Monday, April 6, 2009
Fool Cup Triathlon
Saturday brought my first "almost" sprint triathlon of the year. The course was shorter than a normal sprint, but what should have been an easy, fast race was hampered by high winds.
I was excited about this race because:
A) A perfect second triathlon for me to make sure that I really want to keep trying to do this.
B) A short distance because I know I have not been training as much as I should so I could do it, have fun and not kill myself.
C) I talked my roommate into doing it! Ok, I signed her up for it and then told her she was doing it, but what matters is that she did it!
The race was about an hour away so we packed up early that morning and headed out after a quick stop for oatmeal and coffee....yum! Even though it was only 45 miles to the North, when we got out of the car, it was COLD! We got marked at quickly as possible and set up transition so we could sit in the car and thaw back out. Luckily the swim was a pool swim so at least we would be warm for that.
The swim was what I was most excited about because I have really been working on the swim and I really wanted to see what I could do now as compared to a few months ago where I had to backstroke more than half the race. The odd thing about this race was they had us lined up according to number instead of by time and the lanes were not set up to allow enough space for passing so they told us if we wanted to pass someone to tap the bottom of the persons feet in front of you and then wait until the end of the lane and then pass them. I quickly started looking at everyone in front and behind me to size up the competition and figure out what I needed to do. There was a pack of very fit guys a few people behind me that I was worried about, but just decided that I would just swim as best as I could and try not to hold any one up. Much to my delight, the swim went great and I never got my feet tapped! I even passed several people which really made my day knowing that if this had been a few months ago, the outcome would have been very different. Looking back, I should have just stayed in the pool and enjoyed the warmth and calm.
I knew my run would be very slow so my plan was to do the swim and bike as fast as I could and try to get as much of a lead as I could. This plan worked perfectly for the swim as I got out quickly and only a few other people ahead of me. The first mile or so went great until I had to turn onto a hwy access road that they had blocked off for us. That is when the wind hit with gusts up to 50 miles an hour (according to the news). My pace slowed to a crawl but I could feel my heart rate still climbing. To add insult to injury, I then got attacked by tumbleweeds which were as big as my tires. Nothing like a West Texas race for you! Luckily, everyone else was having the same problem so we were all super slow.
By the time I got off the bike, I was exhausted. The idea of having the run and having to do it in the wind was unthinkable. I put on my shoes though and started out. My feet felt like they had cement blocks attached to them. I just got new shoes and could not decide if that was the problem or just that I was tired. I brought a new meaning to the term plodding. The time finally came when people started really passing me, but at that point, I was focused on just keeping going and stopped caring so much. When I finally finished my second loop, I have never been so grateful. I was not totally nice to the guy who told me I still had one loop to go as I assured him that I did in fact do both of my laps. I think my gasping for breath told him that I was in fact telling the truth. Obviously, I am still going to have to working on my plodding...er...running.
A few hours later, it did not seem quite so bad as it did right after. Funny how your memory of pain fades. I am glad I went of course, but it was not the easy, fast race I thought it would be. Just shows that you have to be ready for any type of weather conditions!
So to recap, the swim was great and I am on track there! The bike probably would have been fine except for the battling the winds but I do need to start spending some more time working on that. The run sucked. Have to start training more there even though I hate it. I have no good excuses because out of the three, it is the easiest to go do! Oh, and my roommate did great! She finished right behind me and did fantastic even though she was shouting "Never again Renee" on the course. Thank goodness her asthma was bothering her or she would have passed me on the run for sure! (teasing of course!)
The good news is that it was still fun and I am signing up for more. The next one will be May 3rd and I am going to do that as part of a team which I think will be fun!
After race salmon and pasta!