Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Saratoga Tri = great race!

Some have wondered why I race at all pregnant.  It's not like I go into it expecting a win or anything, why not just take a break right?  I've said it before, I'll say it again.  I really love triathlon and it's FUN, so why when I train for this stuff year in and year out and I know how to listen to my body, do I have to take a break from fun just because I'm pregnant?  I don't, I still need some fun  :)
So I did the Daybreak Tri about a week after we found out we were pregnant.  Yeah I was a little nervous, but my body knows how to do this stuff (race, it's not always the best at staying pregnant apparently), it was a sprint, and I really wanted to win that 3rd time.  It went great, no problems.  Then around 8 weeks I think I did the Women Rock tri mainly because it had a trail run - those don't exist in regular non-Xterra tri's, and it was great!  So much fun!  Then I took about 8 weeks off.  Some because my mind was going crazy with worry about this pregnancy lasting, and some just because life got in the way.  Well, we hit about 15 weeks I believe and I knew of this great little open water race and decided to jump in.  I finally felt pretty safe in the pregnancy, I know I can control my pacing and listen to my body and I just wanted to do it because triathlon is FUN and I missed it and the atmosphere and people, and it was probably about the last time I could fit into a larger wetsuit  :)

So I show up to register morning of after the race director said I would be fine to do so.  I figured it's a small race, every race this year has had way low numbers, I'll be fine.  Boy was I wrong!  This great little race with non-professional race directors, just average people that live in the area, had sold their race out with almost 300 people!  That's more than almost every race this whole year has had in a single distance, that's phenomenal for a race that doesn't get a lot of hype and isn't part of a series.  Oh and did I mention it was only $35?!  So anyway, I show up about 90 minutes before the start of the race and see a sign saying it's full.  I'm happy they sold it out, but I was SO bummed!  They said to stand in line and wait to see if anyone didn't show up as they were out of chips.  So wait I did with about 5 other people, and stressed, and stressed, and finally got in 10 minutes before the race started.  Can you say fastest most simple transition set up EVER!  Really shows you how little you need in transition.  I didn't want to get out of line so I wasn't even dressed in a race kit, let alone my wetsuit.  I threw everything in transition, ran to the bathrooms to change, ran my bag back to the car and threw my wetsuit on while running over to the start just in time to walk into the water with my wave, whew!

The swim - water felt SOOOO good!  Now this is Utah lake, a notoriously yucky/murky lake, but the beauty of where they held this race was it wasn't in the main boat ramp.  Yes I couldn't see my hand in front of me, but I never tasted boat fuel at all, didn't taste anything actually.  So the wave took off and we made our way about 100 yards and then were out of the sheltered area and found ourselves riding some pretty big waves!  Now not white capping ocean stuff obviously, I wouldn't call the water rough, just some big rolling wake.  I'm a swimmer and I know some struggled with it (I stopped to check on a few people), but I thought it was a blast!  Seriously!  Yeah I got a few face fulls of water, but I was laughing and smiling the whole way.  The size large sleeveless wetsuit I wore was perfect too.  Great swim!  They had great in water support too, very important.

Bike - wasn't sure how much time I'd spend in aero, actually figured I really wouldn't at all as it was gotten a bit uncomfortable, but I actually rode most the ride tucked in.  It just felt good and the roads were keen to it, fairly flat, nothing that I needed to stand for, and in good condition.  I felt better during it than expected and again, just smiled my way along.  The views riding along the lake were nice and traffic control was good.  No complaints here

Run - running out of T2, literally, 10 feet out of it some guy was like "come on, why can't I run?!"  He was so mad.  We were 10 feet out of transition and I let him know it.  I told him to calm down, we just turned a corner and left the transition area.  Just thought it was weird he'd declare it was a bad run already when we'd only taken a dozen steps.  Anyway, took off at what my body knows we race sprint/oly tri's at, I swear it just has a preprogrammed pace.  So I had to reign it in a bit, but not much.  I really expected and planned to run slower, but I felt just fine at probably 7:30 pace.  I watched my breathing and any discomfort anywhere and just smiled and ran and cheered for others and enjoyed the views again looking toward the lake.
Neat views all over the course and closed to traffic, yay!
Finished 4th woman overall, sounds good to me!  I'm not sure who took that worse, the men or the women  :)  So there you have it, a simple race report all about a great day.  I don't have any suggestions for the race directors at all, I am really super impressed!  Totally affordable race entry, open water swim with in water support, great road and closed bike course, and well supported run and just a really good course.  They had chip timing and tech shirts, a finish line banner thing, lots of volunteers, really great post race food with all kinds of fruits and bread and cookies and drinks, and get this, they had prize money not only for overall winners, but top 3 in every age group!  I walked away with $40 for winning my age group, that's more than I paid to race!  They didn't advertise it, I had no idea they were doing prize money, but I'm impressed.  Seriously, I can't say enough good things about this race, put it on your calender next year!  I was so pleased with my body too.  I really haven't been training much the last several months so just expected to go out and do it at a slower pace, but I listened to my body and it let me do more and go faster than I was expecting. Maybe it's the extra ATP (cellular energy) the baby is developing too  :)
Some 15 week belly shots.  Also notice the calm water in the middle pic post race, oh well, I enjoyed the waves

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