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Great Illini Challenge - Half Iron Distance Triathlon - Aquabike

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Neoga, Illinois
United States
Mattoon MultiSport
80'sF / 0C
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

I hurt my foot at my last race so I decided on Aqua Bike for this one with the goal of pushing myself at a longer distance. I always swim & bike at an easy pace for anything over a sprint because I stink at running and am so afraid I will blow up. So this time I wanted to see what I can do if I work hard, and if I can even work hard for that long! I did not list a rank or anything because there were only 2 of us officially signed up for aqua/bike.
Ok, now that your all caught up....
My routine was same as usual. Made sure to clean my bike chain and check everything over the day before the race this time though :). Went to bed at 8:00, woke up at 3:45.
Ate a bagel, fried egg, the last Italian cookie (yummy), bowl of fresh peaches and a cup of coffee. Played a game of Candy Crush then drove to the race.
I was so happy to meet BT's own Blueyedbikergirl & Mr2Tony!
Event warmup:

Not much this time, short ride on the bike to set the gear and a few short laps in the water to get my goggles ready.
  • 47m 4s
  • 2111 yards
  • 02m 14s / 100 yards

There was a bit of discussion before the race about wetsuits. The RD allowed wetsuits but the water (82 degrees) & air temp was just too hot for me so I decided no.

The ladies wave started 3 min behind the men and I've gotta say I got a really great vibe from this group of ladies! I had a clear line to start all the way to the first bouy, I saw the wetsuits and fish pulling away but that was my motivator to swim hard. I could not keep up of course but it was a motivator ha ha ha!
So, now I just swim. I kept going through my notes to myself in my head - sight but don't lift your head so high and don't stop your stroke, reach from your hips and pull all the way through. I was passing people slowly so I used those moments to really push my effort level and make a clean pass. There was a bit of chop in the water so I swallowed more of the lake than I like and it made it hard to focus on my stroke but I just kept after it.
I finished the first lap and just wanted to get out!! But out we go again and this time I start catching up to the slower men so things get a little more congested. I was bumped a few times but nothing major. Just more of the same really. I kept reminding myself to work, not just passively complete the distance and I was so freaking happy to see that last bouy!

What would you do differently?:

For my current fitness this was a good swim. I've been trying to evaluate if I worked as hard as I could and I'm not sure. OWS is just so distracting with people and sighting and choppy water that I can't focus just on actual swim effort. There were periods where I was swimming all out and periods where I had to adjust to the environment. If I want to get better I need to swim more and swim harder. We'll see what the next year brings.

I was slow coming out of the water since everyone around me was walking. I would haul my rear end out of the water faster if I could do it again.
Transition 1
  • 01m 16s

I came out of the water and ran up the beach, across a bit of grass, then some carpet then into transition. The whole time I am looking at the race clock and see my swim time of 50:00 and FREAK! What felt like a hard solid effort resulted in my slowest swim time at this distance ever. I hear ladies cheering telling me great swim and I look at Tiff (she was racing OLY which had not started yet) and yell That Sucks! What the heck?! So now I go into transition not happy at all. Turns out the swim was a bit long and my time was actually top 10 out of all the ladies -- 7th or 8th I think.
Ran to my bike, helmet on, shoes on, sunglasses on but they completely fog up and I can't see anything. I hear Tony give me a shout out - Thank you! And off I go.
What would you do differently?:

Keep the swim times out of my head.
  • 2h 53m
  • 56 miles
  • 19.42 mile/hr

Ok, so knowing this course has a lot of turns I actually did try to prepare my weaknesses and I DID improve. I took a ride out to a local state park earlier in the week that has a 5 mile loop. Every 2.5 miles or so I had to turn - for 40 miles I did this and my focus was simply to keep my feet clipped in and not slam on the brakes. Yes, I have issues LOL :).

Now to the ride, holy smokes the first lap was AMAZING. So easy, I was loving the course, the roads were in good shape, there was no wind (3 mph according to intellicast). I was on my way to an all time race PR for any distance. I felt great. I was passing people but I felt kind of guilty about this so I would always shout out not to pay attention to me I'm not running 2day. I felt so good that I did not take any water at the first water stop. Part because I still had water and part because it was stationed at a narrow turn around in the course. People in front of me had stopped, the water guys were not on top of it with hand outs and it was just a bit confusing so I passed. During this lap there was a short section where we are slightly uphill and into that little bit of wind. I could feel myself slowing down so I turned to my telephone pole sprint training to help me focus. I increased my cadence, pedaled harder and started counting off 10 telephone poles, turns out that was the end of that section then we got to turn!

Now, on to the second lap. I was planning to take water at the next water stop but it was placed in a difficult spot where we had to turn around some cones and try to grab a water while turning. Umm, I'm not that good so no water here unless I wanted to stop but that was not in my plan.

2nd lap things started to heat up, I ran out of water, the wind doubled (but was still a light wind at 7 mph according to intellicast) and my arms got tired. I could not maintain my pace. Now I was regretting those telephone pole sprints I did earlier LOL! I made sure to get water at the next stop, the guys were better with the handout. The heat was really getting to me though. Sweat was beaded up on my arms, my hands were too slippery to grab my payday bar (I had already dropped half of it trying to take a bite earlier). I started to develop some stomach pains and cold chills. It came and went though so when it went I tried to hammer. This lap was periods of, crud I am struggling and YAY, I feel the wind at my back, push it!
I did manage to stay clipped in for all the turns and turn arounds except the one when I took water at the end so I'm pleased with that. Other races I unclip both feet for everything so this is a big improvement.

What would you do differently?:

There is no doubt that I gave it all I had and maybe too much in some spots! I had 16 days to prepare from the time I decided to do this event. While I worked hard for those days, well, you know, there is only so much you can do in 16 days! Planning a head for a race sometime might be a good idea.......

My nutrition was lacking I am sure. We have not had these kinds of temps this summer so I did not have a good plan. For this entire race I had 2 bites of a payday, 1 bottle of Gatorade and 1 & 1/2 bottles of water.
Post race
Warm down:

Holy foggy head. I could not for the life of me find my bag in transition. I was out of it, had to sit down, sweating buckets. Finally got up to get a bottle of water, found Tiff and cooled down enough to find my bag. Hung out for a while and tried to find Tony and cheer for Monica but no luck!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Well training of course and last minute planning of course!
And the heat and poor nutrition.

I'm trying not to notice that it is 10 degrees cooler, cloudy and perfectly calm here today.

Last updated: 2013-09-01 12:00 AM
00:47:04 | 2111 yards | 02m 14s / 100yards
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Suit: no
Course: 2 loops
Start type: Dive Plus: Waves
Water temp: 82F / 28C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 01:16
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
02:53:00 | 56 miles | 19.42 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: 2 loops with lots of turns. This is good so we were never into the wind for long extended periods but bad for someone like me who is not great at turns :).
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks: Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2013-09-01 7:41 AM

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Subject: Great Illini Challenge - Half Iron Distance Triathlon

2013-09-01 6:52 PM
in reply to: #4844155

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Extreme Veteran
Racine, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Great Illini Challenge - Half Iron Distance Triathlon
Congratulation Dina I think you had an amazing race! I love pay days too.... Never thought about it but I am going to use these for my next race!
Way too hang in and stay clipped in!!!
2013-09-01 7:56 PM
in reply to: #4844155

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Cairo, GA
Subject: RE: Great Illini Challenge - Half Iron Distance Triathlon


Awesome swim and awesome bike pace. You are the first person I know to do an Aqua-Bike race and it sounds like you placed in the top 2! Sweet!

Even though you struggled with nutrition, the fact that you were smart enough to pass on the run shows much wisdom.

2013-09-01 9:09 PM
in reply to: jenbmosley

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Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: RE: Great Illini Challenge - Half Iron Distance Triathlon
Dina way to go great job getting ready in 16 days for this race. You did great in the swim without the wetsuit and you had a great bike leg. The over 19 mph avg was awesome. You're right though your nutrition didn't seem to be up to par espcially considering the heat. It sounds like you didn't drink enough on the bike and you probably should've eaten some more. That's some thing you can certainly fix for the next long race you do. Regardless congrats again you had a great race and you left it all out there.
2013-09-02 3:33 PM
in reply to: strikyr

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Subject: RE: Great Illini Challenge - Half Iron Distance Triathlon
Dina, awesome race, way to leave everything on the course...GREAT job!
2013-09-03 5:45 AM
in reply to: KWDreamun

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.

2013-09-05 11:09 AM
in reply to: #4844155

Fort Wayne
Subject: RE: Great Illini Challenge - Half Iron Distance Triathlon

Great race Dina!!

Top 10 for the swim overall is outstanding!!  I would be pleased with that ANYTIME!!!  Knowing you were ale to find a perceived effort during the swim for long course should be important enough.  Don't over think your effort, I imagine you were pretty close to where you should have been for the swim.  Long course racing should feel moderately paced anyway, so it would appear you were well planned and performed very close to desirable.

Congrats on a solid bike as well!  Sure you may have been able to go a little faster for the race had you been planned out for a longer time.  The lack of training time and nutrition planning time probably did play into a slightly lower performance but that's not in question.  The question of whether you performed appropriately given the available time seems to answer itself rather plainly, at least to me.  I think you killed it!!!

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