Race Report: Janesville Triathlon

If you read my last two posts, you probably know this race didn't end that well.  The race was July 7, three days after my attempt at a 112 mile TT in 100 degree heat.  The heat wave continued longer than expected.  It was supposed to end the day before the race, but lasted one day longer than forecasted so highs on race day were approaching 100.  When I got up at 4am, it was already 80 and very humid.

Last year I had a good battle for 2nd with my teammate at the time, Robbie.  I expected him to be there again this year and  figured since the winner was from Texas it might be me and Robbie battling for the win.  When we got there I registered and got transition set up and then heard the good/bad news.  It was wetsuit legal.  Robbie is a really good swimmer, so a wetsuit legal swim cuts his advantage down a little.  But with temps forecasted for 100, I didn't want to wear my wetsuit.  I knew I had to wear my wetsuit if I wanted a shot at the overall.  Plus, Robbie was wearing his.  If I didn't wear mine, I would have given him 2-3 minutes on the swim.  Race over. 

Swim: 10:58

Janesville is a river swim so it's a time trial start.  The line formed early so I was stuck in the middle.  Robbie was at the very front of the line where I wanted to be.  There isn't a lot to say about the swim.  I swam well and set one of the faster times of the day.  Most people opted not to wear a wetsuit so I expected to have one of the faster times. I lost a little over a minute to Robbie.  

The line for the swim.

I'm one of the few in a wetsuit.

The bike is the big difference between me and Robbie.  What he gains in the swim, I take back on the bike...sometimes more.  We're fairly even on the run.  It makes for a good race.

Bike: 35:09 (23.9 mph)

Last year I really struggled on the bike in Janesville so I was determined to have a better day.  I started out a little on the conservative side and built into race power over the first 5 minutes.  I felt much stronger than last year and my power was more in line with what I typically ride at a sprint tri.  I faded a bit on the second half, but I think that had more to do with the heat than anything.  I made up some ground and tried to catch Robbie but couldn't.  He rode well, and had a good-sized lead with his strong swim and head start by making it to the front of the line for the swim.

As I approached transition, I saw Robbie already out on the run.  Being a TT start, it's hard to say if he still had a lead or if we were even.  I figured it was close.  I needed a good run.

Run:  20:50 (6:43 pace)

The run was really tough.  I pushed hard but couldn't get moving.  I can usually get up to pace, even if I can't hold it, but I couldn't even do that.  I felt like I was running low 6s early on but my watch said 6:30, then 6:31, then 6:32.  

On the second half of the run, I felt weak and tired, like my legs were going to buckle under me and I was going to collapse.  I continued to push and told myself to focus and get this over with.  I knew I wasn't running well, my pace was now around 7, but with the heat I had no idea how Robbie was running.  Maybe he felt the same way.  

I crossed the finish line with a time good enough for second overall and first in my age group.  I had set the fastest bike split and made up the time I lost to Robbie in the swim, but he out-ran me by more than a minute and took the win.  This is the third year in a row I've taken second overall.  Janesville was my first triathlon ever and I've been trying to win the overall for the past three years so it was disappointing to come up short again. Next year.

I'm trying to pretend I'm fine.

Post race was rough.  I was dizzy and nauseous.  They had some showers set up and I tried to cool off but it didn't help.  I took in water but that came back up right away.  After about 15 minutes of not recovering I finally talked to the medical team.  I ended up getting an IV - two bags.  

Aaaaaahhhhh.....Courtney loves this picture.  She giggles like a schoolgirl when she sees it.

Still showering...

Yeah....still there.

After some showering and vomitting....

IV time.

Me with my AG award after the IV.  Check out my arm.

I'm sure I went into the race dehydrated because an hour isn't enough time to dehydrate yourself.  Lesson learned (I hope). 

My post race plan was to hang out in the pool at my parent's house and then ride my bike back to Madison (50 miles).  Courtney argued that I shouldn't bike because I needed an IV after the race.  I argued that I should bike because I got an IV after the race.  Clearly, I was no longer dehydrated.  Eventually common sense (aka Courtney) won and I scrapped the ride.  It was for the best because I think it would have been a zombie ride.  Even after the IV, I was drained. 

I'm getting caught up on my race reports.  I've got one more sprint tri report and the second Janesville aquathon report to post.  Things began to turn around.   


Getting Stupid For 112 Miles

Wisconsin got hit pretty hard and heavy with a heat wave this year.  The whole summer has been unusually hot, but things got ridiculous for a few days.  It's very, very rare for us to hit triple digits so having highs above 100 for nearly a week made for some tough days.

I'm not one to let the weather keep me from completing my workouts as planned so I continued as planned.  And, as is all too typical for me, I learned some lessons the hard way.

I've been wanting to do a 112 mile time trial for quite a while now (for some reason, Courtney giggles every time I say 112 mile time trial...I don't know why).  I decided the 4th of July was a great day to do that.  I chose to do it on Hwy 14.  Flat and fast with almost no stops.  I would head out 28 miles and then back and stop at my car just long enough to grab more water and then head back out 28 miles and back.  

When the forecast called for highs of 105 (it eventually hit 107) I decided I should get up a little earlier than planned and beat the heat.  

I'm an idiot.  Seriously.

[Sorry mom and dad, but you raised a moron.  At least Jen turned out fine.]

My bike is ready to roll.
Full on TT mode - skinsuit, shoe covers, aero helmet....it's like I put my brain in a jar and set it aside the second the heat wave hit.

Do you want to see what happens to your heart rate and power when the temp goes from 80 to 100+ while you're attempting to TT wearing a full-sleeve black skinsuit?

Power trends down, HR trends up.  That's what heat and dehydration will do to you. 

4:38:40 if you don't count the two times I stopped at a rest stop to get water and try to cool down.  4:58:28 if you count the stops.  One of these days I'm going to head back out there and repeat this TT and see if I can improve my time.  That day will NOT have a high of 105.  The time isn't bad considering the conditions, but it's a pretty fast course.  Take it with a grain of salt. 

Not looking so good after the TT.  I'm so glad Courtney made me get the AC in my car fixed this year.

On the way home I stopped at a gas station to buy some water.  I was feeling pretty rough and there was an old man in line in front of me.  The cashier rings up his stuff and then the old man digs into his pocket and pulls out a huge handful of change and starts counting.  Meanwhile, I'm behind him getting lightheaded.  The room is spinning and I'm losing my patience.  I need to sit down.  I almost paid for his stuff with my debit card just so I could get the hell out of there and sit down before I blacked out in line at the Kwik Trip.

I survived.  Made it home and spent the rest of the day on the beach.

The next few days were above 100.  I ran at lunch, swam at Devil's Lake, rode, etc.  Then that Saturday was the Janesville triathlon.....

Yeah.....I'm in there.


Janesville Aquathon #1

I've got some catching up to do on my blog.  I've done some racing, had some breakthroughs, had some bad training days, good training days, etc.  So I'll start with the first of four race reports....

Madison has an aquathon series and a couple of friends of mine in Janesville have been working hard to get the series started up in Janesville.  They succeeded in getting a 2-race series started for this year.  I don't race many of the aquathons, but they're fun so I decided to support the event.

An aquathon is a 1000 meter swim followed by a 5K run.  With the heat wave this year, we had temps approaching 100 degrees for the race....and humid.  Always humid.

That's me leading the group into the water.
Lesson - when you lead into the water, know the course.  I thought I did but quickly found out I didn't have the slightest clue where I was going.  The course was a triangle, but I thought it was an two-loop out and back (I thought we were swimming the old Janesville Triathlon course twice....nope).  I went out hard and took a left past the first buoy.  I was supposed to go straight to a buoy I never even saw - a huge, orange buoy.  It's pretty obvious in the picture below.

See the buoy way out there?  That's the first corner buoy.  I swam to the yellow buoy and hung a left.

The race director sent a kayaker out to get me.  She went out and hit me with her paddle, but not very hard.  I kept swimming.  Courtney told the race director to tell her to hit me really hard or I won't stop swimming.  So hit me really hard she did.  That got my attention.

Kitty the kayaker hitting me with the paddle.  You can't even see any other swimmers.

There's nothing like going from thinking you're leading the race to finding out you're not even in the race.  I was halfway to the wrong buoy and had a lot of ground to make up.  I swam hard, caught the group and sat in second place the rest of the swim.

Here I am coming out of the water catching a lot of crap from the race director for swimming the wrong way.  Good times.

Transition....still catching crap...."do you need an escort for the run?"
Heading out on the run.
The run flat out sucked.  I've been struggling with my running lately and this was no exception.  It was my slowest aquathon run ever, actually.  My legs were heavy and tired and I couldn't catch my breath.  It's no fun suffering on the run only to set one of your slowest times ever.  So it goes. 

Fortunately I managed to come out of the water with enough of a lead over 3rd that I was able to hang on for second overall.  

The finish line.  Tired and about to hear a lot more crap about swimming that wrong way.  That's what happens when you screw up at an event your friends are running.  I'll never hear the end of it.

They had tons of great prizes and I won a free VO2 Max test for taking 2nd overall. 

Picking my prize.

Next up, race #2The Janesville triathlon.... or how to end a sprint tri in an ambulance.