Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Show Me State Games Race Report

Finished my fourth sprint triathlon on Sunday morning at the Show Me State Games in Columbia, Missouri.  This race is only 30 minutes from my house and has to be about the cheapest triathlon out there - $25 if you pre-register (and only $30 day of)!  The course starts in Phillips Lake with a half mile swim, then leaves the park on a 15 mile out and back bike ride that doesn't contain any crazy hill grades (not out of your seat mostly), and finishes with two laps running around the lake with nearly no change in elevation.  As far as courses go, it is pretty top notch (aka beginner friendly). 

As far as race management goes, it is low rent and I guess you get what you pay for.  Bike racks are first come, first served and apparently aren't required to be used as some people just laid their bikes here, there and everywhere.  This year they added a timing chip to your run shoe, but this only gave you your total time - no split information.  Still, it was nice to actually SEE a finish line as opposed to last year when they just had someone writing down your time on a clipboard and you weren't even sure if you crossed the line.  There was no post-race snacks (or at least that I saw - my kids said that they were giving out beef sticks at the end because the beef council was a sponsor, but I never saw them).  They ran out of water on the run course (only had one jug at one station) when the temps were in the 90's and headed into the 100's. 

OK, enough bitching.  On to the report.  Got up about 5:30 and ate half of a peanut butter sandwich.  I really wasn't feeling it, but was hoping to get my bowels moving along and wanted to have some kind of calories in.  I packed another half sandwich and banana, but didn't manage to choke them down pre-race.  I managed to go to the bathroom a little, got dressed and packed everything up to leave while the kids got dressed and my husband loaded my bike, chairs, cooler, etc into our truck.  God bless him!  We hit the road about 6:15 and got to the race shortly after registration started.  Got my race numbers, cheapo t-shirt and went to set up transition.  Checked on the kids and husband who'd set up in a shady spectator area.  Daughter took a quick pic and pretty soon it was time to head to the start.

Too bad daughter didn't get this completely in focus.
SWIM:  They did one single wave mass start.  It wasn't all that organized, but I was in about the middle of those who went in the water.  I got swum over a little bit, but for the most part I had clear water.  On the back stretch, I got just to the rear and side of a guy with a lot of splash in his kick and I seemed to get a spray in the face every time I turned to breathe.  Ugh.  I didn't have the issues I had at Pewaukee even though this swim was twice as long (give or take).  It probably helped that the water wasn't quite as warm, but I mosty just focused on taking five or seven or ten breaths and then sighting and catching my breath with a breast stroke or two and then starting over again.  Before long, the buoys were going by and the end was in sight.  I got out of the water and looked at my watch and was pleased with what I saw.  This race doesn't do splits (did I mention it was low rent?) - so my kids and husband tried to track it for me.  They said I did it in 21:42 minutes - less than twice the time for around twice the distance from Pewaukee.
Son captured this one of me running up the ramp.  Glad to see people behind me, but wonder why my top unzipped during the swim.  I think the look on my face shows how glad I was for the swim to be over though.

Daughter shot this one of my trying to run into T1 strong.  The lake/ramp is to the left and the parking lot/T1 is to the right.  Spectator "seating" under those great shade trees in the background.
T1:  Wiped feet, put on helmet, socks, bike shoes and headed out.  Oops - sunglasses still on towel.  Didn't realize it until I was heading into the sun.  Oh well.  I can see good enough without the Rx so it wasn't a big deal.  Approximate time - 2:01
Heading out on bike - daughter needs to learn to zoom
BIKE:  The bike course came out of the park up a slight hill and then turned onto Gans Road, up over the interchange and around the outer road to New Haven - out and almost to Rangeline through several rollers and then turn around and come back.  I had a headache almost immediately and started drinking the gatorade and water I had on the bike.  The water wasn't cold enough - I should have frozen the bottle or used one with better insulation.  But the gatorade fought off the icky feeling I was having.  I got passed by a few people and only passed one or two people, but I felt like it was a solid ride.  I tried to drink as much as I could especially on the last downhill before the dismount line.  Unclipped and got back into transition without incident.  Fifteen miles in  1:04:15 for approximately 14.0 mph.
Getting ready to dismount in front of my adoring fans
T2:  Took off helmet and shoes, slipped on running shoes (still loving my yankz!) and headed out.  Approximate time - 1:06

RUN:  Here is where it all fell apart.  You really couldn't ask for an easier run course.  It is two loops around a lake with almost no elevation change (one clockwise and one counter-clockwise).  It is mostly a crushed gravel trail with just a few short sections at the spillways that are concrete or larger gravel.  The one downside is that the area surrounding the lake was redone a few years back and has no mature trees (ie. no shade).  Did I mention the temps were climbing quickly and the humidity this time of year is insane?  But in the end, it was my lack of training in these temps that did me in.  I walked most of the course.  I tried to run for 15-30 seconds at a time hoping to make it go by faster, but I felt really bad.  Passed the water station at mile one as the lady was tipping the jug trying to get water out.  I should have stopped and took the last cup of water, but I thought I would just get it when I looped back around at the 2 mile mark. 

But by the turn around I was feeling bad and just wanted this to be over.  I tried to look strong and jog a bit as the kids and husband cheered, but I was getting worried I wouldn't make it to the end.  So I just hung on and tried to jog my way back to the water station.  I had seen a truck head over there and thought they were bringing more water.  Nope - apparently they just collected the girl and jug and left.  No water on a hot July Missouri day.  Not cool!  I was starting to feel kind of sick so I walked a lot of the last mile.  I'd jog 50 paces and then walk until I could catch my breath and try again.  But in the last 1/4 mi or so, it wasn't working.  I would start to hyperventilate as I tried to breathe and I just trudged on.  I was bonking hard and by the time I crossed the finish line, I couldn't think of anything other than getting myself to the shade and drinking as much as I could.   Run time: 43 for 13:52 min/mi. 
Picture doesn't completely convey how atrocious I feel here as I ran into the finish line.
Total time (per race director): 2:12:21 - 6/6 in age group - with a total of six people finishing after me (though a few literally passed me in the last 1/4 mi, but NOT LAST like last year (which I finished in 2:42:54)!

Post-Race:  Sat in the shade and finished most of a bottle of orange gatorade and felt mostly better.  Loaded up my stuff and the family's spectators stuff and headed out while they were finishing the awards.  After a shopping trip to Bass Pro and lunch at Olive Garden, I spent most of the rest of the day sipping water and chilling in the A/C.

Monday (last night) - Stacy called and wanted to go for a run at 8:30 (when it was STILL 98° outside).  I agreed if she would keep it short.  I really didn't want to go, but I sucked it up for just under 2 mi.  I was drenched and drank a ton of water before showering and getting ready for bed.  Hid out in the A/C again today.  Heat is not my friend! 

Sister called today and asked what was next.  Still trying to figure it out.  The heat makes me want to say "nothing", but I like racing and want to see if I can find one or two more this season before the fall running races get going (seems like October is "5K" month).  I had wanted to shoot for an Oly in Sept, but the sprints keep kicking my ass enough that I have some fear of tackling something twice as long.  On the other hand, having such a big hairy goal may just be what I need to kickstart my motivation to train that has been waning lately.  The flip side is that I am worried I've "lost that loving feeling" with triathlon and don't want to get to the point where I don't want to train at all.  Will mull it over and make a decision soon - otherwise, my non-decision will be a decision.   


  1. The course sounds like a fun race, but not having water on the run course is a HUGE FAIL! Especially with the super hot conditions. I hope there were enough complaints that they will fix it next year.

    At any rate, you get big time props for toughing it out! Way to go!

  2. Congrats on your race!

    I always have lower expectations for cheap races, but the one unexusable thing is running out of water. No split timing, okay. No water? Not okay. At all.

  3. Nice job and congrats on a HUGE 30 minute improvement over last year! That's pretty crappy they ran out of water, even for a cheap race. Good for you not using that as an excuse to give up. It would have been easy to do.

    Totally get the feeling of being nervous stepping up to an Oly. Before my first sprint I figured I would do a sprint or two then do an Oly. After my second sprint in 90+ degree weather, I decided to wait to move up and ended up doing five sprints before moving up. Do whatever you need to do to keep it fun. This stuff needs to stay fun after all.