Thursday, June 6, 2013

Keuka Lake Sprint Tri (My first!)

Now that I have had time to sit down and really think about this race, holy cow I did my first triathlon! EEK! The race was held at Keuka College on Keuka Lake in PennYan, NY. This is particularly special to me because John and I will be getting married right down the road from here in 457 days (who's counting?). We stayed at John's parents house on Seneca Lake the night before, which made for a 15 minute morning commute instead of over an hour.

Warning this is long, but has lots of goofy photos...

I woke up around 4:45 to the sound of rain pounding on the house and the lake. I had 2 fears, 1.) that the weather would be crappy and make for a really hard first tri, and 2.)That if the weather was so bad that they would cancel all together (which I didn't want either..I needed the experience).

I made myself breakfast and ate it on the road, the weather was clearing up but I was still...ummm nervous? We parked and made our way to body marking outside of transition, and then I went in to set all of my stuff up. I met a girl named Kim who was right next to me in transition and we chatted for a bit which actually helped calm my nerves.




We made our way down to the shore for the long wait, my wave wasn't going off until 8:30. We hung out with friends and tried to pass the time, and keep me from freaking out.
Cheeseeeee
That's closer to how I was feeling. And John was standing on a slope, why I look like a munchkin.

ermmm, so I'm supposed to do what?
Swim
22:53
First open water swim 'race'. Placed myself in the back and just tried to go steady. Luckily never truly panicked, just a little. On straightaway back to shore going into the current I lost it. I probably swam a TON extra, I kept swimming into center and not to shore. I lost a few minutes here, at the very least! I got out of the water and was tired, it was a good thing I didn't wear a watch, because I was much slower than I even expected and mentally that would have been hard to see. I have so much respect for strong swimmers, even more so now than before...holy cow.



T1
2:50
Wetsuit came off pretty quick, I swam in my sports bra and tri shorts underneath and getting my tri top on was hard it kept sticking because I was wet. Note to self: just wear it underneath next time.
John even said after, that he thought I was taking my time and didn't seem in a hurry during transition. My reaction: "I was...that swim had me out of breath and I wanted to nap"...no nap for me but I did want to take a minute to collect myself. Took my time getting my shoes on and catching my breath and collecting my thoughts for the bike and the run.


I believe this is my literal "Suck it up buttercup" face. Deep breath, the "bad part" was over.
making my way to the mount line
Bike
47:23 (17.6 mph)
First few miles I felt super slow, but had no gauge on how slow since I went watch-less. I knew that the turnaround was going to be sharp to mentally I prepared myself for that, and the hill which follows it. The rain started, and it actually helped cool me off. I had a woman who would pass me and then slow down and block left instead of getting to the right, it was annoying and she did it multiple times. Finally I made it through the turnaround and decided to just hammer up the hill past her and NOT let her get me again...she didn't. I was really proud of how I handled the hill and definitely cruised back much faster than I started. Two things I noticed on the bike, I've gotten more confident and stronger on the bike since the Du in April, and I didn't spend the whole time going "just get me to the run" which was awesome. I had 34th fastest bike time for women and 3rd fastest for my AG, I was making up plenty of ground after the swim!

Aparently I am SUPER intense on the bike. ha!

Making one of the last turns, this might be the first point in the bike when I WAS actually thinking, just get me to the run. I was ready to be on my feet! But it wasn't because I was tired or hated the bike, I was actually really excited at this point, because I knew I just had to get off my bike, and do my favorite thing (run) and then I would have survived my first tri!

Thanks Joe for this shot! I was just lifting my right leg up to do a rolling dismount.
T2
46 seconds
Since I don't clip yet, T2 was easy. Rack the bike, drop the helmet, grab my race belt with bib and go. No need to collect myself during T2, I was more than ready to run! I had the fastest T2 split for all women (it really helps not changing shoes, and the fact that running is my favorite so I want to start it sooner!) I did forget to take my bike gloves off before running out of transition, so I took them off while running and stuffed them in my shorts, true story. haha!



Off the bike and ready to rack it and run!
Run
21:13 (6:51)
Again, this was hard because I never knew at any point how fast I was going or how far I had gone. It felt smooth and easy though on my legs. I slowly picked people off and found myself passing more and more as time went. It was clear that running was my element (not that I doubted that). I really like that my favorite and strongest event is last, it really helps me mentally knowing I can finish strong. I ran the 2nd fastest 5k time for all women and I was pleased by that.
gloves in hand...about to be hidden in my shorts.  :)

Joe got me running through right before the final chute! :) Thanks for coming out and cheering!

1:35:05
The finish chute was fun, I was smiling ear to ear and I even did a little jump in the air when I saw John and his friends cheering for me. Hearing my name called across the line by Mary Eggers was amazing, talk about a true inspiration. I did it, my first triathlon and in a decent time (by my standards).





Time on clock is not mine, my time was 1:35:05

Oh...19th female and....1st in AG.:)
I don't know why it doesn't show up here, but there was a straight line of mud spray down my back from the rainy bike portion! And for the record, I was totally in love with my body marking. I'm like a child, give me a permanent marker and I am happy. It's the little things.



Fueling for the day: PB&J on bagel thin for breakfast. No coffee, yep you heard me right. (this wasn't planned, but it worked out). Handful of EnergyBits before heading down to the swim. A few swigs of gatorade during T1, water and 1/2 Clif Shot Gel on bike (gels are really only option on bike), and nothing on the run. Lots of post race ice cream though.

My Gear for the day: Wetsuit, TYR goggles, Saucony Triathlon shorts, Zoot Tri-top (was too big, but good news is that I treated myself on Monday and ordered the Saucony fitted tri-top that I have had my eye on!), Felt ZW100 road bike, Bontrager Helmet, Saucony Kinvara Socks, My old racing flats (which are being replaced with Saucony A5's within next few weeks), Road ID, Saucony Speed run Visor (didn't end up needing, but it was in trans. just in case), Bike gloves, Sunglasses.



Thoughts:
Had I swam what I thought I was going to, I would have been top 10, but I don't want to play the what-if game, it's pointless. So instead I'm going to play the "I will be in the water at least 3-4 times a week for the next 6 weeks before Musselman 70.3 Game" (much more fun of a game, don't you think?)

I would definitely do this race again, beautiful area and it is even more sentimental to me because John and I are getting married on Keuka Lake next September!

Do I have the tri-bug (everyone told me I would after this)....maybe a little...but I can't decide if it's the tri-bug or just the "I know I can do better bug".

Every race (including running) should have your AG marker on your calf, totally awesome knowing when I pass someone if they are in my AG or not. Although the whole USAT "age" thing is odd. For those of you who don't know, in the tri-world your age on race day is not necessarily the age you go by. Your age is determined by what your age will be at the end of the year. Therefore because I turn 26 in a few months, I was considered 26 and not 25 on race day. USAT: making athletes everywhere feel older than they are. 

I'm a little on the fence about calling myself a triathlete after this.
Yes I did a tri, but I guess I just don't feel like one yet, maybe once a do a few more. I felt the same way after I did my first marathon a few years ago. I didn't necessarily call myself a marathoner right away, I ran one but was that enough for ME? That's a personal thing though, it has nothing to do with any thoughts of "doing one doesn't make you one" that is not the case at all. Its a personal and emotional thing, I'll know when I feel comfortable calling myself one, because I will feel like one. And right now I feel like a runner "trying to tri" and not a runner and a triathlete.

I'm so lucky to have had John there with me and supporting me. His support of me and knowledge about triathlons made me feel so much more comfortable as I took a new step. Also made me feel less bad about the fact that I left my engagement ring at home (for fear of forcing the state to drain the lake had I lost it in the water).


Okay, I know that was long and most of you probably aren't reading this. But good news is I can look back at this down the road and see EXACTLY how my first tri went :)


When did you first call yourself a runner/triathlete/marathoner etc? 
After one, or did it take you time to feel like that?


And in my true nature of diving in head first...this was my first tri..and 6 weeks (from that date) (a little over 5 weeks from now) I have my first 70.3 at Musselman! I signed up for it back in December, it's becoming much more real now! I know I can do it, going to get my swim time down too!


31 comments:

  1. You're awesome Laura! Your first tri AND 1st place in your AG??? WOW!!! Congrats girl! You should definitely call yourself a triathlete!!!! :-)

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    1. Thanks Mindy! Maybe after my next one I will feel more like a triathlete! I just feel so in between right now!

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  2. You look so happy and I'm so excited you had such an awesome time. It looks like you did. I'm also really excited to see how much time you take off next time. I think in any event you can take off a lot of time and places from your first to second race.

    I'm glad you got first in your age group and realized about the whole sports bra, transitions, tri top...I can't imagine. When I do the run swim run in July, I hate putting on shoes let alone actual changing and whatnot.

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    1. I definitely learned some things I need to do, and not to do. I know I can get faster--biggest thing is the swim which is why I am moving to VA beach for the summer so you can teach me... okay that is just wishful thinking but a girl can dream!

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  3. Congrats on your first tri and for getting first in age group!!!!! Awesome job loved reading your race recap!!! I dont know if I could ever be one of the people who clip in to bikes I am a bit clostrophobic and would think it would make me very uneasy being stuck to the bike.

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    1. Thanks Shelley! I plan on clipping in soon, my bike will actually be in the shop all next week while I am out of town for work. I know I am going to have some issues with it but it will be worth the time it will take off for the half iron in July!

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  4. Congrats on your first tri! You'll find that the next one will be so much easier and you'll be so much faster--at least if it was a print. Don't know that a half-ironman will be easier, haha! But doing the first one is really the biggest hurdle. Way to tough it out through the swim. And you totally crushed that run!

    I started thinking of myself as a triathlete after my second tri when I knew I really loved the sport and would stick with it. I really enjoy them, though wish I was a faster runner!

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    1. First one was definitely biggest hurdle, I feel like I have more knowledge now and can better gauge where I am at and what I need to do to get where I want to be!

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  5. I loved this recap! Screw everyone who doesn't want to read it! Lol. I'm so proud of you! I can't wait until I read about your Musselman in 6 weeks. I'm sure the swim will be better since you kind of have one down. Really, the only way to truly prepare for something is just trial and error, but you're lucky to have a fiancé who cheered you on and helped you out! You really probably learned a lot more than you think in this race and although you don't consider yourself a tri-athlete, you're definitely awesome for completing one! :-) Congrats again!!!

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    1. Thanks dear!!! Trial and error really is a good way to learn and I definitely learned some things to do and not to do this first time around! My fiance is a HUGE help and I don't know where I would be without him! I think I will feel more like a triathlete after I have done a few more. Just waiting for the overwhelming feeling that I know I will get when I feel like one!!

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  6. You rocked this damn thing and I am so happy for you! It's easy to overanalyze things after any race and think about the what-ifs, but it was your first tri and that is not an easy thing - you'll be so much better prepared for 70.3 and I can't wait to see what you do there! Congrats on a great first tri :D

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    1. Thanks Heather! :) I do think I will be better prepared for 70.3, but anything can happen! P.S. I am going to be in cuse cheering at the Cuse IM 70.3 in a few weeks if you want to meet up!!

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  7. Woohoo! someday I'll get enough guts to do a tri but i jut really never like the swimming aspect which is terrible since I swam when I was younger. sometime about swimming in lakes bugs me... haha. sounds like a good race and that was a great time too! I thought of myself as a "duathlete" after my second. I can't tell you why, but I just felt like one lol :) Congrats on the win!

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  8. Wow. You are wicked fast. I enjoyed reading your recap as I really want to tri a sprint this summer once I am cleared to run enough for it.

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    1. I hope you get cleared soon (as I know you do too!!)

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  9. Amazing job on your first tri! And it looks like you had a great time doing it!

    I am a runner. I am a marathoner. No problem accepting those titles ...

    I reluctantly call myself a triathlete. I have done eight total (two Olympic), but still a little scared to jump up to 70.3. I'm obviously a runner when you look how I fall in age group placements. I'm getting better at the swim, but pretty poor on bike!

    I have a hard time calling myself an ultra marathoner with now just two 50Ks. I might have to run a 50-miler to feel comfortable with that!

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    1. Ahhh someone who understands me! I feel like I can't call myself something until I truly feel like one, and who knows when that will be! It took me a while before I even called myself a marathoner! It's not that we diminish the things we have done, but there is a difference between being called something and feeling like we deserve that title within ourselves! You are truly accomplished and I am impressed!!

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  10. Great recap, congrats again!! Love your jumping to the finish line pic!

    Hope your hands are feeling better!

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    1. Finishing with a smile on my face was one of the best parts. I am always so intense that I usually forget to smile!

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  11. Congrats! I had my first tri this weekend also. I also have a Felt bike. I also don't clip in (yet). I also love the run the best. Whoa. Parallel lives, LOL. Nice job!

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    1. Sheesh, my long distance twin?!?! Haha! How did your first tri go??

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  12. Congrats on your first Tri! And 1st place AG... and NO coffee! That's pretty amazing - Nice Job! :)

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    1. Thanks! The coffee was unplanned...I accidentally left it on the counter when we left the house, but was too worried about being late to go back and get it. Luckily it ended up working out and I didn't fall asleep without the caffeine (which is a serious concern...I need caffeine like oxygen!_

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  13. Congrats on your first tri and age group win!!! You look so happy in all of the pictures. I've never done a tri, but I plan on doing a duathlon this summer! I need help though lol!!!

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    1. Thanks Ashley! I did a du in April and I could really get into those! ( seeing as it takes the swimming out which is my least favorite part!!!) You would do awesome at a Du, with all that crazy spinning and running you do, you'd rock!!!

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  14. Wow, congrats on a great Tri and first race in open water. I loved that you didn't clip in as I was reading I saw the pics and glad you confirmed that you didn't clip in. I'm sure you will eventually but nice to see.

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  15. Congrats Laura!!! You totally rocked it!!!

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  16. Ummmm...so I totally missed this post for some reason! Congrats again!! And AG winner for your first tri??? Ummmm...I can't wait to see what you do next!! And I agree about the ages on the calves...when I was Athena I used to be mad we didn't all have scarlet "A"'s on us as well... ;)

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  17. Thanks for the nice post. I always like these types of physical events particularly the wears like triathlon shorts, wetsuit, sports bra and other sports wear. This is really awesome.

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  18. OT: Hey sports fans! Manny Pacquiao will be fighting this 2016.Fortunately we can still see his training and fights at Manny Pacquiao Video Channel . Go check it out!

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