Monday, April 18, 2011

Miami University Student Foundation Triathlon 2011

What a better way to celebrate a birthday than to do a race, right? Friday night Dave and I traveled to Oxford, Ohio (otherwise known as the middle of nowhere) to race the Miami University Student Foundation Triathlon. Our 2-1/2 hour trip turned into something more like four hours after a stop for dinner and a detour after a terrible car accident and we got to registration check-in 5 minutes before it closed at 10:00pm. Then we found our hotel, checked in, got our stuff ready for the race, and then fell asleep. It would be an early wake up call.

4:45am we were up, doing our thing, eating breakfast, and we were out the door at 5:30. We're getting better at this. We set up our transition, got in one last bathroom break, and headed to the pool for warm-ups. It was going to be a good day.

Perfect socks to celebrate my birthday race.

I absolutely freakin' loved this swim! The swim was done at the student recreation center in a 50m pool. When we entered the race, we input our predicted swim time, and then were seeded based on that. Then waves of 50 were called down to the swim deck where we were sent off one person at a time every three seconds. You would swim down one lane, push off the wall and under the lane line to the next lane, and swim back down the next lane. At the end of 8 lanes, you had swam 400m, you pushed yourself out of the pool and ran to transition.

My number was 159 so I was, essentially, in the fourth wave. I waited in line and then it was my turn to cross the timing mat, run around the end of the pool, and jump on in. I took off pretty fast, but the guy behind me caught me in the first 50 meters. Then he decided to swim the exact same pace as me. So, I drafted off of him. I got right on his toes. I mean RIGHT on his toes. I even touched them some times. This may be the first time I have successfully drafted in a swim. At some point, though, I needed to go faster than he was going so I tried to get around him. But, just like open water swimming, another dude was on my other side and I was totally boxed in. I did like any good, offensive swimmer would do, at the end of the lane as I was pushing off, I totally cut him off and got in front of him. Then I dashed to the finish line. I wiggled my way out of the water and sprinted my way into transition.

Time - 7:55, 3/12 AG

I am totally over-the-moon about my swim. I have been working hard in the pool and it's been paying off. Swimming is quickly becoming my favorite thing about triathlon.

When we arrived to the race in the morning, the weather was better than I expected. It was around 55 degrees and it wasn't raining. That wasn't at all what the weather was predicted! But as we were waiting in the natatorium for the swim, I noticed that the temperature was dropping. And when I exited the swim and ran outside, not only had it gotten cold, it was now raining. Awesome. I took the time, or I should say I tried to hurry, and put on a long sleeved shirt for the remainder of the race. It was a struggle and a long transition, but worthwhile as it would be cold out on the bike. The bike was rolling. I would spin my way up a long hill passing people as I went, and then would descend quickly while getting passed by the big dudes on the way down. That's how the whole bike went for the whole 20K.

Time - 47:20, 15.8mph, 4/12 AG

Did you see that? Fourth fastest in my age group? What the what? Sure, it wasn't "fast" in terms of mphs, but I have been on that bike working hard to become a better biker all winter. It's paying off and I'm excited to see how the rest of the season will play out.

Let me just brag about my T2 for a second. I dismounted that bike, ran it in quickly, tore off my helmet and shoes, grabbed my hat, stepped into my running shoes and was out of there in 1:00 flat. Only one other girl in my age group beat me in T2 and she only did that by 1 second. Thankyouverymuch!

Generally, I love the run portion of triathlon. I get to fly. I get to pass people. I feel most comfortable. Not today. I was suffering. I got off the bike and I was freezing. FREEEEEEZING!!! I could not feel my feet and didn't the entire run. And it was pouring rain for the run. I didn't feel like I was working hard yet my breathing was erratic. At one point I tried to breath in through my nose and my nostrils closed in on themselves. This made drinking at a water stop impossible. By the end of the run I got a stitch under my ribs so badly I had to stop twice and try to stretch it out. This was the only time of the day where I said aloud, "I'm not having very much fun." What an ugly run.

Time - 24:19, 7:49/mile, 3/12 age group

Because the weather was terrible, the race officials cancelled the awards ceremony. This allowed Dave and I to cash in our free breakfast where we were staying and we headed home shortly after. It was a good day for both of us. I finished third in my age group and Dave had a terrific run with a 21:59. Despite the bad weather, it was a fun way to celebrate my birthday.


Jeff Vanis said...

Nice work with the times. Sounds like some ugly conditions! It is always a plus seeing your training start to pay off. Keep it up! Happy belated bday!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats on a great race for the both of you

lizloses286 said...

I just started following you and I work at Miami. As I was leaving the rec Saturday morning I thought about you and the miserable weather. Hope you enjoyed your brief visit to the "Ox-box" as we call it and nice work!

Jamie said...

Awesome race meredith! Very jealous that you are getting such an early start to the season.

For Dave's birthday, please buy him a new race kit. Looks a little big on him and something might mistakenly "fall out."

LittleRachet said...

Awesome!! I've done one tri with a pool swim and it was kinda fun - I want to do another one! BRR! BRR! BRR!!!

Melissa C said...

Good job Meredith! That pool swim was awesome. Those bike and run conditions sounded yucky. Way to go pushing through!

Karen said...

WOO HOO! Nice race! I love pool swims in triathlons. Something about snaking along the lanes makes it fun.

Kiersten said...

You go girl! Happy Birthday!

Colleen said...

Great job Meredith! :) Love the socks too!

Andrea Hill said...

Congrats on a great race! It's also really exciting to see you starting to really enjoy the swim. You've come soo far from hanging on that.. buoy? surfboard? way back when.

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Great race and nice recap! I've never done a tri with a pool swim but what you described sounded pretty cool.

Andrea said...

My next/first tri follows this exact format - pool swim "snake style", bike and run outside.

Great work!!!

Michelle said...

yippee!! good for you!

Ms. Duffy said...

Yay, what a great birthday!