Thursday, July 18, 2013

Couples Tri 2013 Race Report

Medals! Photo by Tom Marek
Yes! I finally did a race again! But no, the house isn't finished, and no, I haven't been training much. (I did ride 11.5 miles on Shoal Creek a week or 2 ago, just so I wouldn't have to say Couples would be my longest ride on my tri bike since April!) But Connie asked if I wanted to be her Couples partner again and of course the answer was Yes! This would be "Heather and Connie's Excellent Adventure's" 3rd Couples (and my 5th Couples total)! We had our traditional pre-race lunch at Blue Dahlia, enjoyed hanging out, and picked up our race packets. I got home and tried to remember and find everything I need for a race. We're not completely unpacked yet, and a few things I need for a triathlon, I haven't used since my last triathlon in Kerrville last September! But I eventually found everything and got it all ready to go. Instead of resting and relaxing in the evening, I unpacked boxes and touch-up painted trim.
Kim, me, Elle, JoAnne, Kim B., and Coach Jen. Photo by Tom Marek
Goals for this race:
1. Have FUN!
2. Finish (and maybe beat my time from 2011 when I raced with bronchitis and a sinus infection)
3. Don't do anything stupid (like crash, or run out of transition still wearing my helmet, or anything else that would make it look like I hadn't done a triathlon in almost a year!)

I woke up early on race morning and headed out to Decker. As soon as I parked, Kim Burkhart knocked on my window! She said "I'm so happy you're racing today!" I was pretty happy too! As she told me about putting her bike in the wrong car and almost showing up without it! (:o) I looked at her aerobottle and realized mine was still in my freezer at home! Oops! Especially oops because I have a small crack in my bike frame around my regular bottle cage so I never use it! I figured I'd be fine for 11.2 miles without a drink (but I guess forgetting my bottle probably counts as "stupid thing" #1).

In transition, notice my cool new Tri Zones top (I've only worn it once before) and my cool tri tats! Photo by Tom Marek
I sweet talked my way into transition without getting body marked since Connie had tri tats for us. I found her, and she applied my tats while I set up my transition area and triple checked it to make sure I had everything I needed. We hung out with the other Tri Zoners and laughed and talked while waiting for the start. I was having a lot of fun and I hadn't even started the race yet! Coach Jen jokingly said "you remember how to do this, right? First is the run, then the swim, then you bike last-haha!" Thanks a lot Coach Jen!

Jenny's new "shoe wagon" one of the many perks of being a Tri Zoner :) Photo by Tom Marek
As we got in the water I debated about where to start, I usually start as close to the front as I can get, especially at Couples, but I haven't been swimming much, so I didn't want to be "that" person slowing others down. So I got in the middle of the pack. Logan counted down, and I started swimming...well, not really, I got about 2 strokes in and was blocked in, I finally got around some people and immediately got stuck behind someone backstroking! Really? Someone backstroking started at the front! (Apparently starting in the middle of the swim wave was "stupid thing" #2). I got around the backstroker, got kicked by a few breaststrokers, and finally got a little space to swim as I came to the first turn buoy. After that first turn, I had a great swim! I really love swimming at Decker Lake and I kept seeing Tri Zones kits wondering who was near me (I guess I'm out of practice at recognizing everyone in the water). I passed a lot of people (I guess that's one advantage of starting in the middle of the wave) and felt good! Swim was 19:36 my second slowest Couples swim.
Running up the hill out of the swim. Photo by Amy Bush
I jogged up the hill to transition and heard people cheering for me! I got into transition and it took forever to get my bike shoes & stuff on! T1 was 4:39, (slowest Couples T1 ever) Yeah, I'm a little out of practice!

I got on the bike and coasted down the first hill, I really hadn't ridden a hill on my tri bike since Kerrville! Decker is a pretty hilly course with a couple of steep challenging hills. I was a little nervous about the hills, but I figured worst case I'd walk up a hill or maybe even flop over going 2 mph, not the end of the world. I got out on Decker Lane and remembered last year when I was riding at my very best for Couples, jamming down the hills and powering up them! I didn't feel like that this time, but I didn't feel bad either. I made the turn onto the short steep hill I was most worried about and actually passed a couple people on it! I was completely out of breath at the top and wishing I hadn't forgotten my aerobottle, but I made it and it wasn't even that bad! I saw lots of Tri Zoners and other people I knew and was having so much fun! I played tag back and forth with a few other girls and we talked each time we passed. I made it up the last big hill and passed a few people on that one too, but I was starting to feel it in my legs. I really enjoyed the bike! Even though that's a hilly, tough course, I really love it! As I got off my bike my legs felt pretty tired- I guess that's what I get for not training! Bike was 47:40, actually my second fastest Couples bike!
Very happy! Finishing the bike. Photo by Tom Marek
T2 was 2:32, not as bad as T1 even though I had to actually TIE my shoes! No quick laces right now.

I started the run and high fived Cindy and some other spectators. As I was running down the fence line, I saw Connie coming in from the bike, cool, she wasn't too far behind me! My legs felt tired and I had to take some walk breaks, but I was having a great time! Everyone is always so encouraging out there! Quadzilla was worse than I remembered, I walked quite a bit of it, high-fived Joni at the top and ran in to the finish, smiling at Tom & Ed on the way. Run time was 36:23, also my second fastest Couples run, not too bad.
Almost finished! Photo by Tom Marek
 I got my medal and a drink and said hi to a few people and jogged back out to the course to meet Connie so we could get a team finish picture.
Heather & Connie's Excellent Adventure! Photo by Tom Marek
I had a great time, I'm so glad Connie "made" me do Couples on my "off" year! I did a lot better than I thought I would too, overall time was 1:50, almost 10 minutes faster than the year I had bronchitis and only 9 minutes slower than my fastest Couples. And I didn't even do anything too stupid :) Thanks for being such a great Couples partner again Connie! And thanks to Tom Marek and Ed Sparks for taking great race pictures! And of course thanks to High Five Events and Jack & Adams for putting on an awesome event and to Tri Zones for being my team, even though I'm not really training this year.

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