Thursday, November 3, 2016

2016 Triathlon Season Recap

As winter approaches I have been looking to next year's race season and itching to sign up for some things.  Before I do that I want to look back at this past season and see how I could make 2017 even better.  I didn't race a lot but here's a recap.

I started this year with Troika Long Course Tri.  I felt under trained but my diet had been really dialed in.  My little sister's wedding was the next weekend and I had been following a whole thirty style eating plan with no sugar, lots of fruits and veggies, clean protein, and no grains.  I didn't lose any weight but I felt amazing.  For race and training nutrition I had switched to using Generation UCAN.  I don't eat dairy so I added vegan protein powder to the superstarch and UCAN Hydrate for electrolytes.  It worked like a dream for the half iron-distance.  I  rode Watson in our last race together and passed a bunch of fast swimmers.  The run was where I knew I would feel my lack of preparedness and sure enough it was painfully and much slower than I wanted to run.

I also got stopped by a train at mile 7 but the Eric with Nomadz adjusted for it as it didn't affect my age group placing (2nd).  It did however mean I beat David's time and I got to win our good natured rivalry.

Troika was my first ever long course triathlon several years ago.  This was my first time doing it since the course was changed and I really liked it.

Becky's wedding was beautiful the next week but it did mean I stopped my great new  eating habits.  I'm still trying to get back to it.

I also found it a bit harder than I expected to keep my training mojo going.  I found that taking a break to hike or kayak instead of always swimming, biking, or running helped a lot with that.

Getting a new bike also inspired me to ride a lot more.  It is soooo awesome.  Thank you Wade and Julie and Fleet Feet Spokane!  My first race on it was Ironman Calgary 70.3 and you can read all about that in
my previous post if you'd like.

My next race was Plutonium Man, an olympic distance in Richland Washington.  This is what I wrote on Facebook:
First the price: $42.00 for an Olympic. That is pretty hard to beat. No medals and you can choose to buy your shirt separately but they did have post race food and drinks. Plus 42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything in it. And my age.
The race now has a single transition which is always nice logistically. It's at the WSU tri cities campus so there is adequate parking and a really nice 3 mile run trail right there.
The swim was long (I swam almost 2400 yds) but it was with the current so I swam my fastest pace ever (1:18/1800 yds, a PR that may never be broken). The water was clear and the start was deep water which is kind of cool.
T1 was Boise-esque (long run up from the water) but without wet suit strippers. The weather wasn't Boise-esque, it was perfect if a little windy with some gusts. I got there early so I had a great spot right next to the only other Argon 18 in the race. He mentioned he was hoping for fastest bike split male and I was secretly hoping to do the same thing on the women's side.
The new bike course is fantastic. Wide shoulders, fairly good pavement, zero (yes zero) traffic, and just enough hills to be interesting. I moved into 1st place a little over half way into the bike, knowing with my lack of run training lately that it would be really tough to hold onto that spot but I would give what I could to keep it.
I managed to get my feet out of my shoes before T2 so that was smooth and quick.
The run isn't as pretty add the old one and is two loops (which I love but others aren't so fond of). They're were for aid stations on the loop though so that meant 8 total in the 10k. Combined with relatively decent temperatures this meant I could push my run fitness (or lack) to its maximum. I expected to be passed by another female at any second. I kept playing over in my head what I would tell Wade (coach)..."I held the lead through the first quarter mile..." then I was finishing my first loop...."I held the lead for the first half of the run"...there were some open stretches but the second part of each loop was slightly down hill for a long section. "I held the lead until the last mile..." with half a mile to go I peeked behind me as I rounded a corner and saw no women in view. It started to sink in that I might win this race. So with legs and lungs burning I started to tell myself "it's just one fast 400 like in Swifts practice." "I can hold this!"
One thing with a looped course and teams is people don't really know who is where on the course so no fan fare as I crossed the line. I thought I might have missed another female athlete ahead of me so I asked my favorite timing guy Eric Ewing of Nomadz if he could tell and sure enough I won! I also realized Ken (among a few others) had done an extra loop. 2400 swim and a 9 mile run, he almost did a half iron today :). On 2 hours sleep.
It turns out my rack neighbor and fellow Argon 18 rider had won overall. (Missed the fastest bike by 1 second). I did have the fastest female bike split and won $20 at their local bike shop.
So Titanium Man's relaxed atmosphere now has some great new digs. I recommend it highly. It's also a USAT sanctioned race.
I did Sunday Sundae a week later and while I love that race I only made it to mile 8 before my IT band once again spoke up.  Grrr.  I was not happy about it but I let it go and signed up for Valley Fest Duathlon.  

This tiny race is in its fourth year but only the first as a Duathlon.  I was the overall female winner and 2nd overall including the men.  My fellow Fleet Feet Racer and Ironman training partner from 2013 Jeremy Anglin was the overall winner.  

I really liked the race and it was my first duathlon so I hope it gains momentum as a race and is around for a while.  Did I mention it has a cheap entry fee?

The other highlight of my season was a race I watched rather than participated in.  I got to go to Kona and watch the Ironman World Championships!  It was amazing! I volunteered, cheered until I was hoarse, and got to rub elbows with my heros.  It was the experience of a lifetime.

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