Monday, July 19, 2010

Race Report: 2010 Tom Hoskins Memorial Sprint Triathlon

Oh boy. Where to begin? I am so tired from my monster workout weekend that I can hardly think straight. I am so ready for taper... You have NO IDEA! Funny thing was, when I clicked on the "new post" button, I mostly thought about writing down Sunday (first open water swim, biking with butt pain etc) and then I realized that I get WAY AHEAD of myself.... I almost forgot that I did a sprint triathlon Saturday morning with everything else that was going on last weekend.

So a race report it is then! ;-) Oh and it's going to be a long one, so you might want to grab a cookie or something.

350 yards pool swim - 13.9 mile bike - 3.1 mile run

Results (based on chip time):

Swim 5m49s (pace 1:40m/100y) OA 31/126 AG 3/10 GR 6/60
T1 1m55s
Bike 45m35s (speed 18.3 mph) OA 43/126 AG 2/10 GR 7/60
T2 1m24s
Run 31m30s (pace 10:10 min/mile) OA 79/126 AG 4/10 GR 22/60

TOTAL 1h 26m 15s OA 56/126 AG 3/10 GR 12/60

OA= overall, AG= age group, GR= gender rank

After work on Friday, I headed straight down to Columbia to stay with a friend. On my way there, I stopped by the Irmo YMCA (host) and picked up my race packet. On the way back to the interstate I drove along the running course... rolling hills... yummie.

It was around 7PM by the time I finally arrived at Leigh's house. Since I was never in Columbia before (just passed by on the interstate), we decided to head out for dinner and I was craving sushi (I think, I might found my perfect pre-race dinner). According to my friend, we were at the best sushi place in town (Inakaya on O'Neil Court) and I think she's right.

After dinner, we sat down some more and chatted and played with one of her cats. The other one preferred hiding under the couch! ;-) I made some final preparation like putting my bib on the race belt, number tags on bike and helmet and then went straight to sleep... I was so tired and it was a pretty long day.

Alarm was set to 5AM (I love to not have to rush) and seconds after the phone rang with my backup alarm clock (Terry). I had a small breakfast and played with the cat... The one that doesn't hide under the couch when a stranger comes to visit. I was out the door by 5.30AM which gave me enough time to also drive the bike course (more rolling hills) before setting up transition and pick up the timing chip.

The guys that were next to me in the transition area were also right behind me in the time trial swim start. Transition racks and swim starts are assigned to you based on your estimated swim time. We kept on chatting back and forth since we three were back at transition around the same time every time. Actually, I crossed the finish line side by side with the guy that started behind me. We were all lined up and ready to rumble when they delayed the start for 15 minutes. So I grabbed something to drink (I wanted to make sure this time that I am drinking enough) and had two Powerbar Gel Blast (rasperberry flavor, very yummie!) and made a pit stop for the 100th time.

What always surprises me is, how relaxed I am at a triathlon start. I might have nightmares the night before and show a temper on my way there, but once I am in the water or even while lining up, I am just calm. I got this.... well, at least the swim portion! ;-)

And then I was off in the water... plugging along. The swim was back and forth in the same lane and it got quite crowded at times in the beginning. After I was passed by the three guys that started behind me, I latched on to the feet of the one that started right behind me and was able to draft off him for the remainder of the swim. That made for a pretty "relaxed" swim for me. It's amazing how much energy you save by drafting!!! Once again, I have to give it to Coach Katie to make us practice drafting during the tri swim classes earlier this year!!

Out of the water and jogged to the transition area. It went smooth, but I could seriously rush a little more next time. I ran out of the transition area with my bike and before I got to the mount line, I looked down and noticed that I was in a big gear and the mount was on a small uphill. CRAP! Mental note for the next time: make sure that I am in a small gear when I rack my bike. Fortunately, a volunteer gave me a big push, so I was able to get up and over that hill and to the road fairly quickly.

So the bike... well... It felt kinda crappy. It felt like my legs were not quite there, especially on the climbs and normally, I am a climber. So I just did as good and as fast as I was able to that day. Not having tapered for this race at all, might have played a role in the no-show performance of my legs. At the turnaround point, I looked down on my Garmin and I was just setting my personal goal for the bike course to have an 18ish mph average and that was what I was working for the second half. This time I also paid extra attention to drinking and eating during the bike leg. One more note on the Garmin: My two previous triathlons, I didn't use the Garmin and I have to say that it was mentally a huge support for me in order to gauge what I was doing and how I was doing.

Nothing out of the ordinary here. This time, I put on socks and sure didn't regret it... Once again, I might want to rush a little more the next time.

Oh the run... My weak suit as you might see in the results. While I was top 10 in both swimming and biking, the running not so much. I know that and I am working on this. The run leg at the MTY Tri was a desaster since I seemed to have walked more than I ran due to the fact that I didn't pace myself at all. This time I had the Garmin with me and I had it set to beep at me if I am faster than a 9:15 minute/mile to ensure that I won't crash and burn. Well, I accomplished my goal of not walking (just walked through the water stop), but I actually think I played it too safe. Proof for this is, that my average pace at the MTY was still faster than this run's average even with all the walking!!! So now I have to find a happy medium between not going out too fast and not pushing enough... What a thin line.

After the finish, I walked around for a couple of minutes to get my heart rate down and then signed up for one of the free 5-minute-massages they offered. I talked to several people in the finish area, saw my co-worker coming in and then started to pack up my stuff and grab a shower. I was just done in time for the awards ceremony. I didn't expect to place, but they raffled off a wetsuit and that was incentive enough to stay. I didn't win the wetsuit - number 22 got it and I was number 23.... oh so close. I was really surprised when I heard that I placed 3rd in my AG. SWEET! More price money for ME! ;-)

Originally, I planned to get a ride in around Newberry according to my monster training weekend plans, but Terry said he would join me for my ride and so I ended up driving home, we grabbed some lunch at the Mexican place, I relaxed a little bit and unpacked and then we headed out for a 20ish mile bike ride... But that's a whole other story! ;-)

So long!

PS: Once again no pictures, but there was a guy taking pics on the course and at the awards ceremony, I hope that I will find them online somewhere to post them.

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