Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cornhusker State Games Triathlon

My second triathlon experience was July 28th at Holmes Lake.  The Cornhusker State Games Triathlon was a small, Sprint distance race in my home town.  The race started with a 750m lake swim, then a 20k bike race, and finished with 5k run.

I woke up insanely early for my race.  I had the alarm set for 5:00am but, woke up about 4:15am and couldn't go back to sleep.  Shocker... I had a hard time falling asleep that night, so I managed about 6 hours of sleep after falling to sleep at 11pm.

I had my usual pre-race breakfast of half a peanut butter sandwich and half a banana.  I wash it down with some black coffee and do my best to use the rest room before I leave...knowing full well that I will need the porta-johns when I get there.

David had packed up my bike for me in the mini-van, and I had everything ready the night before.  So, it was just a matter of getting dressed and driving 15 minutes to the venue.

As you can see, I love purple!

When I got to the venue, there wasn't a whole lot going on yet.  Check In opened at 5:30, and I was there just after.

The good lesson from this, is that I got a sweet spot to rack my bike.  I had initially chosen a rack toward the front of where I thought the Bike Out would be, but after hearing the announcements, realized that corner was for the team participants.

I was a little nervous because I can't SEE after I come out of the swim - so I counted how many racks from the  entrance I was.  There was only about 30 racks, so not a huge event - but still.  Better to be prepared.

I got everything set out and it was still an hour before race time.  I decided to take a short run down the beautiful rock path next to the lake.  I have never run this trail before - normally, I just walk out my front door and take the MoPac trail.  I can see why this is a popular place to run.  Very easy on the joints and some nice hills as well.  More on that later...
My transition area.

After some stretching and more hanging out with my gear, my family showed up!!  I was so excited to see them and gave a terrible amount of kisses to the two kids who will still let me. :)

My Mom drove in the night before and I was so very grateful for her to be there.  It was important to me to have her there.  And if you know him, you know that my husband, David, is The Best Man on the planet.  He got everyone up and dressed and hauled to the lake just to see me.

It was finally time to get lined up according to our waves.  They started the Hot Shots first, followed by the Men 39 and Under, The Women, The Men 40+ and The Teams.  I was a little nervous about the swim, but not for the same reasons as before.  I am confident in the water, now and had practiced sighting and had an open water swim - so it was just the apprehension of starting with other swimmers.  Only 59 of us women out of 198 participants.

The Women start the swim.
The swim was confusing because they had buoys out there for the IronKids race later in the morning.  The race director gave some directions, but I couldn't hear him and was a little scared...  I just stayed to the outside of the group and did my best.  I started to catch up to some of the green caps (the men) and when we rounded the first buoy I realized I has started out way to fast.  I did some side stroke to keep my head out of the water for a minute or so and just did my best to make it to shore.  I exited the water to the shouts of our Pastor and friend, Aaron, and his children!  That was pretty awesome - he even brought an extra doughnut for me. :)  The run from the swim out to the transition area was about 2 city blocks and up hill...interesting, I hadn't counted on that.  Lesson learned.

Swim Time - 16:31

When I got to transition, my family was there.  I spent some time chatting and explaining what I was doing to the kids (rinsing my feet before putting on my shoes).  My T1 time was horrifically slow - but I have no regrets. The distance from my bike to the mount line was very short, so I ran in my bike shoes.

T1 - 2:45

Passing men makes me HAPPY. 
The bike course was awesome!  I hammered it the first 2 laps and then pulled back on the last one to save my legs for the run.  I drank one 24oz bottle of water on the bike.  The first tri that I did, I drank Gatorade, and about lost my cookies on the run.  Nausea is common for me on a bike to run brick, so I tried to keep it simple.  I passed quite a few on the bike, but since it was a 3 loop course, I couldn't tell if I was ahead or not.  I just tried to get out in front a bit because I know I am an average runner (at best) and pretty darn slow (at worst).

Coming off the bike.
Bike Time - 44:35

I guess I thought practicing transitions was silly when I was training.  I mean HOW much time could I really save?  Well, it turns out that if I saved a minute on each transition, I may have placed higher in my age group!

T2 - 2:24

I was relieved to get on the run!  I love running and muscle memory just kicks in.  My heart rate started to freak out as usual off the bike, but I reminded my legs to just do their thing and it would pass.  Unfortunately, my stomach started to cramp really badly after the first mile.  I don't know what the deal was relatively cool out (75*) and overcast, so I'm sure I had enough salts.  Oh well, I decided to chuck my time goal for the run and just have fun.  Good thing - the hill climb just before the turn around was much easier since I hadn't gone all out.  I finished with a smile on my face, and plenty left in the tank.

Run Time - 32:25

Total event time - 1:38:38
Women 35-39 6th
Women Overall 35/59

This was a great first outdoor event experience.  There were a LOT of people that were new to the sport and thankfully, all shapes and sizes were represented!  I would highly recommend this well organized and supported event to anyone.  It was also very inexpensive to enter at only $40 for individuals, it was a total steal.  There was absolutely no commemorative SWAG (save a t-shirt that just says Cornhusker State Games) but if I work harder next time I might get a medal. Ha!


  1. What an inspiring report, Andrea. I felt like I was there with you, cheering you on every stroke, pedal and step of the way. I'm so glad you had such a great experience. You are a rock star!

  2. You're awesome Andrea! I'm glad you had fun, and it went well. :)

    1. You're sweet, Karen! Thank you. :)