Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Miami University Student Foundation Sprint Triathlon - 4/18/09

Packet pick-up started at 6:00 a.m. I was there at 5:30, just to make sure that I'd have time to 1) find the place, 2) get a good parking space by the Transition Area and 3) have extra time in general. (That's me at the table in the white ballcap on the left.)

I went to pick-up my packet and only had to wait 5 minutes. The only race number they were giving out was a wrist band to wear for all three events. I thought this was unusual, but I was grateful that I didn't have to pin anything to my tri top.

I set-up in Transition, getting the spot closest to the aisle. The early bird gets the worm. I found a couple friends from the tri club and hung out with them for a few minutes.

I put on my swim cap and goggles, took off my shoes and all clothes but my trisuit and bolted for the rec center entrance. It was in the upper thirties and my feet were freezing against the sidewalk underneath them.

I then spotted the folks from Beginner Triathlete (BT) poolside, and we all chatted until numbers started getting called. (That's me in the gray swim cap on the left below.)

This was a 50 meter indoor pool. You started at one end, swam that lane to the end, touched the wall, swam under the lane rope into the next lane and repeated this seven times. The lanes were very wide.

This was my first indoor pool swim. This was also my first tri without noseclips, and I'm proud to say not having them caused me no problems.

When I first got in, I had a shock because the water was so cold. After a few seconds I adjusted and got in my groove. During the second set of 50, doubt started creeping in, though it was just for one second, as I started to imagine how "far" away the end was.

I immediately told myself, "Oh, good grief, Lora. You swim this distance ALL the time in practice. SHUT UP!" That seemed to work.

There wasn't a lot of backlog at the lanes and I managed to swim underneath the ropes with no problems. Almost at the end, I was right behind two breaststrokers who were (unintentionally) bottle-necking the lane, and I was dying to pass them. Luckily, I was able to do that at the last 50 and made up for some lost time then.

I can't decide if I'm disappointed with my time or not. I typically do this distance in 10 or 11 minutes. However, when you consider that I was swimming with other people, had to slow down at times for them and that I had difficulty climbing out of the pool, I guess it's OK.

However, this was by far my best time/pace in the swim portion of a tri. Yeah. I'm going to choose to rejoice.

437 yards in 12 minutes, 58 seconds.

The beginning few miles were a little graded and had some rolling hills, but were decent. There were two huge mountains on the course and many people walked them. After and in between the mountains were some long, medium grade areas that were really tough. The ending 2 miles were flat.

I had been warned about a very big hill on the course, but when I saw it, I kept on telling myself to wake-up because surely I must've been in the middle of a nightmare. I never woke up.

I was able to bike about one-third of it, but had to resign myself and join the rest of the folks (everybody) who were walking it.

At the bottom of yet another giant hill, there was a volunteer and a law enforcement guy. The volunteer shouted, "On the outside of the cones." I thought, "OK," and I did stay on the outside...but apparently for only one set of cones. I passed the law enforcement guy and he kindly said, "Oops, you didn't go on the outside of THESE cones."
Having now lost any momentum to help me initially up the hill, I slowed down to look at him. He said, "Oh, that's OK. Don't worry about it." I thought to myself: "Grr. NOW you tell me."

There were several areas where the course had a long, steady, tough grade. I kept my head down so I couldn't see the end of the grade so I wouldn't get discouraged by how much longer it was. I just biked to get through each moment. That really helped.

Several people passed me, but I also did my fair share of passing. Though the hills slowed me down significantly, I did have my best time on a 20K bike in a tri.

12.75 miles in 56 minutes.

A very, very flat run through campus with several turns.
When I run at home, I train on hills. That's just the landscape the good Lord's put at my door. I'm sure nobody will believe me, but I'm slower on flats than I am on hills and this showed in my time.
Because I hadn't stretched before the race, I had to stop three times to stretch my calves, which, of course, added to my time.
I feel safe in saying that I'm disappointed with my run time. I also could have pushed much more towards the end, but I didn't. Definitely some lessons learned here.
As I took off for and came back from the run, I passed some members of my tri club and some members from BT. Both groups were cheering me on which was so very cool.

3.1 miles in 33 minutes and 36 seconds.
The timing company the racing company recently hired lost several participants' splits. They got the overall times for everyone, but most people never knew how they did in each event. I was one of the lucky ones.
I did come in 498/588 overall and 49/57 in my age group with a time of 1:45:44. This is huge considering that in my first tri I came in 207/217 overall and 40/42 in my age group. At the next tri, I came in 195/197 overall and 23/23 in my age group.
I had debated whether or not I wanted to even do this tri. I'm really glad that I did. It was a great event to gauge how my training has (or hasn't) paid off during the off-season.


Big Daddy Diesel said...

Congrats Lora, I almost did this tri. Now I wish I did after reading all of the race reports off BT.

Anonymous said...

Great job! Thanks for posting all the details. My first tri is in June, and it makes me feel nervous and excited to read others experiences!

Beth said...

Great job! So nice that your winter training paid off and you can see improvement in your finish times. Good kick off to the season. Yeah!

Missy said...

Congrats! Best to do a race now and work out the kinks, I say! Now you have a great baseline. Way to go.

ShirleyPerly said...

I always wondered how these pool swims were conducted in tri events. I would think having to go under ropes added quite a bit of time as did having to deal with others in your way when stuck in a lane. Good job on your race overall and congrats on the improvement in the overall & AG rankings!

KatieTri's said...

Nice work Lora! The first race of the season is always the hardest, but now that you've gotten it out of the way you can keep rockin' and rollin'!

I always remind myself that racing and tri's are for me. What did I do well? What can I do better? Be proud of your accomplishments and push yourself where you'd like to see improvement. You can learn from every race very time.

Awesome job!! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, a very challenging race with the hilly bike portion and the lane swimming. You did GREAT!! And to be able to guage where you are and how far you've come, that's awesome. Great race report!!

Carolina John said...

Good job, Lora! it sounds like a fun race, you came close to your times, and did better than you expected in age group placing. i'd call that a success!

Colleen said...

Nice job Lora! You're hard work is definitely paying off! Keep it up!!!

Kelly said...

Great race, Lora. The first one of the season is always the have to get all the kinks out, you know?? You should be really proud of yourself!! The training is paying off.

Melanie said...

Excellent race report Lora, congrats on your tri, and your improvement! Well done! :D

~Jess~ said...

Hey hey hey!

Did you see my pics I posted on Facebook... if not, let me know.. I have some action shots and after shots of you on there :)

Way to go !


Vickie said...

Great job! Always good to boost your confidence early in the season.

KayVee said...

Well done! That sounds like one tough bike course, and I'm with you, I prefer run courses with character!

triitagain said...

Good job! It looks like you had fun. Keep up the good work.


Anonymous said...

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