>> Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Well, it’s been a few days - time for a race report!! Pharmie and I both did the Liberty Triathlon on Saturday: she did the Half Ironman distance (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run), and I did the Olympic distance (0.93 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6.2 mile run).
We were out the door just after 5, and we were to the race site just after 6. We KEPT running into people that we knew, and that was slowing us down a lot! We weren’t complaining - we LOVE seeing all kinds of friends at races. And now that we’ve been racing and blogging for a few years, we always know a bunch of people.
We got mostly set-up in transition, and snapped a photo:
The first 5 Half IM waves took off, then there was a little break, and shortly after that Jeremy and I were getting ready to go. Ally snapped a photo of Jeremy and I next to each other as I was taking my pre-race pee. Apparently, I stand awkwardly when I pee:
Mark sounded the siren from his bullhorn, and we were off! Immediately, I was thinking “what the hell am I doing HERE?...” I was towards the inside, and I like swimming in clean, open water. I’ll swim WAY to the outside if it means I have to worry less about colliding with other people. In the spot where I was, I was surrounded by people. I should have started about 50 feet farther towards the outside. Damn it.
I tried to settle into a rhythm. At NOLA 70.3, it just took a minute or so to get comfortable. Well, with all the sighting I had to be doing, I didn’t get comfortable for a long time. My breathing wasn’t the best. I was swimming EASILY, but still working too hard. I was finally getting comfortable near the turn-around. I think I started feeling better because I relaxed to pee. Really.
I hit the middle of the short back-stretch (the halfway point) and glanced at my watch. It read 12:59. WHAT? I looked at it again. Sure enough, I was having a pretty good swim! It wasn’t “crazy fast,” but it was shaping up to be a solid swim! Heading back towards shore, I found a lot of clean, open water, and I was swimming with good form. My second half of the swim is never as fast as my first half, but I still was swimming strong. I ended up shooting out of the water in 27:42, and I ran up the beach and over the timing mats with an official swim split of 28:07. Nearly a 4 minute oly swim PR! Nice!
As I was running out of the water, I heard someone cheering me on. I thought it was Miss Allycat, but it turned out to be rockstar duathlete/triathlete Cathy Y. She snapped this great photo of me exiting the water:
I knew my transition times would be slow because of my sprained thumb (see post from Saturday night). I was a little slow in getting off my wetsuit, and in putting on my socks. I was off in 2:06.
They kept saying that this was a “technical, hilly ride.” I was prepared for the hills, so they didn’t seem that bad. It was just CONSTANT rolling hills. The “technical” part was that you were always turning. There was never a chance to get into a rhythm - rarely did we ever go more than 1 mile straight before turning or veering.
After a few miles, I was averaging over 19 mph on the hills. I told myself to ease up in case the hills started to take too much out of me. I passed Pharmie’s friend Ann after a couple of miles, and then immediately passed Pharmie too. She shouted “Jeremy passed me 4 minutes ago! Go get em, hunnie!” I was passing WAY more people than usual, and that made me feel great! Then I realized that I was passing a lot of people that were doing the Half IM, so then I felt less great. Oh well.
Here are some stats on the bike:
- 19.3 mph average at mile 5
- 20.5 mph at the halfway point (mile 12.5)
- flew out of my left cleat at mile 18. WTF?
- 20.6 mph nearing the finish
- 20.5 rolling into transition
I was QUITE happy with my performance on the bike. I was a little depressed from mile 10-15, but at mile 15, I kicked it in with the thought of only having 10 miles left. (I passed about 10 people in 1 mile around mile 15.) I came up on Jeremy around mile 20, and he said he was having a rough day. He took off again in front of me.
Returning to the park, Ally saw me again, and she snapped this photo as I rolled by (and that's the race director, Mark, in red in front of me who I waved to):
Everything was pretty normal here. I saw and heard 2 of my “CVA Triathlon Club” participants, Sarah and Evan, cheering me into transition! I smiled and gave a little wave. I had a rock inside my sock, so I took the time to take off my sock, find the rock, and put everything back on to start the run. I threw on my new Saucony racing flats, and I was off in 1:13.
Miss Allycat was out cheering for us on the run. I caught up to Jeremy pretty quick. I asked how he was doing. He said he felt like he was going to puke. I told him my stomach was pretty unsettled, and that if it gets much worse, I’d have to puke too. Yay: puke-fest. I felt like I took it a little easy on that first mile to get my stomach back to normal.
Mile 1: 7:05. “Dang. That’s too slow for me.” But there was a pretty big hill, and I was trying to get my stomach in line, so I wasn’t too pissed.
My stomach started feeling better, and I was upping the pace.
Mile 2: 5:51. “Mile 1 might have been a little long, and mile 2 might have been a little short. But my stomach’s feeling better! Go get em!”
Mile 3: 6:30. “Good. Hold that for now.”
Mile 3.1 (5K turnaround): 19:52
I only walked about 4 steps at the turnaround cone when I was taking a drink and thanking the volunteers. Other than that, I was running the entire way. I was really hoping I could do a sub-40:00 run. But these little rolling hills started feeling bigger and bigger!! The great thing about an out-and-back run is getting to see everyone else: after the turnaround, I saw Steve H from the Y, then Jeremy, then Jen pretty close behind, then Ann. I cheered for all!
The tri suit was holding up, and so were the new shoes. I was getting a little hot, so I was dumping water down my back at each aid station. And my tri suit zipper was opened quite far, with my chest hair wafting in the breeze. It was quite romantic, really. Like a scene from “The Notebook.” Rachel McAdams was running right next to me...
(The splits are weird from here on because on the way back, I took them from the mile markers of the half IM course...)
Mile 3.1-4.1: 6:30. “Good. ‘Holding it’ like I wanted to! Now pick it up!” The hills magically got bigger on the way back. Really. Magically bigger.
Mile 4.1-5.1: 5:47 “Can I go sub 40?? It’s time to GO!” I knew it’d be close. I just went hard.
Coming down the final hill back to the water’s edge was rough: I nearly biffed it on the loose woodchips as I was running so hard. At the bottom of the hill was Ally with a sign that read something like “You make Spandex look GOOD!” I loved it! A quick glace at my watch revealed that I’d probably end up over 40:00, but under 41:00. Damn. I still pushed it hard.
But as I hit the line, I realized that my math was wrong! I finished with a run that was over 39:00, but under 40:00! I had my sub-40:00 10K!
Steve Stenzel, number: 580, age: 28
Swim: 28:07 (1:43/100yd), 84th fastest
Bike: 1:12:09 (21.6 mph official, 20.5 computer), 67th fastest
Run: 39:33 (6:22/mile), 18th fastest
Total Time: 2:23:06
Overall Place: 37 out of 194
Age Group: 9 out of 15
Gender Place: 35 out of 135
Notes compared to last years Olympic distance tri (which was on a much flatter course):
- Nearly a 4 minute swim PR
- Over a 4 minute bike PR (on a hiller course this year!!)
- Over a 3 minute run PR (with way more rolling hills!!)
- Add in some much faster T times, and that’s an Olympic PR by 14:27!!! And that PR is from a much more challenging course! I’ll take it!!
It’s a little depressing that I’ve been getting faster and faster, but I still placed in the bottom half (nearly the bottom third) of my AG. That’s really not getting me down - I’m just happy that I’m moving in the right direction!
Jeremy’s family and my 2 tri club students were at the finish to cheer me in. I went to talk to my students afterwards. Watching the triathlon got them SUPER PUMPED to race in their first tri in a few weeks! (And I knew it would!) I cheered all my friends across the line. Then I grabbed some food and waited for Pharmie to finish her long ride. Jeremy and I spotted her coming towards T2:
I went to get changed out of my tri suit in a porta-potty. The bottom of my feet were pretty sore, so I snapped a photo of a little hot spot:
Yes, that’s after I got changed out of my tri suit.
So yes, that means I’m completely nude in that photo...
They had the Oly awards shortly after. Steve H from the Y got 2nd in his AG, and Jen, who had just finished her first Oly, placed as the 6th female and got 2nd in her AG!! And Pharmie’s friend Ann was the 1st place Athena! Way to go you guys!!!
I ran to go get another burger before going to find Pharmie at the run turn-around. Here’s my second burger (I was too excited to take a photo before taking a few bites):
Top 3 in the 40-44 AG
I sat in the shade near the finish line and cheered in all the Half IM finishers. Here’s the final stretch of the run, nice and flat, going left to right on a small paved trail along the lakefront:
Back with official race photos shortly! Oh, and make sure to comment on yesterday’s post to get your hat thrown in the ring for a $75.00 OnlineShoes.com gift certificate!