Thursday, October 17, 2013

Long Over Due Race Recaps

I've been a super slacker when it comes to posting anything here.  I just get done with work and the last thing I want to do is look at a computer or think about anything.  Let's see if I can get in a recap of my races that I've had since Haines City without boring anyone to tears:

June 29, 2013:  Siesta Key Beach Tri - Olympic Distance
Total Time - 2:42:04; place - 2nd a/g, 6th OA female

Swim - 36:24
This was probably the craziest open water (o/w) swim I've ever done.  The waves were very high.  There was talk of them cancelling the swim, but obviously that didn't happen.  I was going up and down with the waves so much that I felt like I was going to through up about half way through the swim.  Other than that it was kind of a fun swim.  I was actually 1st in my a/g in the swim!

T1 - 1:25
I suck at transitions

Bike - 1:10:25
I was 1st in my a/g in the bike too.  I felt ok on the bike.  Nothing special.  This is the 3rd time I've done this course.  So, I knew what to expect.  Although, this was my slowest bike time.  The swim just killed me.  The wind was the same as every year on the bike.  So that's no excuse. 

T2 - 1:03

Run - 52:47
I was 2nd in my a/g on the run.  Mary Beth, who is in my a/g and I also train with, made up the 6 minute lead I had on her in the transitions and on the run to take 1st in our a/g.  This was also my slowest run of the 3 times that I've done this race.

Overall - The swim is always ok, the bike is always challenging because the roads are open to traffic and can get a little crowded on the 2nd loop, and the run is so freaking hard because it's hot, hot, hot, and in the sand.  But, I do love this race.  I guess I like the challenging races even though I'm cursing them when I'm in the middle of doing it. 
July 28, 2013: Scenic 17 Sprint Tri (.25 mile swim, 15 mile bike, 3.1 mile run)
Total Time - 1:14:53; place - 1st a/g, 2nd OA female

Swim - 7:50
I came in 2nd for females on the swim.  I was pretty excited about that.  Granted, it was only a .25 mile swim.  Super flat swim since it was in a lake

T1 - 1:39
This is the first time that I've tried starting the bike leg with my shoes already clipped in.  It worked out pretty well.  I didn't have any issues and I didn't fall.  :)

Bike - 42:40
Holy cow was this course hilly.  You don't think much of 'hills' when you think of Florida.  But Central and North Florida near Tallahassee have hills.  So, of course I got passed at the end of the bike by a couple of girls that train on the course every year since they attend the college that this race is hosted at (Webber International University).  I was 2nd in my a/g off the bike and 3rd OA female. 

T2 - :37

Run - 22:05
The run is supposed to be a 5K, but my watch said it was 2.9 miles.  Whatever, I'll take the shorter distance.  This run is not flat and it's not shaded. 

Overall - This is a very small race.  Maybe around 200 - 250 participants total.  But, there is definitely some strong competition and this is a very challenging course for being a sprint.  The awards are nice for being a smaller race.  A/G winners win a beer bug of various sizes depending on what place you came in.  Overall winners get a pitcher.  I've said this before, but I enjoy races that give out unique and/or functional awards.  Even if you don't really use them.  :)

August 18, 2013: Sea Dog Brewery 5K
Time - 20:53
I wanted to do this race to 1) to try and break 20 minutes on a 5K and 2) to see where my speed was at.  I did not break 20 minutes.  I didn't even set a PR.  But, it was under 7 min/mi with my first mile being at 6:40-something.  The first half mile was under 6 which I know is what killed me.  I didn't think I was going that fast until I looked down at my watch.

Nothing super special about this race.  It's put on by Premier Racing Institute that also put on the Pretty in Pink 15K that I last year with Sarah.  I like their races because they're usually a good size, not too big or too small and they are usually in Clearwater which isn't too far from me.  This race went back into a neighborhood for a little bit so there were more turns than I would have liked.  I am not a cheetah or a gazelle.  It is hard for me to turn on a dime and continue my speed.  I tend to slow down around a turn and slowly pick up my speed until I reach my top speed.  Sometimes when I slow down I can't get back up to where I was.   

Post race activity was great.  It was at the Sea Dog Brewery in Clearwater (hence the name) so everyone who was over 21 could get one free beer of their choosing.  Right when everyone finished though, they were just pouring and not taking any tickets.  So, a lot of people got multiple free beers.  They also had pastries, pizza, fruit, yogurt, and cookies.  The race shirts are gender specific which is always nice. 

I would recommend this race to anyone looking for a 5K.  Whether it's their first one or not.  In fact, I would recommend any of the Premier Racing Institutes races.  They have always done a good job. 

August 24, 2013: Courage to Tri Sprint Tri (Swim 1/3 Mile; Bike 13Miles; Run 3.1 Miles)
Total Time - 1:10:38, 1st a/g, 4th OA female

Swim - 7:25
I came out of the water 3rd in my a/g.  Water was flat and calm.  We did get to see a couple of dolphins at the start which was pretty cool and kind of got everyone to relax a little and smile.

T1 - 4:03
OUCH!  The transition has you running on the pavement that is full of tiny rocks that just hurt my feet so bad.  I was practically tip-toeing to my bike.  I really, really hate races that have the transition in a parking lot that is not feet friendly and then they don't put anything down for even part of the way.  OUCH!  My feet hurt just thinking about it.

Bike - 35:51    
I was 1st in my a/g and 3 OA female on the bike.  This course makes you go over all 3 bridges in Clearwater.  The rest of the ride is basically flat.  I actually had fun on this course.  There wasn't a lot of wind to fight which is what kills me almost as much as sharp turns.  I can tackle hills and bridges just fine, but false flats and wind are awful. 

T2 - 1:21
Again, OUCH!  I came out of my shoes with no socks on and my feet hurt so bad on that stupid pavement. 

Run - 21:55
I was 2nd in my a/g on the run and 5th OA female.  Mary Beth did this race also.  I saw her as I started the run and thought "oh, shit.  Here we go again."  But, this was only 3 miles.  I fought like hell stay ahead of her.  This time I only had about a 2 minute lead on her.  I think she was running close to sub 7 the entire time.  I had an average pace of 7:07.  But, I managed and beat her by 2 seconds!  Can you believe it?  Because I can't. 

Other than that, the run was ok.  The first half mile or so includes running on the beach for a bit in semi-soft sand.  But, after that it's all packed trail and pavement.  Nice and flat with only 2 sharp turns for turn around points. 

Overall - This race was ok.  It was an inaugural race at a course that I train at all the time (Sand Key, Clearwater).  The shirts were unisex so of course I ended up giving my small to Daniel who still has extra room in the shirt.  The awards were generic plaques.  Cool this was that the 1st place winner in each a/g and overall winners were supposed to be given half off discount codes for St. Anthony's.  This has yet to happen.  So, we'll see.  This race was only $50, so eh.  Can't complain too much.

September 1, 2013: Hy-Vee 5150 Championship  -- DNF
So, I flew all the way up to Iowa, paid a ton of money, and did not get to finish this race.  I was using new (new to me) tubular wheels and the seam between the tire and the rim started to come apart causing a small leak starting at exactly race morning.  Of course!  I literally had just ridden my bike the day before and it was fine.  I had my tires pumped race morning.  But, when I went to get on my bike after the swim, it was totally flat.  I was pretty much beyond livid.  I was so mad I couldn't even cry. 
FYI, in case you're ever thinking of travelling to a tri. 
  • If you decide to fly, go with Southwest if you can.  They are the cheapest as far as shipping your bike ($75 each way) but you don't have any baggage fees.  Delta and United have baggage fees (unless you have the premium frequent flyer or business class status) and it's $150 each way to ship your bike. 
  • If you decide to ship it separately, go through FedEx.  They are cheaper than UPS.  Currently, through FedEx, you should create two separate shipping labels instead of doing their "use the same address to create a return label...".  It will force you to have a max insurance of $1000 for the way back.  If you do separate shipping labels, as if they were to completely independent transactions, you can set the max insurance to whatever.  I think it's a programming glitch, but until it's fixed, that's the work around. 
    • Make sure that the width of the box is not over 8 inches.  If it is, the price to ship each way almost doubles. 
    • Try to ship it to a bike shop both ways or at least to a FedEx location nearby.  It is cheaper and there is always someone to sign for the package.
Iowa itself is pretty boring.  The people are nice though.  That's pretty much all I have to say about Iowa. 
I did meet a new girl, Melissa Thompson, that lives in Georgia. She seems nice and a worthy opponent.  We will both be volunteering at IMFL and will probably both do Haines City next year. 

September 29, 2013: Iron Girl Tri (.5 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 3 mile run)
Total Time - 1:11:43, 1st a/g, 2nd OA female

Swim - 12:49
I came in 2nd in my a/g and 10th OA female.  Not bad for a half mile swim that I swam a little of course a couple of times.  I REALLY hate when I do that!  This swim is in a lake which is nice because the water doesn't taste bad and it's usually pretty flat.  Downside is that lake water is sometimes really dirty. 

T1 - 1:41
I stopped at the kiddie pool to clean off my feet.  I don't know why I did this.  It didn't make a lick of difference except that I wasted time waiting and then cleaning off my feet. 

Bike - 34:45
Like I said before, Central Florida has some hills.  This 12 mile course was hard.  And, of course the steepest hill comes just after you make a turn so you have zero momentum to get up and at the bottom you have to slow down to make another turn so you don't even get a chance to use the downhill speed that you normally get to use to make up the lost time getting up the darn thing.  Rant over.  I feel like half the race was uphill.  All this complaining and I did come in 1st OA on the bike (by 2 seconds).

T2 - :44

Run - 21:44
1st in my a/g and 2nd OA in this.  I missed 1st OA on the run by :11.  And, this was probably the 11 seconds I lost by following someone going the wrong way.  So, I stopped and then had to back track a bit.  Oye!  Oh well, the :11 still wouldn't have gotten me to 1st OA which I lost by 1:24 - 1 minute down on the swim, :10 seconds in each transition.

October 5, 2013: Disney Tower of Terror 10 miler  
Time - 1:19:45, 10th a/g, 40th OA female

This is another night time Disney race.  It starts at 10 PM at Hollywood Studios and finishes in the same place.  You would think Disney races would be pretty easy.  But, they're not.  There is a lot of running on the highway and that means a lot of ups and down on slants with the on/off ramps.  My goal was to do this race at a 7:00 min/mi pace.  Of course, that was when I signed up for it over 6 months ago.  As the race got closer and I realized that wasn't happening, my goal on race day was to not go over 8:00 min/mi.  I did accomplish it.  I would have been closer to 7:45 if I hadn't ended up with a cramped stomach around mile 7.  Those last 3 miles were torturous.  I felt pretty good leading up to that point.  Oh well. 

So, with this race, you get to place in Hollywood Studios until 3 AM after you're done with the race.  I signed up for this race as a motivator for my friend Shannon.  After we were done, Daniel and I were so tired and she was in so much pain (this was her first race over a 5K in at least 4 years) that we just grabbed something to eat and then headed back to the hotel. 

I  hate the shirts that Disney gives out.  The medals are always cool.  Post race recovery drinks and food are ok.  With how expensive Disney races are, I would really expect more.  But, Disney can charge a premium because they are Disney.  Me personally, I am not that much in love with Disney.  So, I do not plan on repeating any of them.  I only did the marathon twice because the first time was part of the Goofy Challenge and the 2nd time was because the course was different (we got to run on the race track) and it was the 20 year anniversary for the marathon.  I may do it one more time as part of the Dopey Challenge.  But, that will have to wait a little while because that is probably going to cost about $450!  So expensive!




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