Monday, May 25, 2009

I Love to Race!

... but I dislike getting up before 6 to get a decent spot in transition.

Yesterday's race (Foothills Try This Tri) was great. Both Nicole and I raced, and our heats were far enough apart that we got to watch each other, and the course is probably the best I've seen for spectators. Competitors do four laps on the bike, and three on the run, so all you have to do is walk across the street from the pool, then walk about 100 yards to see the run turnaround, then walk back across to the finish line.

The forecast called for sun/clouds in the morning, and possible thundershowers in the afternoon, so we had our fingers crossed. It turned out to be a very nice day, but at 7am, it was bloody cold (standing around in shorts). Once we grabbed a spot in transition, we stood in line for our numbers and timing chips, then went inside for the safety talk and orientation. So glad it was inside!

We watched the first wave of brave souls climb into the pool, then went to set up our transition areas. (My bike is the white and blue one, N's is the grey and baby-blue one. In this picture, I don't have my running shoes out yet- they were keeping my feet warm! Note the shiny new white bike shoes...)

Nicole was the first to race.. and she ROCKED! She swam very strong for a PR in the pool, and was so fast in T1 (first transition, where you grab your bike/ helmet/ shoes/ sunglasses/ race number) that we missed seeing her leave.

She was also very strong on the bike, passing drifters, yelling at them to get out of the way... (please stay to the right if you're slow!) On the run, which has always been her toughest event, she kept pushing, and had a great sprint to the finish, passing a few people at the line!

I took some pics, but then the camera battery died... Here's a link to my photos.

After congratulations and hugs at the finish line, I went to change and get ready for my race. I was a little nervous! Standing in line, waiting to get into the water, I kept playing with my googles, trying to get them to fit. Here's a piece of advice for my fellow racers; never try out new goggles at a race. The new googs were great, I could see much better-- except out of my left eye, which was a little waterlogged. I'm sure I'll get them adjusted properly for my next swim.

Anyway, my swim was good-- it's always tough to get into a rythm when you're fighting with three other swimmers who can't seem to swim consistently, and who first want to pass, then can't keep up the pace, so they stop at the wall... pacing, people! But I was happy with my time, definitely a PR in competition, an 8:45!

I always feel a little disoriented when getting out of the pool- I seem to get a little tunnel vision, but I was prepared for it, and had mentally practiced my transition. My only complaint about this race is that the transition area is very gravelly-- the parking lot really needs to be re-paved, which is no fault of the race organizers. Anyway, I got clear of transition fairly quickly, jogged my bike out to the road, and took off. I felt really strong and fast on the bike, but don't know if I could keep up that pace in an Oly race. I guess that's a good thing though, because that would mean I didn't go hard enough...

The run felt good, and I was grateful for Coach Tony's insistence on running off the bike so much in training. By the second lap, the legs loosened up, and it felt really good. I was fighting a bit of a stitch in my side most of the race though, so I felt I could have gone a little faster otherwise, but overall I'm very happy with my results! The official times aren't posted, so I don't know my bike and run splits or rankings, but:

500m swim (8:45)
16 km bike
3 km run