Saturday, April 6, 2019

Beaver Freezer

I did it. My first triathlon. The powers that be tried their darnedest to keep me from it. Sickness. Foul weather. Yet I prevailed. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

Beaver Freezer is a sprint triathlon with a 500 yard swim, 12 mile ride, and a 3.1 mile run. A nice triathlon for a first timer. My only goals were to finish, get a feel for doing a triathlon, and decide whether I like them or not.

I was not behind the camera this day, so I pilfered photos from others.
Photo credits go to:
Ron Kropf
Jon Booth, my Pure Endurance coach
Beaver Freezer event photography
OSU Triathlon Club.

The weather was abysmal. Cold, wet, and windy. Made for fun times trying to shlep gear and keep things dry. Since I’ve biked and ran in bad weather and the swim is inside, only transition proved to be a challenge with the rain.

The staff/volunteers were having trouble of their own. A number of volunteers didn’t show up, so transition was late getting set up. There were electrical/technical issues that delayed the start. Ron and I could tell they were stressed. We've been on that side of an event and know how it is when things go wrong.

I made my way to Dixon Pool for the swim and discovered I’d left my goggles and cap in the car. Ron ran to fetch them for me. Jon (my coach) was at the pool with last minute tips and encouragement. I try to be independent and all that, but it was nice to have Ron and Jon there for support. Makes a difference, at the pool and later out on the route.

The staff person giving the pre-race talk said we needed to have our timers on our ankle (many of us had them on our wrist). Turned out she was misinformed, and wrist was ok - whew! I had a few minutes to swim a warm up. Did several short laps in the dive pool where everything felt perfect. Swim was good. I was relaxed. Great!

The swim start was delayed. We waited. ... And waited some more. The power was off for the timing chip set up. No power, no timing. We finally got started about 20 minutes late.
Photograph courtesy of Jon Booth / Pure Endurance

My swim was terrible. Started out okay, then felt out of breath and couldn’t recover. Even taking breaks wouldn’t calm me down. When I tried to swim I’d end up inhaling water. Eventually just went to a back stroke and finished that way. A few times I panicked and thought I might quit, but I really wanted this, so continued on. Then my goggles fogged up. Well that’s just dandy! Could still see somewhat, and it wasn’t like I was going to get lost at sea. None the less I was never so happy to see those little flags above the pool marking the wall and my exit. I think my swim was a little over 17 minutes, but it felt much much longer. Longest swim ever!

In hindsight, perhaps I was simply in panic mode. I'm not sure how to get past that, since it's different when I'm just working out. It hasn't put me off swimming, but it did put some scare back in.

Photograph courtesy of Jon Booth / Pure Endurance

I grabbed my towel on the way to T1. I was surprised to find that I didn’t feel cold despite being soaking wet on a cold, rainy day. T1 was a bit of a fiasco in the rain. Just made everything more complicated, but I had no expectations for transitions, so I didn't fret about the time.

Photograph courtesy of Jon Booth / Pure Endurance

Biking. My element. I’m not fast or strong, but I’ve been doing it a long time.  I’m comfortable being on the road in inclement weather, and I know how to pace it. Felt strong and steady. Alternately picked up the pace, or  throttled it back as needed. I thought I did pretty good with my pacing though I started feeling tired the last mile or so. I wanted to grab a gel, but couldn’t get to them with my rain jacket on. Need to rethink the jacket situation.

T2 was cold! Well, my fingers were cold, so I couldn’t fumble with the bike shoes. Then I couldn’t tie my running shoes, and I hadn’t counted on tired legs making it hard to balance when putting on said shoes. Now I know why some folks like their buckets. I grabbed an extra gel from my bag for the run.
Photo courtesy of Beaver Freezer

Photo courtesy of Ron Kropf

Photo courtesy of Jon Booth / Pure Endurance

I hadn’t planned to run in my rain jacket, but I did. The run is 3 laps around the quad. The aid station is at the end of the loop. I didn’t want to eat my gel without water, so I had to run at least 1 lap first before fueling. It was okay, but I was wanting those calories! Ron, Jon, and company were on the corner to cheer me on. Loved the cheer team! Had to be sure to always run around that corner. The 2nd lap was better after my gel and some water. I think it was my fastest time, but regardless, it was the lap that felt best. Last lap I was tired, and my stomach was complaining, so it was my slowest lap and the one with the most walking. I was sure to walk(rest) before the final run to the finish. Must run into the finish. :) Ron caught me walking, lol.
On To the Finish!
Photo courtesy of Ron Kropf

photo from Beaver Freezer

Despite the things I was unhappy with (swim and fueling), the weather, and not being fully recovered from my virus. I loved the whole thing (well maybe not the swim). So yes, I plan to do more. I was tired after, and cold. But I wasn’t deterred. Now I have a base to work from. I’m pretty jazzed about going forward with more.

Many thanks to
my husband, Ron for supporting me in all this.
Jon Booth of Pure Endurance, for coaching and encouragement.
OSU Triathlon Club for putting on the Beaver Freezer

Must Swim More...

Da Numbers:
Time:  2:11:44
Swim: 17:42   |   2:13/100yd
Bike:   54:02   |   13.5 av
Run:    47:38   |   15:29


RichardM said...

Wow! Congratulations!!!

That’s quite an accomplishment.

Bluekat said...

Thanks Richard

redlegsrides said...

Great job Kari!

SonjaM said...

Respect. Well done, Kari. And it looks darn cold...

Trobairitz said...

Great job Kari.

Now I fee really bad about sitting at coffee with our friends last weekend and laughing at the folks doing the triathlon in the horrible weather. Who knew we had a friend competing in it? :-)

Kudos to you for completing it.

Bluekat said...

Trobairitz - lol I would be laughing too, at the crazy folks out in the weather, had I not been one of them. I chuckle all the time when I see riders out in the weather and I'm warm and dry inside. But yes, alas I can still be sucked into a bad weather outing. šŸ˜