I’ve had a few good weeks of training and took on my first open water swim triathlon in over a year yesterday. I wasn’t as fit as I have been in the past for this race, but I had a good time racing.
Hagg Lake is west of Portland and a nice big reservoir for recreation. This year was the 34th running of the Hagg Lake Triathlon. I think it is something like the longest consecutive running triathlon on the west coast. This year, they offered a number of different races from traditional sprint and olympic road triathlons to off road triathlons, duathlons and aqua bike races. I appreciate Why Racing allowing me to stuff their swag bags with my fundraising advertising post card so I could spread the word about what I am doing.
The Olympic race, which Aimee did, was a one mile swim, 24 mile bike (two laps around the lake) and a pretty hard hilly 10k run. The Sprint distance, which I did, was a half mile swim, 12 mile bike (one lap around the lake), and a little less hilly 5k, but challenging for sure.
Aimee started her race about 25 minutes before mine. We calculated that we should have gotten out of the water within a couple minutes of each other, but I was 5 minutes slower and she was 5 minutes faster than we predicted, so she was long gone before I got on the bike. My swim was one of the worst I have had out there. I couldn’t get a rhythm for a long time. I feel like the only thing I did well was swim straight from buoy to buoy. It took me 20 minutes to do the swim, well over my personal best for this race.
The bike course starts out with a quick steep uphill out of the boat ramp area onto the road. I had set my bike to a nice low gear, so no problem getting up and out. However, my legs were just not having it the first couple of miles of rollers and I struggled to get past even the people on big clunky cruiser bikes. Pretty soon I hit a section of road that let my legs spin for a bit and they finally decided to cooperate. The rest of the ride was nice and I even managed a little PR (according to Strava) on a hill section. One of the things that is nice to see at these races is people who are out there to give it their best shot even if they don’t know what they are doing. I passed a couple of kids (at least 10 years old) who were trying to get around the lake while racing for a couple of all kid teams. They were both trying to figure out the course and how to get up the next hill. They weren’t struggling, just realizing it may have been farther than they anticipated. I know they finished because as I was on the run, I saw their teammates out on the course running.
The run again starts with that dreaded uphill out of the boat ramp. I usually get a cramp in my calf by the time I get to the top. I was determined not to walk at any point except to get hydration. I made it to the top and I could feel my calf getting ready to cramp, but it held off. The first and last half mile of this course have two big rollers. Lots of people walk up and run down. I didn’t want to do that, so I kept my legs moving and made it through them in both directions. I finished this race, but it wasn’t pretty. 2:02. I have done it much quicker in the past.
Next up, Rolf Prima Tri at the Grove Olympic distance in two weeks. I thought I had three weeks, but only two! I hope I am not biting off more than I can chew with that one.
While I was at this race, I had the opportunity to do some fundraising for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. If you are reading this because you found my info in your race bag, please consider making a donation today, and if you have a loved one you would like me to add to my list of survivors that I am racing for, please leave their name and story in the comments section. Thanks.