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TST: My side of the story - TriathlonOlympic

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Canyon Lake City, Texas
United States
Texas State University
70F / 21C
Total Time = 2h 37m 33s
Overall Rank = 52/223
Age Group = F25-29
Age Group Rank = 1/12
Pre-race routine:

Okay, I have to start off with Friday to let people know my frame of mind, so if you want, you might want to skip down....Friday was rough for me. I have been stressing over this triathlon for the past two weeks. I made the mistake of going partying for St. Patty's Day so I was riding on little sleep. I frantically packed Friday morning, dropped the mutt off at the kennel and was on my way. The wind was HORRIBLE...I felt like I had my steering wheel turned all the way to the left as I headed west on Hwy 31. I pull into a gas station in Crosicana to get gas. As I mentioned, the wind was blowing so hard that I decided to wait inside my car while the gas pumped. As I'm sitting there I hear something that sounds like water flowing. I look outside the car and I see gas spewing out of my car. The pump didn't turn off!! So I jump out of the car...gas is splattering all over me because of the wind. I discovered that gas is extremely slippery too, so I'm grabbing my car and trying to pull myself over to the handle to turn it off. I finally get the stupid thing turned off after gas goes everywhere. What a waste of money too. So now I smell like gasoline and am riding high on the fumes the rest of the way to New Braunfels. I-35 traffic was horrible too...during an area where it was down to two lanes (each direction) I saw a car drive inbetween the lanes, between the cars to get around was nuts! I arrive at packet pickup, where there are like 7 volunteers, but evidentally only one can do anything and she can't do much. I get my packet and then decide to drive the bike course so I know what misery awaits. I felt like I was getting ready to watch a movie...I had my gatorade and was snacking on trail mix as I intently watched every curve, dip, and rough spot. Afterwards, I headed to the hotel and checked in. I decided I was done with the gas fumes for the day so I just walked over to Applebees and ordered take out. After dinner I vegged out for awhile and tried to relax, then I got my stuff all organized, took a shower, and of course, painted the toe nails. I went to bed around 10:00 pm, but I know that it was definitely after midnight before I woke up.

Saturday: I got up at 4 am (yes, I know it's early...anal engineer here) got ready, loaded up, and checked out of the hotel. At 5 am I ate a power bar and drank some orange juice (the oj helps gets the kids out the door to the pool, lol). I arrived at the race site a little after 5:30. Transition opened at 6 am and it was first come first serve. I had my bike in and chip on by 6:02.
Event warmup:

After setting up transition I played the waiting game, went to the bathroom about 10 times (okay twice, but I was wearing a skin suit which is a pain to strip down every time). Had some pb crackers at 6:30. Waited, waited, waited...watched all the people and their fancy bikes and got extremely intimidated. Oh, and guess who was racked next to me?! Autumn Ray...great, well, at least she will be out of my way by the time I get out of the water. I saw Kristen and Tom arrive and so I met and chatted with them for a few minutes. I then jogged for about 6-7 minutes, stretched, and then put on the wetsuit. Then, it was the agonizing wait to jump in the frigid water. Wanted to beat up Tom who was not helping my nerves by repeating, "This is gonna hurt."
  • 30m 10s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 01s / 100 meters

Originally they had all the females going in the first wave, which I thought was stupid to have the guys come swimming over us, but then they reversed it so that we went last, yea! We had to start off a boat ramp. They told us to sit down and slide in and boy did I slide! There wasn't any easing into the cold water, I went plowing in! All I have to say is that Welshy is completely insane for swimming with no wetsuit! The horn went off and we took off. The water was so cold I was reluctant to put my face in...the water was so cold it burned. But I finally bit the bullet and stuck my head in. I quickly adjusted to the water and felt fine, only my feet went numb. I kept finding myself going kind of off track, I sure didn't take the straightest path. At one point I was behind 4 girls and so I thought I would just tag along, but then I realized they were going off course so I decided to do my own thing. I find that I really have to concentrate on swimming. When I concentrate on correct stroke I really find myself moving through the water better, but I get so wrapped up in the comotion that I forget to concentrate.
What would you do differently?:

I'm not too disappointed with my swim (for today) because it was my fastest pace in a triathlon (although I did have a wetsuit on so that might have accounted for most of it, but it was also 2-4 times further than my sprint distance races). I just need to continue to work hard in my swimming practices and concentrate during races. When I concentrated today, I swam a straight line and really moved through the water. I need to relax and race my race and not worry about the people around me.
Transition 1
  • 01m 36s

Wow! My time didn't suck as much as I thought. I did the yank dance with my wetsuit trying to get it off of one ankle (the one with the chip). It felt like forever.

Oh, as I was finishing up the right calf cramped. They had guys to help you up the boat ramp so I pretty much just let them drag me out while I waited for the cramp to go away. Luckily it went away quickly and didn't bother me again. Oh, running on numb feet on pavement hurts!
What would you do differently?:

Calm down and relax. I think I made things worse by trying to rip off my suit so fast. Otherwise, everything else was fine. Oh, this was actually after the timing mat, but when I went on my bike it took like 15 secs to get clipped into my pedal for some reason, which was a little frustrating...again, calm down and concentrate.
  • 1h 19m 41s
  • 26.75 miles
  • 20.14 mile/hr

Well, when I first saw the results I was really frustrated with my speed, but it wasn't 26 miles I had over a 19 mph pace, but my bike comp. clocked it at a little over 26.75 miles (My bike comp. has always been pretty accurate) so I put that, which makes me feel a whole lot better.

Being the last wave and a slow swimmer I had lots of rabbits, which I love. I knew Devil's Backbone would be the worst, which was in the beginning so I told myself to stay relaxed and use the little ring and make it through that and then work on speed for the remainder. I followed through for the most part, but I sure passed a lot of people. I turned on to Purgatory where I was expecting to really gain some speed on the more gentle hills. WRONG!! Freakin' headwind! Clouds were rolling in, which really kicked up the wind...I was almost worried that it might start raining. So it became a suffer fest on Purgatory as well (I really was in hell). I was glad to turn on to FM 306 where I had the lovely downhill. I was a little concerned with the wind so I didn't push it down the hill so I only reached 40 mph, oh well. I thought FM 306 would be mostly downhill, but it wasn't. There were a lot of false-flats where I thought I should be moving fast, but I wasn't (although I was still gaining on people). As I was heading back towards the park, the sun was back out. Great, just in time to roast me on the run!

Oh, fuel on the coach said to mix about 200 calories of hammergel into some water and just sip on that during the ride (he said I could take a gel on the run if I wanted to, but I didn't...didn't feel like I needed it) so that's what I did. Seemed to work well.
What would you do differently?:

Not really sure...think it just comes down to needing more training. Oh, and I was only 20 secs slower than Autumn on the bike leg, which I attribute most of that to trying to get into my stupid pedal.
Transition 2
  • 00m 56s

Once again, this transition felt slow, but the time doesn't seem so bad to me. I lvoe my new yanks! They work great!
What would you do differently?:

Nothing really, the bike in and out were on the same side of transition so I racked right next to that exit so I didn't have to take my bike far.
  • 45m 8s
  • 6.2 miles
  • 07m 17s  min/mile

I felt SLOW. I really have a problem of getting to the run and just getting in a comfort zone and sticking with it. I never feel like I'm "racing" the run. I'm actually quite shocked at the felt like I was running 10 min. miles. As I said, the sun was out on the run and there was no shade. I passed a few people, especially on my second lap. I was passed by a couple of guys (although I was never sure which lap everyone was on). On the steep hill, I was running so slow and taking such tiny steps, that it probably would have been faster to walk up it.
What would you do differently?:

Well, I guess I will keep harping on this until I somehow miraculously get it right...GET OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE!!!
Post race
Warm down:

Drank some water, went looking for the breakfast burritos they were promising, they weren't there (showed up an hour later) so I had a half banana and ate a granola bar I had brought. I knew that they wanted us to get our stuff out of transition quickly so that they could set up for the sprint so I gathered up my stuff from transition (cheered on Kristen as she went by) and took it to the car. I changed and then headed back to the finish to wait for Tom and Kristen to finish. Shortly after they finished they did the awards and then I walked back to the cars with Tom and Kristen and then headed back to Longview. (stopped at Taco Cabana on the way home where I inhaled massive amounts of food...I don't think I even tasted it).

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Me...I'm slow, but I am pleased with my first oly. I survived!! Oh, and the stop panicking and start concentrating thing too!

Event comments:

Well, there were lots of volunteers, just not very helpful...guess that's college kids for ya'. However, I guess I never really needed any help so it wasn't a problem. The course was great, I like the challenge and I think I really like the oly distance. The awards were neat...they were these cute little ceramic mugs. I am in total shock that I won my age group (next girl was 18 minutes behind me). However, I only won my age group since Autumn Ray won 2nd overall female (she didn't even win the overall, some super fast chick from Austin won it). It was great getting to meet Kristen and Tom. They did great too (Tom in 3:45:20 and Kristen in 3:59:50). And even though Tom beat Kristen; major kudos to Kristen to still come out and race (her first oly by the way too) after all of the recent drama and getting a flat. She never gave up! I overheard one of the race officials talking to someone...apparently several people DNF'd in the water due to the temp. and several people DNF'd on the bike course due to the difficulty and/or flats. If I am able to do this race next year, I would like to...I had fun.

Last updated: 2005-03-19 12:00 AM
00:30:10 | 1500 meters | 02m 01s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/12
Overall: 0/223
Performance: Average
Suit: Wetsuit
Course: The course was a triangle in Canyon Lake. It was calm for the swim thank goodness, but the water was so freakin' cold!
Start type: Wade Plus: Waves
Water temp: 60F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Good Navigation: Below average
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:36
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Yes Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
01:19:41 | 26.75 miles | 20.14 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/12
Overall: 0/223
Performance: Average
Wind: Strong
Course: Rode out of Canyon Lake Park, left on 306, right on to some FM road, right on to Devil's Backbone, right on to Purgatory, right on to FM 306, left back into Canyon Lake Park. This course was really hilly and there was a strong headwind on Purgatory road. Roads tended to be pretty rough too in most areas.
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:56
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:45:08 | 06.2 miles | 07m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/12
Overall: 0/223
Performance: Average
Course: 2 loops through the park. Flat to slight rolling with one nasty hill that we had to do twice. No shade!
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2005-03-19 10:22 PM

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Longview, TX
Subject: TST: My side of the story

2005-03-19 11:08 PM
in reply to: #131841

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Got Wahoo?
San Antonio
Subject: RE: TST: My side of the story
Great race, Gina. You have a future in this sport if you go for it....

Edited by tmwelshy 2005-03-19 11:13 PM
2005-03-19 11:09 PM
in reply to: #131841

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Extreme Veteran
Fort Worth, TX
Subject: RE: TST: My side of the story

What a great race Gina!  You freakin CREAMED your age group on the first time EVER in an Oly!  How cool is that.  Chick I will be watching you (online) when you are racing at Kona in a couple of years.  You did so wonderful.  I hope you are relishing your success tonight. 

Congrats on such a great race, and thanks for being so supportive of me.  It was nice having a familiar face cheering my name!!

2005-03-19 11:24 PM
in reply to: #131841

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Longview, TX
Subject: RE: TST: My side of the story
Whoa! Okay...just now let my times settle in to my mind. 7:17 min. per mile pace on the run after that tough bike course?! What the heck?! That's freakin' amazing for me! Perhaps inhaling gas fumes is a good thing, lol.

Oh, and thanks so much for the compliments, Tom and Kristen. I think I will stick to my day job though, lol. Man I'm so glad it's racing season again! I forgot just how much fun these things are.
2005-03-19 11:30 PM
in reply to: #131841

Orange, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: TST: My side of the story
Nice race Gina. I'm impressed by the run. Sheesh, I can't do 7:17 miles even BEFORE a swim and bike! I'm blaming it on old age and some other flimsy excuses!

You done good!
2005-03-19 11:44 PM
in reply to: #131841

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: TST: My side of the story
Wow, 18 minutes faster than #2?!? That's incredible! Congratulations on a very successfull 1st Oly! 

2005-03-19 11:56 PM
in reply to: #131841

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Broomfield, Colorado
Subject: RE: TST: My side of the story
GREAT race Gina!  Sounds like a tough course, but you kicked butt!  I love the crack me up! 
2005-03-20 1:14 AM
in reply to: #131841

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2005-03-20 7:37 AM
in reply to: #131841

Extreme Veteran
Miami, FL
Subject: RE: TST: My side of the story
Congrats on a great race Gina!  Awesome job... especially in such cold water!   BBRRRRRR
2005-03-20 9:05 AM
in reply to: #131841

Pensacola, Fl
Subject: RE: TST: My side of the story
Geez woman...when are you going to stop impressing me with your performances???  Another AG win and 7+ min miles on the run leg....very nice!!!  I think Jenn and I are going to make you do the HIM course twice just so we have a chance......then again, I probably would still get beat!!  You rock!!!

I am however disappointed in you for not watching your Red Raiders on such and important win (I did pick them

Great all around day for you!!!
2005-03-20 9:06 AM
in reply to: #131841

Mechanicsburg, PA
Subject: RE: TST: My side of the story
Congratulations on such a studly win Gina!!! I can't believe you think you are slow?!?!?! That's pretty darned close to "Olympic hopeful" speed there woman. That's a great way to start your tri season.


2005-03-20 10:04 AM
in reply to: #131841

Tucson, AZ
Subject: RE: TST: My side of the story
Great race and report! Congrats on your 1st oly AND your win!!!
2005-03-21 3:25 PM
in reply to: #131841

Extreme Veteran
Apex, North Carolina
Subject: RE: TST: My side of the story
Outstanding job, Gina!

You really did blow away your competition! I hope to do half as well with my first Oly race in June! Enjoy the rest of your season!
2005-03-21 3:34 PM
in reply to: #131841

Texarkana, TX
Subject: RE: TST: My side of the story

Good Gravy.  You might be able to skip IMAZ next year and go straight to Kona this year by qualifying at BSL!!!  Those times rock! 

2005-03-21 5:37 PM
in reply to: #131841

Littleton, CO
Subject: RE: TST: My side of the story
I'm really looking forward to reading your race report when you say you were out of the comfort zone and firing on every cylinder. Autumn Ray's gonna wish she had a day job too
As always, your writing is a treat!
Fantastic race - you really managed all the elements like a vet!
2005-03-21 10:05 PM
in reply to: #131841

, Alabama
Subject: RE: TST: My side of the story

Your times were really great.  The race always feels awful while it's going on, but when you look back, I hope you can see what a good job you did.  Impressive!


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