike was in the closest rack to the bike exit, so I didn't have to run far in my shoes!  Woohoo!
Time: 1:28   (Not bad, but I would really like to get this down)

The bike was interesting to me.  I didn't get a chance to pre-ride or even drive the course (they had part of it closed), so I had no idea what to expect.  But, once I got on the course I was instantly brought back in time to my Half Ironman I did this past fall because parts of the bike course were the same.  There were a lot of rolling hills, some big hills, and lots of turns.  So, I would be going fast downhill or on a flat section and just start to get into a groove when I would have to slow way down in order to make the turns without crashing or getting caught in the loose gravel that was all over the course.  It was a royal pain actually.  And for that reason, I didn't really like the course.  But, I passed some women, never got passed, and felt like I pushed myself, so I was happy with how I did.  As I came into transition there was a guy that yelled, "Go get em, you're the 10th person in!"  I didn't know what age group the women in front of me were because the 25-34 yr olds were all lumped together, but my competitiveness kicked in and I wanted to try and catch them on the run!  

Bike: 10Miles  (My Garmin actually said I rode 10.92 miles....so I'm not sure if the course was accurate??)
Time: 34:11      
Avg. MPH: 17.6  I thought this sounded really low, but when I considered the hills and turns, it makes sense.
Rank:  11/322

I got my bike in and my helmet and shoes off without any problems.  Then, when I went to put on my running socks I noticed my right sock and shoe were completely wet. What the heck??  Then I realized that when I took my wetsuit off I draped it such that one of the legs led right to my shoe.  So the whole time I was riding my bike, the water from my wetsuit was draining into my shoe.  The cool thing though was that I brought my Smartwool16

I started the run and my legs felt so heavy and slow.  But, when I looked at my Garmin I was doing around a 7:20 pace!  With every tri, I am still amazed by how I feel so slow but am actually running pretty well.  It took me about a mile for me to get my legs back, especially since the course had some rollers, and by then I was almost half way done.  I could see women ahead of me and I just kept focused on them.  With every step I got closer and closer.  I passed one woman in my age group before the turn around and started picking up the pace on the way back.  I passed 2 more women, all in my age group, and I was so excited!  I was coming up to another women and a woman going the opposite direction said, "Go get her!"  It was awesome!  I had about .1 mile to go when I came upon another women, again in my age group.  I picked up the speed as much as I could and as I passed her I said, "Good job" and she said, "Kick it in!"
Me trying to sprint to the finish.  The girl in blue behind me is the last one I passed.
I gave it all I could and could hear and see my family and boys cheering for me.  That gave me the extra energy I needed and I crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face.  :)

Run: 3.1M
Time: 22:24       Avg. Pace: 7:14  
Rank: 10/322

Overall Time: 1:20:20   A new PR!!!  
Overall Place:  14/322
Div(30-34)Place: 4/63

When I saw my results, I could not believe that I got 4th place!  I was so happy, but then I decided to see what I missed 3rd place by.  16 seconds!  Can you believe it?  I looked at the results a little closer and this is what I discovered (get ready for a pity party):  I did better than the 2nd and 3rd place finishers on the bike and the run, but my swim was a good 4 minutes slower than theirs.  Now, I compete in triathlons for fun because I love the do them, but it is so frustrating to know that I could have placed if I would have just had a better swim.  And this just wasn't a bad race day, this has been a repeating pattern for pretty much every tri that I do!  I don't know what to do anymore.  I've done lessons and am still going to Masters swim practices, and nothing is working.  I am just so frustrated!  (Pity party over)

Overall though, I had a great race!  Without Limits did an awesome job with the event and I had fun, which is ultimately what it is all about.  Oh, and getting a new PR for a sprint tri isn't bad either! :)


Kovas Palubinskas said...

Oh so close! Sounds like you had a great race, new PR, and I'm sure you'l lstep on the podium next time. Fantastic job.

Suzy said...

Congrats on the PR. Whether it was a goal or not it is always awesome to get a PR so be proud of it.

Amber Shea said...

4th place is phenomenal!! Congratulations!

Jon said...

You did awesome overall! Congrats! Keep @ it in the pool. You will have your "eureka" moment anytime now.

You wooped up on everyone!

*Sarah* said...

Nice job! I totally understand your rant at the end. I can bike and run well, but I am always minutes behind on the swim. Grrr. Great job on your PR!!


A little full contact swim instruction and you will be all set. OR, when the gun gets ready to sound, just yell "Free donuts on the beach!!" or my favorite for ocean swims "SHARK!!!" That should be good for 10 or 15 seconds.

trifitmom said...

awesome job

liz said...

Congratulations ! I love reading your race reports. I'm also OK on the bike and run but I don't know what's going on with my upper body. I just can't get the swimming thing which sucks because it seems like everyone in South Florida is part fish ! Anyway, good luck with your upcoming HIM. I can't wait to read about it !

Regina said...

Congrats on the PR! I hear you about the swim...unfortunately for me I am not an awesome runner either. I'll take what I can get.

sounds like you really dug deep for this. But I get what you are talking about. Well done though!!

Emz said...

ok-not sure if my comment took hold or not so sorry if this is a "dupe".


So impressed. 4th place is awesome! And seriously what can be better than hearing your family cheering?!?

Love it!

Julie said...

Congrats to you Aimee! Way to get a new PR! Holy crap, you freaking kicked butt in your run:) Wowzer! A 22:24 5K run after a swim and bike is amazing! I am proud of you!

Krista said...

Wow - that is an awesome race! I can only imagine how bummed you were with the difference between 3rd and 4th - I guess that is good motivation to get to the pool!

Congrats again on a great race!

Kathleen said...

Your repeated pattern with the swim time and doing better then others on the bike and run is exactly what I go through.. though for me it is the run. Every darn time! I feel your frustration, really I do! It is especially hard to take when you work so hard to try and improve in the area that you need it most and it doesn't pay off like you want it to. You did do great however and I know you are proud of what you accomplished. You are going to get the swim down though. You have what it takes :)

Ironman By Thirty said...

Great job! Just keep up the pool workouts and you'll get those swim times down in no time. When I started 2 years ago, the swim was my worst event and now it is #1 or #2 depending on the race.

joyRuN said...

Nicely done! I can't believe your run splits - sooo speedy. Congratulations on a PR & on pinning down what you need to focus on for next time ;)

P said...

Awesome job!!! I always joke that I am the Queen of 4th Place...no matter how fast I get, somebody else is getting faster. Getting a PR makes everything worth it, though - yay for you!!

Julie said...

What a great race!!!! You did a fantastic job and I agreed with almost everything you said about the course. Especially that bike. I don't even dream of ever being as fast as you! You go girl!

SSB said...

Congrats! That's a fast T1 with a wetsuit.

Kelly said...


DRog said...

Nice job, you did great!

Patrick Mahoney said...

I feel you on the swim. I have the same problem, maybe not the difference between the podium and not, but definitely it's what keeps me out of the top 1/3rd.

But on the other hand, you gave it your all, wasn't afraid to mix it up in the swim, or anywhere for that matter. You did awesome!

Teamarcia said...

Put the other finishers aside for a sec and know that you did PHENOMENALLY WELL! I am so impressed--cannot begin to imagine swimming like that with people trying to go over you. You are a total rockstar. Congrats!

Jess @ THIR said...

Good work Aimee!! Put in the miles in the pool, and it'll come. I am a fantastic swimmer and wish that my run was better... can't be greedy now can we :P

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

You did GREAT! Isn't it weird how slow the run feels but you're actually running in the 7's? I still can't get used to that feeling. Love the Sugoi threads!
The oly tri that I did in May was just like your race. I was 1st in the bike and run in my AG but 8th in the swim with 40 seconds behind the 1st place spot and only 11 seconds behind the 2nd place spot. And I could have transitioned faster. But like you said, live and learn. Otherwise, you had a really good race and a PR to boot. Great average pace per mile on the run for sure.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Wow, you did so awesome, Congrats!!!

Sherri said...

Congratulations!!!! GREAT JOB!! You look AMAZING in your picturesk!! =)

funderson said...

you're so speedy!

misszippy said...

Ugh! I hate it when you're that close to the next place--so tough to swallow. But you did a fantastic job and should be proud of yourself! Congrats.

Christi said...

You are an amazing athlete! And you proved it again in this race with a 4th place finish! Don't worry about the swimming it will come! I know that you will get better in the swim!! I have faith!

Keep up the great work and Congrats again!

ShutUpandRun said...

4th place?? Awesome.Your run was really fast!!! Nice job.

TRI-james said...

It is easy to find seconds after the race - not so easy while in it!

Jill said...

OMG, that's soooo amazing. I totally understand the frustrating swim thing, but you will work on it and you will get better (one reason I don't tri is cuz I'm freaked at the open water thrashing and kicking....and I am a pretty decent swimmer). A PR and 4th pace is pretty amazing, congratulations!!

Colleen said...

First, awesome job on the PR and the 4th place finish! That's awesome.

Now to the swim... I feel your pain. I am always in the lower half of my age group in the swim, top of my age group in the bike and then pretty close to the top in the run. I feel like I put enough time and speed into the water and see great gains in the pool, but just can't pull it together in races. :( Keep your head up and keep working at it. You are doing awesome!

Caratunk Girl said...

Congrats on the PR and 4th place finish! I have a hard time with the swim too, I just haven't pulled it all together yet! You are leaps and bounds ahead of me! Congrats!

Jill Costantino said...

Way to go on that race - fantastic!