The Race: Topeka Tinman, Lake Shawnee, Topeka, KS
Distances: 400 Meter Swim, 13 Mile Bike, 3 Mile Run
Finish Time: 1:39:01
Weather: Hot & Humid - I'm not sure what the exact temps were but it was warm, but really still a great day!
Interesting Fact: They pulled a car out of the lake a few days prior to the race that had been there about 30 years.....in that car was also a body....there's still another car in the lake. I am not kidding. Doesn't make you feel all warm and fuzzy about the swim huh?
Pre-Race: Topeka is about an hour and a half from where I live. Transition opened at 5:30 am. I set my alarm for 2:45 am and woke up to strong thunderstorms. According to the weather they were supposed to clear out around 6am. I did all my pre-race stuff and headed out the door at 4am to pick up my friend Michelle. Jim wasn't able to make this race so it was so nice to have a friend there. The storms had cleared out thankfully, but reeked a little havoc on the course apparently blowing away the finish line and restructuring the swim buoys.
After we got body marked, picked up our timing bracelet, etc we hung out, ate some breakfast and ran into another friend Susan from our Tri 102 class. It was Susan's first Tri and she was super excited. Finally the race time came.
Swim: Time - 7:42 (this would be an awesome swim time if the swim was actually 400 meters, I'm not exactly sure how long it was but it wasn't 400 - it was shorter.) My friend Michelle is an awesome swimmer and swam in high school and college and she thought she would finish around 6 minutes; she finished in 4:48). Anyway, I had a decent swim. It was packed with women and was difficult to move during the first half - I had to doggie paddle around the first few buoys because i just couldn't get out of the congestion, but once I rounded the last buoy I was able to swim pretty strong. Overall I finished the swim 246 out of 348 finishers. There was a pretty lengthy run from the beach to the transition area and I was pretty winded. My first transition was very slow at 3:07.
Bike: Time - 51:33 (15.3 mph) The bike course was not too bad The roads were very rough and there was some loose gravel that I almost lost it in - that made my heart beat fast. But the course had mainly rolling hills, with two super steep, but very short hills. I felt pretty good on the bike, but mindful of my hamstring I slowed down a few times thinking I was maybe going a little too hard. I almost fell of my bike near the dismount, but managed to keep it together. I did get my foot caught in the spokes of my tire though and took a few seconds to get it out. I was prepared to dismount at the sign that said dismount, but someone was shouting DISMOUNT far before the sign!! And so I did right there. I stopped a little too abruptly. Anyway, overall I thought the bike went pretty well. I finished 274 out of 348 on the bike...not so great. My transition time from bike to run was a bit quicker at 1:54 - but I still could have been faster.
Run: Time 35:02 (11:41 pace) Even though I've been doing a Brick workout at least once a week for about 6 weeks, I was surprised how tired and dead my legs felt. I started out way to fast around a 9:30 pace, and ended up having to walk after probably less than a 1/4 mile into the run. My breathing was out of control. I knew I needed to get it under control quickly if I was going to run a decent run leg. I walked for about 45 seconds and then tried to run a more even pace. My goal was to finish the 3 mile run in under a 12 minute pace. I was super excited with the 11:41. That's the fastest run I've had in a triathlon to date. At about mile 2.5 my hamstring started to tighten up and I stopped and walked again for a few seconds, but I was so close to the finish I just kept going. In spite of a good run for me.....I finished 321 out of 348 finishers. ARGHHHH!!! I hate being so slow.
Race Results: Overall place 294 out of 348. Division (Women 35-39) 34 out of 37 (BOO!!). Women place 115 out of 147.
After the race I was feeling on top of the world. Three days prior I wasn't even sure I was going to be able to race, but I had finished and felt like I had a great race. When I got home and saw my results I was really unhappy. I know I am slow, but sometimes it's hard when you really see yourself compared to others. I feel like I work and train hard, but I never get better or faster. Then I had to re-evaluate and remember that this was a pretty competitive, but also small race. I did improve and felt strong afterwards, and at the end of the day I had just completed a triathlon - something that only a small percentage of people have ever even attempted.
My friend Michelle did GREAT!!! She finished 19th out of 147 women. Susan was also ecstatic after completing her first triathlon!! Susan has 12 Children - yes I said 12 and yes she gave birth to them all, and yet she still finds time to train and compete. She did awesome too coming in 8th in her Division!
Later that night we went out to dinner and a movie with some friends. It was nice to get "cleaned up" after a sweaty race day. I'll leave you with a few pics from the race and post race!!
|Me & Michelle pre-race...it was still a little chilly from the rain, but that wouldn't last long|
|My transition area|
|The Tinman Finish line|
|The lake - without the buoys|
|My bike #93|
|Michelle's bike #92|
|After the race with our results printouts|
|The finisher's Pint Glass - AWESOME|
|Cool Technical Tee|
|Ready for dinner and a movie - nice to be dressed up and not in workout clothes for a change|
|Jim was really scared|
|Oh me too|
|Me & My Sweetie!!|