Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Mid-Pig

We drove to Palo Friday night after work to “camp” for the weekend for the Pigman Olympic distance race.  It took a bit extra to get set up because I have not yet learned when figuring out where we want to set up the camper, I need to make sure the power cord reaches the power supply box.  Oops! 

Finally got set up, had dinner, watched the beginning of Hitchcock, and off to bed with the windows open.  Loving the cool nights.  So rare this time of year!

The internet is not ideal, so Saturday morning Wes headed to Starbucks after breakfast while I relaxed a little and went for a 10 mile ride followed by a 2 mile run.  My effort felt relaxed and was going a good pace.   I didn’t feel any leftover soreness from the previous weekend.   The rest of the day was full of packet pickup, a few errands, a visit from Wes’ mom, making dinner, and finishing up Hitchcock.  Unfortunately, it was almost 10:30 by the time we finally headed to bed.  It’s not like I get a good night’s sleep before races anyway, but 4:30am still felt early.

Quick stop at the RV Dealer to pick up a part for the camper,
and were talked into getting a pooh tube pig.
The hawkeye decorations sold Wes on it.

I was able to get to transition pretty early as I heard the line starts to form at 5:30.  Getting there at 5:40 put me about 20th in line.  Good enough. 

I took my bike out for a short ride, then did a little run (to the port-a-potty and back), put my wetsuit on, and headed down to the water.  I had hoped to get through everything quicker, but socializing ate up a good amount of that time.  As I was warming up, I stopped for a sec and heard them announcing some of the people that were racing.  I only caught the end of the Olympic distance women, so got the awesome news that I would be racing against a woman that placed 20th at the London Olympics last year.  Yeah! L

The race started at 7:30am with the men, then the women in a time trial start.  Every 3 seconds someone took off.  We self-seeded ourselves, and I chose to go last.  No matter if I went first or last for the women I was going to have to climb over people in the swim.  I decided on last so I knew that everyone I passed I was ahead of.  Since the women were last, this meant I would not have a chance of someone from a wave behind catching to draft off of.   Doubt that made much of a difference.   Temps have been usually cool lately, so the water temp was only 73, which made it wetsuit-legal.

I could tell I was working my way through the swimmers.  I felt fairly comfortable with my swim.  Never pushed myself, but never let up either.  It wasn’t my fastest 1.5k swim, but not my slowest either.  I was content with it.

T1 was fairly good.  I actually got my helmet on correctly the first time, and was able to get a foot out of the wetsuit as the same time.  I’m used to having to drag my bike with my bike shoes on all the way through transition, but this was the first time in a while that I had a rack in the middle.  Much nicer!

I headed out on the bike at a steady pace.  I could tell there were a few women ahead of me and I was starting to pick them off, along with a few guys.  I only jockeyed back and forth once with one guy.  Usually it’s at least two that dislike being passed by a chick on a pink bike, and fight back. 

Everything was moving along well until the turnaround.  I was about 20 yards from the turnaround when a truck pulling a camper went through.  Not sure if he went on his own, or if the volunteers let him through.  At first I thought it would be okay.   I had hoped I could catch him before he sped up too much, so I could draft for a bit.  The exact opposite happened.  I caught up pretty quickly, and he slowed down.  Apparently he didn’t feel the urgency to pass the cyclist ahead of him.  There was not enough room for me to pass without crossing the center line, which would be a 2-minute penalty, but I also feared as soon as I would start to pass he would pass and push me into oncoming cyclists.  I hoped he was just waiting for a good time to pass, so I stayed behind…and waited, and waited, and waited.  I would pedal a few times, then sit up and hope the driver would notice and pull over or motion me to go around, or a race marshal would do something.  I even had to break while going downhill so I would run into the camper.  It felt like I was behind it forever!  Finally another cyclist caught up to me, asked if it was illegal to pass (I responded “yes”), then he went by…and I followed.  I felt safe in passing at that point, and knew if it was going to Palo, I would be slowed down by at least 2 minutes if I stayed behind it.  As I turned the corner to head towards Palo I looked to see where the camper was.  It had just crested the hill behind me.  I was so glad I finally went around.

The rest of the bike leg was standard.  I passed a few more people, held on tight for the railroad crossings, and eased into transition.  My bike bladder had water mixed with one scoop of Hammer Nutrition HEED (100 calories), and I went through about 3/4 of it.

Racked my bike, took off my helmet, put on running shoes, grabbed my belt and hat to put on while running, and took off.  I got in and out of T2 quickly (3rd fastest T1 and T2 times for the women). 

I don’t wear my Garmin will running, so not sure how consistent my pace was.  While turning the first corner, I was told that I was in fourth and two minutes behind third.  I knew there were three people ahead of me, so I was happy to know there weren’t more.  I was pretty sure the woman directly ahead of me was Jamie.  Unfortunately, I had no idea where in line she started for the swim.  I just hoped it was less than 2 minutes as I knew my run wasn’t much better than hers.  I never fully pushed the run, but wasn’t taking it easy, either.  I really dislike time trial starts.   I know I should be racing my own race, but I really like to know where I’m at and what I need to do.  I never passed any women during the run, so wasn’t sure until I saw the results were I actually finished up. 

I came in third for the women.  The first place uber-triathlete destroyed me by 10 minutes, and was 4th overall.  Second place was about a minute and half faster.  I took a look at my bike data.   What felt like several miles ended up only being 1.267 mile and 4:04 minutes of being stuck behind the camper.  Average mph on the bike for the entire race was 22.6. While behind the camper I averaged 18.7.  It definitely didn't slow me down by the minute and a half I lost to second place.  By my calculation, which could be incredibly wrong, I lost 42 seconds, but I also rested my legs during that time, so it’s hard to tell.  I was only 36 seconds slower on the bike than the first place super-chick.  It would have been really cool to have beaten her on the bike :)  However, it’s not like she really needed to try very hard to the race to win.

Radka Vodickova, Janet McCullough, and I (right to left)
I look extra short because we're on a slight incline.

 After the race, I showered up, did the awards ceremony (our club, Iowa HEAT, won the club division), and then hopped back on my bike to cheer on the on the racers slogging along the half-ironman run course. 

1st place club

One more race for the season, Hy-vee 5150 Championships.  Last year I placed high enough to get a free entry into this year’s race, and won a $500 gift certificate to Orca/Orbea.  I finally used it this week.  New bike is in the mail!

Orbea Carpe H60 (Wes affectionately refers to it as a barcycle)

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