Fitness Magazine

Iowa’s Best Dam Triathlon

By Alyssa_dld @alyssa_dld
Triathlon #6 complete.  I have to say this was a pretty tough one.  I think they should rename this triathlon Iowa’s Hilliest Triathlon because that is certainly what it felt like.
Iowa’s Best Dam Triathlon – OlympicSeptember 16, 2012 @ 8:30 am1.5 km swim38 km bike10k runFull Results
Honestly, I didn’t really do much any training for this triathlon.  I swam 3 times the week before this triathlon and that was the only swimming I’d done since the last triathlon I did.  I’ve been going to cycling class fairly regularly, but I haven’t been running since the ankle injury. For some reason, this sprain took a while to heal and I don’t think I am back to 100% yet. 
My mom was gracious enough to  come along with me to the race.  And I thanked her by handing her all my keep-warm layers right before the race started.  Thanks Mom!  The Farmer was supposed to be my triathlon sherpa for the race but he decided 6 am was too early for him bailed and then ended up with a migraine anyways.  I guess karma’s a b**ch Matt!
I had packed up most of my gear the night before so I was ready to leave at five to 6 and I was still waiting on my mom to leave.  Just goes to show that running lately runs in our family.  For some reason the perpetually running late problem doesn’t apply to races anymore—probably because of that terrible last minute arrival at Chicago.  Now I really like to be early with plenty of time to spare.
We still arrived plenty early and I was able to pick up my race packet, get body-marked and drop off all my crap in transition.  It was still chilly from the overnight and so I was wearing a jacket and pants yet.  I walked around a bit with my mom, ran for about 30 seconds, did some dynamic stretching and used the port-o-potty’s.  Not much of a warm-up but because I wasn’t overly concerned about my time for this race, I didn’t worry.  We were getting close to race time so I reluctantly shed my extra layers and began the slow process of squeezing into the wetsuit.  This time I remembered to put Body Glide on my neck so no chaffing there! I realized they were already starting the pre-race meeting so I finished stuffing myself into the wetsuit and my mom zipped me up.  I didn’t miss too much in the meeting.  The swim was a counterclockwise triangle keeping buoys to your left, roads are great on the bike course, that’s it.  I was the third wave so there wasn’t time to waste after that. 

Swim – 25:44

The swim was pretty uneventful.  The water was dirty like always and I couldn’t see.  One story worth mentioning is that a guy actually pushed me over in the water.  I think he get caught between me and another swimmer (also let me note, that I certainly do not swim in a straight line and definitely zig-zag the swim course).  When I did a breast stroke to sight the next buoy, his head was also out of the water and he actually took his arm out and shoved me over.  Sorry for running into you, but that is pretty par for the course on open-water swims. 
I believe the swim course was a bit short because I managed to finish the swim in 25:44 which is a 1:28/100 yards pace.  I am not that fast. 
Iowa’s Best Dam Triathlon

Transition 1 – 2:32

It was a fairly short run up the beach to the transition area.  My bike was a ways down in transition closer to the bike exit, but thankfully the bikes were spread out and I had no problem finding my spot.  Getting off my wetsuit was easy peasy.  I quickly slipped on my socks and bike shoes and took off on a jog out of transition.
Iowa’s Best Dam TriathlonIowa’s Best Dam Triathlon 

Bike – 1:28:15

So incredibly hilly.  Right out of transition, the bike course goes up a steep hill, then down, then back up to cross the dam.  My heart rate was soaring and I could not catch my breath.  That’s normal for me coming out of transition, but I just try to spin easy for about the first 10 minutes.  Of course, there is no easy spinning when you are constantly climbing hills. 
I told my mom that  the bike would take me about 1 hour 20 minutes, but I underestimated the hilliness of the course.  I had to stand up to climb a lot of hills.  I even saw some people walking their bikes up the hill.  It was that bad. 
So while I was biking my mom took pictures of deer.
Iowa’s Best Dam Triathlon

Transition 2 – 2:07

I was so glad to be off the bike but my legs were so shot.  I swear my legs felt better coming off the half-Ironman bike.  I tried to quickly run my bike to my rack but I was jogging so slowly. 
Iowa’s Best Dam Triathlon
Iowa’s Best Dam Triathlon

Run – 1:03:51

The run course was also hilly, but more of the long, gradual type.  It was an out and back run and I felt like it took forever to get to the turnaround.  But sometime around then my legs actually loosened up a bit and I was able to run more than the shuffle-shuffle I was doing before that. So I think I was actually able to negative split on the run portion. 
Iowa’s Best Dam Triathlon

Finish – 3:02:26

I was hoping to go sub-3 hours in this race, but obviously that didn’t happen.  I still think it is achievable for me if I put in the training.  It is a new Olympic distance PR for me though!
I ended up winning my age group (when you don’t count the collegiate athletes) so that is pretty exciting! I certainly wasn’t expecting that (although my age group was very tiny).
Iowa’s Best Dam Triathlon
FYI:Although I’ve placed in my last two triathlons, I definitely don’t consider myself a “podium” triathlon.  But I think that sometimes it just comes with the territory of doing smaller races.  I don’t do smaller races to place.  I do them because I enjoy the atmosphere and less pressure feeling of smaller races.  And also because they tend to have lower race entry fees.
I think this race will be my last triathlon for the 2012 season. I plan on using the winter to build my strength back up and working on speed.  I also am looking at more run races.
I’ll let you know what my next big plans are when I figure them out!

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