Friday, September 11, 2015

Houston Towne Lake Olympic Triathlon - Second Time Around

I started doing triathlon's in 2012.  I was a 3 time marathoner looking for the next challenge and turned to triathlons.  Never swam a length of the pool in my life.  So I joined a gym and eventually made it from one end to the other.  I am now up to 5 sprints, 5 Olympics (counting Escape from Alcatraz as an Olympic...), 5 Half Ironmans and 3 Ironmans.  I have progressively gotten better due to smart training and the time put in.  Four of the Olympics I have done were this year.  I had avoided the Olympic distance due to being a strong biker and runner and well, my swim is/was a work in progress.  The Olympic distance favors the swim so not my strength.  But here's the thing, I have progressively gotten better at swimming and don't mind the distance now.  Want to know how I got from a 2:24 per 100 meters to 1:42 per 100 meters in two years? Well, you keep showing up.  You may be frustrated at times with all the faster people in the pool making you feel slow, but if you keep showing up and putting the work in AND focus on improving one little thing form wise each time, you will get better!!!  And sometimes be the fastest person in the pool ;)

Enough on that...

I raced Towne Lake Olympic tri in 2013 as my first ever Olympic triathlon.  I got second in my age group with a time of 2:31:40. The race director posted on Thursday that they were looking for more people for the elite invitational wave, so I sign on for my first ever invitational wave.

The race is on Labor Day which is definitely different than most races.  I didn't taper for this race as this is not my A race.  I am racing again in a couple weeks. And this was my first time doing an invitational wave.  I wasn't really planning on a crazy PR or anything, just wanted to test my fitness.

Lined up and waited for the gun to go off.

Swim 2013 time: 36:04 (see, I told you I was a slow swimmer)
Swim 2015 time: 25:34 (new Olympic swim PR)
So on Saturday night, they posted that a few pros in town were going to join us for the swim.  So I can now say I raced in the same wave as pros.  Actually the girl that won, Lisa Roberts, won Ironman France and the guy that won, Matt Hanson, won Ironman Texas, so I swam with celebrities. :) Well, actually it was more like we started together as I ate their "dust" quickly.  LOL  All in all, this was my best swim yet in a race.  I feel like I have finally learned to swim straighter and site better.  I took one buoy too wide, though, as I noticed a fast guy from the wave behind me cut that corner and I didn't.  Whoops!!  Anyways, I had a great swim in my BlueSeventy Swim skin.
I seriously love this picture - channeling Andy Potts LOL!!!
On to my favorite part - the bike.  So I have only been riding a bike now for 3.5 years and it amazes me at how fast sometimes I can get going.  I looked down at my watch several times and it said I was going upwards of 24 mph.  BUT my overall pace says 22.7 due to the course having some winding sections when you first start the loop (which you do twice) that I slowed down for.  I also went the wrong way once and had to turn around at one point.  The cop looked like he was telling me to turn and so I turned, but then he started yelling at me to turn around.  My mistake.  I passed a few people on the bike, but not as many as I am used to...due to having a slower swim and passing everyone from previous waves.  Being in the first wave meant nearly all clear roads!! Yay!!
Bike 2013: 1:04:30
Bike 2015: 1:02:00 (New Olympic PR)
As crazy as I thought it sounded before, I may have a sub 1:00 Olympic bike in my future!! Love my new Diamondback bike!!! And thanks to the sponsors for their support in my speedy machine! (Rudy Project, Speedfil, ISM Seats)

So, I failed to mention that humidity was at 98%.  >:{ Man that run sucked.  I usually am passing people on the run the entire way.  Well I still was passing people, but actually got passed by 3 people.  That rarely happens.  I bonked, I guess, and ran no where near my potential.  BUT I am over it.  It was a rough run and everyone else times slowed too due to the humidity.  I love my Wattie Ink trucker hat and kit.  So comfy even though I am dripping sweat. :)
Run 2013: 45:05
Run 2015: 49:16  :(

BUT here's the best part.  I set a new Olympic triathlon PR by far!!!
2013: 2:31:40
2015: 2:20:05 !!!

So considering I set a new PR without a true taper and I had a bad run, I know that one day I will achieve my life goal of going under 2:20!!!  I can think of at least 5 ways I could've saved 6 seconds. ;) Anyways, stick with it!! You never know what you could accomplish until you tri!  (LOL sounds so cheesy!) 

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