Thursday, April 1, 2010
A DAY OF FIRSTS AND A THIRD
Sorry this took so long to post. It's been a busy week. Here is my view of my third Lavaman race.
I've got to say, this race was one of the most painful races I've had. This year's Lavaman triathlon held a lot of firsts for me. It was the first race I really felt like I was ready for. The first race I have ever used racing wheels and tires. The first race I tried to actually compete in rather than just complete and the first triathlon I have ever made the podium.
Even though I got a personal best in all three events and placed 3rd in my age group, I'm somehow disappointed in my race. I feel I could have gone harder in the swim and the bike but mentally I backed off. On the run I made myself slow down so I wouldn't re-injure the plantar fasciitis in my right foot. Even though by the fifth mile I was pretty much running on fumes.
I guess because this is the first race I've actually tried to be competitive in my age group it's made me a little more critical of my performance. Just think, a year ago, even a few months ago, I never would have imagined being on the podium at any triathlon. See what completing an Ironman can do for you. Confidence is a huge factor in racing. Well, here's my race notes:
THE SWIM 25:20 (133rd overall)
Not sure what was up this year but it was a pretty lame starting system. No cannon, no gun, no horn, just an odd "10, 4, 2, go." And in the water you couldn't even hear the starter say "go." At least I couldn't. I was on the left side (shore side) up front waiting for the start when the swim patrol guys started waving their arms and yelling "GO! GO! GO!" Us swimmers just kind of looked at each other and finally someone started swimming so we all took off, uncertain if we were supposed to or not.
(Coming out of the water next to Kona boy Jim Raguel in the background. We seem to exit the water together on every race.)
I was in the 3rd wave and each wave started three minutes apart. We started catching the stragglers from the other two waves just about at the first turn. Just after the first turn I got smacked in the privates that made it difficult to swim for a minute or so, but the guy was getting a little too handsy for me so I kicked as hard as I could to get him to back off.
I never found any good feet to grab onto. Every time I would find someone they would slow down so I was pretty much on my own. Maybe it was just me but the turns all seemed sharper than a 90 degree turn, which made it hard for me to set a straight course coming off the turns.
Nothing exciting happened during the swim other than the hit to the man bits and the grope. Swam/glided over a couple of coral heads just inches below the surface. I had a terrible run up the beach to T1 mostly because of the plantar fasciitis.
BIKE 1:08:25 (87th overall)
I was shooting for a 1:05 or less on the bike but my legs just would not hold the pace. I had plenty of go but my mind would wander and I'd find myself going below my race pace. I can't even blame it on the wind since we really didn't have much on the bike. This was the first race I used racing wheels so I had lots of hope that I would crush the bike portion but no such luck.
RUN 52:04 (217th overall)
I had a terrible run. When I felt like speeding up the first three miles I made myself slow down so not to aggravate the plantars in my right foot. By the time I was ready to speed up on the 4th mile I barely could get down to below an 8 minute mile. By mile 5 I was running on fumes and by mile 6 I was really hurting. Being injured the past few months really showed on my run. But I'm determined to get past it and hit the run hard for Honu. Overall time: 2:30:15. About 4 minutes behind the first place guy.
In the end I finished 123rd out of about 900 participants and 3rd in my age group. A few months ago I wrote on my blog that I would never get on the podium at any triathlon. I guess I proved myself wrong Sunday. But even with that I'm not satisfied with my race. I feel like I gave up mentally and that I had a lot more in my legs than my brain was telling me.
It's my run that is the weakest stage and that's what I'm going to be working on over the next 2 months before Honu. I've got to get my half marathon time down if I want to compete in my age group at the Hawaii half ironman.
Way to go Karen! She got a personal best in the swim and on her overall time. Plus, she was smiling the entire race. Just check out her photos on Lavaman. She was number 699. Congratulations also to Penn Henderson who won his age group and also won the drawing for the Ironman slot. And congrats to all the other Big Island participants. Way to go and it was an honor to race with you all. See you out there.
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