Saturday, September 25, 2010

Colby Tri Race Report

I love this race. I think I have blogged about it before, but it's the one race I hate to ever miss. I have raced it 4 out of the past 5 years (2006 I was injured) and have always done well. This is the reason I signed up even though I thought I wouldn't race this year. Just couldn't help myself. Which also led to racing last weekend too, but ....

Anyway ... I woke up this morning and proceeded as usual. Shower, coffee, breakfast, etc. I started to load up my car and when I walked outside I walked out to a temp of 66 degrees at 6:20 in the morning! Wow! Every year it is usually very chilly at Colby. Last year when I arrived at the race venue it was 39 ... no joke! I arrived at the race a little behind schedule. I pulled in at 8:10 and the race started at 9. Not much time to mess around. I grabbed all my stuff and headed down to pick up my bib. I get there and had left my USAT card in the car. Luckily they let me get my bib, get body marked, and set up transition before heading back up to get it. By the time I did all that is was almost 8:30. Pre-race meeting was at 8:45. I went for a quick run that included stopping at my car for the card. Then I quickly put on my wetsuit and headed down to the water. I managed to at least get in and get a feel for the water before they pulled us out.

This race is short and fast. The swim is only 400M so you can pretty much just go all out because you're not in the water long at all. There are only two waves, men and women. The men went off 3 minutes ahead of us. We started and I just swam as hard as I could. I hit the beach and then ran up the big hill to T1. I headed out on my bike and settled in fast. The bike is 14 miles. I passed quite a few men right off the bat. That's always fun. I passed one girl within the first few miles. I keep pedaling away, pushing hard. I passed a couple more girls and then it seems like I'm out on the bike all alone. This isn't a big race but I didn't see anyone for miles. I start thinking, am I that far behind that I can't catch the other women? (I'm used to coming out of the water pretty far back and usually pass more women). OR, did I come out of the water better than I realized - after all it was a short swim - and there was just no one to pass. I liked that thought better.

The run is an out and back and you see the runners as you come in off the bike. As I approach I see the turn around cone but no runners. I like it! I keep riding and soon I see the first male, which tells me I was in good position. Soon I see Erin, she was leading, but then Nicole was a close second and just flying! She quickly ran Erin down and ended up first female. I see another girl and then I knew I was in 4th. I came in off the bike and quickly headed out on the run. I still felt really good. As I approached the turn around cone, I saw the 3rd place girl but I knew she was too far ahead to catch. After I made the turn I saw the girl in 5th and realized she was too far back to be a threat. Relief. I ran it in hard finishing 4th female and 20th overall. Another solid performance at the Colby Tri.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lobsterman Race Report

So, my first tri of the season. I mentioned going in that I had a goal in mind, something realistic but that would push me. I had to be realistic as my longest workout of the year has only been around 90 minutes. I looked at my splits from 2008 and then how my training has been going and decided if I could go somewhere around 30 on the swim, 1:20 on the bike, and 48 on the run, I'd be happy. Add in transition and a little wiggle room and I'd finish under 2:45.

Race morning. I woke up 10 minutes before the alarm went off and flew out of bed. I was stoked. Did my regular stuff ... shower, eat, fix my water bottles, etc. I rechecked everything I had packed the night before to be sure I didn't forget anything and headed for Freeport. Pre-race was all normal. Got body marked, set up transition, etc. I went for a short run, stretched, then decided it was time to get the wetsuit and see just how cold the water was. All week talk has been flying about how cold the water was going to be. I get in and to my surprise it wasn't that bad. That was a relief!

The swim. The waves went off every 3 minutes and I was in wave 5, pink caps. I got a good position in the water and then pretty soon Andy the announcer goes GO GO GO GO! (Andy - I love his voice. He announces at so many races. It's almost a calming voice when I hit a race venue and hear him on the speaker.) Off we go. I told myself to say relaxed and just swim. One buoy at a time. I've had issues freaking out in the water before and just wanted to keep a positive attitude and stay relaxed this time. I managed to draft for awhile right off the bat, which was nice. First buoy down. Found someone else to draft on after the turn. Second buoy down. You made a slight left after this buoy and then the sun was in your eyes. Ugh. Somewhere between buoy two and three I had a few issues. I finally made the turn on the last buoy and headed in. At that point I just swam hard and wanted out of the water. I hit the beach and headed into T1. Swim time 32:18. I was a little wobbly getting my bike shoes on, but I hurried as fast as I could and made it out of T2 in 1:48.

The bike. I took off on the bike and wanted to be sure I kept spinning easy since I had to climb out of the park before I could really settle in and get after it. About 3 min into the bike I glance down and see my computer isn't working. Ugh. Now, this is probably the stupidest thing I have ever done ... without thinking I reach my hand down to see if I can hit the button on the side of the sensor. Yeah. I miss and my finger goes into the spokes. OMG! That hurt. And no, I didn't learn so I did it again only this time the sensor moved, hit my spokes and flew off into the ditch! Smart Carlson, real smart. And all for what? Still not sure why I was so worried about my computer. My finger was bleeding but nothing that bad. Alright, I need to focus. I settle in on the bike feeling good. I thought the bike traffic was crazy. Especially through the first half of the race. Way too many bikes!! I pushed through the bike, all the way to the end, and I felt great. I hit T2 with a bike split of 1:21:26. Not bad considering I refused to ride my bike for over 3 months in the beginning of the season. In and out of T2 in :56.

The run. Here we go. I had no idea how this would come out. Remember me saying that me longest workout was 90 min? I've now been racing close to 2 hours. I told myself not to think about that and just run. That first climb out of the park just sucks. There is no other way to put it. After getting past the first hill I started to settle in. I have no idea what my pace was, I just ran. The miles were clicking off and I was getting tired. I just kept telling myself to keep running. Don't quit You can do this. I had about 1.5 mi to go and I started to come apart. Ugh. I kept pushing. I know I slowed down on the last few hills before the final decent into the park. I just kept pushing. I was so happy to start the decent, then I saw the water appear on the right, and I knew I was almost done. Past the gatehouse and onto the dirt. I heard Andy announce my name ... that's always cool. Around that last bend and to the finish. I did manage to run down a girl in the last 100 yards. Run time 51:06.

My final time was 2:47:31, which put me 10th in my age group. I was happy. I felt like I had a great race, pushed through the whole thing, and never gave up. AND I had fun!!!!

Next weekend is the Colby Triathlon. I'm really looking forward to it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

First Triathlon of the Season

Yes, my first triathlon of the season is this Saturday. It seems odd considering the season is basically over but I’m very excited. At the beginning of the season, I decided I didn’t want to race this year. As the summer went on, I started to get that feeling, desire, want … whatever you call it … to race again. I decided I would sign up for the Colby Triathlon since it is one of my favorites. So I started training, well, seriously training, training the way I SHOULD train if I’m going to race about 5 weeks ago.

Then, not long after, I find out that there are still about 100 spots left in the Lobsterman Triathlon. It took me all of about 10 minutes to sign up. I’m in no kind of shape to race the international distance, but decided it would be a great workout.

I am a little worried about the swim. I tweaked my left shoulder last week, no idea how, but it has kept me out of the pool for a week missing at least three workouts. Good thing it’s the shortest leg!!

I have been feeling really good on the bike. Last night I rode the Lobsterman course with a group from the Midcoast Tri Club. It was nice to familiarize myself with it again as the last time I raced the Lobsterman was 2008. I was kindly reminded of how hilly it is! After I rode I walked over to the boat launch where the swim start takes place. Isn’t the view amazing? I stood there looking out over the ocean remembering why I love this sport.

I’m ready for Saturday. I have a goal in mind. The goal is realistic given my fitness level and lack of training in the early summer but still doesn’t give any room to slack off! I’m ready for some pain!

On a side note to anyone who read my last post, I'm happy to say that I successfully took off 6 lbs to date. Hopefully I can shed a couple more before the Colby Tri on the 25th.

Looking forward to seeing all my tri friends on Saturday … game on.