Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The wheels on the bus - Lake Las Vegas Race Report

The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round:

5 loops! F-I-V-E! That’s a lot of loops. Especially when those loops are surrounded by hills. On both sides. The struggle of getting up one hill is rewarded with the thrill of flying down the other side. Hoping that your momentum will carry you up the next hill. Feeling yourself slow and feeling that deep burn as you have to pedal the rest of the way up. Up and down and up and down and up and down.

The wipers on the bus go "swish, swish, swish"; "swish, swish, swish"; "swish, swish, swish":

This was my first open water swim sans wetsuit (OWS WO WTST), but that wasn’t what worried me. I was afraid that I’d be DFL out there, again! After my pathetic swim, I realized how slow I am. So my goal here was to find a good pace and stick with it. OH! I finally found another person who had a Garmin in their swim cap! I’ve been doing this FOREVER, but up until now, I’ve never met anyone else who did it.

When the swim started, I was near the middle and got my first body contact. Yes, it’s been 5+ races and I’ve never been touched. Not so bad! One guy did try to dunk me but he disappeared after one attempt.

The rest of the swim was uneventful. It took a while to get into a groove, but once I did it was OK. Not true bilateral breathing but 5 breaths on the left and 15 breaths on the right. Close enough. I did find that I settled into an easy pace. My “I could go on like this forever” pace. Surprisingly, I actually passed somebody at this pace, but I need to work harder on these shorter swims. I’m not swimming “forever”, I’m just swimming for this race, and I need to pick up the pace.

The horn on the bus goes "Beep, beep, beep"; "Beep, beep, beep"; "Beep, beep, beep":

The great thing about the course is that there are so many loops and so many people. I have never heard “On you left”, so much in a race. From me to others; others to me; others to others; heck, a few times I said it to myself.

It is a thing of beauty to see the pro’s or at least the elites ride up those hills. They are smooth, they are fluid; they make me look like I’m standing still.

Whirl, whirl, whirl. Is it a car? Nope it’s the guy with the disk wheel climbing up the hill.


The lady on the bus goes “Get off my feet”; “Get off my feet”; “Get off my feet”:

Consistency. That’s what it comes down to. If you’re going to do something, stay consistent the whole way through. The Lake Las Vegas Tri HAS consistency.

Hills on the bike and hills on the run.

So many hills! Long steep hills on dirt and gravel. I could not find a rhythm. I took it easy up the hills and pushed just a leetled coming down. But because I didn’t know the course, I didn’t know when to push and how hard to push.

When I finally did, it was too little too late.

The baby on the bus says “Wah, wah, wah”; “Wah, wah, wah”; “Wah, wah, wah”:

This is the part where I whine and mope. It was a good swim, but it wasn’t good enough. I still need to work on my technique. The Garmin guy used his Garmin as a pace setter. It warned him when he was going too slow. That is something I’ll need look into.

The bike was good but not good enough. As much as I enjoyed watching the elites zoom by me, I would have loved to pass more people.

The run was good but not enough. The hills really cut into my time on the run, but more than anything it was my mind that hurt me the most. I was afraid that my body would crash, so I held back for too long.

The mommy on the bus says “Shush, shush, shush”; “Shush, shush, shush”; “Shush, shush, shush”:

And this is the part where I tell myself too shut and train.

  1. I finished the race. That is itself is a BIG victory!
  2. I did a great job on the swim. I passed people! P-A-S-S-E-D! That is cool. Not only that, I decided to near the middle of the action. I found that it’s not really all that bad. After the first 200 yards everyone, who is going to pass you is already gone, but at least you didn’t what and you’re well into the swim.
  3. As much as I wanted to pass EVERYONE, I did pass some people. I did a god job climbing the hills; I was fast going down the hills. I went through the curves fast and fluid. Plus as an added bonus, I was able to pass a pointed head guy! NICE!
  4. It’s time to start pushing the run. I occasionally run with Frank’s group and while I still suck, I run faster with them then I do elsewhere. It’s time to step up to the plate and start running that pace all the time. My body can do it; it’s now time for the mind to admit it. My last mile 9:00 m/m. That’s after 5 miles of hills and dirt.

All the people on the bus say “We had a nice ride”; “We had a nice ride”; “We had a nice ride”:

All in all it was a good race. I beat my old time (although that wasn’t hard to do). I rode hard and ran semi-hard and still no knee pain. That’s big!

This race was really a bell weather for me to determine how ready am for Kokopelli. Now I know my strengths, I know what I need to work on.

Come on Kokopelli! I’m ready for you!

Swim – 29:23
T-1 – 1:23
Bike – 1:07:26
T-2 – 1:28
Run – 1:05:17

Total – 2:44:55


Steve Stenzel said...

Nice post, and NICE JOB!! Way to get some of those people on the swim!!!

Great splits!!

Team Brazo said...

Good job -- passing people on the swim -- wow, I've only done that a few times and they where doing the back stroke or trending water.

Great Post...

Calyx Meredith said...

I'm still too much of a chicken to put my Garmin in my swim cap! Do you have trouble fiddling with it in T-1? It sounds like a great race even though you found some things you want to keep working on. Your splits look awesome to me!

Borsch said...

I loved this post! YOU made my morning.

Great swim, way to pass people!

Loving the numbers!

Lets go rock the next one!

Stef0115 said...

Oh yeah! In the big picture you have to be happy with the way your racing is coming along, especially since you get to test yourself so soon again at Kokopelli!

Way to push yourself in this, your year of Iron!

Love the report laced with humor -- always fun to read. :-)

Kelly said...

Way to go honey!!

Does that swim time include the .25 mile run up to transition?? Because you're actual transition is quick so I think it does not.

Therefore, your actual swimtime is probably a few minutes less! I think that is FANTASTIC!

ShirleyPerly said...

What a fun race report!!

Way to come back from your bike crash and shine. I'm amazed you haven't got touched before during a swim, LOL. And that's the first time I've heard of someone wearing a Garmin in their swim cap. Great job overall!!

S. Baboo said...

Great race! You are getting faster I can see it in your splits and remember the Las Vegas area is a tough place to race. You just head out to some flat land and you will be blowing past people.

Anonymous said...

There are so many tough hills there...I remember!

Great job! I think you did great, but I know the feeling as soon as a race is over of wanting to get back at it and do better next time.

I used to teach preschool...thanks for plugging this song back into my head ;-)