RACE REPORT: Skeese Greets Women’s Tri!
First Tri of the Season-Not bad!
I think it's almost comical that I can bomb a swim portion of a tri and still finish 20th out of 70-odd women in my age-group. However, that being said, had I had a good swim today, I could have possibly been in that illusive top-10 bracket. More later...but time to rest off a good bike and a great run:)
I was so excited about this race as I got up this morning. I have been training ‘relatively’ hard for it the last few months, and I was ready to compete hard and prove to the world I am ready to take on the Austin Tri Scene! :) haha. Turns out that New Bransfuels though was further away than I originally thought. I barely got to the race site with a much time to prep and set up my transition area. It was a ‘every women for herself’ situation. I luckily found a ‘kinda’ space near a huge mylar balloon and very close to the bike exit. One thing that did bother me is people do not know how to set up their transition areas with their bikes, but I guess when it’s a free-for-all, what do you expect?
The swim looked daunting (even for an out and back) and I was in the first wave. Not sure how many women were in the wave, but at least 100. I situated myself in the front, just as Coach Chrissie advised. The second I got in that cold water though and put my face in that disgusting water, I knew the swim would be tough. The gun went off and immediately I got swam over, punched and kicked. Nothing too bad, but it took me a while to feel ‘comfortable.’ I pretty much struggled the first 150 meters along with a few other poor souls. The water was sooo gross, you really have no idea. Almost black (no visability at all), stinky, and ‘things’ were floating in it. By far the worst swim I have EVER EVER EVER done. At the 200 meter marked I got passed by the next wave’s swimmers, oh well.
I managed to struggle in the water for about 10 minutes, only free-styling about half of that. Ughh. I felt right then that I just wasted all that money on my swim program and that I will never amount to anything in triathlons if I can’t handle a ‘short and simple’ swim. Pretty defeating self-talk. But, I’m not a quitter. I shook it off, commented to a spectator about gross water and I ran out to the bike racks, found my Baby Blue and knew I was going to have to pound this bike portion.
I was in a huge group of women going out on their bikes. Pretty much the whole field of competition from 30-39. I immediately pounded and tried to get away from them. Great motivation. The first portion of the bike is kind of scary though since you are riding on the I-35 feeder road and they recently repaved it so it’s pretty bumpy. Ughh. I passed a lot of people though. The first hill got me a little but I don’t think I got passed. I rode aero about 75% of the ride which not only was very comfty but allowed me to drink out of my Aerobottle and really hammer the straight-aways. I did get passed by the age 40+ leaders on their 4k aerobikes though but it happens.
The first part of the bike I averaged 17 mph and then the rolling hills started happening at mile 6 and they were totally kicking my ass. I got passed by a few girls on road bikes and someone on a hybrid bike and then decided to stop messing around and start to hammer the rest of the ride. I picked up the pace, almost drafting off a few gals (there were some really narrow portions of the ride…so it was almost impossible to not draft, to be honest with you). The last 2 miles were downhill and I hit 30+ mph, which helped me complete an average 16.5 mph bike split. Not great, but considering I passed a lot of people on the bike, I wasn’t disappointed with my pace. Plus my legs felt good.
The run! I was so eager to do it and my legs were shot from my two races yesterday and the hammering on the bike hills. Nevertheless, I ran as hard as I could. 8:03 for the first mile and 7:45 for the second (I just wanted to finish!) I did feel really good finishing this race though, I think this is the first tri I have done thus far where ‘overall’ I felt like I had good energy, drive and push the entire race. I need to figure out this swim thing…and if so, maybe I can place in the top 10 in my age group one day! The other positive though is that my transition times are improving with makes me feel good, although I need to continue to bring down those numbers too.
Congrats to all the first-timers (I was the crazy girl in the purple visor cheering everyone on at the finish)! You ladies inspired me with your energy, drive and desire. You ladies help me realize why I love this sport so much! Don’t ever forget if you aren’t having fun while competing, it’s not worth doing!
300m swim, 11.1 mile bike, 2 mile run
20th in 25-29 age group (out of 72)