The Battle at Midway Triathlon
June 13, 2009
15oo meter swim
22.8 mile bike
5.97 mile run
I'm back! Back to blogging after a three week (or more) hiatus, and this past weekend I was BACK in Midway for the Battle at Midway Olympic distance triathlon, or BAM!
BAM was even more fun this year than last. Seriously? How is that even possible?? Well for starters it was fun to come BACK to a race that I really loved last year, being a year older, a year smarter and a year FITTER.
It seems like almost nothing about me is the same as last year. Different mindset, different body, and of course I've done Silverman! :-)
So here are the quick and dirty results, followed by more detail:
Quick and Dirty Results + Comparison:
BAM 2009 total time: 3:15:11
BAM 2008 total time: 3:43:16
I love numbers when they look like this!
We drove up to Midway on Thursday and it was just as awesome as I remembered. Tony, my 69 year old phenom training buddy, came with us. When we got there, he pitched a tent at T1 near the lake and near the race director's pop up trailer. For the next two days he immersed himself in helping them set up and everything else that A List High Level Volunteers do. On race day, wherever I turned, Tony was there! It was amazing.
On race morning it was very overcast but not that cold. I was pretty damn nervous so it was good to see Mike in transition and talk with him awhile. He seemed a little nervous too but we both went on to have stellar races. When I got in the water for my warm up I was pleasantly surprised. Deer Creek Reservoir was probably in the mid 60s. Warmer than Lake Mead during Rage, but much cooler than Lake Mead is now.
My keyword for the swim was PUSH. It's time for me to break into the next level. The course was a triangle, very well marked and the water was flat. This year they added a shorter race called BAM Lite. Once around for them, twice for us!
The swim was smooth and uneventful. At times I wondered if I was pushing hard enough which is why I say it's time to push into the next level! Thank goodness Swim Las Vegas has some summer programs going on! I need to be pushed more in the swim. Hell the swim is now my favorite part of the race! My mind still hesitates to wrap completely around that one but it's TRUE!
Halfway through the course my stomach growled which displeased me. The stomach/mind connection is sometimes not optimal for me but I was able to push it out of my mind and keep going.
I got out of the water feeling really GOOD and Glenn snapped this photo:
Swim time: 37:47 (total freaking 1500 meter PR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
2008 Swim time: 42:48 (oh yeah how far I have come!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Last year at this time I was fantasizing about getting my 1500 meter swim time down from the 40s into the 30s. Now that I'm there I'm dreaming about the high 20s for this distance. I KNOW I can do it! It is simply a matter of commitment, dedication, work and time.
The difference in time here from last year is so vast that it's almost ridiculous.
I discovered at Rage that sitting down to put my shoes on really speeds things up for me. Thus, Tony, who seemed to be all over T1 and T2, snapped this flattering shot:
Glenn snapped a shot of me leaving T2:
T1 time: 2:42
2008 T1 time: 4:46
SEE! It's funny/ridiculous! There's room to take more time off here as well.
Ah THE BIKE! My word for the bike was HAMMER and I intended to ride like I'd never ridden before in a race. I was nervous about this but determined to just freaking go for it!!!
The BAM bike course is flat but I forgot that the first few miles, while flat, are on a gentle incline so it's kind of a false flat. I did not even want to warm up I wanted to just GET TO IT. For the first time ever my computer was set to MPH so I could monitor how I was doing. Typically I don't do that cause it messes with my head. NOT THIS TIME!
Because my stomach had growled during the swim (a huge red flag) I started sucking down my nutrition right away. The day before the race I questioned whether my three bottles would be overkill because this was going to be my fastest Oly bike time EVER.
Fortunately I did NOT make what would have been a very stupid, unbelievably moronic mistake of trying to change the nutrition plan that has worked for me for OVER A YEAR, at the last minute. NO! I stuck to it! And because I stuck to it, everything went great! The only difference was the bottles were not empty when I reached T2 because I wasn't out there very long. LOL!!!!
I pushed harder on the bike than I ever have before and it actually felt like I was racing! I picked several people off and toward the end was leapfrogging with this girl until I just turned up the heat and ditched her. That course is really conducive to fast bike times and I got my fastest there for sure!
The flip side is that I feel like I could have done more. BUT it seems like I just need to improve step by step and honestly since my times show I'm improving by leaps and bounds I am happy with it!! AND I love my bike. I fantasize about "arriving" in the middle of the pack someday and, like anything else it will take upleveling which requires work, dedication and more work! Can I do this while still keeping it fun? ABSOLUTELY!
Bike time: 1:23:06
2008 Bike time: 1:38:55
This was pretty speedy as well though I lost a bit of time from last year. Tony was there to take another flattering shot:
2008 T2: 1:55
Ah the run. I had grand ideas about pushing hard through here as well and, well, let's just say there is a lot more room to push! I forgot how freaking hard this run course is and during the first mile figured I must have been delusional when I told Mike how much I loved this run course.
Well, I DO love the run course. But after pushing myself on the bike it felt much MUCH harder than I remembered. My body felt totally different. Many more things hurt than usual. I could feel the bike ride in my quads, hammys, upper and lower back and torso. All completely normal muscle pains but wow, I'm not used to that. So I walked. And walked again. And walked again.
Those uphills just KILLED me. As did the downhills. So I was a bit disappointed with my run. But then after some reflection decided I'm not at all disappointed!
I have broken through to another level and readily admit that I do want to leave the back of the pack behind. I know I have the physical capability. My body has changed radically in the past two years with all the training. Sometimes I look at photos of myself and I pull my new clothes size off the rack and I cannot believe the transformation.
Having spent many many years being much too thin I truly believe my body is just now finding it's ideal weight and size. My weight is at a number now that I never in a million years thought I would weigh and I wear a size that I never thought would be on my body. And I look the best that I ever have. I've heard this from others, and believe it.
So my point is that my body has more strength in it and more speed than my mind is allowing it to put out. I say this with full acceptance of where I am now, and I absolutely love seeing numbers that show how far I've come. It is this attitude, along with my awesome coach, that will get me to where I want to be. And for now that is mid pack. Totally. I can do it without comparing myself specifically to others, without obsessing over things I can't control, and while loving my body! And running my business! And having FUN!
Glenn took this photo about 300 meters from the finish. I'm surprised I'm smiling here because I was so DONE! In fact right before this was taken I had let loose a string of words containing the letters f, c, k, and u, though not in that specific order.
Tony was one of the volunteers holding the tape as I crossed the line. He got this awesome photo:
And this one:
Run time: 1:09:23
2008 Run time: 1:14:53
A run PR!!! Even though this run course was a bit shy of a full 10k, I'll take it!!!!!
I'm so glad I took a chance a year and a half ago and signed up for the 2008 BAM. At that time I was a DNS at the 2007 Silverman, had just hired a new coach (or was about to) and felt like I was really scraping the bottom of the barrel of any athletic ability or confidence. WHY was I even doing this?
In 2008 I got a huge PR at BAM and did that again this year! NOW I have two half irons on the horizon for August and November.
AND I'm sure I'll go back to BAM next year.