Pleasant Prairie Triathlon - International Course - Triathlon

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Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
United States
88F / 31C
Total Time = 2h 57m 44s
Overall Rank = 373/681
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 22/51
Pre-race routine:

Rented another car (SUV this time, but still had to play Tetris with getting the bikes and bags and such into the back of it), and drove to the Expo the day before. Initially we had been planning on just driving up the day of the race, but then saw that there was no race day packet pick up, so had to scramble a bit to find a place to stay, etc.

Anywhooo... drive up to Pleasant Prairie, decide to rack my bike and get a spot today rather than wait for tomorrow - which I'm really happy about as I got an awesome end spot on the rack, get my packet and for the first time EVER I get a black swim cap. I have blue, pink, green, white - pretty much a technicolour assortment of caps, but I got black this time after joking with someone that of all the colours in the possible assortment of colours for caps, I don't have a black one yet. I should have bought a lottery ticket or something.

We were about to head out when we heard that friends (Scott and Holly Schmeizer) were just on their way in to the packet pick-up too, so decided to wait around for them and then went out to lunch where I tried to nonchalantly pick his triathlon coaching brain about training and strategy and stuff... apparently my ninja conversation skills suck as he was on to me right away. Oh well, he gave me some great pointers, and Holly is just a fabulous ball of awesomeness in every way, so it was a fun lunch even if the restaurant did screw up my order.

Huh. Now that all that's done... where to stay? Thankfully we've got a really good friend who lives in Racine (the one and only Dr. Scooter - or Aidanna as she's actually named, but I don't think I've ever called her Aidanna) who said it was no problem to go stay with her and her BF at her house. Drive over to Scooters, play with her super cute dog EJ, and then go to one of Tony's all time favourite restaurants in the world for dinner... the Olive Garden. I think I could live off those breadsticks. It was very cool to hang out with Scooter and Kevin - he used to be a pro basketball player in Europe so we had a lot of reminiscing about living in London, and how freakin' AWESOME Nando's chicken is. It was generally decided that we would take down anyone that tried to get in between us and a Nando's meal - and I mean seriously take them DOWN, Nando's is that good. As we weren't at Nando's, but at the OG (little sob), after salad, breadsticks, some dinner (couldn't even come close to finishing it) and the little dessert it was back to Scooter's to hit the hay. With a stop at Walgreen's to get a couple of 5hr energies, bagels, PB and some water for the next day.

Have you ever noticed that 4:15am comes along a LOT sooner some days than others? Yeah...

Hopped into the car for the drive from Racine to Pleasant Prairie and had a bagel with PB along the way. Really nothing very exciting - got to transition where everyone was wandering around getting their stuff ready. As Tony was volunteering that day, he headed off to go do volunteering stuff so I was left alone with my nerves and of course AFTER the warm-up swim I had "brewings" that absolutely had to be addressed, so into the porta-potty line-up I get... and wait. They really should have more than 11 porta-potties for such a big race, but whatever. I eventually get to go in, and was happy that I had remembered to bring my phone with me so that I could do a crossword puzzle while in there. I mean, I wouldn't want to be bored while sitting there, would I? ;)
Event warmup:

A little warm up swim to find out how warm/cold the water was, and then STRAIGHT to the porta-potty. Some things just can't wait.
  • 32m 3s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 08s / 100 meters

Firstly, I'm SO happy that Tony was volunteering at the swim in... I was a great big bundle of nerves and it was so calming to see his face, hold his hand and get a kiss before going into the water. :)

I don't really know how it happened, but I ended up towards the back of the group, so when our wave went, I had to fight to get some water. There's a really short angle to the right and a big orange buoy that you have to go around before heading out on the first leg of the triangle that seems to catch people up, so I tried to stay a little left of most people until around the buoy and then a little to the right to try and get some clear water. That first leg was pretty good, I caught a couple people from the wave in front of me, and made the turn to the back leg okay, and then all hell seemed to break loose.

All of a sudden the water was a LOT choppier and it seemed like a TON of people ahead of me. I ended up having to change course frequently and sight a lot more than usual as there were purple, pink and green swim caps that I kept coming up on. That back leg seemed to take FOR-EVERRR, but eventually I made that last turn and just followed people back in. There was one girl that was beside me for most of this back leg that just kept crowding and knocking me even though I knew I was going straight and it seriously ticked me off. I started to swim more aggressively to get away from her and made it my next goal to make sure that I was going to beat her at some point in the race... I knew it wasn't going to be the run, so I was going to do my damndest to beat her on the bike!
What would you do differently?:

Seed myself closer to the front of my wave and then try to make a much smoother line through the swimmers in front of me. I was really disappointed with my time for this swim, so I definitely need to learn more tricks for swimming in crowds.
Transition 1
  • 01m 44s

The only real hiccup for me here was my wetsuit got caught on my right heel and I started to do that penguin hop/walk thing as I was starting to fall over trying to get my wetsuit off. Thankfully I didn't fall over, and everything seemed to go smoothly after that. WOOT!
What would you do differently?:

Meh, not much - I thought I was fairly speedy... for me. :)
  • 1h 16m 53s
  • 40 kms
  • 31.47 km/hr

Whoooo-eeeeeee this was shaping up to be a HOT one.

I always have a great time on my bike. Even though there were hellacious head winds at times (the kind that make you go slower on a downhill than on an uphill with a tailwind) and super-not-fun crosswinds at others, but I still had a great time out there! I chatted with people as they went by me, encouraged others as I passed them, said thank you to all of the volunteers out there and in general had a smile on my face the whole time.

I tried to really remember to have water as it was getting hotter and hotter on the bike, and also tried to have the energy blast PowerBar chew thingys when I could. I learned last year in a big-bad way that liquid nutrition does NOT work for me or my tummy, but I'm quite happy to have some solid food things to chew on while riding.

I had one guy go blowing past me when the Olympic met up with the Sprint race and I told him to slow down as he was making me look bad, so he asked how fast we were going at that point... I look down at my bike computer and tell him 40km/hr or so - he looks at me and says "kilometers?" to which I responded, "I'm faster in kilometers!" I could see the smile on his face as he rode off. :)

Overall, I'm pretty happy with my ride. I was fairly conservative as I needed to keep SOMETHING for my legs - and I seem to always push too hard on the bike and then blow it on the run, so I figured I should maybe try to NOT do that.
What would you do differently?:

I probably could have pushed it more, and should have pushed it more - but overall, I'm pretty happy with how this went. :)

I love George!
Transition 2
  • 01m 31s

I felt like Speedy Gonzales here! Lookit me goooooo....
What would you do differently?:

Nada! Zip, zilch, zero. Felt good coming off the bike and my legs didn't hate me.. yet.
  • 1h 05m 36s
  • 10 kms
  • 06m 31s  min/km

Running is the devil's handiwork. And it sucks. And it's evil, and bad, and yucky, and icky and blargh.

I got out onto the run course and the first person I see is Holly with her camera who tells me that Scott flatted on his bike and had to take a DNF which sucks, especially when he was on pace to finish second in his AG. Next I see Tony so I stop to do a little pose-down for him (dorky pic below) and I'm on my way again! My goal was just to keep going with 4:1 run/walk as long as my legs would hold out and not cramp up like they did at Lake in the Hills. So I'm going along and singing to myself (weird stuff like "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" followed by "It's Rainin' Men" and then "Fighter" and then I just kept telling myself to "just keep swimming"... yes, these are the weird things that go through my head) and all of a sudden I was at mile TWO! Cool, I'm 1/3 of the way there!!! My legs were still feeling pretty good and I was still keeping with my 4:1, even though I knew the 4 minute "run" was little more than a shuffle.

And then I started to get the feeling of having to pee. I tried my best to ignore it, and figured that if I saw a porta-potty on the course, I'd stop in and struggle out of my onesie to get some relief... except that there were no porta-potties. And no trees or shrubbery to hide behind should the need become to great. Okay, so... sing more songs! Now it's "Love Shack" (best karaoke song EVER!), "Summertime" and "Singin' in the Rain". My brain is odd.

I took in some Gatorade and threw water over my head at each aid station, and even though I REALLY wanted to make the turns that the sprint distance got to take, I plodded on. And on. And on.

Miles 4 and 5 were miserable for me - I was still doing 4:1 as much as I could, but I could tell I was slowing, and that my vastus medialus muscles were threatening to cramp, the jerks, and there was a packed gravel trail that we had to take at one point with the turn around being at the top of this uphill... MEAN! That was just mean, I tell you!!

I had to take an extra long walk break at one point, and seriously considered just squatting beside the trail to give my bladder some relief, but then thought better of it as I didn't want others to see the struggle I go through to get out of (and then back into) a wet onesie. No one should see that. Ever.

HOLY CRAP... It's mile SIX!!! I'm almost there! And as I actually remembered to start my watch for this race, if I just don't stop, I could potentially make it in under 3 hours... c'mon legs, don't fail me now!!! My right calf started to want to cramp just about 2 minutes from the finish line and I basically told it to eff off.. I mean, fachmie - you are NOT cramping NOW!! I trudge along and trudge along... and I made it! I crossed the finish line in UNDER 3 hours!!

Tony was there to catch me at the finish line with a smile and a sweaty kiss (sweaty on my part, he wasn't nearly as gross as me) and he had the biggest grin on his face to see me. That was the best part of my race, by far!

What would you do differently?:

Get a double leg transplant.
Post race
Warm down:

Grab a Gatorade, dump cold water on myself, grab a banana, a bagel and then SHOWER!!! I love that you can grab a shower in the community center after this race. However, not having a towel and therefore having to try and use those horrible non-absorbant paper towels out of the machines by the sink to dry off after having a shower isn't so fun. And you get little paper towel bits left all over you.

We watched the awards for a bit and be in absolute awe at the speediness of the AG winners and the overall winners. The women's overall winner was a 16 year old who came in at 2:21:xx or something ridiculously speedy. What an amazing athlete!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I could say a whole host of things, but the reality is that I had fun, I finished in under 3 hours, and I finished with a smile on my face - I don't really need much more than that. :)

Event comments:

I love this race and will definitely be back again next year!! :)

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-06-13 12:00 AM
00:32:03 | 1500 meters | 02m 08s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/51
Overall: 0/681
Performance: Below average
Suit: Sleeveless wetsuit of unknown origins.
Course: Great big triangle in Lake Andrea
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Average Remainder: Below average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Average
Time: 01:44
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:16:53 | 40 kms | 31.47 km/hr
Age Group: 0/51
Overall: 0/681
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind
Course: I have no idea, I just followed other people!
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:31
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:05:36 | 10 kms | 06m 31s  min/km
Age Group: 0/51
Overall: 0/681
Performance: Bad
Course: Um... again, I have absolutely NO idea - I just kept following people.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5