Sunday, July 20, 2014

Show Me State Games 2014

Seriously, I wasn't all that excited for this race.  I knew I could probably finish.  I knew that the swim would suck.  I hoped I wouldn't be dead last, but was about half expecting to be.  The only saving grace was that the weather forecast was probably 10-20 degrees cooler than in past years.  And my husband was standing there telling me I just "couldn't skip this one" and ruin my streak (this being my 4th time at this race in 4 years).

I didn't even bother to sign up ahead of time still half hoping I could beg off.  But with some more than gentle nudging from husband, I threw my stuff together last night and got to bed at a reasonable hour.  Slept in until 6, rolled out of bed and dressed, grabbed my gear and a peanut butter sandwich (plus a banana that never did get eaten) and loaded the family in the truck for the easy 30 min ride to Columbia.  God bless local races! 

Registration went pretty smooth.  I lucked out and the lady didn't even charge me the extra $5 late fee so I did the race for a mere $30 (which helped offset the fact that they raised the entry fee $5 this year - whoopee).  The line was pretty short and I still had plenty of time to set up transition, take a few pictures, visit with Tara (gal I met wearing an awesome SUAR tee), and hang out before strolling over to the water.

Setting up my transition area

My tallest fan - and the reason I got moving today!  Bless him!

All ready to go on the boat ramp carpet
Thanks to my daughter for this picture of the first buoy
(tiny orange dot in the distance that men are heading towards - never mind the big butt in the foreground!)
This year they let all the men go first and then 5 min later sent out the women and teams.  There was this guy with a teeny, very colorful speedo that cracked me up and went out with us gals as he was on a team.  For a bit I stood next to a lady that was in my age group and she said she would fight me for a medal, but laughed because she said she hadn't seen anyone else in our age group (40-44).  Hey, gotta love small races!  I had another person tell me thank you for my blog at the race which was funny (though apparently I have one of the easier to find race reports out there). 

It was kind of hard to hear the dude say "Go!" so we were all just standing around kind of wondering when we'd start, but finally we all started listening for it.  I suggest they use an airhorn next year.  I was in the middle as we headed out which was dumb, but I didn't want to be up on the ramp knowing I'd have to tiptoe through the rocks at the end of the ramp (plus the lake weeds).  After a few bumps and one good knock to the side of my face, I was solidly at the back and only about 1/2 way to the first buoy (which was more to the left this year).  I made the turn to Buoy #2 and was going into the sun.  Most of the swim I felt like I just couldn't catch my breath.  I would flip to backstroke every so often to breathe it out, but then more than once I would splash water up my nose or in my mouth and cough/choke while the poor folks in canoes would wonder if they should jump in and save me (I told them I was OK - how embarrassing).

My husband said he saw a couple of guys in the first group swim to shore before the first buoy and quit.  and I saw another guy that got way off course and actually came out of the water after me even though he looked strong and fit.  But overall, I was towards the back of the swimmers - not the last out of the water, but damn close.  I finally made it to the 2nd buoy and turned towards the boat ramp.  That damn boat ramp never seemed to get closer.  I would try to swim a strong front crawl for a bit and then side or back stroke a bit to catch my breath and re-sight only to look and think that ramp was just as far away.  I was pretty much hating the swim.  But I looked at my watch as I got out and was pleasantly surprised to see that I hadn't done that bad.  Garmin says I swam 0.55 mi in 28:07.  Map showed I didn't swim very straight on the last leg of the triangle.
Coming out of the water - not many behind me
Didn't feel quite as bad as last year when I got out of the water though I was breathing hard and choked on some water I took from the station at the top of the ramp.  I took my time this year to dry my feet and put on socks.  Lesson learned!  After 2:22 min in T1, I headed out on the bike.  I felt relatively good compared to the same point last year, but was having a hard time pushing any speed.  I tried to catch a couple ladies ahead of me, but without much luck (until one of them dropped her chain on a hill).  I did catch a dude at the turn around - though he was like 64!  We leapfrogged each other on some hills (him ahead on the downhill and me ahead on the uphill).  We chatted a couple times (great job Mark!). 
Leaving transition
I finally dropped him and tried to chase down a young'un ahead of me (17!).  I finally caught her when she had to brake for a car that was about to block her left turn onto the outer road (I yelled for her to watch out as I thought it was going to hit her).  But she caught back up to me shortly thereafter and we chatted until we were nearly back at the bike.  She was trying to catch her mom (45 - thankfully not in my age group) which she did I saw later.  She had run a half marathon on Thursday at cross country camp (what's a taper?) and blew past me on the run - dropping me like a bad habit.

I forgot to hit the button as I came into transition so my bike time includes T2 and my watch screwed up somehow and didn't record my distance though it was the same as last year so about 15 or so miles for about 14.6 mph for 1:01:44.  As I headed out on the run, I took my powerade with me from the bike.  I had been burned by too little fluids in the past.  It was kinda lukewarm, but still tasted ok.  The cold water at the aid station was a lot better.  I tried to run, but my legs were having none of that.  I did way more walking that I should have and not even the fast walking I normally do with my husband.  It was a trudge.  I tried to run for little bits, but my legs were cramping up (mostly my calves).  My knees hurt and it was starting to warm up.  I realized about here that I didn't put on sunscreen this morning. Ooops!  Such is life.  At least I would be done soon.

After the turn around (this year first run lap of lake was done counter clockwise and the 2nd lap was clockwise), I met Mark as I came back and he said he was going to try to pick up his pace and catch me.  He looked hot and out of breath so I wasn't sure he could do it, but then again - I was walking an awful lot.  He caught me just before mile 2 and we pushed each other to run a little more, but walked and talked some making me think about how much my legs hurt a little less.  We got chicked by an older lady (59) and then passed a dude (60) that was walking.  I think there might have been one or two others behind us, but it was hard to tell as some folks went out for extra laps after they finished so that they could get in more training. 

It was an ugly run, but once again - I finished.  Run pace is a bit of a guess because the watch must have lost satellites and never got them back (shows no distance) and I forgot to hit the damn button again.  Best I can tell, 13:33 min/mi for about 42 min.  When I glanced at the official result sheet, they had 2:14 and some change for the whole event.  This adds up about the same as my Garmin data.  So looks like I finished about 4 min slower than last year and about 2 min slower than the year before. 

My daughter totally captured how I felt through most of this run - LOL!
The good news?  The lady that was in my age group came up to me as I finished (she wasn't all that far ahead of me) and told me she had come in 2nd in our group and that there hadn't been a 3rd so that I probably medaled!  LMAO!!  Sure enough - I checked with the race folks and they handed me a 30th anniversary Show Me State Games bronze medal!  God bless small races with tiny age groups.  My very first race medal!  (I actually should have gotten one last year by the same default method, but had left thinking as far back as I was there wasn't any point to checking). 
Bronze Medalist - Even if close to last!
So another triathlon in the books.  I guess it is an accomplishment no matter what, but I feel like I let myself down by not specifically training for it.  I'll definitely be feeling this one for a few days.  Tentatively planning on another birthday weekend of trail running fun at Kicks in the Sticks (Susan and I looking to dominate another small age group though we are torn between the shorter and the longer routes). 

Also need to get the Luebbert Lunatics signed up for another year at the Epic Mud Run (though I think this year my son is going to bow out and man the cooler and lawn chair at the finish).  That is Labor Day weekend.  Hard to believe school starts in just another few weeks.  Still a little vacation time to be had though.  Next weekend we are heading to Bennett Springs State Park to do some fishing, hiking, floating, etc.  Should be fun.


  1. Fabulous!!!! You are amazing. Keep going!!

  2. Well done! I am training for my first tris, so I am stalking blogs with tri reports. Plus, I love finding other St. Louis area bloggers!!