12 July 2008

Cache Valley Super Sprint Triathlon Race Report

Overall Time - 1:20:16 (21/93 women, 4/24 AG)
Swim - 10:48 (20/94 women, 3/25 AG)
T1 - 1:29
Bike - 38:42 (20/94 women, 3/25 AG)
T2 - 50.6 (26/92 women, 9/23 AG)
Run - 28:24 (52/93 women, 10/24 AG)

Alright, I'm sitting on the couch watching the Tour de France and feeling pretty zen about the race this morning. All week long, I kinda forgot about this race, althought I'm not really sure why. It just wasn't really on the radar. I'm not sure if it's because it was a pool swim and a local race or what, but I really didn't put any thought into a plan for this race. I did make some time goals earlier this week, but I forgot to look at them yesterday or this morning, so while I was waiting for the race to start, I couldn't remember what they were. I will say that it was kinda nice to feel mellow on a race morning. I did manage to pack my stuff last night and put my bike on the car, but I really only did this because I wanted to sleep longer this morning. Can I just say how nice it was to wake up at 6am and be at the race at 6:45am? That was definitely a bonus.

I woke up this morning, got dressed, took the dogs outside to do their business, brushed my teeth, grabbed my stuff and my poptart and headed out the door. I got to the aquatic center, checked in and grabbed my race packet, discovered that I was in the 25-29 AG (this race was not a USAT race) which was a nice bonus since I won't be 30 for another 10 days, set up my transition area and then waited around for the race to start. My parents showed up about 10 min. before the start with Simon the dog. He has come to a couple of races this season and is starting to enjoy watching triathlons (I think).

Because this was a pool swim, they considered this a pursuit race. Last week, we had to submit our 500 m. swim times and then we were placed in a swim order. There were 15 seconds between each swim start for each participant. I was pleased to see that I was on the first page of swimmers and was still feeling very mellow. I got into the water a few minutes before it was time for me to start and the water felt pretty good. When it was my turn to go, I got into the lane and started swimming. The first lap was a little tough, but mostly because I was trying to get going. At one point the lady behind me was whacking me on the legs, so I let her pass at the wall, but then I kept bumping into her feet. I slowed up a bit and let her go and then passed another lady. The swim actually ended much faster than I expected, so I hopped out (I actually had the strength to pop right up off the side of the wall) and started running towards T1.

My goal time for the swim was 9:30 and I finished in 10:48, so I was almost a minute and a half slower than I expected. I could have gone faster in the water, but I held myself back. I'm not sure why, but I consciously thought, just swim strong and don't worry about working too hard. I was struggling to breathe a little bit, but that's nothing new for me in the water. I ended up coming out of the water third in my age group and as the twentieth female, so I'm really not upset about it at all. My dad saw me swim for the first time and said that I have a very nice smooth strong stroke, so that was kinda cool.

T1 went very smoothly, in fact I was very happy with my time and how smooth everything went. My shoes went on well. I put my glasses on, strapped on my helmet and headed out of transition. My goal time for T1 was 2 min, and I was out of there in 1:29, so I'll definitely take it.

The bike course was awesome. It was flat the entire time and I managed to carry 19.4 mph, which is awesome! I got passed once as we were leaving T1, but I passed that guy on the way back in. I also got passed by a guy who totally blew past me. I passed several other people on the course which felt great. The guy I passed tried to pass me again, but I shifted gears and started cranking away and pulled ahead. I knew he would pass me on the run, so I wasn't too worried about it. This race had cones at each mile which was very nice because once again, I forgot to reset my odometer. I went into T2 with another guy and was feeling good because my ride went so well.

My goal time for the bike was 42 min, which I completely blew out of the water. I'm not sure what clicked today, but I was really feeling good on the bike. I road in my aerobars almost the entire time, except for when I was turning and drinking. I drank an entire bottle of Heed with no problems at all. I actually had to remind myself to drink a couple of times. It was so fun to pass people and to push my big gears and just ride well.

T2 was a little frustrating and apparently VERY slow, except that it really wasn't. My goal time for T2 was 1:30 and I made it out in 50.6 sec., but I was ninth out of my age group. I did run past my spot but only like 2 feet. I struggled to get one of my shoes off, but my running shoes went right on and I grabbed my number and visor and headed out. I'm not sure how I could have gone much faster, but I guess some people are just much faster than me.

Starting out on the run was tough, as usual. I struggled for the first mile like I always do, but I paid attention to my HR monitor and felt like I was where I wanted to be. My calves kept wanting to cramp up, but I made a point to try and heel strike a bit so that I could stretch them out. I passed one lady, but I think that's about it. I was passed by several men, as well as a group of women who were clipping along. After that first mile I felt like I was able to stride out and start cruising. It was somewhat demoralizing to be passed, but I know that my run hasn't been great this year. I rounded the corner to head into the finish and my dad yelled hustle, so I tried to pick up the pace which was a good thing. Apparently, the woman behind me was trying to catch me, but I didn't let her. She crossed a second or two behind me.

My run time was 28: 24, which was 7 seconds faster than my last 5K. The course was totally flat and in the shade and was actually a pretty great course. I think my legs were struggling a bit after pushing myself so hard on the bike, but that's okay. It was nice to see some good results on the bike.

After the race, I waited around to see the results and was actually hoping to place because my swim and bike went well, but I didn't place. The good news, at least in my opinion, is that I was only about 2 min. behind the top 3 in my age group. I could have gone faster in the swim and I maybe could have eeked out a faster run, but oh well. I'll take a 4th place finish in my AG.

So, what did I learn from this race...

I need to remember to be relaxed when I swim. When I relax I swim well and I will absolutely need to do that for the 1/2 IM. I really enjoy riding the bike when I'm cruising along, so flat courses are good for me. The 1/2 IM course is fairly flat, so I should feel pretty good when I'm riding. My transitions are working well for me, even if they were slow in my AG. I really wish that I could see how in the world those women transitioned so fast. So, that was my last race before the 1/2 IM, although my mom just mentioned a duathlon on August 2 that I may have to try out. I'm feeling confident and like maybe the 1/2 IM might actually be a good thing.

I forgot to mention that I tried something new for this race. Before the race, I borrowed a marker from body marking and wrote "STRIVE" on my hand. That is something that I will have to keep doing because each time I saw it, I was able to push myself and smile.