Monday, June 30, 2014

A New PR at the 2014 Milton Man Olympic Tri

I'm one of those people that likes to compete and push myself to be better. I guess that's why I enjoy the sport of triathlon. You can directly correlate your training efforts to race efforts and see yourself grow from season to season. Sometimes you don't grow as much as you think you should and you have to look at things and see where you need to improve.

I had a good day at the Milton Man olympic tri yesterday but definitely need to work on some things.


prerace selfie with the hubby
Steve and I got up at 4:30am, had a good breakfast, got dressed and headed out around 5:10 for the hour and 20 minute drive to Lake Milton. The weather was okay for us until we got to Ravenna and then it was a downpour. We were both hoping the weather would turn for the race and fortunately it did. Right around the time we hit the parking lot and picked up our bags from the transition area the rain stopped. We got our bikes racked and our transition areas setup, used the bathroom and then got our wetsuits on for a warm up swim. The water felt good. Not too hot, not too cold but the outside air was warm and humid already.

With the rain, the start time for the race was pushed back a little to give the roads a little time to dry out. After a prerace meeting the first wave of men were ready to go. Steve was in the second wave of men and then I was in the female wave 5 minutes later.

Swim - 1500m:

nice pic of the lake taken by Lynn Marut
The swim for the olympic is two 750m loops of a clockwise swim. You jump in the water from a boat dock and lineup in the water to start. The first loop went okay for me. The only real issue I had was with my googles. I guess I didn't tighten them enough as I was getting water in my right side and that was a little annoying as I would have to stop and tread water to adjust. The second loop seemed to go faster for me and probably because I was more settled in. I never found a consistent rhythm but just kept moving forward until I was close enough to stand and exit to stair ramp. Looked at my watch and it said 32 minutes and change but add in another minute to get to the transition area and I ended up at 33:41. This was slower than I wanted as I had hoped for about 30 minutes flat. This made me 6/7 in my age group leaving the swim. Good thing I never count on the swim to help me! Still in looking at my results from last year, this was an improvement of 3-1/2 minutes on this particular swim course. So far so good.


Kinda slow here at 1:39. Quickly dried off, put on socks and shoes, helmet and glasses and took in a few gulps of water and headed toward to bike mount.

Bike - 24 miles:

The bike on this course consists of three 8-mile loops. It's a pretty straight forward, flat course with a couple small rollers and a gradual climb. As I started my first loop the roads were still wet with some standing water in some places so I was a little more conservative on the first loop than I wanted to be but with my tubular wheels I wanted to be cautious of flatting. The course starts out fast as soon as you make the left onto NE River Rd. You can easily get into the mid-high 20s here. Once you make the turnaround there is some gradual climbing that combined with the wind yesterday caused a slow down. I think my average pace in that section was 18-19. My first loop came in around 25 minutes, my second loop 22 and my third at 22 for a total time of 1:09:44 (20.7 mph average). My goal was 21mph so I was almost there and think if my first loop would have been a little more aggressive I would have been right there. This was an improvement on my time last year of 2 minutes and I had the fastest bike split in my age group so I was happy with that.
steve with his new QR!

Steve got to take out his new Quintanoo Roo Seduza tri bike on her maiden voyage so that was exciting!


I hit the bike dismount, ran in and changed shoes, threw on my race belt, run hat and garmin, downed a gel and headed out. I am not sure how long this was as the time was thrown in with my run based on a timing issue. I am guessing I was around a minute here.

Run - 6.2 miles:

The run course is a double loop of an out and back 5K. It's a pretty flat run and is almost always a hot run. The start runs through a little section of trail and then heads through the parking lot onto the road where you take a right onto NE River Rd and then run down Mahoning Avenue across the bridge down about a mile to a turn around. I felt pretty good off the bike and for most of the run my Garmin ticked off 7:50-7:55 pace so I was okay with that. I felt good starting the second loop although it was definitely hot and humid. The second loop went fast and I felt good until the run turn around where I started to have a pretty irritating stomach cramp. I was able to just push through at a slower pace of 8:00-8:13 that last bit. My split time said 50:56 or 8:05 average pace but again that includes my T2 so I am thinking I was at least a minute faster, which would have brought my average pace down a little bit as I was trying to hit sub 8 for the run. I placed 1st in my age group on the run as well.

The Finish

It was nice to see Steve and some friends cheering for me as I hit the finish. I wasn't able to sprint as much as usual with the cramping but I was glad to be done. I had tried for 2:35 but came in at 2:36:01, good for 1st in the 35-39AG and 6th female. Definitely an improvement over last year where my time was slower by 8 minutes. Again I have some work to do on the swim especially but also on the post bike run. I finished, downed a water and headed right for the misting tent, which felt amazing. Thanks to Champ Racing for putting on another great event and to Northcoast Multisport and all the volunteers for helping out.

Post Race:

enjoying Ray's place with friends post race!
After the race we packed up our bikes and transition stuff, changed into some dry clothes and then hung around for the results/awards. There were quite a few good athletes out racing and some fast times for the men and women.

Steve and I had planned to visit Rays Place in Kent on the way home for a post race celebratory beer and food and our friends Bill, Lynn,Tony and Nate were planning to go there too after the race so we were able to hang out and chat about the race, training and beer. It was a good time and when we got home I was relaxed by the pool for a little bit before the storms rolled in.

While I am happy to have walked away with a new PR and an age group win I can see clearly where I am not up to par. We all have strengths and weaknesses but it's learning to address those weaknesses as well as playing to our strengths that will move us along to where we want to be.

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