Tuesday, April 23, 2013

BOCA Lanikai Triathlon

AKA the most important race of the year!
what a morning
At least that's what we always say about this race. It's really not, but it is a great race, probably the best put on Tri on Oahu, in my opinion, which probably doesn't matter too awful much. But Raul and the BOCA Hawaii people do an excellent job running this race! It's basically the first tri of the year here in Hawaii, well it was for me. And it was a great chance to assess my fitness, see where I'm at and what I need to work on.
What a great morning it was!

I went for a swim both Friday and Saturday before the race and Friday evening the water was choppy as anything, which would have made for a super fun swim, but of course race morning the water was flat as a pancake! Fine by me either way; everyone has to deal with the same conditions no matter what so it really doesn't matter, it's how you respond to what is thrown at you that matters in the end.

So the race was a wave start, like most races are turning into these days and when that happens the women always get put in the last wave, something I suppose I need to get used to before Honu since there we will be 7 minutes back from the men and we were just 5 back from the men on Sunday. I could write about that topic for a whole different post, but I will spare you my thoughts on wave starts. I digress. The men took off 5 minutes before us and by the time the first man (Tim Marr, super swimmer) was rounding the last swim buoy we hadn't even started yet! Soon enough we were off.
Who wouldn't love swimming and racing, if the starts of races always looked like this?! That's me out in front!! I made sure to get good position at the start of the swim as it was a running start. The starter yelled "GO" and we were off. I've been swimming great lately, so I knew I was going to have a strong swim and since this is my strongest portion of races, I wanted to get out and get going right away as there are lots of girls on this island that are fast little racers! I found clear water right away and was able to hop on one of the relay swimmers feet for a good portion of the swim, he took off at some point and I was swimming alone from then on, I wasn't drafting anyone and no one was drafting me. Right before the turn buoy I started to run into the men's wave. This always concerns me because then I need to start swimming around and sling-shotting people instead of just swimming, well it wasn't bad at all, I found my spots and just shot right through all those men. The swim was very uneventful, I felt strong and fast and really had to put out little effort to get through the swim quickly, if that's what all this swimming has done for me, I'll take it. I ended up having the 2nd fast swim of the day, I know the swim is such a small portion of the overall race, but being able to put out minimal effort while swimming as fast as I did was sure confidence building and I was able to head into the bike fresher than in races past!! The secret is out, swimming more as a swimmer definitely helps!
The Bike
I'm definitely not where I want or need to be on the bike, but I'm getting closer. The bike during this race was different from any bike during a tri I've done before, because I was being chased, I had a target on my back. Cycling is definitely my weak point and the plan was to ride hard and fast and see how long it would take to get caught, if I got caught (which I did). I thought I might, but I was going to make it as hard as possible for that to happen if it was going to happen. Once I got out of the water and knew where I stood, trying to stay ahead for as long as possible was the plan. I knew the girls behind me were stronger cyclists and runners than I am, but  I was going to do my best to make it difficult, that's what you do when you're racing right, especially a sprint, you go for it, give it all you've got and after and hour whoever crosses the line first went the fastest.  It took a while (the light coming back with less than .5 mile left of the bike to get passed), but I happened and was able to stay close until the end of the bike. I was pleased with how this part of the race went, I have lots of room for improvement, but I was faster than I was last year (yes, I know completely different race/road conditions and you can't really compare times from year to year), but I am riding better than I was last year at this time even if I don't think so all the time, but I have plenty of work to do to be where I am happy with how I am riding.
Onto the Run
 I'm pretty happy with how my run is progressing so far this year. Again, lots of room for improvement, but I think every athlete always thinks there's room for improvement. I took off on the run in 2nd place, I knew the eventual winner of the race (the one who passed me on the bike) was a solid, solid, fast, fast runner. But I was going to try to stay close to her for as long as possible, well she took off right away and was gone! Now, I only had 5.5K left of the race. I've run around this run course/loop more times than I can count, I know where the hills are, where to push harder, how many more cross streets are left before the turn around, I knew this run, which made it considerably easier than it was last year. I'm not saying the run was easy 5ks (well 5.5k in this race's terms) are never easy. I was instructed to just run, run hard and run fast and when you don't think you can run harder or faster, keep going. So that's what I did. There were still girls behind me who are also solid runners and I needed to keep going and never let up. I tried to do just that. Seeing friends along the course and in and out of transition sure helped keep the confidence high and keep pushing faster toward the start. And running and biking past guy after guy doesn't hurt either, sorry! I will say I was pleased with how my run went, but I didn't have that extra gear I wanted. I did run faster than I did last year, but I think I have more speed in me and am excited for what this season has to offer.
All-in-all, I am super happy with how this race went, it's not my "A" race for the year, those will come soon. I was able to get out there and race, dust off the cobwebs, get some information about how my training is going, what I need to do to improve and where those improvements can come from. Super stoked for this season!! I love racing the ladies on the island!!

A few more pictures from the race....
exiting the swim

Aaron, HK, Rachel and me pre race...so great to have the love and support of friends


Aaron, me and G...it was G's first tri ever and he rocked it!

 Off to the Big Island for a Big training weekend on Thursday...can't wait!!

No comments:

Post a Comment