I completed my first Aquabike today. I know it's not a "TRIATHLON" as I only had 2 sports, but it gives me the opportunity to race, without the sport I HATE! I've heard little mutterings of hard core /competitive triathletes. They don't think aquabike should be part of triathlons, they say "if you don't want to do all 3 sports then don't do triathlons." I say the more people you can get active the better!
Well, I'm glad aquabike is now an option! It was fun. Kinda weird, but fun. I think race directors are just trying to figure out what to do with it and today was no exception. I couldn't figure out how to get to the finish line. You cross over the 'bike in' and that's your finish time, but HOW do you get your MEDAL? that's lame, right? I asked 3 volunteers before I found out they open the fence and you can run through the shoot. So today, I crossed a finish line of an Olympic in my bear feet!
Onto my race report! I have to start this with last week. We were supposed to do a century on Saturday but we had torrential rains! We ended up going out for 44 hilly, wet, scary miles! I knew I needed to get my 100 in for the weekend, so I went out on Sunday too for 55 miles. Turns out I totally smoked my legs. I don't know if it was general fatigue from trying to ride on very slick wet roads, or if I actually did something. My knee was killing me for a few days, then the pain went from almost my groin area all the way to my big toe. I finally went for a massage yesterday and turns out I had the fascia line completely twisted the whole way! bleh! So the massage therapist beat the crap out of me, and fixed it.
In addition to the leg/knee pain, I woke up Sat about 3AM with a HORRIBLE migraine; about a 9 of 10 on the pain scale. Nothing would touch it (and I do have migraine meds)! I was thankful it was Sat and not Sun! I just kept thinking "please please please go away for tomorrow."
Thankfully, about 5PM I started to come out of the fog a little and started to get excited for the race!
The alarm went off at 3:45AM and we made it to Lakeville for 6AM. I like to get to races when transition opens. You get good parking spots, and if transition racks aren't marked, good spots! I got my # and discovered I was in a marked spot at the very end. The furthest possible spot to run in bike shoes! oh well!
I wandered around for a bit and came back to transition only to find that my rack-mate decided to take ALL the space. She conveniently put her bike stuff to the left of her bike and everything else to the right of her bike. Uh, your stuff goes to one side only, it's not your bedroom!
I moved some of her stuff as it was ON my towel, but the whole thing just annoyed me. I waited for her and asked her to move it. Her excuse "the woman on the other side had her bag there." (note that's where the other woman's bag GOES). Anyway I contemplated peeing in my wetsuit and throwing it on top of her stuff after the swim, but that was just a little vindication thought to myself. I asked her to move it and she did.
It was pretty foggy when we arrived. I hadn't considered just how bad the water would be until we walked down to the pond.
This is the swim area, the arrow is pointing to the first VERY LARGE buoy and I'd guess it was about 200 yards from shore (if that)! Luckily they delayed the start so we could actually SEE 10 feet in front of us!
The swim was interesting, for some reason I was in with the piranhas. The pond is shallow and the swim is around the edge. I was swimming next to this one woman and for some reason we could not get away from each other. I would sprint to try to get past her, she would stay there. Then I would slow down, she would stay there. I think she had the same thoughts. I think we finally realized we were just going to swim extremely close to one an other. I looked around, saw a pretty big field in front of me, and only a handful of people from other waves passed me. I exited the water at 30:23. 3 minutes faster than 2010. I was firmly average! (avg swim time for the field was 29:21). Not spectacular but I'll take it! Plus I'm happy to be average and not DFL! (Dead F&***ing Last).
I don't know what my problem was with transition! 4:18! Now there's a LONG run, up slippery steps, across some rocks/gravel but still what the hell was I doing for 4:18? (granted 1 min faster than last time), but I didn't put on another shirt, eat, socks.. just shoes and helmet?!?! oh well.
I got on the bike and went. I was pretty out of breath and a little fatigued from the run from the water, from my miserable week, and the migraine yesterday. I was a little nervous about falling off the bike! I ate my gel and cranked it. There were many more incidents of inconsiderate athletes on the bike. Normally, you find the most awesome people in tris. Today had some crazies out! I was actually going fast enough to pass people. (LOVE This new found skill). "On your left." BUT I found that some of the really fast people would just creep up on me and overtake me while I am overtaking someone else- WITH NO WARNING. . These would happen at pretty high speeds too, I would pass at 20-22 and they would pass me, I'd imagine 27-28mph! Dangerous if you ask me!
Then we had several just non-compliant athletes. I would yell "on your left" and they would just stay in the middle of the road. One older dude was actually riding the center line (note, the road was not closed to traffic). I needed to pass him but was afraid to pass on the right!? but where to go? Then there were these two women, riding side by side covering/swerving through the ENTIRE lane. I would pass them, then they would pass me and hog the road? really?
Then the kicker, we were approaching a rotary and the course actually turned right into a DUNKIN DONUTS. I did giggle but I'm sure that bit costs me a smidge of time.
I was expecting to work with 18-20mph today, but my legs were just not there. I manged a 16.7mph avg on the course. Now I should be doing cartwheels as I averaged 14.7 in 2010. I know I should shut up and be happy, but I have a different bike and I'm SO much more trained this year. I expected so much more!
I finally rounded the corner to end the bike portion. The road is pretty tore up and has speed bumps, so no speeding there. I got off the bike, racked my bike and then wondered "uh where to go now?" The aquabike conclusion was very anticlimactic.
It was pretty cool to finish early, there were actually people around, food was still open, you could get a massage. WHAT A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE FOR ME!?!?!
My time ended up being 2:08. 5 of 8 for the Aquabike-Female, I cut 15 min off my time from 2010. I swam faster than 34% of the entire race field, and 17% faster than the bike field. Eh.. I know I could have done better, but I need to shut up and be happy with this, I'm not DFL!
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