This race was set up very strangely.... the swim was a 2 loop swim, where you pop up at the end of the first loop and run on the beach for ~100 feet and head back into the water. I did that in a race last year and hated it. The swim start was also very funky - time trial (meaning you start 5 seconds apart), and the start order was women first, oldest to youngest. Blech. And it was a "run from the beach" sorta start, which meant you run in and (if you're smart) dolphin dive to get rolling.
|Really weird bike racking in transition|
They offered body marking inside transition, which must be a Colorado thing (Boulder Peak had that too). I really like this because you don't get the bottleneck into transition.
|puddles and awkward transition area - but look at all the |
room I have
|swim start - rawr!|
|running into the water to start the |
|this doesn't look as awkard as|
Near-clothing malfunction aside, I finally got the thing past my hips and ran up to the strippers who were all "WTF?" when they saw my Torque. I told them it was mostly like a wetsuit and all they had to do was grab and pull. They did and I was off for MORE running up the dang hill. I finally made it into transition where it was super easy to spot my bright yellow bike. A quick socks on, shoes on, helmet on, glasses on, racebelt on, and I grabbed the bike and was out to start the bike. Also: my club was volunteering in transition and it was SO NICE to hear people cheering for me.
So I rode the course the week prior (after not riding my bike for 6 weeks) and it was hilly. Not ridiculously so, but it wasn't going to be easy. Fortunately, it was not windy, so I had that in my favor.
|brown grass and power lines|
not very scenic
The bike course is a simple out and back on varied road surfaces. Concrete, asphalt, bumps over bridges, and chip seal. I hate chip seal.
A compliating personal feature for my ride was my full bladder. It felt full during the swim (which I ignored) and now it felt full on the bike at ~mile 10. There wasn't anywhere to stop and I didn't think the remainder of the ride would be fun with a full bladder, so I pee'd on the bike. And I was proud of this! I made sure I didn't have anyone near me (no witnesses!), and propped myself way back on the seat and let things go. It was a bit icky (and I felt bad for my bike), but I knew there would be water at the turn around that I could use to rinse myself with. I felt badass and much better.
The final hill is this up, flat, up, flat, up push to the turnaround. It just goes on foreverl On the second to last hill before the turn around, I dropped my chain. I guess this was Buzz's way of paying me back for peeing on him. Unfortunately, due to going uphill, I didn't have momentum to fix it on the fly (although I tried), so I had to stop, dismount, and fix it. My Garmin was on auto-stop (I really need to turn that off for races!) so I don't know how much time I lost... but if I had to guess it was 30 seconds. I hopped off, did what I needed to do and hopped back on. Hardly got any bike grease on me either. Then I had to start the climb from a dead stop. Boo.
Turn around was uneventful. I got water to rinse the ickyness off me and got back to work. Since I dropped my chain, it was tempting to push hard to regain my position. However, I still had 10+ hilly miles AND a 10k run to get through. As much as I wanted to push, I knew a steady pace would be much better. And in the end, I ended up catching back up to some of the people who passed me.
As I approached transition, you have to go on those lovely chip seal roads UPHILL back to transition, which sucks. I was having a hard time, and I figured that after 23 miles (and little training) that I was losing my legs. It just got tough and for no reason. (the next morning, my back tire was dead flat.... not sure if it was going flat on the bike though). While I was riding, I was determined to have a quick transition. I was tired of getting to my rack and blankly starring at things, only to finally realize I was in a race and get moving... and have a crappy T2 time. So while I was riding back, I actually thought about transition, what I needed to do and the order.
I came screaming in on my bike and ran into T2. Again, I was happy for my aisle spot, as it was super easy to park my bike. I fiddled with my garmin, and while I did that, I said "HEY - multitask!" to myself, so I unclipped my helmet at the same time. Got all that done, swapped shoes, and then grabbed the rest of my run stuff (hat, water, garmin) so I could put that on during the run. My transition was focused and FAST. Go me!
|this is the happiest I've felt |
running in a race in a long time
|this is my "I'm hurting but will try to|
|gooo Team Sony!|
Swim - 29:04 (2 minutes faster than last year's 2 loop with run oly distance swim). Age Group - 10/33 Overall - 160 / 397. Was expecting to be a bit higher up with that time. Also, people were commenting that the swim was short, which I believe. My swim time included not only my swim, but also my long run uphill AND the strippers.
T1 - 1:29 (fastest T1 to date, probably because the chip mats were right at the transition entrance)
Bike - 1:28:37 / 16.83 mph. Age Group - 19/33 Overall - 297 / 397. For reference, last year's Oly (which was FLAT) was in 1:25 with no mechanical issues or hills. So I'd call this a success. Especially with my lack of training.
T2 - 0:20. Yes, 20 SECONDS. I was hoping for under a minute. I have no idea how I did this. I'm pretty sure that I can't even change shoes while standing up in 20 seconds.
Run - 1:06:40 / 10:45 min/mile pace. PR by 4 minutes. Age Group - 23 / 33 Overall 303 / 397
Overall Time: 3:06:10 PR by 23 minutes (Boulder Peak) and by 28 minutes (Houston Tri, Sept 2010). GO ME.