Sunday, June 10, 2012

Metroplex Sprint Tri Race Report

Jake was going to be in Vegas and the kids at the lakehouse, so I decided last minute to register for the Metroplex Sprint Tri. I got up at 3:30am so I could leave around 4 for Joe Pool Lake. I got there a little after 5, before transition opened, before the park even opened. The RD was still setting up cones for the run course. I parked, then walked a little ways (maybe a half mile?) to the transition area where I was able to score an end spot. I was intimidated hanging out in transition because there were a lot more nice road bikes and tri bikes than the racks at My First Tri last weekend. I picked up my pink swim cap since they'd run out of my color at packet pick up, then stared down the swim course in an effort to make it shorter walked around a little to calm my nerves. It was a little strange to be completely alone at a race, I've never done that.

My age group was the first wave and waves were only 3 minutes apart. It was windy and the water was rough. I settled into the swim pretty quickly and really felt pretty good. At 400 meters, it was the longest swim I've ever done (including practice). I think I switched to breaststroke twice, just to recover from being kicked. I was actually a little surprised that my swim time was so long/pace slower than last weekend. It felt better! I must have been off course or something.

I ran into T1. I felt like my time there was a little long. At this race we had to wear our race bib on the bike and I fumbled a bit getting my belt on. I liked wearing it just on the run last weekend because I could put on the belt as I was running out of T2 vs having to put it on while standing still at the bike racks. I saw somebody else who wore the belt with the bib tucked under their top during the swim and she just pulled it out as she ran into T1. Seems like a good time saver and I'll try that in the future.

I didn't pass much at all during the bike. I got passed by some really fast women and men who started in waves after me. There was a hill leading up to the dam, which was really windy, and another at the other end of the dam where we turned around to head for home. I got passed just before the turnaround, but I made up my mind to pass her going down the hill. The wind was beating me up and I was working hard to get the speed that I did. I was hoping for faster, though.

I felt like my T2 time was good. I can't think of anything specific I could have done to be faster.

I was maybe a quarter mile into the run when the female overall winner passed me, coming into the finish line. Amazingly fast! Not wearing my Garmin and knowing my pace/distance really bothers me but it's probably for the best. I have a tendency to tell myself I can't run "that fast" or I can walk when I get to "x" distance on the watch. Without it, I just have to keep going. I played mental games with myself and kept thinking that if I walked or slowed down, I'd be giving up my spot in age group placings. I had know idea where I stood in my age group at this point, it was just a game. Everytime I'd hear heavy breathing behind me, I'd pray it was a man so I didn't have to worry about my placing. If it was a woman, I looked at her calf. Nobody in my AG passed me on the run. I got a little mental boost by passing a guy toward the end and it helped when he told me good job. I passed another two guys in the very last tenth or so and sprinted it out to pass a girl who paced just ahead of me for the entire run. She wasn't in my age group, though.

I grabbed a snack and talked to a couple girls from my age group. One was the overall winner who I saw as I started my run (so she actually bumped all of us a place higher since she was no longer part of the AG standings) and another girl who won third in our AG. As we chatted, we put together the standings, and figured out I was second in AG! The overall winner is an Ironman and we talked about big races. I may volunteer for 70.3 in Austin on October 28th. That may be just the inspiration I need to train for one next year.

Swim 400 meters: 10:46 (2:42/100 meters) 3rd of 6 in AG, 61 of 106 overall
T1: 1:39 3rd of 6 in AG
Bike 11 miles: 34:25 (19.2mph) 2nd of 6 in AG, 58 of 106 overall
T2: :35 1st of 6 in AG
Run 2 miles: 18:09 (9:05/mile) 3rd of 6 in AG, 64 of 106 overall

I was 15th of 37 women and 2nd in my age group. Good race!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Playtri Festival: My First Tri Race Report

After the race

I've been a lousy blogger. Please forgive me, I will do better.

Today was my first triathlon! I bought my bike 6 or 7 weeks ago. I swam my first lap in the pool 5 or 6 weeks ago. Training was minimal, to say the least, but this is how the day played out...

I met up with Charlene and Joanne at the hotel/race site last night. We made a last minute trip to Sports Authority in search of items we forgot, then had dinner before returning to the hotel. We sat on the back deck of the hotel, overlooking the lake before going to bed fairly early. The alarm went off at 5:15, when we quickly got dressed and went downstairs to set up transition. I was able to get the end spot on my bike rack- first good thing of the day. Then we went upstairs to get dressed for the race and have breakfast. My mom and the kids arrived just as the International distance was starting. I showed them where I would be and when so they could try to see me doing each sport. The first thing my daughter said when she saw me was, "Mom, I REALLY like your tattoos." I can't blame her. So did I. By 8:15 or so it was time to say goodbye to them and join everyone for the pre-race briefing by the water.
All of the "My First Tri" participants in the early part of the swim

I was nervous, so I just reminded myself to concentrate on form as if I was in the pool and not rush. We hopped in the water and after a few minutes we were off! I struggled some in the first 100-200 meters because arms and legs were everywhere. I'd get hit, take a second to regroup, and start swimming again. By the final 100 meters or so, I was in my groove, not tired, and felt like I could easily keep going. I climbed out of the water and ran to my bike. I put on socks, bike shoes, sunglasses, and my helmet before running to the mount line.
I think this is me, dead center in the pic, breathing to my right with tinted/mirrored goggles

It felt good to get on the bike and fly. I really, REALLY, loved the bike. I'd set my sights on somebody ahead and think, "You beat me out of the water but you're mine now" and then I'd pass. I passed quite a few people while going up hills. I don't like hills so much while running, but I love rolling hills on the bike. Joanne called out my name as we passed each other on the bike. I totally posed for a photographer toward the end of the bike- I saw her ahead, so I dropped down on my aero bars and gave it my best "I'm hardcore" look. LOL, and dorky. But I hope the pic turns out cool. ;-) Right after that I heard my kids yelling "go mommy" as I came off the bike and into transition again. At this point I noticed there were no more than 5 bikes on the racks in the area for my race and realized I must be doing pretty well. I changed shoes, ditched my helmet/bike, and grabbed my running belt and visor to put on as I ran.

Very end of the bike

My legs felt good, but it really bothered me to not wear my Garmin. I desperately wanted to know the distance and pace. I didn't deserve to have a good time on the run. I've literally run twice since the marathon. I just knew I could run 2 miles and focused on the newer things. I was tired during the run, and I hate it, but I walked very briefly (10 seconds, tops) twice in the second mile. Just before the turn into the final straightaway, I saw Libby and she took a picture of me. If only she would have known to yell, "GO, KRISTI! You're about to be passed by the girl who will beat you by 2 seconds and win the race." Yeah, she didn't know and I didn't know. But that girls is *right* behind me in the picture. She had people yelling at her on the sideline to pass me. I tried to catch her. I just didn't have enough sprint left in me to get her. She beat me by 2 seconds, finishing first overall. She was a strong enough runner to beat me in the run and close the gap that I had on her in every other area- the swim, T1, the bike, and T2. But, I cannot be disappointed. I'm thrilled. I had fun and I am in love with the triathlon.

As of right now, my next tri (a sprint) is 7 weeks away. I'm not sure I can wait that long, but that gives me a lot of time to train seriously. I know exactly what to work on and what kind of goals to set. I'm so excited to have a fresh new goal.

14th of 77 (women and men), 7th of 41 (women only)
300 meters in 6:40, pace of 2:13/100
*better time than I thought I could do, thrilled with placing

*fastest time of all the women, and only the male winner beat me

13th of 77 (women and men), 1st of 41 (women only)
12 miles in 40:39, pace of 17.7mph
*first out of the women, 'nuff said... THRILLED!

*fastest time of all the women, only the male winner beat me and 2nd place man tied me

16th of 77 (women and men), 4th of 41 (women only)
2 miles in 18:37, pace of 9:19
*better than I thought I could do, but very motivated to do speed work now