Well, I have been a slacker in updating this, but here we go.
Highland Memorial Day Biathlon
I was excited for the Highland Memorial Day Biathlon, because it was the first event of my summer season. With a few days of biking under my belt, I thought why not, it can’t be that bad. My dad came down to Greenville on Sunday to help me tear my room apart and start packing stuff up to go home after the race. We drove over to my aunt and uncle’s house in Highland on Sunday, so I could be closer to the race start. Even though I was in town, I still got up 3 hours before the race, because I seem to think I need 3 hours to wake up. (After a semester of 7:30am Statistics and 8:30 Microbio, my brain seems to not be on before 9:30am.) Got to the race, and it was a nice, sunny, warm morning. Temps were supposed to be in the 90s (remember, this is late May), but I didn’t even pay attention to the heat. My game plan was to go out and run the 5 mile like it was just a 5 mile, then hold on and try to get through the 15 miles on the bike. I figured if I could build a big enough lead on the run, maybe not as many people will pass me on the bike.
Took off on the run, and got out in 5:05 for the first mile. Sometimes I am aggressive, other times I can be overly aggressive…today was one of those days. I don’t even remember what my 2 mile split was (probably around 10:20), but I knew it was going to be a long day. Around 3 miles (16:00ish) in Caleb Goldcamp (a beast) passed me, and I knew that was not good news for me. The last time I raced him was at the Apple Days Biathlon, and I had a :40 lead on him for the 5k & T1, but yet he still caught me about a mile in. I tried to go with him this time, but I was fading fast, and he was running strong. I ended up running a 29:09 5 mile (yuck) and getting on the bike in 3rd. From there I just rode, actually more like drove, the struggle bus and ended up finishing 11th overall and 1st in my age group. This short race was a nice, or not so nice, wake-up call as to what the rest of my summer could potentially be like. With 70.3 Muncie a little less than 6 weeks away, I knew I had a lot of work to do!
5 mile = 29:09
T1 = :49
15 bike = 44:20
1st in AG, 11th OA
Next, was Tri-Insanity in Park Hills, MO on June 10. Racemaker Productions always puts on a great race, so dad and I decided to make the trip down for this race, and then get the rest of my stuff in Greenville. I wanted to find out if the “Ass Kicker” really was as tough as they say. We got to the hotel in Park Hills around 12:15am, with a 7am start, I knew this was going to be rough. Got up at 4:15 to finish getting stuff ready and head into the park. We got to the park and as I was getting my bike out of the truck I noticed I had a flat tire. 45 minutes before the race was scheduled to go off, and I’m changing a flat tire. Woo! Luckily, there wasn’t anything puncturing the tire, and it must have just been an old tube. So I got the tire changed and finally checking in, about 5 minutes before transition was closing…no big deal. Ha! Still had time to get everything set up and from there it was smooth sailing.
1/3 mile swim to start off the day in the nice, calm lake. The water was wetsuit legal, but I opted not to wear one (probably because I don’t have one lol, and the water felt warm enough). And I have only been racing short stuff, so I feel like any gains I may get from wearing a wetsuit, I would probably lose by trying to take it off. I exited the water in 10th. Wasn’t a great swim, but wasn’t bad, and it definitely left me with options. Running into T1 I could see people trying to get their wetsuits off. Since I wasn’t wearing one, it made it easy for me to pick up a few spots on my way out of T1.
I hopped on my bike in 7th pace, knowing that the leaders weren’t super far ahead of me. I am never really that aggressive on my bike, so this is where most people can get most of their time on me. I knew this course was supposed to be very hilly, and I wasn’t quite sure how my body would be feeling, so I played it a little bit safe on the bike. There were definitely some large hills on this course, but it made it fun, and kept us a little closer than a flat course would have. Shockingly I actually passed a couple people on the bike to move into 5th. I had a big smile on my face going into T2, because I knew I had done my job. I rode a smart race, and my legs were actually feeling good. I saw 2nd place about 400m into his run as I was headed into T2, 3rd was just exiting T2, and 4th was in T2 as I was coming in. Definitely was shaping up to be a runner’s race!
The run was a 4 mile out and back, on the sand ATV trains of the park -- nothing beats adding another challenge to the race. It was already about 88 degrees, with some humidity. There was not a drop of shade on this run, but there was plenty of sand and mini hills and turns to keep you guessing what comes next. As I was heading out of T2 I made the decision to hang play it a little more conservative on the way out, and then open it up on the way back if I was feeling good. If I was in a regular sprint tri, I would try to go out in probably 5:25-5:30 for the first mile. I decided that 6:40-6:45 would be a good first mile this time. I passed 4th place about 600m into the run, and set my eyes on 3rd. He was about 200m up, so I wanted to catch him before the mile mark. I caught 3rd right around the mile. I knew there were 2 people ahead of me at this point, and started to think that I may be able to pull out the overall win. I caught 2nd about 1.25 miles in, and from there it turned into a race against the clock. I still had not seen 1st, but I knew he was up there and the turnaround was coming soon. With about 300m to the turnaround, we crossed paths on his way back -- I knew I was about 2.5 minutes down from the lead. I got to the turnaround in 13:40, and decided it was time to start pushing. On the way back, people kept telling me the gap was x amount of time, and it kept getting smaller and smaller. With a mile to go it was down to a little over a minute. With 800m to go I could see that he had about a 200m lead on me, so I knew he had the race, but I still wanted to push it in. I ended up finishing 37 seconds back. I cut a little over a 4 minute lead out of T2 to :37! May not have gotten the win, but definitely a confidence booster! Finished 2nd overall, and won my age group, not bad!
Bike: 54:59 (17.6 miles)
Total: 1:32:22 2nd OA, 1st AG, fastest T2 & fastest run
Rockford Olympic Triathlon
After a fun race at Tri Insanity, I decided I wanted to race again. I looked for races in the area, and ended up doing the Rockford Olympic Triathlon. My Olympic PR was 2:33 from a few years ago at Evergreen Lake (my first triathlon ever), so I wanted to see if I could take that down! I had been doing a lot of strength work to get ready for Muncie, so I figured this would be a fun change of pace. Also, my friend from college, Big Red, decided to come up for the weekend and go to the race with me, so that made for a fun weekend.
The swim – beach start, wetsuit legal, 2 loop course. Once again, no wetsuit for me. I had a pretty awful day in the water. I was out of the water in 31:35… I am a faster 1500m swimmer than that, but for some reason I just did not have that desire to be out there competing during the swim. When I came through the first loop in about 16 minutes, Big Red yelled, “Quit sandbagging, Coree!” That’s when I thought about it for a minute, and then got my butt in gear. Exited the water in like 50-60th, definitely not where I wanted or needed to be. There was about a 250m sand, grass uphill jog to T1.
The bike course is advertised as flat and fast, and it is that! I also think it is a bit long, I had 25.3miles on my computer. Anyway, it is a nice course with a few rollers, but mostly flat and fast out and back. I passed about 10 people on the bike. I think I moved from in the 50-60s, to the 40s on the bike. I started counting people when I saw the leader come by. Counting has never been my strength, and I forgot what number I was on, but I think I counted about 42. From the turnaround back to T2 I never passed anybody, and nobody passed me. The last 5 miles of the course were not fun though—strong headwind and a couple ‘hills.” The last 5 miles definitely lowered the overall average. Oh well. Into T2.
The run is always my favorite part. This run was advertised as challenging, rolling hills the first 3 miles, and then flattens out. Don’t go out too hard the first 3 miles or you may be walking by the end. I was feeling good off the bike, but I didn’t want to overdo it, in the first 3 miles. I went out for the first 2 in 12:40 feeling good. From there I decided I had much more in the tank and I would be just fine. There was an out and back section around mile 3.5, and I knew it would give me a good look at the competition. On that out and back section I saw about 15 people and I got really excited. I knew I would be able to catch them. Sure enough I had picked them off my 4.5 miles and knew this was shaping up to be a PR race for me. My miles 3 & 4 were 11:58 to bring me through the 4 mile at 24:38. Just after the 5 mile mark I saw a group of 5 men and I knew I had to take them. I wasn’t sure what place I was in, but I knew that I could possibly be getting close to top 10 if I passed them. My mile 5 was 5:45, and mile 6 was 5:40 to put me at 36:03 with .2 to go. I knew that I could possibly break my previous 10k tri pr of 37:17 if I ran the last .2 well. I ended up going 37:08 to have the fastest run, once again J Tough race but fun, and a 7 min Olympic Distance PR, even with the long T1 and tough run!
Run: 37:08 (5:58/mile)
2:26:37 13th OA, 1st Ag, fastest run
Art Sarver Memorial 3 Mile
With 70.3 Muncie a week out, I really didn’t have any intention of racing anytime before it. I had told some friends from work that I would do this run, so I did it. If I couldn’t handle a 3 mile ‘race’ the week before a ½ Ironman, than I think I have bigger problems on my hands. I went into this not sure what to expect, but I knew that I wanted to break 16 minutes. I wanted to push, but I didn’t want to run all out. I hadn’t done any speed work in a while, so I figured there was no need to put any extra stress on the body. I had decided to go out in 5:10 for my first mile and then see what happens from there. I took off at the start (as usual) and I wanted to see who would go with me. 800m in I looked around and didn’t see anybody. From there I knew it was going to be a solo day. Came though the mile in 5:10, and was feeling good. I came though the 2 mile in 10:21 still feeling good. At about 2.5 miles, I decided to shut it down and coast in. I knew I would still be under 16, so I called it a good day. Finished in 15:48. The next finisher was 17:5x, but he’s only 15! 3rd was Joe Bornac, always good to see him. I enjoyed doing a small, local race again. It’s something to just enjoy, and see all of the people that encouraged and inspired me to start running when I was younger. Definitely a nice change of pace before Muncie!
3 miles: 15:48, 1st OA