“Rock for a Rockstar”

This last weekend, I raced the Lake Geode Triathlon, which is an Olympic distance event.  Friday afternoon we drove 3.5 hours to Burlington, Iowa for packet pick-up.  We arrived at about 6:30 pm to “The Drake,” which is right across the street from the Mississippi River on the Illinois/Iowa Border.

My husband and me down at the Port of Burlington along the Mississippi River looking into Illinois.
My husband and me down at the Port of Burlington along the Mississippi River with Illinois behind us.
The Drake Restaurant (packet pick-up) directly across the street from the Mississippi River.
The Drake Restaurant (packet pick-up) directly across the street from the Mississippi River.

After packet pick-up, we headed  to Geode State Park to set up our tent and settle in for the night.  It was a perfect night for camping and relaxing by the campfire.

Welcome to Geode State Park...
Welcome to Geode State Park…
The tent is up and we are ready for a cool night of sleeping under the stars...
The tent is up and we are ready for a cool night of sleeping under the stars…
Relaxing by the campfire reading a good book before bed...
Relaxing by the campfire reading a good book before bed…

Saturday morning, we woke up at 5 am to perfect weather…60 degrees and overcast.  We ate some breakfast, loaded our gear into the car and headed down to the beach where the transition area was.  I got my body marked, picked up my timing chip, took some time to set up my transition area and took a photo with friends before walking down to the water to start the race.

In transition, I was told by a fellow athlete that my race number (#111) looked like the dotted lines that are painted down the center of the "highway."  This would come back to keep me moving forward later in the race!!
In transition, I was told by a fellow triathlete that my race number (#111) looked like the dotted lines that are painted down the center of the “highway.” This would come back to keep me moving forward later in the race!!
I was the first one in the transition area for my bike rack, so I got the luxury of picking my transition spot and chose right on the end of the rack.  This turned out to be a great location!!
I was the first one in the transition area for my bike rack, so I got the luxury of picking my transition spot and chose to set up at the end of the rack. This turned out to be a great location!!
Who's ready to race?!?!?!  Let's have some fun!!
Who’s ready to race?!?!?! Let’s have some fun!!

After the athlete meeting, we headed down to the beach, where I waited for wave #3 to start the swim portion of the event.  The water temperature was about 82 degrees Fahrenheit, so it was definitely not wetsuit legal (although there were a few people who chose to wear theirs and were not eligible for awards).  This was not a beach start…instead, we started in the water.  As the alarm sounded for our swim wave to start, I managed to get myself behind a few swimmers who were slower than I was.  After being frustrated about their lack of ability to swim a straight line (allowing me to pass with little contact), I grabbed on and pulled them under so I could swim over the top.  During this maneuver, I managed to get kicked in the left tricep pretty hard…hard enough to leave a bruise on my arm…small price to pay to find some open water.  After passing the slower swimmers, I got into a rhythm and had Dori (from Finding Nemo) in my head, “Just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming.”  As I felt my swim form start to falter, I would mentally refocus, get my form under control and allow Dori to continue to invade my brain.  I finished my 1.5 km swim in 32:08…this was not my best, but without my wetsuit and some drag on my tri top (which has gotten a bit larger since I have lost some weight), I was relatively happy with this swim time.

I spent 2:10 in T1…trying to get my spare tube into my tri top was my biggest obstacle, so my T1 time wasn’t were I had hoped it would be, but I know what I can do differently next time.

Now it is time for the bike…I had a BLAST on the bike.  My goal was to push hard and see what I had left for the run.  I managed to do just that.  Remember the “highway” reference to my race number???  While out on the bike, I started singing “Life is a Highway….I wanna ride it all night long.”  It is amazing where the mind wanders…  I dropped my chain on a hill climb at about mile 22 (only 2.8 miles from the bike finish), but quickly fixed it and moved forward.  I finished the 40 km bike in 1:24:45 with an average of 17.6 mph on the bike…That was a LOT of fun!!!  I was super happy with this, but knew I had a hilly run to follow and this would be the true test…let the fun begin!!

Having fun going fast down a hill...
Having fun going fast down a hill…

I was much quicker in T2…1:13…I still have some work to do to cut some time, but it is a much faster time than the last race this season.

Now for the run…I knew this would be a hilly run course, but I had no idea that the only flat part would be crossing the dam.  We don’t have many hills like these in central Iowa…I kept singing “Life is a Highway” through the first part of the run, and then my mind went negative…”Highway to Hell.”  I didn’t allow this negative train of thought to stick around for very long and quickly moved back into a positive mental state…”Another one Bites the Dust” started to play in my mind as I passed people.  Many people were struggling on this run course (661 feet of climbing while covering 6.2 miles), so I passed many athletes.  I kept a smile on my face and told everyone I encountered that they were doing awesome!!  This kept me in a positive mental state and kept me moving forward AND…it paid off!!  I finished the 10 km run in 53:28 with an average pace of 8:38.  I was super happy with that and so was Coach Julie…”Solid all the way around! Especially that run!!”

I knew I was pushing hard on the run, but this face says it all!!
I knew I was pushing hard on the run, but this face says it all!!

I ended up finishing in a time of 2:53:40…this was a PR by 11:46 and on a MUCH more challenging course!!  I was so excited!!  The icing on the cake…I won 2nd in my age group 🙂  I couldn’t have asked for a better race…SO MUCH FUN!!

2nd Place finish in Female 35-39
2nd Place finish in Female 35-39…there was a Geode (the Iowa State Rock) on each trophy
The "Rock for the Rockstar" as one of my friends put it!!
The “Rock for the Rockstar” as one of my friends put it!!

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20 thoughts on ““Rock for a Rockstar”

  1. Well done! You just keep racking up the accomplishments…pretty soon, you’re going to have a TRI soundtrack. Perhaps you’ll need to put it together for Madison?! 🙂 Congrats!

      1. I can’t wear headphones, or have any electronic devices in my possession during Ironman, so my fans would have to be the ones listening to my soundtrack. I’m quite certain they wouldn’t like the 17 hours of randomness that I chose to put on the soundtrack 😉

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