Friday, July 13, 2012

SheRox Sprint Tri - Race Report

This is a bit of a strange race report, given that I only did 2/3 of the race.  I tried to sell my entry but no one wanted it.  Then I was debating about being a swim volunteer for the newbie wave.  Only the race failed to send me specific directions regarding when, where, and what my duties would be.  They contacted me saying "yes, we'd love to have you" but failed in any follow up.  Wouldn't you think that a race would be incredibly happy for a volunteer?  pfft.  So, I decided that I paid my damn money and therefore I was going to do what I could.

We had been camping in the days leading up to the race but got back into town around 2 PM.  I headed over to packet pickup right as it opened.  Pickup was really simple.  I even ran into a few friends.  They had a tiny expo and I got suckered into buying something.  Its a hoodie with a tortise on it, saying I AM RUNNING!  Given my affinity for tortoises, I had to get it.  Then to get the rest of your free swag, you had to go outside to the parking lot and visit the Toyota people.  Ugh.  and gimmicky.  They handed you a flyer, then you had to pick a car, sit inside the car, and stamp the flyer.  And THEN you could finally claim your stuff - a free racebelt.

Then I raced some rain storms home and hung out, waiting on my friend to come over.  The original idea was that myself and 3 other friends from high school would race together.  I found a screaming Schwaggle deal and we all signed up.  Fun!  I had visions of us training together and other fun things.  In reality, I broke my foot, one girl randomly got married (good for her, but still random), and the other two trained on their own (which is fine).  The newly married one went into a black hole and didn't show up for the race. And with my broken foot I was fairly crabby about the whole thing.  But I still had 2 other friends going, so I figured I would just do whatever I could do. 

My Boulder friend ended up crashing at my house, to save her 2 trips to south Denver and an ungodly wakeup time.  And as a bonus, we grilled up elk steaks.   And then stayed up much too late (for me, for a race night) chatting.  And then it was 5 AM and time to race.

The race was at Cherry Creek Reservoir, which isn't my favorite location, but it is easy to get to and centrally located.  They asked that you park at the high school, which was ~1/4 mile (and uphill) from transition.  I had my shiny new State Park Pass and ignored the request and parked in the parking lot right next to transition.  Transition was interesting.... they had traditional bar racks (which I prefer) and the 4-pack rear wheel racks (which I find awkward).  We got there a bit on the late side of things, so it was either be squished up in the bar racks or have some room in the rear wheel racks.  We chose to have room.  The rest of the set up was pretty simple.  Body mark.  Check.  Pit stop.  Check.  Sunscreen.  Check.  Me trying to figure out if I was wearing my wetsuit or my Torque.  Check.  All pretty typical.

D and I headed down to the beach and I somehow managed to run into even more people I knew.  I really can't emphasize how wonderful it is to be racing around people I know.  Its so nice having friendly faces around!
go Eagles!
I opted to wear the Torque and I brought some cushy running shoes for the trek from the swim exit to transition.  Turns out, you had a good long hike up a grassy hill to get to your bike.  Sucky.

So, the swim was an 800 meter skinny rectangle.  All orange buoys, which made it a bit interesting to sight from.  Am I swimming towards the outward line of buoys or the the return set?  Frustrating.  Also frustrating was the fact that my swim was s.l.o.w feeling.  What should I expect.  I took a MONTH off from the pool and my first swim was a race.  Dummy.  I wanted to go faster but my body just wasn't having it.  So, boo.  The swim was pretty clean (water quality and contact).  The wave was maybe 80 people.  I started on the far right and aimed for the farthest buoy, instead of hugging the line the whole time.  Sighthing seemed ok.  My foggle failed me, as my goggles fogged up and I had to quickly come up and defog them.

Not much else to say about the swim, other than maybe next time I will have touched water a bit closer to the race.

Swim time: 17:17
Swim Pace: 2:09
Swim Rank: 10/41 AG, 52/259 OA

Disclaimer: the timing mat was at the top of the hill, literally a step outside of transition.  So, my slightly sucky swim time also included my very dainty "do not step on my heel" walk up the hill.  So I'm thinking the walk was about a minute extra.

Per my disclaimer, my transition started by me putting on my running shoes and very carefully hiking up the hill.  The whole time, onlookers were saying "great job, you can make it up the hill!"  Because it was a women's race and definitely geared for beginners, they were trying to be very encouraging.  I had to be Oscar the Grouch, grumbling about my Stupid Broken Heel. 

Once inside transition, I saw D on her way out and was happy that I wasn't too far behind her.  Transition was a bit slow for me, as I had a hard time getting the Torque off.  Then it was socks on, shoes on, glasses on, helmet on and GO.  Well, a walking speed GO.  I got to tip-toe in my cycling shoes across transition then down a sidewalk and then FINALLY to the bike start time.  Given all that tip-toeing, my transition time wasn't too shabby.

T1 time: 1:18

My plan for the bike was to push myself pretty hard since I didn't have to worry about running afterwards.    I kept my heart rate in the uper 160's.  Average HR was 166, max was 181. 

The bike is the same as Chilly Cheeks Duathlon #3.  Its a 10.8 mile out and back, with some slightly rough roads and one hill.  I got passed by a few people on the way out.  I hit the hill hard and passed a TON of people.  And on the way back, I'm pretty sure no one else passed me.  I was going hard but I felt good. 
this doesn't look very aero to me.....
Funny side-note.  Before the race started, I noticed someone wearing my club kit, only I didn't recognize her.  So I'm crusing up a long shallow hill and I come across her.  Because I'm the considerate type, I said "Hey, random club person, I don't know you!  Who are you?  I'm Erin".  Yes, very considerate, especially up a hill as I was passing her.  Anyways she told me her name and she was very nice to me after the race.

Winds weren't bad on race day at all and it was actually a nice little ride.  I came up and over the final hill to the bike dismount and that was it.  Race over.

Bike time: :34:42 <--- I'm pretty sure this included the tip-toe along the sidewalk, because my garmin was stopped at 33:00 even, and I hit it at the mount/dismount line.

Bike speed: 18.5 mph

Bike Rank: 8/41, 79/259 <--- one of the rare times my bike rank was higher than my swim rank.  Can we tell what I've been working on lately?

For comparison, lets refer back to Chilly Cheeks #3, where I biked first:
Bike time: 39:34 / 16.2 mph
142/202 OA, 20/29 AG
Legs felt ok, although I had to granny gear it up some hills.  (I don't know if that was me being out of shape or what)

In hindsight, I can honestly say that I was very much out of shape in February.  I cut 5 minutes or 3 mph off my bike split.

ha, what run?  After I racked my bike I helped some poor woman wrestle her bike into the awkward rack.  Then I handed my chip in (sad panda) and hung out with my friend who had just done IMCDA.

so, I really didn't cross the finish line, but I felt entitled to a medal anyways.

The post-race spread was pretty good.  Burritos, luna bars, muscle milk.  (um, I'm just now remembering that I have a muscle milk somewhere in my race stuff....)  I had a pretty healthy supply of SunRype fruit snacks with me.  I need to start handing these out more, since I have ~300 of them that expire in 1 month.  So I randomly approached people and handed out fruit snacks.  So now I have about 100 fewer of them in my house.  The snacks are crazy tasty so at least its an easy product to endorse!
Overall, I thought the race was well organized (despite poor communication leading up to the race).  The venue was ok.  Race swag was nice: bag, visor, water bottle, race belt.  And with the Schwaggle deal, I think I paid $35.  Definitely a good deal.

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