Bigfoot Triathlon Race Report

First Olympic distance triathlon!!
First off, what an awesome venue! And now to the backstory:
Last year a friend of mine joined me at the RAM Racing Turkey Trot 5k/10k. Earlier in the year he had registered for his first 5k, but due to other obligations he was unable to be at the race that day. So, I talked to him about doing this race as I would be singing the National Anthem and then running the 10k. I told him he could do either distance. He said that he had already trained for a 5k, so he would be doing the 10k. Having finished that and feeling good about the whole thing I started talking to him about triathlon. I told him that I had done a couple sprints and an Ironman 70.3. After explaining the whole thing and explaining the distances he asked if I was planning on doing a 70.3 the next fall and if I did which one would I do. I told him I was planning on one, but I didn’t know yet. He told me he was game and that he would be signing up with me. I also told him I was thinking about doing this race depending on my schedule and that it might be a good idea for him to do it just so he can get his feet wet and see what a triathlon feels like. So I reserved a camp site less than half mile from the transition and we went up that saturday afternoon before the race.

Lake Geneva is awesome. It is definitely a party town in the sumer because the lake is warm, the weather wasn’t bad and the road is literally 2 feet from the lake edge making it easy to get to. RAM Racing chose a very good spot when they started this triathlon. I know the race director from the previous couple years of volunteering with RAM. I found Debbie on Saturday and asked if they had anyone doing the National Anthem before the race or if they were just doing a recording. She pointed me towards the gal who was in charge of that, I remembered her from last year’s Turkey Trot 10k where I’d sung the National Anthem for RAM. She said they didn’t have anyone so I was able to sing the National Anthem before the race. Always one of my favorite parts of the race.

Goal: I hadn’t done any heavy training for this race and I’d never done this distance before, but I was shooting for 2:30:00.

All setup and ready to go

Swim:
Definitely the weakest of my three events. I’d only been in a pool twice in the six months leading up to the race and one of those times was for the sprint tri in Alaska a few weeks earlier. The water was perfect. It was clear and not too cold, just right for a little swim. One of my strengths on the swim, though, is my ability to not freak out. I positioned myself to the side of the group so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting swam over or elbowed/kicked in the face. I’d had problems in the past with my goggles taking on water, but this time I didn’t have that problem at all. I settled into a good pace and just cruised through the 1500m as quickly as possible without trying to burn any matches.

Time – 33:09 – 2:13/100m
T1 – 3:22 – The run from the swim exit to the transition was pretty far.

Strava link: http://app.strava.com/activities/62410413

Bike:
As it has been this year the bike has been my strength of the three events. I knew that this was going to be where I made up the time I would lose on both the swim and the run. While I hadn’t prepared as much as I would have liked for the elevation gain on the course I did feel that the amount of riding and the amount of pushing it I had been doing really served me well when it came to keeping my power up. It was a really windy day and we had either headwind/crosswind combo or just plain headwind. The last portion of the course we were lucky enough to get a major tailwind coupled with a downhill portion. This made for very high speeds with less effort, which was a nice change, especially right before transitioning to the run.

Time – 1:06:01 – 22.6 mph avg 2:39/mi – 32/551 OA 5/32 AG
T2 – 2:03

Strava Link: http://app.strava.com/activities/62409451

Run:
In the beginning I felt fairly good. Then my legs started to feel extremely heavy. I thought that this would be a run on pavement, but it was actually on trail. And the very beginning of the first loop was around a lake, so the ground was soggy and my shoes ended up taking water through the sole, which led to soggy feet. Luckily I didn’t have any blisters bother me at all, not even after the run. I ended up slowing to an easy pace that would let me just get through the run. I also made a habit of walking the aid stations, which is what I do at most races that I start hurting on. I really need to start getting my mental toughness built up and just pushing through because I know I can handle it, I just let my legs get the best of me. Overall the course was very nice. The soggy lake wasn’t enough to ruin it at all. Very nice wooded portions and a mix of open and very sunny portions. Right before the finish line there’s a decent hill that was fun to just push through to get up and over for the final sprint across the line. Overall I wasn’t too sad about the run, but I know it’s where I can use a lot of work.

Time – 56:48 – 9:58/mi

Strava Link: http://app.strava.com/activities/62409896/overview

Total time: 2:41:21 – 131/551 OA – 17/32 AG – 114/349 Sex

Finish line… Obviously.

Good things:
-Maintained a middle of the pack swim time with little swim training
-Biked a solid bike split that was only 7 minutes off the fastest bike split
-Nutrition was well-maintained with Hammer Gels on the bike and run
-I got to sing the National Anthem!

Improvements:
-Work on that swim
-Work on that run
-Practice more bike/run transitions to get the legs to feel more fluid after biking
-Practice transitions

Well run race and if I were going to be in the area next year I would definitely compete at this again!

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