Forecast was rain for race day but a few days before the hourly prediction showed rain wouldn’t start until about 1pm. Fingers crossed! The down side to localish races is they aren’t quite far enough to justify a hotel which means SUPER early race day if you’re an hour or farther away, which was me this morning. Ugh!
Woke up at 4:30 to eat breakfast and hopped in my car by 5 am. I rolled in to the parking lot right at 6, when transition opened. Judging by the amount of cars I was expecting there would be a handful of bikes in transition but there were only 2! There were lots of volunteers already working hard race morning. I was able to snag an end spot and took my time setting up transition and chatting with friends. I wasn’t feeling 100% so I decided to not set many goals and just go out and have fun.
Starting at Wednesday’s swim practice my right arm started hurting near my bicep. I spent Wednesday through Friday rolling, massaging and applying heating pads to try to get it to loosen up. It was still tight come race morning but less painful. I did a quick 50 yard warm up without pain. I think the compressive sleeves on my skinsuit really helped. I got to what I thought was 375 yards and glanced at my watch. It only read 325! My Garmin isn’t perfect but it shouldn’t be off. I was also either going fast or a little sluggish; my pace wasn’t really where I expected it to be. I decided to do 1 more lap just in case. I’d rather swim 450 yards, instead of 350 yards. I lapped the woman beside me at least once but she got out right after me. I either did an extra lap or she skipped one. Oh well, at this point it didn’t matter and most importantly I did enough distance. I felt very sluggish and my stroke count was way too high. I’m suspecting it was actually a 25 meter pool instead of a 25 yard pool. That the difference between a 2:06/100 yard and 1:55/100 yard which is much closer to what I was expecting. If any more long term swimmers what to give more insight I’d love to hear it. I ended up being 9th out of the pool out of 35!i might start calling myself a swimmer soon.
My current trend at sprint tris is to get lazy about transition and I need to stop it. I forgot to un-velcro my shoes, didn’t start my bike computer, and didn’t place the straps of my helmet out. This probably cost my a good 15-20 seconds in transition. Not my fastest by far but oh well. Today was about having fun and seeing friends.
We only have 1 mile to warm up before hitting “the hill”. Rocky hill is 1.25 miles with 6.2% grade. It’s not long but it’s steep. Having two 6%+ grade hills on only a 12.5 mile course makes for a slow bike time. I only had 3 women pass me, all on Rocky Hill. The last one passed me right before the top and I passed her back on the down hill. She was riding almost on the yellow line when I needed to pass her. Thankfully she heard my yells and moved just enough right that I could squeeze by. I didn’t see much of anyone until mile 6, on the second climb, when the men’s sprint started to catch me. They passed me like I was standing still! Still so much work to do on the bike. My only goal for the day was to beat my practice ride average pace which was 12.2 mph. I ended at a 14 mph average. My average watts were a bit low but not too shabby for a fun race. I came in with the 10th fastest women’s bike split.
This transition was a lot smoother but I fumbled with my shoes a little bit. I love how simple sprints are: remove shoes, remove helmet, put on shoes, grab belt and run! I was 2 seconds shy of the best women’s T2 of the day.
Always my worst discipline! Looking at the results I had the slowest run out of my whole age group. Sometimes I’m amazed that I still eek out a placement with such a slow run. My run is my main focus this year. Last year I wanted to make some solid run gains but foot injuries (unrelated to triathlon or running) prevented me from doing any speed work. I wasn’t feeling all that great so I just focused on keeping it fun and moving forward. Ran the first mile, then did a few intervals up the hill (1/2 mile), got as much speed down the hill as possible! (1/2 mile), and did 1/4 mile intervals to keep my running pace up higher for the rest of the run. Hopefully next sprint I won’t be hacking up a lung during the run.
Place: 1/5 Age Group, 13/35 Women, 50/92 Overall
Swim: 8:28 (400 meter pool)
Bike: 54:55 (12.5 miles, hilly)
Run: 37:02 (3.1 miles)
Special thanks to my bike sponsor Rubber Soul for always keeping my ride in tip top shape, Betty Designs for keeping me decked out in the best apparel, and Balega for keeping my feet blister free. Thank you Charles Duby for putting on a great race and providing race pictures for us.