Monday, September 12, 2011

Nations Tri Race Report ~ The Tri that was not

Well, as many of you know the swim was canceled due to all the rain we got during the week. I was bummed at first, but the river did look very high with lots of things floating in it. Anyhow, this race was more or less a glorified brick!

Like always I got my stuff ready the night before and was in bed by 9ish. Because the swim was canceled and I set three different alarms (Im always scared it won't go off and I'll miss the entire race) I slept pretty good. But, I still kicked poor M to the couch because he was snoring too loud! My alarm went off at 5am and we were out the door at 5:30.

M dropped me and my parents off by the Lincoln memorial. The three of us then walked over to the transition area since we could not be dropped off on Independence. M, drove and parked who know's where and rode his bike over. Once in transition I couldn't find my bike. I know it was in row 31, but it was dark and there was so many bikes. After about 10 minutes I found my bike and set up my area. The one thing I did differently this time was to bring a blue bucket. This would help my find my bike in the row easier during the race and I also used it as a seat while changing shoes since I knew it was going to be a mud pit.

Ahhh...Where is my bike?
Getting my stuff ready

I've got my bike gloves and I'm ready to go
I went to the potty and waited in my area for over an hour. I was in wave 28 and no one really knew what was going on. Some of us wore bike shoes and helmets going into T1, but I just had my bike gloves on. My group walked our way up to the timing mat and started.

T1: 1:56
Since we were not spread out from the swim everyone was rushing to the same rack and it was crowded. I think it would have been better if we were at different racks. The ground was very muddy and only got worse by the bike out area. It's not like you could run because there was actually a bottle neck getting out and I was just standing there not even moving. My dad was standing along the fence and I was happy to see him. We kind of looked at each other like oh great look at that mud pit! There is no way around it, so in I went to splash around in the mud before jumping on my bike. My shoes were covered in mud and brown, but I seemed to clip in fine and off I went.

Hello crowds

About to get my bike on!
Bike: 40K - 1:12:57 (20.4mph)
As I biked out I saw my mom and my M and once again I was happy to see them. I smiled and started to get my pedal on. The  course was very crowded and it was very hard to pass, at least to me because I'm not aggressive. Once about 5 miles into the ride I decided to make it my goal to keep up with this one girl. We basically took turns pacing each other the rest of the ride. It was near to impossible not to draft off other people because the road was jammed pack with cyclists. My legs felt pretty strong the entire ride and I liked the course. There was a couple not so greatly paved parts, but for the most part it was nice and we only had a small amount of 180 turns so it wasn't too technical. My big problem was forgetting to drink. Actually I didn't forget to drink, but because there was so many people on the road I never felt like there was never a good time to reach down for my water (I was scared I would crash). I did manage to get down 3/4 of a bottle filled with nuun. But that's it. I didn't eat anything while on the bike. My stomach at about mile 15 started to turn a bit. I could feel my breakfast of an english muffin with peanut butter and a banana start to come up. I was thinking to myself, this can't be good at all because if I'm burping up my breakfast on the bike, I am doomed on the run. I finished strong with my riding buddy just feet in front of me. I was happy that I was able to hang with her the entire time and was shocked that I was able to hold a 20.4!!! Even though I didn't type out any time goals in my goals post I did have them. I secretly wanted to hold a 18mph pace so I was more than happy with my bike time :)

T2: 1:58
My bike almost flipped over as I ran it over the curb onto the grass. I ran to my area fast and found my spot (thanks blue bucket) and changed into my running shoes. Once again on the way out we had to run through the mud ... oh joy!

Run 10K - 53:18 (8:36 pace)
Since I was in one of the last waves, the sun was really shining and it was pretty hot out by the time I started my run. What made it was worse is the run was down at Haines Point which meant no shade! Anyhow, my eyes were darting all over the place out of the run out looking for my family. Then I saw them and a huge smile came across my face! My dad jumped up and ran along side me for a little while M was running on the sidewalk with the camera.

Hi Dad :)

You can still see him sprinting in the green t

I told my dad that I had to slow down or else I would burn out (I was running a 7:20 pace at this point) and then he said good bye. Later I would find out he thought I said he was slowing me down so he stopped running with me. Regardless I loved having my dad out there running with me for a little bit.
Good bye family .. see you soon at the finish
I was already over heating at the fist water stop and drank a water and poured one over my head, which felt really good. Near the turnaround point on 15th st, I heard someone yell, "Go Sarah Karpinski"... It was my twin, Sarah! I yelled back to her "Go Sarah!". As the run continued I was getting slower and slower. Sarah caught up to me near the stop sign at Haines point and we chatted for a brief second as she is a bad ass runner and there was not a chance in hell I could keep up with her. When she passed me I was holding a 8:15 pace, but that would be the last time I would see that one my watch. I passed the 5k mark and then really started to struggle. My stomach was slushing around and I continued to taste peanut butter and bananas as I had to fight back the vomit. I really wanted to walk at mile 4, but I thought of Emily who was racing an IM and thought come on, this is only a 10k run and she has to run a marathon, I can surely run 6 miles, so I kept running (or well shuffling). Every time I tried to push it a little bit the vomit feeling returned even stronger. So my last two miles were slow...9:14 and 9:30. I couldn't even sprint to the finish line. I tired, trust me, but I knew I would puke if I did. I saw my mom and dad cheering for me on the side line and tried to smile best I could. Then it was over, I crossed the finish line! Even though it was not my best run I was still happy because I didn't walk.

This is what almost puking at the finish line looks like (aka death)

The finish line - I thought I might puke all over the place and ran to closest trash can and stuck my head in it. I didn't end up throwing up, but just dry heaved, which was just as gross. And when I looked at my Garmin, it only had me at 6 miles. So either it was off or the course was off? Either way I really didn't want to run that .2 anyhow.
Total: 2:10:08
I couldn't be happier with my total time. My goal with the swim was under three hours which I would have been able to do had we swam.

The Numbers:
Age GroupGenderOverall
49/296 top 16.6%   238/1455 top 16.4%  1665/3873 top 43%

I had a pretty good time at this race! I was still bummed that we didn't swim, but it was not that end of the world that we didn't. I think the best part was seeing some of my friends out on the course and having my family there supporting me! I loved having them out there for me :)

With the best support team ... my parents

And my personal photographer and love...M
With Kristine at the end of the race
Then I bumped into Jess
Even though I did not have the best run of my life, I still made my goal which was to stay positive on the run no matter what. Around the halfway mark I felt like death, but I reminded myself that this is something that I love doing and that I can do it. The one goal that I really missed the mark on was my nutrition. Once again, my stomach was a mess on the run! Ugg.. better luck next time and more practice trying to figure out what I can eat beforehand and how much I should be taking in on the bike. But like I said before the most important thing about this race is that I had a blast :)

Happy Tues All ! 


  1. Congratulations! Your bike split is really impressive! I'm sure you'll go sub 3 if you ever actually get the chance to race a full Olympic. :)

  2. Great race!! Hopefully you'll get a full Oly in next season!

  3. Congrats! You are a speedy cyclist! I'm glad you had a fun race even with the imminent threat of puke.

  4. Way to go! Woohoo!