Sunday, July 10, 2011

Butler YMCA Triathlon Race Recap

Hey blog friends!  Sorry for my lack of posts while I vacationed with my family in Pittsburgh last week.  I’m spending this week with George’s family in small town, USA so I should have plenty of time to blog about my many adventures Winking smile from here on out.  Here’s a glimpse into the Triathlon I participated in on Saturday.  

If you’ve ever run a race, done a triathlon, or the like then you know, when that alarm goes off at 5:00 am you immediately start cursing yourself asking why. Why did I sign up for this stupid race?  Why do I do this? 

Nevertheless, I rolled myself out of bed, bleary eyed and grumpy until the sun rose and it felt like the rest of the world was finally awake with me. 

I met up with my friend Tracey and we arrived at the lake in plenty of time to pick up our packets and chip timer thingies (that’s the official name right?).  This was the 30th annual Butler YMCA Triathlon, but it is a VERY laid back atmosphere.  They don’t even mark your body or regulate the transition area.  I was skeptical that it would be a good race, but it turned out to be my favorite. 

tms sdt before

sdt beforetms before

It was so nice to be at the triathlon with Tracey.  I love racing with friends and we had a good time setting up, taking pictures and keeping each other at ease before the race (ok ok she kept me at ease).  I also got to meet a blog friend in real life, when I met Amanda from Diary of a Mad Fat Woman.  Yay for blog friends! 

I tested out the water before the race just to see about the temperature.  The outside air temperature was 57 degrees and to my Texas bones that seemed so cold.  Be that as it may, the water felt great, and for the first time in my triathloning (also an official word) career, I didn’t feel nervous about the swim. 

sdt lake before

The only thing, besides the body markings, that the Butler YMCA triathlon could do better is the wave release.  ALL the women were in the same wave and it was EXTREMELY crowded.  I think I could have gone a lot faster if I hadn’t been kicked 1000 times.  Dear Lady Doing the Backstroke:  Learn to swim so you can actually see where you’re going and you’ll have a better chance of not hitting me in the face every other stroke.  Seriously who swims the backstroke for 300 M?  Congrats to her I suppose.  Despite the crowd and my inability to get into a good groove, I finished the swim in 8:58. 

I felt like T1 was soooooooooo slow.  I was shaking and unable to get my socks on my wet feet.  The bike-out was also a LONG way from where I had parked my bike. Although I was close to the run-out, I think next time I’d park closer to the bike-out since it’s so hard to run in bike shoes (you are not allowed to ride your bike in the transition area).  Still my T1 time was 2:14 and I can live with that. 

Next up, of course, was the bike.  Tracey had told me about the course ahead of time.  She informed me that the course had a steep climb and then descent, but since it is an out and back course you get to do the each side of that hill.  Oh joy!  Even though the hill wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated, I was still in my lowest gear going up the steep climb and I felt slow.  This was my first experience with REAL hills since my accident and I know it slowed me down.  Not just because of the climbs though, but because of the down hills.  I was definitely on the brakes a lot harder than I usually would have been and it certainly cost me time.  All the same, I finished 7 hilly miles in 32:40, which I thought was a decent time considering my lack of hill training. 

I felt pretty good getting off the bike and my transition felt quick.  In just 1:34 I made the long trek from the bike-in to my transition area, changed gear and got on my way. 

Regardless of my quick transition into my gear, the transition of my legs from bike to swim was not kind.  I haven’t quite figured out why yet, but the transition from bike to run always takes its toll on my Achilles tendonitis.  My ankles/achilles were screaming, but I just had to ignore it.  I don’t think I felt “good” until a full mile into the run. 

The run was also an out and back course so I had fun cheering on those come back towards me.  It wasn’t long until I saw Tracey and, as usual, she looked strong and I knew she would finish well.  The run was mostly shaded which was nice, but there was a gentle grade at times and that further aggravated my achilles problem.  Sometimes I was slow, but other times I was running a 9:30 pace and feeling great.  It all averaged out in the end and I finished the 5K in 30:11, which is a good pace FOR ME, during a triathlon. 

run finish

Morraine Triathlon 2011 050

I wound up finishing in 1:15:36, 15th in my age group (out of 26), which is obviously not a stellar performance, but I’m out there and I’m having fun and really that’s all that matters to me. 

This was my favorite triathlon to date.  Perhaps it was because of the great weather, the shaded course or the super sprint distances, but I think it had a lot to do with the company!  A-ha! That is why I do this!  I had a great time with a GREAT friend! 

sdt tms finish

Thanks to Tracey for keeping me company and encouraging me and congratulations to Tracey on completing this race for the 5th time and coming in 5th in our age group.  She’s a rock star! 

Morraine Triathlon 2011 014

A HUGE congratulations to Amanda for completing her first triathlon.  This was a tough bike course on a road bike and Amanda did it on a mountain bike.  That takes a lot of muscle (mentally and physically).  So congrats to you Amanda for pulling through with a smile!  What was an awesome performance during your first triathlon! 


Steelerfan said...

Great job! That's not far from here, maybe I will try it next year!!

G. said...

Great job, Susan. xoxox G.

amy_niklaus said...

Awesome!!! Sounds like you really had fun!

Erika Myers said...

Congratulations on a fantastic race!!!

Tri4Success said...

Congrats to you, Tracey, and Amanda on a great race!

tracey smith said...

I am so glad you liked the race. Now you know why I always do it. You are right about the swim- I think that is why people register the day of- so they can be in the last heat. I bet it is a lot less crowded. And, I did pass the woman swimming backstroke- she ran into me too.

You did such an awesome job- especially on the bike since you are not used to hills anymore. Thanks for doing this race- I can't tell you how great it was to have you there.

And, Amanda, great job! Hope to see you there again next year.

Amanda Schaefers said...

Yay! I had so much fun. I'm hooked now. I absolutely LOVED this race, and I can't wait for next year. In fact, I'm looking at doing at least one more, maybe 2, and an aquathlon, before the end of the year.

I couldn't have done it without you Susan, thanks for the help and the support!

And thanks to everyone else for the congrats!

Ronald Obringer said...

WOW! great job susan!! i know the biking had to be a challenge for you on the hills. Psychologically at least. Congrats to tracey for the great finish as well.

Grace Lim-Clark said...

Hey Susan, great race report, I enjoyed reading it! Did you make it to this year's Butler Tri? I just put out my little write up on the race, with links to about 1000 pics.

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