I have raced in some pretty big races over the last few years but I am not sure anything compares to the Whitworth Triathlon I did last weekend. This was the first race for A+ to compete in together and I was actually rather nervous for this race. Not so much for the race itself but because the plan was to do flipturns for the entire 500 yd swim. This was not a practice when your pace might be a bit slower but this was race pace effort, well kinda:)
Since the race was only 8 minutes from my house I got up too early, arrived too early, forgot something back at home and still had plenty of time to go home and get it. Got to like that! Once at the race site, time was spent setting up my transition area, moving my transition area and trying to remember all the things you have to do after a swim before you get on the bike. Even though I have done quite a few of the races, the first true triathlon of the season always seems overwhelming, from bike shoes, to gloves, helmets, arm warmers and sunglasses.
Since Jessi, Tiffany and I all wrote the same approximate swim time down we were fortunate enough to be in the same wave. After a quick warm-up and some actually pretty good flipturns, it was our turn to start. So I jumped in the lane next to Jessi and waited for the gun to go off. My stomach was turning, not because of the relatively short 500 yard swim but because I was about to attempted 19 consecutive flipturns in a row and try not to die while doing it.
As we started, I really focused on not going out too fast. In pool swims I start quick and usually fade near the end. It was great to have Jessi next to me but that only lasted for so long. Prior to the swim, I made a comment that I was going to swim with my patella strap to help save time in T1. Jessi, in all her wisdom, said "but what if it falls off" and me in my ever confident state, said "it will be fine".
About 200 yards into the swim, I hit my knee strap with my hand and sat their floating on my back trying to grab it. After looking like an astronaut outside the space station, I was able to grab the strap and continue on my way.
Let's just say I finished the swim. My flipturns started out absolutely horrible and got worse as the race went on. I did however only miss one wall and that was because I set my knee strap on the bulkhead so I didn't have to swim with it for the second half of the race.
Swim Time: Approx. 7:30
So finally I was out of the water. I knew Jessi and Tiffany each had pretty good swims, since they were both leaving transition when I got to my bike. Still trying to re-oxygenate my body after the swim (I loose one entire breathe if I do flipturns), T1 was bad. I try to take a bit of pride in my transitions but this one was SLOW. I couldn’t get my shoes on, I fought with arm warmers I never actually needed and I still need to work on getting on my bike faster. Ohh yeah, and a special thanks to Timmers for talking me through the entire transition, shoe first, the gloves and your sunglasses are on your bike. I laugh at it now but since I was so frustrated with my swim and start to my transition, his words of encouragement were not so encouraging:)
T1: Approx: 1:50 or DAMN SLOW
So on to the bike where we had to complete 11 laps around the Whitworth campus. I have never raced a triathlon like this and I actually enjoyed it. You get to pass a bunch of people and set small little goal with each lap. This brought me back to racing around my parent’s property on dirt bikes when we were kids. It was fun and I only had one person pass me, Roger, so that really doesn’t count:)
Heading out on the run.
The differences between T1 and T2 were night and day. I was able to get my feet out of my shoes, albeit pretty late and was off to the run in no time. I slipped on my K'Ona's and once again my feet felt fast. This race was 2.2 miles and I knew I would be able to push myself pretty hard the entire time. The run was a trail run with a long gradual downhill for the first half, a rather flat section for the next mile and then a STEEP dirt hill at the end. Overall my run felt pretty good. I ran the loop in 14:35 with an average of 6:37/mile. Not to bad considering I probably averaged about 12 min/mile up the hill.
Trying to finish strong (I noticed I need to stay on my toes when I get tired)
Run Time: 14:33
TOTAL TIME: 51:58
Once again, it was great to get another short triathlon under my belt early in the season. With all the long training of Ironman, it is good to get the competitive juices flowing and relearn all the little things about a race.
In true Ironman training form, I followed the race up with a nice long bike ride and brick run. It was another good day on my way to June 21st. I do not have any results yet but hope to get them soon.