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.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Race day this coming Saturday

My first tri of the new season starts Saturday with a Sprint: a 400 meter indoor pool swim, a 12 mile bike and a 3 mile run.

I've had some really great brick workouts this past week and I'm actually starting to look forward to the race; though I am dreading freezing to death on the bike, still partly wet from the swim, in forty-degree temperatures.

It is supposed to be sunny Saturday with a high of 70 and a low of 46. Even though the temperature will be closer to the low than the high at 8:00 in the morning, I think I can suffer through it...well, I'll have to. I have no choice at this point. I'm all paid-up and the challenge is awaiting me.

I'll be sure to do a report on here after the race. Until then, it's all about relaxing instead of fretting these next few days.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Swim to the next crack…er, run to the next buoy. Wait. What?

Some standard advice that is often given to make it through the open water swim portion of a triathlon is: Just swim to the next buoy. Good stuff, right?

After not running as much outside over the winter and coming back to it with more frequency a few weeks ago, I quickly discovered that running up the hills in my neighborhood wasn't as easy as the last time my feet had met the concrete.

About four weeks ago, I really wanted to push myself to run the first incline of my regular route. For whatever reason, I remembered this advice about the swim and decided that it could just as easily apply to a run.

So, I pushed myself to "just run to the next crack." Before I knew it I was at the top of the hill and I hadn't stopped to walk.

One of the most fascinating aspects of life is learning something in one area and being able to apply it to others. Just thought I'd share a little of my fascination.

Have an absolutely blessed day, and thanks for stopping by!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...