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Toyota Challenge at Deer Creek - Mini (Olympic) - TriathlonOlympic

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Mt. Sterling, Ohio
United States
HFP Racing
65F / 18C
Total Time = 3h 24m 25s
Overall Rank = 119/128
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 4/4
Pre-race routine:

Ate some oatmeal, drank some coffee and then drove an hour to the race site. Napped (sort of) for half an hour, went to pick up my packet, parked my bike in the TA, went back to my car and napped (sort of) for an hour.

I know, I know. Why didn't I just sleep-in later? I just like to be ahead of everyone else in that regard, 'cause it won't be happening at the finish line! :)
Event warmup:

I always forget to do a good warm-up and stretch and I pay for it during the run. Luckily, though, it wasn't too bad this time around.
  • 29m 35s
  • 1056 yards
  • 02m 48s / 100 yards

While it wasn't interfering as bad as it could have been with my breathing, the chopping of the waves was - quite frankly - scaring me to death.

After just rounding the second buoy, I caught the attention of a boat close by and flagged the guys on there. A nice guy, Rick, jumped into the water in his wetsuit with a flotation device. I told him I was thinking about calling it quits, but as I relaxed and caught my breath, making small talk no less, I realized how badly I wanted to finish; how I knew I could finish, how I did NOT want this to be the story to come from this day.

I thanked Rick, put my head back in the water and just kept swimming. After that, I felt pretty great other than having to swim against the current a few times to stay on course. My arm muscles are sore as I write this.

Following some of the advice here on BT, I took off my wetsuit in the water as that's supposed to help. So, my swim time includes full wetsuit removal.

I seriously thought I'd be closer to 40 minutes given everything, but what do you know? I came in UNDER my goal time of 30 minutes!

This same course in last year's Sprint (the Sprint and Oly swims are the same distance) took me 47 minutes and it was a warm sunny morning.
What would you do differently?:

Keep on racing. Though it would seem obvious, it really hit me that day that this sport is not just about conquering the distance. It's about getting punched, kicked, almost drowned and still moving forward.
Transition 1
  • 02m 44s

My bike shoes have shoe strings so that seriously hampered my time. They are mountain bike shoes, a gift from a friend, so I'm just grateful to have a pair at this point until I can buy some.
What would you do differently?:

I need a different pair of bike shoes.
  • 1h 38m 56s
  • 24.8 miles
  • 15.04 mile/hr

Last year, the headwinds were strong because we were just starting to experience the remnants of Hurrican Ike. Honestly, it felt the same this year. The headwinds were quite strong in many places, keeping me down to 9 mph at some points, especially on my second lap.

I did, however, take full advantage of one particular downhill, reaching a speed of over 35 mph. Man, I love speed! That just felt awesome!

Though the headwinds were tough, I felt more than prepared for this event.

Anytime I started slowing down to catch my breath or relax "just a little," I told myself, "Every second counts, Lora!" and continued to push harder.
What would you do differently?:

Do speedwork to get faster.
Transition 2
  • 01m 43s

Thought I'd gotten out of the TA faster, but really didn't, I guess.
What would you do differently?:

I just need to do more races to get more comfortable with the whole routine.
  • 1h 11m 29s
  • 6.55 miles
  • 10m 55s  min/mile

When I turned the second corner to start running on the grass, I thought, "Oh, my gosh! How in the world am I going to run 6 miles? That's so far away!" I just focused on taking it one step at a time, and believed that everything else would fall into place. It did.

Mile 2 to 3 was the hardest. I kept on waiting for the turn-around point, but it just seemed to take forever. There were a lot of volunteers there handing out goodies. I took some water but refused the cookies. "No thanks, guys. Just want to move on to be done with it."

I only stopped running to walk a handful of times so that I could drink some Powerade I had in a flask, and I stopped to stretch briefly a couple times. Other than that, I ran the whole thing!

As I got close to the finish line, I heard a girl's voice come up behind me. "Hey, let's do this. Let's finish strong." So, we started speeding up some together. She said she'd been chasing me for 2 miles (Wow! There were people in the Oly behind me?).

As we got even closer to the finish line, I was giving it everything I had, but I puttered out and she beat me. That's OK, though. If I hadn't have sprinted that hard, I would be one rank lower overall because I beat the person behind me by two seconds.

What would you do differently?:

DO MORE SPEEDWORK! Can I say that enough?
Post race
Warm down:

Stretched a little, ate half a banana and slipped into some jeans and sandals. Again, I should have spent more time stretching as I'm still feeling it two days later.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not doing speedwork in my training. How many more times am I going to write that down in a race report before I finally start doing some?

Event comments:

I seriously thought I'd come in dead last. Afterall, I am upping my race distance and I'm just that slow of a girl. For me to not come in dead last like I did in this Sprint last year, is a huge boon to my confidence.

Even though this was my first Oly, I'd been beating myself up for not being stronger and faster to make the cut-offs for the HIM swim and bike. Though the math was absolutely, without a doubt not adding up to do it, there's still a part of you that wonders if you're chickening out; if you're just taking the path of least resistance.

Conquering that swim (man, I can't tell you how scared I was!) affirmed my decision and reminded me that I'm anything but a chicken.

I got teary-eyed on the way home just thinking about how I won my battle that day; how extremely grateful I am to the Lord above that this little body of mine works. It could be snapped away from me at any moment and I refuse, absolutely REFUSE, to never appreciate this amazing life before me!

WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last updated: 2009-09-26 12:00 AM
00:29:35 | 1056 yards | 02m 48s / 100yards
Age Group: 4/4
Overall: 122/128
Performance: Average
Suit: Full Xterra Vortex (1st Use) Loved It!
Course: Enter the water, turn right, then left, then left, then left, then right and out. I suppose in mathematical terms, you'd call that a rectangle.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Below average
Waves: Good Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:44
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Bad
01:38:56 | 24.8 miles | 15.04 mile/hr
Age Group: 4/4
Overall: 120/128
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind with gusts
Course: Pretty much a flat course with a couple of strong hills at the end. I pushed through them on both laps without having to walk.
Road: Smooth Wet Cadence:
Turns: Below average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 01:43
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Average
Racking bike Average
Shoe and helmet removal Average
01:11:29 | 06.55 miles | 10m 55s  min/mile
Age Group: 4/4
Overall: 112/128
Performance: Average
Course: Dead flat and very enjoyable. The sun was starting to shine at this point, which made soaking up the scenery even more pleasant than it would have been otherwise.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-09-29 5:16 PM

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Subject: Toyota Challenge at Deer Creek - Mini (Olympic)

2009-09-29 6:08 PM
in reply to: #2432835

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Columbus, Ohio
Subject: RE: Toyota Challenge at Deer Creek - Mini (Olympic)
Congrats on a much improved swim time, and for completing your first Oly. Way to hang in there!
2009-09-29 11:08 PM
in reply to: #2432835

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Subject: RE: Toyota Challenge at Deer Creek - Mini (Olympic)
Nice job pushing yourself Lora. It was nice to see you out on the run.
2009-09-30 12:20 AM
in reply to: #2432835

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Subject: RE: Toyota Challenge at Deer Creek - Mini (Olympic)
Nice race report.  Glad to see your meeting your goals.  By the way, I can definately relate to the "there's still a part of you that wonders if you're chickening out; if you're just taking the path of least resistance" comment.
2009-09-30 8:13 AM
in reply to: #2432835

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Subject: RE: Toyota Challenge at Deer Creek - Mini (Olympic)
Ya know I am pretty Isure I saw you before the race but I was on a mission to get stuff from the car and figured I'd say "are you Lora" when I returned to transition but then didn't see you (or your look alike) again.

good finish.

2009-09-30 9:25 AM
in reply to: #2432835

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Subject: RE: Toyota Challenge at Deer Creek - Mini (Olympic)
Way to stick it out on the swim. That takes real guts. It would have been SO EASY to bag it. We all admire your fortitude!

I am not a strong swimmer, so I know how intimidating choppy water can be.


2009-09-30 1:13 PM
in reply to: #2432835

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Austin, TX
Subject: RE: Toyota Challenge at Deer Creek - Mini (Olympic)
Way to go Lora!  Good to see you push through your fears and conquer them! 
2009-09-30 2:39 PM
in reply to: #2432835

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Subject: RE: Toyota Challenge at Deer Creek - Mini (Olympic)
Nice job Lora! Good for you for going after the swim like you did. Triathlon is sometimes about pushing through and you definitely did just that on your swim.

I think there is something about the Toyota challenge that causes high winds. I don't know what it is. Sunday was an absoluetly crappy day for racing.

Congrats on your first oly finish! May it be ther first of many.

And get out there and do some speed work this winter. (Or stay in and do it on a trainer.)
2009-09-30 4:43 PM
in reply to: #2432835

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McLean, Virginia
Subject: RE: Toyota Challenge at Deer Creek - Mini (Olympic)
Great job Lora!!  That was a wonderful race report and the swim portion was especially touching!  You should be extremely proud of yourself, sprint to Oly in a year is awesome!!  Keep up the good work!!
2009-09-30 7:59 PM
in reply to: #2432835

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Subject: RE: Toyota Challenge at Deer Creek - Mini (Olympic)
Hey!  Thanks for all the cool thoughts!  It was a great its own weird way!
2009-09-30 8:51 PM
in reply to: #2432835

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Frontenac , Kansas
Subject: RE: Toyota Challenge at Deer Creek - Mini (Olympic)
Good job on your race! I see your really starting to discover the mental part of the races. I understand how hard it is to stay focused and to tell yourself to keep going even though your brain is telling you to stop.

I really liked your race report and how you can see the areas you need improvement. Now the hard part is going to do those things.

You were saying your arms were sore from the swim. I know that ice baths are traditionally for the legs and it would be more difficult to cover your arms but maybe in the future you could use ice bags to help the upper body.

Great race. Keep it up and you won't be settling for back of the pack but pushing for the front!

Edited by wintimtim 2009-09-30 8:53 PM

2009-10-01 3:28 AM
in reply to: #2432835

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Subject: RE: Toyota Challenge at Deer Creek - Mini (Olympic)
GREAT JOB LORA!! I knew you would do great!!Smile
2009-10-01 9:00 AM
in reply to: #2432835

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Subject: RE: Toyota Challenge at Deer Creek - Mini (Olympic)
Good job finishing this race.  It was a rough day for most of us.  One of those races were it isnt about looking and feeling good, its a race that real test your mental toughness.  It will make us all better triathletes in the future. 

It was nice meeting you finally.  Hopefully next year we will be in more races together.
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