Monday, August 12, 2013

USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals 2013

USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

1500M SWIM --- 40km BIKE --- 10km RUN


Here I go with my only tri since Escape from Alcatraz! Yikes!
I registered for this race back in January, and I remember vividly attempting to do so on my phone in the middle of a park somewhere, feeling totally stoked to get ready for this race in the next 7 months.

The buzz of USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals is really something special. Everyone there qualified in some fashion and they are some of the best in the nation in their respective categories. It’s a great event that USAT puts together and they really know how to make these best of the best age groupers feel special. When you’re a business in it to make money, you have to make the consumers feel loved and USAT is obviously thriving at that. Triathlon Nationals versus MTB Nationals doesn’t even compare. USA Cycling needs to learn a thing or two from the triathlon community and how those race organizations create the perfect atmosphere to draw in the right people and make them feel special, fast, and that their money was well-spent. But that’s another rant I can go off on in the future as I learn more about how USAC and USAT are so very different, but their consumers are so very similar.


Race start time 7:40. After a delay at the beginning, my wave start time was 9:55. Soooo late in the morning! There was a lot of sitting around and waiting involved that I wasn’t too fond of. I like the get up and go plan of attack better. But it did allow for everything to be pretty spread out and not too bunched up on the bike. I ran about a mile for warm-up 40 min before my start time and I felt great. I don’t know why I went so downhill from there.

Swim= – 00:20:17 , 10th fastest swim split in AG, 15th overall female swim split

The venue for this swim was all too perfect in front of the Discovery World Center. Apparently no one is ever allowed to swim there, but the water quality was tested for the race and it came back super clean. You probably know I am no fan of fresh water and salt water is my favorite, but cleanliness is always reassuring. Water temp 69.4 degrees and perfect. I went closer to the end of the dock for the start and had a pretty good position for the first buoy.

The month of July did not allow me to swim as much as I should have as I was so focused on preparing for MTB Nats. Excuse, yes. Frustrated about it, very. I know I should have been farther up in the lead group and I even had a decent start, but I got winded way too quickly and had to back off on the pace a little and watched the front group slowly inch away. We caught some of the green caps from the wave ahead of us near the end under the bridge and I maneuvered my way up enough to catch a couple other girls from my wave. I got the wetsuit off, shoes on, placed my obnoxious new helmet on, and rushed out of T1.

T1= 00:02:16
Bike= – 01:04:20 fastest bike split in AG, 28th overall female bike split
Average speed = 23.2mph
Bike HR Avg = 181

The beginning portion of the bike was a 3-ish mile out north and back. That was a nice advantage because it gave me the opportunity to see how many girls were ahead of me and where they relatively were for me to catch up to them.

About 35 minutes into the bike, somewhere on Howell Avenue where the headwind was fiercest going towards Lake Michigan, at some point on the road I looked to my right and blinked my left contact completely off of my eyeball. There was nothing I could do. I saw it sitting in front of me, stuck to the attached lens of my new POC helmet, drying out with every passing second. Fantastic. I attempted to do something with it and lost focus for a few minutes, but eventually tossed it away in frustration and concentrated back on the power. I accepted the fact that I was going to be blind for a majority of the race from that point on and did the best I could. There were definitely sections of the highway on the way back, and on the run, where my eyes were just closed trying to maintain sanity.

Race finish photo that captures my frustration of having one useful eyeball

T2= 00:01:09
Run = 00:51:13
Run pace = min/mile
Run HR Avg = 173

Similar to the bike, the first couple miles allowed for some staring down of the competition in an out/back section before getting back on to the Lake Dr.

There’s not too much I can say about the run. I was hurting. I think my appropriate target run pace lasted less than half a mile, then the cramps started to itch up my inner quads and I could feel this side cramp just DIGGING into my right side like a knife. I downed a couple cups of water at the first aid station and when two girls in my AG whizzed by me shortly thereafter, I think that was the moment I resigned to the fact I wasn’t getting on the podium and I just needed to finish without passing out. The last 2 miles were the most brutal, but I did my best and that’s all I can be proud of.

Overall time = 2:19:18

Official Results Here

Well some things aren’t always going to go according to plan. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I didn’t have very much prep time nor proper run training leading up to this race. I was only confident about the biking, and that definitely showed through in the numbers.

On a positive note, though, I qualified for Worlds again! They have invitations for the top 18 finishers and roll down to 25 if people do not accept their slots. I need to look at the details a bit more as the race will be in a year from now, but I’d like to possibly make it work. I know it will interfere with Cyclocross ’14-15 season, but triathlon will always be my first love and I can’t deny a fast race. I might even try to come back and race in Wisconsin again next year for some redemption. But that’s getting ahead of myself as I’m currently a lost bike racer, ex swimmer, and struggling runner trying to find her place in a competitive world ; )

Until next time, look out for some CX updates and follow me ontwitter for more on training, a look inside Felt Bicycles as we head into MY14, Half-Asian observations, Foodie pix/ideas, Asia emails of the day, and more panda ridiculousness.

1 comment:

  1. From: Darin Armstrong #TeamLIVESTRONG

    ***Special #FollowFriday #Shoutout To: @_amanda_panda_ #Triathlete (#Swim #Bike #Run) #Engineer #Surfer -

    Hello Amanda,
    The above is what your #Twitter #FollowFriday #Shoutout will look like this coming Friday should you do a 'mutual' following with me on twitter. ('Smart Individual Marketing/PR')

    Just a quick message to ask if you would be interested in a ‘mutual’ following on twitter that will benefit you. (#FYI I do RT’s ‘ANYTIME’ for all #Triathletes #Cyclists #UltraRunners #Marathoners #FitnessProfessionals who follow me on Twitter and have something important they want mentioned for support…(Over 41K folks at your access...) I am currently following you now and am awaiting your follow-back...

    All the very best for the rest of 2013 & beyond Amanda. Look forward to hearing from you...

    (PS. Amanda, again, should you follow back before tomorrow morning, I'll be mentioning you 'Including Your Website' in a 'Stand Alone' #FollowFriday #Shoutout tomorrow..)