Sunday, August 15, 2010

Race Report - Tri Girl Sprint Triathlon

I know, I still need to do a Boise RR.  Its half written and on my desktop.  I'll post it eventually.  But this RR is super easy.

sunrise at the swim start
Showed up at 5:45 to set up.  Was a bit different than normal, as I had a friend (M) with me and it was her first time doing a triathlon.  I wanted to make sure she got set up properly, to make things easier on her.  The RD did pre-assigned racking by number, so that made things easy.  I'm pretty sure they gave us more space than normal between numbers, as it seemed like I had quite a bit of room for my stuff.  Or maybe it felt that way because my last two races were HIM distance, with a lot more stuff.

Pretty basic - 300 meter, counter-clockwise triangle, ~60 people in my wave.  I normally like to be at the start buoy closest to the buoy line, but this time I got to the swim start a bit later than normal, and it was pretty crowded on that side.  I prefer to be in the front, so I ended up over to the far right of the start area.  This actually worked pretty well, as I decided to swim straight to the corner buoy from my starting position. This actually meant I had a ton of clear water (since everyone flocks to the buoy line) and I'm pretty sure my swim distance was a tiny bit shorter.  I hit the first turn and remarked to myself at how short this was.  ("hmmm, turn already?")  The course people were awesome and put a line of noodles together between the buoys.  This meant I never had to look up to sight, I just had to avoid the slower people from the wave in front of me and make sure I stayed a consistent distance away from the noodles.  I was in the second wave, which again, was really nice, because I only had to swim through one wave's worth of slow people.  I'm usually towards the end and get stuck dodging older men.  I swam hard to the finish, got a hand up out of the water and jogged into transition.

Not much to say.  Hardly anyone in transition yet (good sign for a strong swim) but I spent time messing with stupid things.  Got to the bike mount line and dummy didn't arrange my pedals for a quick mount (I'm not coordinated enough to try for the pre-clipped shoes).  It felt like forever to clip my feet in.  Grr.

I have not spent much time on my bike in the past two months, and I've definitely not spent much time doing speed work.  The thing with sprints is that there's a very fine line between fast enough and so fast you burn your legs up for the run.  The course was an out and back though a park with some small hills and way too many 90-degree turns.  Right away I got a good rhythm going and saw 19-20 mph on my garmin.  There was some girl in my age group that blew past me on the bike, but was showing some fading or pace issues.  I noticed on some small hills that she was struggling, and I knew that I could take her on the hills thanks to my Boise training.  Not too much to say about the bike, other than it was a whole lot of passing people in the first wave, a little bit of me being passed, and me trying to go fast but not blow my legs out.  The course was a tiny bit nasty because it was mostly downhill going out and uphill coming back (we're talking maybe 100 ft elevation, though).  And all those dang turns were major speed and cadence killers.  When we came out of the park, the girl from before (who I ended up passing in the hilly section) blew past me and I was just hoping she'd blow her legs out by going too fast.  My mph was slower than going out on the flat but I didn't want to push it and not have enough for the run. I was just focusing on keeping my cadence high and my legs light for the last bit before transition.  The photographer remarked "good job Lady" to me as I came in, which was odd.  Lady.  When I told Will about this later on he said "you're no lady!" If only I had thought of that quip on the course.

Shoes off and back on easy, but I was dinking around with my garmin.  I finally told myself that hello, its a race, and I can mess with the garmin while I ran.  Turns out I forgot how to operate my garmin for races... you can't reset times if the timer is still going.  Idiot.

So last year, I remember that it was really hot and I walked way too much.  My goal was to negative split and not walk.  I ended up wearing my Brooks, despite the calf tightness I have when wearing them.  Sure enough, during the first 2 miles, my calves were not that happy.  Not sure if this is a function of me not doing many bricks lately or the shoes.  The first half mile of the run is icky - full sun, pavement.  But once you get into the park and the trees, its a nice winding paved/gravel trail in the trees.  I was behind my cycling nemisis and slowly gaining on her.  To my delight, she started walking at the water station and I knew I had her.  I carry my own water anymore, to avoid congestion and the temptation to walk at the water stops.  So I just kept cruisng on though at my own pace.  After the turnaround (1.5 miles) my legs loosened up a bit and I sped up.  With a mile left, I tried to go faster - kept my pace at or below 10:00/mile, with pushing hard for the last 1/3 mile.  Its really not that hard to push yourself when the run is only 3 miles (and your last race was a HIM).  Into the chute and my name was called.  Then an ice-cold towel around my neck and I was happy and done.

I need to tweak my bike-nutrition for sprints. I mixed my Infinit the same as normal, 2 scoops for one bike bottle (about an hour's worth). This is what I did for all my sprints last year, my training rides, and my HIMs. Well, apparently its too much for a sprint because I got some twinges of stomach cramps on the bike and two not-very-nice side-stitches on the run.  The overall effort is only around an hour (shorter than most of my workouts), so I think I'm at the point in training my glycogen levels where I don't need so much fuel during a sprint and I can go with maybe a half-strength mix and be just fine.

My goal coming into this thing was to beat last year's time (1:16).  I'm much stronger now and I thought if I could run the whole run, I was golden.  I was pretty bummed that I was a minute slower than last year.  However, the swim last year was short, and according to my friends, there weren't as many turns last year either.  When I compare my stats from 2009 to 2010, I made a marked improvement in the swim, run, both transitions, and my overall time, when compared to my own times and my placement in the age group and overall field.  My bike was slower, and I'm just chalking it up to not doing as much speed work and all the sharp turns (I was 0.5 mph slower). 

Swim: 6:13.8; 2:07/100 meter pace (several of us felt the swim was long this time)
T1: 1:42.9 (my fastest T1 ever)
Bike: 36:23.9; 18.1 mph
T2: 1:17.4 (my fastest T2 ever)
Run: 31:52.2; 10:37/mile pace
Overall: 1:17:30

Swim: 4/58, 19/353 (I'm happy about that)
Bike: 19/58, 87/353
Run: 32/58, 186/353
Overall: 17/58, 89/353

No comments: