Sunday, June 10, 2012

2012 Holiday Lake Triathlon-Brooklyn, Iowa

This post really should start the night before, or months before.  Back in January my friend Rhoni Jo and I decided that we could do a Triathlon.  We had just completed the North Dodge Athletic Club Indoor Tri and felt confident that we could take on a real one outdoors.  Now that I look back at that thought I think I was crazy that day and on some type of racing high.  We both signed up together online and then I signed up Jason as well because I had promised him a couple years ago that someday I would do a triathlon with him.

The serious training began.  In February when I received our tax return I bought a bike  picture of it online.  However my bike has a black seat and as soon as the handlebar tape wears out I will replace it with black tape.

In March- May I started running more, biking more and swimming more. Rhoni Jo and I would check in daily to see how each other was doing.  We both shared our freak out feelings of being in this triathlon and wondered if we could finish.   Looking back I should have swam more in open water.  I only did that twice and that hurt me in the end because I couldn't calm down enough to swim well.

The night before the race both Jason and I made a list of everything we would need to pack for transitions and for the race itself.   I wasn't able to calm down and felt like I was having a mini anxiety attack.  My heart was pounding and I was snapping at everyone.  I couldn't even talk to my friend on the phone.  I was just not feeling good at all.   Jason put the bike rack on the car.  Then we went to bed.

5:15 on race day we arose to get ready.  I ate a banana and finished packing my last minute stuff.  Then body glided every part of my body that might rub, put on my triathlon suit, got up our two children that were traveling with us then left for Brooklyn.  We arrived right around 7a.m. to Brooklyn and got a great parking space.  Some volunteers at the race hauled us and all our stuff, including bikes in their golf carts to the race transition part.  We then parked our bikes and picked up our packet.  The packet had some nice things in it.  A small towel, swim cap, Hammer Gel Gu, flashlight, chapstick, gatorade and a few other items.  I found out at this point that I was number 13!  I couldn't believe it.  Of all the numbers in the race and I get my most favorite number.  I was thrilled and let them know it.  After race packet pickup we had our body marked with our numbers then waited a while for the race to begin.

I would have preferred an early morning race start like at 7 or 8a.m., but it didn't start till 9a.m.  Hopefully next year they will change this.  The other thing I would LOVE changed is the race course for the run, which you will read about in a minute.  Other than that here are the things I loved:

The organization of the entire race:  Everything went smoothly from packet pickup to knowing where to be and when and postrace.

Amazing volunteers and plenty of them:  I should have taken pictures of many of the volunteers that sat in the heat for over 2 hours to give us a great race.  The volunteers were fabulous and you can't have a really great race without a bunch of volunteers.

Chip timing:  We had transponders on our ankles that obviously worked super well because my times matched my Garmin GPS watch.  I was happy with the accurate results.

Race bib:  I love having a race bib from a race for my scrapbook, it just means a lot to me.

Food after race:  Lots of food after the race. I have a picture below of some of it.

The race itself was fabulous, my hardest part of the race was the swim.  I thought I was a pretty good swimmer.  However, I haven't practiced in open water enough because I totally had either a panic attack or anxiety attack or something.  I completely freaked out in the water and was breathing horribly.  Finally I just decided that I either needed to finish or get out of the water. I flipped to my back and swam backstroke for a while, stopped to see where I was at, then did it again.  I kept running into the buoys and rope, so I'd have to untangle myself and move on.  But I finished it and as soon as I could touch the ground of the lake I said loudly, "I can touch, I MADE IT and I didn't die."  I had tears of joy and felt like anything was possible after this point.  

The bike portion was difficult, lots of long hills, but I just took each hill one at a time and celebrated each time I got to the top of the hill by riding as fast as my bike would take me down.  It was slightly windy, enough that sometimes it made it even harder to climb the hills, but I did it.  At this point of the race I felt like the next part would be easy since I like to run and that doesn't seem to be much of a challenge for me.  I was wrong.

The 5K course was the hardest 5K I have ever run in my 70 plus 5K races.  There were multiple steep hills and it was one after another with lots of loose gravel so it was hard to run the down hills without slipping.  No one in the world could have picked a harder 5K course I don't think.  Everyone was saying how very difficult it was and only the very elite runners that usually can run 5K races in 18 minutes or less were running those hills to the top.  I was in shock how hard it was and here I thought this part of the race would be my easiest.

The finish was sweet.  I was nearing the end and I could hear people and I just felt amazing inside, and a volunteer mentioned we were close to the end.  There was a guy up a head of me and I was determined to pass him.  I did pass him and finished strong.  Lots of pictures below to enjoy.

Great race!

Our results:
Jason Clark Iowa City IA  9:47 swim  3:10-for transition one   48:45 bike time  2:17 for transition 2     32:39 for 5K run 10:31pace of that run.  Total time 1:36:37.   57th place of 92 Men
Swim place was 61st place of 126 total, Bike 41st of 126, Run 82nd of 126.  Overall place 65 of 126

Rhoni Jo Barnes Cedar Rapids IA  12:19 swim time,  2:39-for transition one   1:06:16  bike time 1:21 transition 2     38:28 for 5K run 12:23 pace of that run.  Total time 2:01:02.   26th of 34 Women.
Swim place 104th of 126, Bike 115 of 126, Run 111 of 126.  Overall 113th of 126

Michelle Clark Iowa City IA  15:30 swim time,  3:46-for transition one   1:05:00 bike time    1:16 for transition 2   38:02 for 5k run 12:15 pace Total time  2:03:32.  placed 27th of 34 Women.
Swim place 123 of 126, Bike 111 of 126, Run 109 of 126.  Overall 115 of 126

Interesting facts:  Youngest person to do this race was 13.  They placed 85 of 126 overall.
Oldest person was 65 years old and they placed 38th of 126.  See with age we do get better!

 For full results: click here

Our marked up legs.

Picture of Jason and I before the Tri

Brenden and Scott with Jason and I in the transition area.
Technically anyone racing isn't allowed in that area, but
the race officials said they could come in for a little bit
since it wasn't crowded yet, we were there very early.

Best numbers ever. Well at least for me.  #13 is
my lucky number and favorite number, so for
me to have this was the best thing ever!

Getting ready to start the race.  We both got in the water and
practiced.  I got used to the water fast and felt I'd be able to
have a great swim.

My friend Rhoni Jo finishing her swim portion.
If you look way out in the picture at someone's
arm getting tangled in a rope and it looks like
they are swimming backwards, that was me.  I
was like 4 swimmers from the end.
Jason out of the water going to his bike.

I actually was crying tears of joy to be done with that super
hard swimming in the lake thing.  First thing I said as
I could touch the bottom of the lake was "I can touch, I did it,
I didn't drown, it's over."  I was just so happy.
Brenden and Scott waiting for us by the lake.  They ended up
swimming a lot while waiting for us to finish the race.

Jason finishing his bike course, he did the 15.5 miles
in 48:45

Rhoni Jo finishing her bike.

Me finishing the bike portion.  What a relief.  I felt that the rest
of the tri would be easy after this.

Jason running in for the finish at the end of the 5K portion.

Me running in for the finish.  I had just passed that guy.

After the race

I was shocked to learn that I placed 3rd in my age
group.  I wondered how that could happen when I
was place 115 out of 126 total.  Either way I really like
the medal and it was a SWEET surprise!

A picture of some of the food after the race.
There was also water and gatorade and
 popsicles, carrots and liquid yogurts.

A towel in our packet

The shirt which I will wear often.

Cinnamon rolls Tracy made for my boys and us.  They
tasted amazing.  Tracy even made really cute signs and
cheered us on and watched my boys while we did the
race.  Thanks Tracy!

Rhoni Jo, Tracy, me and Jason after the race.


Jason said...

What a fun race! You did a great job, Michelle. Let's do another.

Michelle said...

Yes!!! Let's do another race as soon as possible!!