Monday, November 13, 2006

Race report- by the numbers

(oops- ripping of Jodi's post ideas again!

Argh. Numbers.

I am NOT going to let them destroy me. So I am not going to link to them, and I am not going to discuss them. But some highlights:

0: Number of course maps available at the race site/in race pack. I had been emailed a map but it was at my home address and I didn't get it until Friday morning. Should have printed it. Relied on there being a map in race pack or an information desk at the site. Hindsight.

1: the number of times I got completely psyched out by a local athlete's description of the ride. BIG hills. SLICK windy descents.

1: number of bike computers that stopped working on race morning

1: the number of spare bike computers we had sitting in the car (P's bike came with the same computer that mine did- a useless piece of rubbish, but ah well)

1: Number of times on the bike course I hit the ground. I called out to someone who was having trouble on the side of the road and forgot to keep pedalling. Oops.

2: Times I cried over the course of the weekend. Number one: sheer frustration at not knowing where I would be riding or running. Number two: let's just say I need to do a LOT of work on riding with P.

6: minutes spent in T1. I ripped my race number, struggled with bra insert in race vest, dropped stuff. This led to a rather panicked exit.

Wetsuit off..

Ooops- this inner support business is TRICKY...

And we're STILL in T1...

And there are 3 more in that series, before I mount my bike. I'm bored just posting them!

6: minutes spent at the side of the road on the second climb after losing my chain, and my mind.

Several: the number of decent climbs on the bike course, the first one straight out of T1.

(Just) Sub- 8: average minutes taken to run a mile. Happy with this. The site gives me 24:53, so I'll go with them, but my calculations said it was a little lower (still over 24 though). I hope that I can lower it as my fitness gets back up to scratch.

14: degrees celsius- the minimum water temperature for running the swim. I was very concerned that the swim would be cancelled and SO relieved when it wasn't.

15: degrees celsius- the water temperature on race day (it was fine- didn't bother me at all)

16: minutes spent in the water. Not great, but not a disaster either. Should be sub-15 next 750!

17: average age of the winners of my event (next time I read "family friendly, participation focussed, suitable for first timers" I'll remember to translate it to "NZ under 18 championships"… Nice. They could at least have put the kiddies in a different category!)

26-27: average speed (kph) while riding the bike. Not too embarrassing considering the hills. Could and should be much better.

50: maximum speed on the bike (wheeee!!!)

100: minutes on the course in total (yuck)

Off the charts: my HR back on the bike after the chain was fixed!

Countless: the number of times I thanked my lucky stars for P, while wishing I had friends racing and my family there to support me too.

All the numbers and all the stress and tears aside, I had an AMAZING time on the course. I swear I loved every minute of it!

Other random things I made a note to blog about:

- little kids holding their hands out for high fives as I sprinted down the finishing chute (thanks to P for making me kick it!). Such an awesome feeling.

- the tape recorded haka played at race briefing. Is it that hard to find a primary school kapa haka group in the Naki (too all of you non-Kiwis-- well, all of you-- the answer's NO)? And surely just prior to the start would be better than just prior to the RD's speech?

- the winner of the cup race was the first girl who P ever kissed. He didn't know she was a triathlete! (not the world cup race, just the Kiwi one).

- getting a high-5 from this HOT guy as he won the men's ITU World Cup race. Watching the World Cup race was AWESOME. I loved watching their cycling- especially watching the groups on the steep descent back into the transition area and the next loop.


- I need to chill the f*ck out. I was SO stressed out pre-race. Not pre-race nevres or excited anticipation. No, all consuming, frustrated, teary, snappy stress. I'm not sure what the cause was, though I think nutrition and hydration contributed. The late race start also didn't help- I love the early morning adrenaline and race day buzz! I also didn't even think to listen to my power songs, which we'd especially loaded onto P's MP3 player on Friday morning. Same applies to getting back on the bike after the dramas in T1 and after the dropped chain

- I need to do a LOT of work on the bike. Technical work. From now on, I'm riding up and down the hills near home at least one morning a week. I'm also going to change the pedals and do some technical work while unclipped to get some more confidence. However, I did ROCK the second half of the ride. I was comparatively confident on the downhills, embraced the higher speeds I was finding, took corners in my stride. Etc. I'm dwelling on the negative, but I came off that bike feeling amazing! I also unclipped uneventfully at T2, for the first time!

- Riding rollers is very different to riding Welly's big mother hills. Much more fun, yes, but it also requires much better planning shifting-wise. I made quite a few silly mistakes with gearing!

- If nutrition is the 4th discipline and transition is the 5th, basic bike maintenance is the 6th. Stop letting P take care of the boy stuff.

Anyway, I've learnt some lessons, and I've done some soul searching. Next post will discuss my goals and training plans for the rest of the season...Maybe some more pics too!


Jodi said...

Sure fire way to cut transitions-- leave the swimsuit at home! The tri-outfit works just fine under a wetsuit. It's too hard to put clothes on a wet body.

Great race! I am so jealous of your run splits. I run like crap off the bike. Especially on a hilly course.



Wes said...

Great report, great race, and great pics! I'm glad you had a good time and learned lots of things you'll be able to use in the future. Thanks for sharing them as well. We can all use a little help. Now, off to find my first triathlon :-)

Jessica said...

I'm sure I don't need to tell you, but you do learn so much from every race you do. Those perfect (or near-perfect) races are few and far between, but they will come, as surely as the, uh, learning experiences come!

Gotta agree with Jodi, though - fabulous run after the hilly bike, and get a tri suit. I love my Louis Garneau pink and black one - very comfortable on all three legs of the tri.

Anonymous said...

I third the tri suit. I gave up socks because it is too hard to put them on wet feet, don't even want to try putting on a top.

Great race, each one will get better.

miners said...

fantastic report K and it sounds like you enjoyed it heaps, as well as learnt a lot from it :) As others have mentioned, you'll start to lessen and control the nerves before too long (they never really go away unless you're not out there trying), and you'll get better with transitions. Believe me, transition (particularly in these short races) is just as important as the 3 legs - and can give you MORE advantage than a slightly-faster swim if you get through T1 & T2 well. pulling clothes over a wet body will NEVER work when you're in a hurry ;)

Trisuits are fantastic for this distance - they make you feel fast too, and are well worth the expense. You'll then find you'll use it for every race, unless you start getting ready to tackle Half Ironmans and Ironmans - then a 2-piece is probably the best (for ease of toilet breaks!)

As for the bike stuff - yes, it's the most important of the 3 legs, so get out there and get more time in the saddle. Spend the week days doing HARD stuff (quick intervals, spin sessions and hills/strength work), and then ride long (but slow) on the weekend. And ride looooooong. It will improve your speed out of sight.

Congrats again - hope Ellie comes over and has a read of this too :)

Jessi said...

Hey Kate,
I know just what you mean about getting stressed pre-race. My secret is to make a ton of lists, and make sure everything is checked off of each list before each race. It helps calm my mind, to know it's all taken care of. I'll send you my lists if you want, just ask!