Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mascoma Lake Triathlon - The Return

There are so many good things about this triathlon as well as some not so good.

First and most important I don't think I can tell you how much fun  I had doing it.  I was so jazzed during it and when I was done that I think I was grinning for hours. I am still completely amazed at how much I love this sport that I started so late in life.  It has really taught me not to assume I can't do things and to go after it.  Today there was a banner I saw on the side of the road for The Biggest Loser Race and it said:

Find your comfort zone.  Then leave it.

Love it!  That is certainly what has happened to me with regard to tris and I don't regret leaving that comfort zone at all.  More than once during the race (quite honestly always on the bike)  I found myself grinning widely!

I went into this triathlon with some real mixed feelings.  The organizers posted that no wet suits would be permitted.  The water temperature was too warm.  I have never been in a tri without one. I attribute my faster times - than in the pool - and faster is VERY relative - to the buoyancy the wet suit gives me.  Plus of course the added confidence of not drowning.  I googled the issue and that made it worse. Everything I read convinced me I needed the wet suit. But I am nothing if not competitive and I was not going to do this tri simply for fun. At my age awards are easier to come by because of lack of numbers so I wanted to try.  Yikes!
Love my little buddy coming to cheer.

Race morning started out a little hectically and I arrived at the race late and harried.  But I got to the start.  Jameson and Jaxon showed up to cheer me on and I was ready. I noticed a lot of people wearing wet suits and assumed they were okay with not trying for awards. I heard some people discussing it but was surprised particularly in my wave - the older wave - at the large number of people wearing wet suits.  I thought there would be no one left to get awards.
No wetsuit.  I'm in the back looking this way.

Love the breast stroke.


Starting the run up the hill.

Jaxon is making sure I am doing it right this year.

The swim course was a little different from last year but I actually liked it better. It was pretty straight forward and easy to follow.  I thought the water felt cold but I'm not the one in charge so in I went.  Before I knew it it was time to go in and I was swimming out toward the middle of the lake - without a wet suit -.  I mostly did the breast stroke. I can see where I am going and I feel less panicked.  I got around the first buoy and felt quite good as I headed to the second. I didn't feel very different from when I do wear a wet suit but would I really know? I was at the back of my wave which is pretty typical.  I rounded the last buoy right next to it and headed to shore. I could see a guy a few feet ahead of me and thought I could pass him.  What ?  I'm considering passing someone while swimming!  I could also see the kayak coming in so knew I was one of the last swimmers. Well, I "took off" and did pass the swimmer and according to my son on shore I passed a few swimmers.  No results up yet.  I came out of the water and looked at my watch and saw 10 something.  Wow!  This is great for me. I had to run up a hill, and on through a field - about 1/4 mile.  It seemed to take forever. I passed a couple swimmers before the mat so I assume I beat them too.  At this point my time was 11:55 (13:44 last year) which was better than last year although last year I made a big goof running up to transition which was part of it.

I knew transition would be faster because I wouldn't forget my timing chip and I had no wet suit to take off. I did feel like putting on my bike gloves took forever and wondered if it was worth it. Thoughts?
Soon I was running my bike up to the mounting place and off I went.  I knew the course was hilly but I was excited at my swim (I'm beginning to like it) and ready to roll.
On my way out happy to be on the bike.

Jaxon gets lots of play time in while I am on the bike.

I am by Jameson (aqua shirt) and headed to the transition.

I passed a woman right away who soon passed me back.  Well, I passed her again thinking that we would be doing this the whole race but she never passed me again.  I passed a lot of people - 20 in fact - I counted each and every one. After awhile I made it a goal to pass 16 in all.  I easily did that and no one passed me!  Even though I knew it was hilly there were a lot of hills.  When I ride with my speedy friends I feel slow on the hills but there are people out there who make me look fast on the hill! My confidence was building.  I can pick people off while biking, catch up and pass which I can't do when I'm running.  I know as I'm approaching that the pass will happen.  There was one hill that went on and on and then you got to the top to see that it was a false top and there was a lot more yet.  The good part though is you know you'll come down it later. There is a lot more up on the way out than on the way back.  I had a lot of fun on those hills on the way back and that is where the big wide grins came in.  It got a little tricky as I got near the transition as there were cars and runners.  I  had seen Jameson on my way out on the bike but I could see that he didn't see me as I was coming back. No one ever is ready for me on the bike!  I jumped off my bike and wheeled it into transition. I pushed my lap on the watch but I think it was the mat for coming out. So many mat and a little confusing. So I think my bike is a little short and the transition a little long.  But it was better than last year!  And ever so much fun.
My time was about 59:07 but I think I pushed the button on the wrong mat. That made my transition 2:48.  Last year 1:01:54 for bike and 1:59 for transition. So I think the bike was closer to 1:00 flat.
Wondering why Jameson is on the phone telling Emily I am coming.

Jaxon has more play time while I am running.

I am almost done!

I head out to run. When I put on my bike shoes and my running shoes I plopped right on the grass - a  chance for a brief rest and no struggles with balance.  I took the time to add my Garmin to the watch on my wrist.  As I approached Jameson I heard him say, "Emily, here she comes."   I wasn't sure what he was doing. He surely didn't think I was going to stop for a quick chat did he?  What he was doing was putting her on speaker phone so I had both my kids cheering for me. I could clearly hear her, it was awesome. Favorite moment of the day.  I kept going.  I didn't have the dead leg feeling and my pace was in the 9s. I was very pleased with this.  My pace held pretty steady. I wasn't passing people like I did last year. In fact two men passed me.  One I clearly remembered passing on the bike. Now it was his turn.  The miles seemed to go on forever but finally it was time to turn in and finish.  I was thrilled because I knew unless I stopped to chat on the phone or read a book I was going to have a decent PR in this triathlon from last year which is what I wanted.  Jameson and Jaxon were there and I.WAS.DONE!  My run was 31:43.  Last year it was 31:34.  Pretty close.

Time to relax.

I ate, got some food for Jaxon, and we lounged and waited around for the award ceremony.  We went down to the water with Jaxon so he could cool off and play some more.  Then it was time for awards. I was feeling really good about my time and confident about an award.  
More play time.  He was tired on the way home!

A great shot if I do say so myself.
This is where it gets not as good.  First of all I had wondered how they knew who wore wet suits and who didn't.  Well, apparently it didn't matter. Awards were given for age groups with no concern about who wore a wet suit.  That would be fine if they hadn't sent an email out about the water temp and the rule we all had to follow.   I fretted over this and didn't need to.  I learned I can do it without but I am irked over the way this was handled.

Then I got no award.  Well, two awards were given and none to me. That made no sense as three are given. So I found out who to ask and went over to the timers.  They found that my age was not saying what it should and fixed it.  Then they told me my time was 1:58 not 1:48.  More about that later.  Back to the award because I clearly got one.  I got blueberries and a pint glass. Jameson made a point of loudly saying my name so they would announce it and people would clap.
My age group awards.

With my chief spectators.

We stopped at MacDonalds (I know) for iced coffee and a caramel shake. We hung out in the shade for a bit as I continued to recap my highlights of the tri.  Jameson thought it was quite fun to watch - lots going on  and was impressed or so he said with my performance.  It was a great great time.

Okay back to the time.  I went over my time every way I could think of.  When I got home I used my watch against my phone timer to see if the watch was running slowly.  Nope.  My garmin run time was the same as my watch run time.  I have a time for each lap and they are all reasonable times. I pushed the button between each lap and stopped it at the end.  My time was NOT 1:58.  I find this very irritating.  I have been waiting for the results, checking often.  They are not up yet even though it was stated they would be up last night (they were last year) or today.  So far nothing. That makes me wonder if they are finding problems???  How could they mess up my time by 10 minutes?  They said they had me  in the right swim wave.  I worked hard for it and I want credit for my PR.  I am also dying to see how I did against the other swimmers, bikers etc. and overall.  

Making sure my watch is working correctly.

My loot!
Okay I have been waiting for the results to finish this but the results seem to be a real mess.  Lots of comments about names being left out etc.  I do see the times for my individual things and my rank so will talk about that. The times are right but I would guess the ranking would change.  It went from them saying I was 1:58 to being up for 1:43.  That's not right either. It doesn't include transitions.  So strange.

But at this point......my ranking is 99/136 overall.  I am going with my watch time of 1:48 not the 1:43 listed there. I have a 5 minute PR and I am thrilled with that.

Swim - 11:56 (last year 13:44) and this was without a wetsuit.  I was 118/140. I beat 22 swimmers.  Yes, I beat 22 swimmers.  22 swimmers came in after me!! So the swim is a win!

T1 no official time. My watch said 2:25 which is way ahead of last year 4:24 (expected as I blew it last year)  a win

Bike 59:55 Last year was 1:0l:54 so two minutes faster - a win and a blast!!!! I was 97/140

T2 around 2 minutes the same as last year

Run 31:45  Last year was 31:34.  I call this a win.  I have been slower lately and am very pleased with this.  93/140

So lots of improvement in this this tri.  A totally fun and satisfying day!

It looks like this swimmer is last because the kayak is 
coming in with her but SHE IS NOT!


Darlene said...

You are amazing! Is there an Ironman in your future??

Anonymous said...

You appear to be all smiles in the pictures, but I think Jaxson may have had more fun!

Kate Geisen said...

It's so annoying when results get messed up like that.

All your riding with faster people is paying off!!

I LOVE how supportive your kids are. Truthfully, I'm a little jealous. I guess mine are just all at that age where nothing their mom does is cool.

Unknown said...

Congrats. You had a great race!

Bummer about the mixups on results. I wonder how that happens.

As for whether bike gloves are worth it. My thinking is that if you were to crash, you'd appreciate having the gloves (and having skin left on your hands). From that perspective, I think it's worth it.

Michael said...

The whole results things is a pain. We had something similar happen at the Trail race we did in the Spring and it's annoying, I still don't know where/how I placed for sure.

But sounds like you had a great race!! I rarely get to swim with a wetsuit so it's always a nice boost. I own 2 and have only used them in 2 races. I need to get rid of my long sleeve one. Maybe next year no one would want it now.

Paul said...

What a great race for you! Fun!

The wet suit schizoid story and the race results being messed up are sad.., esp. since you had a PR day. Grrrrr.

Hopefully they will straighten things out eventually.

Kandi said...

Congrats on your fantastic race!! That stinks that people wearing wetsuits were still included in the awards when they said they would not be. BUT, how awesome that you improved your time without wearing one and overcame your fear!!! That's worth a lot more. And I'm glad they got the AG thing sorted out and you got your award. Blueberries and a pint glass are awesome awards!
I love that Jaxon (and Jameson) came to watch and that you got to have Emily cheer you on too!

Jim ... 50after40 said...

You Triathlon folks are so passionate about your sport. I love the diversity of it, and that it's much more than just athletic ability. That's funny that you mentioned you count people you pass. I do the same thing when I feel I'm running well. I make it goal not to get passed at all, but that obviously doesn't always work out - ha. Oh and more pictures of Jaxon in the future please. Great job as always - looks like you had a blast!

Char said...

That's a fantastic result. Congratulations!

I'd love to know how the results get messed up so badly (having had my own brush with it this year). I would have thought that the chips make it idiot proof but that's obviously not so. It's so frustrating when you've worked for a result not to be credited with it.

EB said...

Congrats on the race and the PR!!! Also on doing it all without a wetsuit. Bummer about the ruling with the wetsuits and the timing snafus. I loved the part about your kids cheering! That is awesome!!!!

HappyTrails said...

Yay, yay, yay! What an AWESOME day!!! Both your kids cheering for you, your favorite grand-dog watching you (that shot of Jax jumping for the stick is fantastic - you need to get a print framed of that one!), and improved times all the way around - WOW! You SHOULD be jazzed! We are jazzed for you! Just wanted to clarify - you DID win your age group??? You are accumulating QUITE the impressive age group win pint glass collection.... NICE. :-)

Amy @ Juice Boxes + Crayolas said...

Congrats on a great race! Blueberries + pint glass = awesome award! I'd be frustrated too if they had the wrong time for me! I'm sure your watch and phone are right! Take credit for that PR; you earned it!

Fran said...

Well done Andrea, you had a fantastic race. Screw the official results: you know what your Garmin said and that counts (I always rely on my Garmin times instead of official times).

And who doesn't want to have such supporters during a race. Jaxxon is such a great dog.

Johann said...

You are awesome! Congratulations! I know how great it is to have support like that. It rocks!

christa said...

Awesome!! I can't wait to come spectate another one. Jameson is awesome for correcting them and getting you your loot!!

Karen said...

Good job! Be proud that you stepped out of your comfort zone and swam without the wetsuit. Congrats on the AG award!

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic race review!
Thanks for writing about it! I just wanted to drop a note and let you know we have switched timing companies for this year. As an athlete myself, I know how important times are.
We hope to see you back this year. Drop me an e-mail for a special discount :) director@mascomaman.com