Folsom International Tri – 5/10/2014

Author – J. Kuck

  • 4:30am – alarm goes off (slept ok, woke up a couple times throughout the night to pee)
  • 4:45am – got out of bed, dressed, final bag check and pack car
  • 5:15am – headed to Folsom, ate breakfast in the car throughout drive (steel cut oats mix with a banana, honey, and protein powder, plus a hammer fizz tab with water and BCAA’s
  • 6:45am – arrived at Granite Bay State Park, waited in check in line for approx. 15 min
  • 7:15am – set up transition area for bike/run (had to pee several times between 7am and 8am)
  • 8am – Put wetsuit on and got in water to warm up (water not too cold; did some short intervals to bring up my heart and breathing rate and get used to the water; did some shoulder rotation/mobility while in water)
  • 8:30am – Race/swim start (anxious so elevated heart rate and breathing)

Had a very difficult time finding my “groove” for the first 75 yards or so. My breathing was erratic and shallow so I had a hard time keeping my head down and in the water. Once I found my “groove” and was comfortable, I can honestly say it was the best lake race swim I ever had. Fast cruise the rest of the swim. Approx 25min swim time.

  • 9am – Out of the water and ran the approx. ½ mile up to bike transition. I was a little thrown off by the gravel I had to run barefoot on, so I was a little shaky trying to get my wetsuit off.
  • 9am – Out on the bike, issues clipping in and getting going (had bike in too low a gear, oops)

Great start to the bike leg, 18/19mph avg completing 11 miles within the first 30min. Legs felt good with a 85-90 rpm. Started drinking Hammer Perpetuem about 6 min into the ride and continued to sip throughout, finishing the entire bottle before finishing ride. Bonked about 40min in for about 10min (paced dropped to about 14/15mph and legs were stiff and heavy), but then somehow recovered and pace went way up to 24/25mph as I made my way through miles 16-20, but then bonked again in the last couple miles (again back down to the 14/15mph pace with stiff and heavy legs). Decided that I should take a gue at this time just in case. Finished in approx. 1:25:11; avg 17.8 mph; 83 rpm; 1362 total ascent; 1187 total calories expended

  • 10:30am – very shaky legs getting off the bike and transitioning to the run. Very thrown (not very happy and upset at how much time was “lost”) by my lack of consistency on the bike and the slower than expected bike finish time. Unsure of how the legs were going to hold upon the run.  My head and emotions kept getting in my way. Big thanks to David who gave me some kind words of praise “The run is your thing, do what you do and start picking people off”.

Started out at a nice 8:00 min pace. Legs were heavy, but started to let go about 5 min in, which allowed me to decrease my pace slightly and run between 7:45 and 8 min pace. More hills/rollers than I remembered last year (although I don’t remember my legs being so tired last year either).  Pee’d from mile 3-5 (on and off, which still amazes me that it is even possible to pee for 2 miles).   Mile 4, both of my inner quads (at the knee) cramped up and hurt with every step. Paused for a second or two at a time to vigorously rub them and “talk” to them, but ultimately there was just nothing I could do. I continued to push as hard as I thought I could get away with, but ended up having to walk a little bit of the last steep hill, my legs just couldn’t handle the uphill strain. The big downhill made me extremely nervous that my legs would give out, so I tried to maintain as much control as possible without pulling back on my speed too much. Made it down ok, but in the last mile when it was time to crank up the pace, I just couldn’t do it. I increased my pace slightly to about 7:30, but couldn’t get my body to go faster until the last stretch into the finish line. I finished strong and actually satisfied that, despite my leg issues, I PR’ed this 10k and this was my best 10k finish ever!

Approx 50:43:50; 8:21 avg pace; 578 calories

While waiting for the awards ceremony I recovered by drinking a very large coconut water and another bottle of water with fizz tabs and BCAA’s. Oh and then a double-double protein style In N Out burger.  =)

I was honestly very disappointed with this race when I finished. I trained so hard and to have such issues on the bike was frustrating. I had a hard time pushing down my emotions and the negative talk in my head (on both the bike and the run). I even debated giving up at one point, but the rational side of me would never have allowed that to happen. It was a very tough race (mentally exhausting as well as physically). Looking back, I am extremely proud of “the numbers” and I realize that they do reflect my hard work. My swim time dropped 2 mins, from 27min last year to 25min this year. My bike dropped from 1:27 to 1:25 (although not as much of a drop as I feel it should have, at least it is a better time) and my run went from 1:01 last year to 50:43 this year (which is a great decrease in time for this difficult run course). Now, it is time to buckle down once again, figure out how not to “bonk” on that damn bike course (a feeling I have not experienced before) and continue to build my speed on the trail.

As if the effort I put forth on the course wasn’t enough, I had to deal with timing issues as well. The race was not a chipped race, there were pull tabs on my wetsuit and run bib that had to be pulled as I exited the water and crossed the finish line in order to record my official time. Unknowingly to me, the pull tab on my run bib was not pulled when I crossed the finish line, so even though I should have gotten 3rd place in my age group (because they never took my tab) their results showed me as not finishing. Luckily David timed me start to finish, so I had a time to give them to “prove” that I should be 3rd. None of this was figured out though until after the awards were given out, so by this time I was pissed off and crying. It sounds petty, but I worked too hard to not be awarded for my effort. 3rd out of this fast group of racers was quite a feat. The race director felt horribly and corrected the mistake and made a big deal out of announcing me as 3rd in my age group and putting me on the podium. He even gave me a certificate for a new wetsuit. This didn’t make my mental exhaustion go away, but at least I had my 3rd place recognition. =)

What a day!!!