Wednesday, October 01, 2008

South Carolina

Here are the pre-race photos from the camera that they gave us in the schwag bag at the race this weekend:

Nat and me, sporting our swim togs.
Nora, looking cute as always. She even looked cute on the run when I was drag-assing around the course with my belly hanging out.
Doug telling me not to take his photo - can you see his teeth are clenched?
Me, modeling my team ZootGu outfit.
Doug, getting in the race zone with some tunes.
Nat and Doug in swim gear. Look at that flexing.
So, I posted my race report on BT. Here is the link if you want to read all about it in nauseating detail. I had a marvelous time at the race. Sure, parts of the run hurt a lot, but the whole thing was fun from the time we started packing the car until we collapsed exhausted into bed on Sunday night. It has been awesome to share the experience with Nat and Doug and all of my internet (and real) buddies.
Soreness kept me to a walk yesterday and I left my i-pod in the car so I was alone with my thoughts about the race and triathlons in general. It seems like a longer distance triathlon is like a puzzle where you have to fit all of the pieces together just right (the swim, the bike, the run, but also the pacing on each one and the nutrition the day before the race, the nutrition the morning before the race, the nutrition during the race, the outfit, etc). Only, the trick is that first you have to make all of the pieces and then you have to grind or sand them to make them fit together and if you do it wrong it throws all of the other pieces off and you either have a complete mess or have to start over.

Given this complexity, it's a complete miracle that I was able to finish Sunday's race at all. I had the pieces - we knew I could swim and bike and run the distance. And, because of my GI issues, I knew what I needed to eat during the race and the day before. And, because we've practiced, a lot, we knew mostly what the paces should be. So, I had a good shot going in.
Then, I went faster than plan on the swim. That's OK because I didn't go hard. Wasn't breathing hard or feeling stressed at any point. I did sandbag a little on my goal pace for the swim. Then, I went out too hot on the bike. This is a common error and I tried to rectify it by slowing down for the rest of the ride. I tried to ignore my falling average pace because it was still above goal pace. This worked out OK. I finished only 0.2 mph over goal pace. On the run, I also started hot. It's easy to do this because you are already warm from the bike and the heartrate is elevated. I talked myself off of that ledge and was headed off just under goal pace when I was immediately slammed into reality with stomach distress. I don't have tummy problems on the run - it's the lower GI that gives me fits. My only guess is that I overfueled on the bike or the bike was too fast for my level of fitness or my run was also too fast for me. I dunno. Whatever happened, I was able to finish the run 10 seconds per mile over goal pace. However, when you add all that together, I came in well under my goal time.
Swim: 37:32
T1: 3:46 (yeah, wetsuit removal is hard)
Bike: 3:08:44
T2: 2:17
Run: 1:57:26
Wow, it was so much fun. I can't wait to race again next year.


Wes said...

I wish I could run like you :-) Well done, Steph!!!

jasonaut said...

Awesome. Congratulations! It's always a nice feeling when the training pays off. And as far as construction goes, I have one piece of advice... "beat it to fit, paint it to match."

Jonathan Collins said...

You did awesome on your first HIM.

Dorothy Gould said...

Steph, Good for you! I read your BT blog and am so glad you had such a great experience. Congrats!

Kevin said...

It was such a great race. I cant wait till next year. It's hard to believe tri season is over. Thanks for being so full of energy out there on the run course. It really helped

Dorothy Gould said...

Steph, I remember you mentioning Maddie, Annika's idol, in one of your posts, and today I realized that she is in Sophie's PSR class. Her mother introduced herself to me at drop off today, and something about them rang a bell. Then I remembered you mentioning Maddie and seeing their blog on your favorites list. It's a small world!

Dogwood Girl said...

Great job, steph!