Sunday we participated as a relay team in the Des Moines Olympic-distance Triathlon. The Iron Hippie swam the 1500 m swim in 32:42 and then passed the timing chip to me for the bike. We had a T1 of 1:07, which was the 2nd fastest T1 for all of the co-ed relay teams…GO TEAM!
I was handed the timing chip shortly after 8 am and took off on my 40K bike ride with the hope of riding in about 1:20:00, which would put me at about 18.5 mph for an average speed. The heat index was rising (by noon it was nearly 100F) and the winds were blowing from the southwest at 15-20 mph sustained. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the heat and humidity were brutal…definitely made me miss Colorado!!
I quickly ran to my bike, flew through transition and hit the road. I was a bit worried about how my ride would go since I had been fighting a NASTY head cold for the last 2 days and my head felt like a balloon that had been detached from my body. Needless to say, I’ve blown out more snot than any human should in the last few days.
So, back to the bike…with this being the only part of the triathlon that I was participating in, I decided to go HARD and leave everything I had out on the course. I started out pushing high watts and quickly decided to try to keep a normalized power between 150-160 watts. That would mean going much harder than I did during Ironman Boulder, where I had a normalized power of 121 watts for the 112 mile ride. I definitely have work to do on the bike if I want to get stronger and faster on the bike, but that is what this coming year’s focus will be…speed work 🙂 Now was a good time to test where my speed currently is and see just how much work I have in front of me this coming year.
I had been yo-yoing with another cyclist throughout most of the ride. At about mile 20, I said something to him as I passed, “We just keep yo-yoing back and forth.” He responded with, “Yes we have. You have been my motivation throughout this ride. Thank you.” I said, “Glad to help. Let’s finish this strong.” At this point, I took off for a strong finish. I, however, only had to finish the bike leg, but he still had to run, so he didn’t stay with me.
I knew I pushed myself to my limits when I arrived at T2 and nearly fell over when I dismounted. My legs have NEVER been this fatigued coming off the bike before. It felt good to know I pushed so hard and it felt even better knowing I didn’t have to run 😉
Bike Distance: 40K = 24.8 miles
Bike Time: 1:20:51
Average Speed: 18.4 mph
Normalized Power: 156 watts
Average Heart Rate: 171 bpm
I quickly racked Mojo and passed the timing chip to Allen so he could go out for the 10K run. Our T2 time was 55 seconds…I was flying!! We drove down to the capital to meet Allen just before the finish line and crossed the finish line together as a team. The Iron Hippie ran barefoot across the finish line because he didn’t plan ahead and wore shower flip flops, which weren’t suitable for running. The finish line announcer noticed this and said that he must have been the swimmer for our team. Ha! Ha! 🙂 We ended up finishing in 2:50:44, which was 7th place out of 14 in the co-ed relay division.
This was my first relay experience. It was good to push myself to my limits on the bike, but I wasn’t fond of waiting around not knowing where my teammate(s) were. When I race, I know what I have to do and focus on the task at hand. When I am part of a team, it is difficult for me to not know what is happening with the rest of my team…maybe I’m a bit of a control freak 😉
Have you ever been a part of a relay? If so, how do you deal with waiting for your teammates? If not, would you ever consider being part of a relay?