Sunday, April 17, 2005

COLD! Sprint tri race report

CANBrrrr! I just finished up my first little sprint tri of the season - the Cure Autism Now Triathlon in Bethesda, Maryland - and I had a lot of fun, even though I FROZE! It didn't get over 60*F!

I feel good about my effort and paces, and my supplies and organization. I majorly screwed up my timing, though - and ended up (I think) swimming 12 or 13 laps instead of 10, because I missed a few lap counter hits on my watch and I was relying on it instead of counting laps in my head! DUH! I'll have to check the official times when they're posted. But it doesn't really matter, this was just a practice tri for me (and for most participants) to start the season anyways.

Swim (supposed to be 500 yards) felt reasonably good - especially since it was in a toasty warm pool and we had all been waiting to go in at 7AM in 45*F with teeth chattering! My hands finally warmed up after about 5 laps. I think my overall pace was about 2:30/100 yards, which is fast for me (all open turns in a 25yd pool). I was hyperventilating a little (with no warmup at all) and just kept working on relaxing while having to take one breath per stroke, but I was still able to maintain a freestyle stroke the whole time (instead of bailing out to breaststroke as I have in the past). It was the honor system for participants to count their own laps - so I was extra-honorable. ;) The swim time counted all the way from entering the pool area to exiting, and they forbade running in the pool area, so the reported times will be a bit generous for everyone.

T1 was slow - 6:23 by my watch, but I didn't rush because transition times weren't being officially counted anyway. No errors, and no, I didn't take a nap - just used a little extra time to dry off a little, get my bike shoes on, pull on armwarmers (GLAD I brought those at the last minute!), helmet, and sunglasses; and get the bike out of the crowded transition area safely.

The bike leg went well! 3 hilly laps around the National Institutes of Health campus for 10 miles. Actually my bike computer read 10.5 miles, but that's okay. My overall pace was something like 15.3 mph, and I got over 33 mph on the Big Screaming Downhill we repeated three times (as fast as I dared, with a sharp turn at the bottom). Wheeee! We paid for it with long slow climbs the rest of the way around each lap.

T2 was slow again (I missed the exact time), switching to running shoes, and politely-as-I-could informing some guy who showed up late that he had taken my bike rack spot (fairly obvious, since he hung his bike right above my gear that was all laid out on a towel).

I'm not sure of my time on the run (2.5 miles), since I didn't get a T2 split, but I think my pace was between 11 and 12 min/mile. My hips felt stiff and my stride felt short and choppy, so it wasn't exactly a "sprint", but I maintained a reasonable jog most of the way through a hilly residential neighborhood.

Final time on my watch was 1:35:19, a little over my original goal of 90 minutes, but considering my crazy swim issues and casually-slow transitions, I'm happy with that.

As soon as I got back from the run, I had to immediately bundle up again in a sweatshirt and polartec shirt, and didn't really warm up again until I got in my hot bathtub at home! Now I'm ready for that nap! Those 4AM wakeup alarms come early!

It was a GREAT rehearsal and confidence-builder for the next two bigger triathlons that I have coming up in May and June - an Olympic distance and a Half Ironman distance. I felt a little dumb when I looked at my splits on my watch and realized what happened to my swim, but I think it's kind of funny, too. I needed a little longer swim workout, anyway, and I won't have to worry about counting laps in my upcoming open water swims! Live and learn!


Wil said...

Great job!! Now you've officially cut the ribbon on the season.

Wasn't there anyone on the swim letting you know how many laps you'd done? I'd be so mad if they made me count my own - enough going on to have to keep track of all that, too!

But it sounds like you had a blast and you've gotten things started on the season, great job, you're ahead of me! My opener isn't until June 25.

susie said...

Good going Nancy. Sounds like you are off to a great start.

Anonymous said...

WTG, Nancy! I don't know how to swim, so I can only imagine trying to do it fast! sounds like it was fun, if cold.


mid-pack mom said...

WAY to GO! You sound strong. Good job on the triathalon!!

Flatman said...

Great Job!!! It sounds like you have a good start to the season and good job on working the kinks out in a sprint race!

Oldman said...

Great job...a good way to start the season!

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

I don't have a lap counter on my watch - I use a beaded bracelet which is low tech and probably takes longer but heh it has purple and pink hearts for beads so I love it. Way to go on the Tri - nice work.

White Salamander said...

Amazing stuff. Yeah there is nothing worse than having to count your own laps in race situation. Hopefully this will be just the launching platform you need to have a great season!

Frank the Tank said...

Congratulations Nancy!! Great accomplishment.

By the way, I love what you write. I get such encouragement from you, Iron Wil, the Kahuna, the Commodore and Soccer Dad (and other unamed) to train on those days when I can find many reasons not to.

nancytoby said...

That's great! If we have inspired one person to go out for their workout or enter an event that they otherwise wouldn't have, then all this blogging has been WELL WORTHWHILE!! :)

*jeanne* said...

Nancy T, you have inspired me from the first moment I happened upon one of your posts on the runwashington yahoo group!

CONGRATULATIONS on a job well done!
From the chicken-hearted "You want me to put my FACE in the WATER!?!?! NO WAY!!!" gal in chesapeake beach

Comm's said...

Good for you,
I just did a swiming pool tri in March but it was a serpentine with lane bouys to swim under.

I must admit that a 500 yard is tough for me right now but with your inspiration I think it can happen.

Peter Lawson said...

Congrats on your race!!