Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tri For Abbey 2012

 500 meter swim, 14 mile bike, 5k run

September 22, 2012
Rock Hill, SC

A Quick Recap
Swim:  8:08 - second fastest of the day
T1: 0:55 - add an extra thirty seconds of run from the beach included in the swim time
Bike: 39:43 - short and sweet, I love it!
T2: 0:32 - welcome to the pain cave.  racing fast hurts!
Run: 21:37 - endless ups and downs
Finish Time: 1:10:53
Finish Place: 2nd overall

The course was a short and sweet 500m and water temperature was 75 degrees. The big decision of the morning was wetsuit vs. no wetsuit.  I initially had no intention of wearing a wetsuit or skin given the short distance, but spent some time second guessing myself when the majority of others were wearing their wetsuits.  Eventually I settled on my swim skin to add a little extra speed without the production of peeling myself out of a thick layer of rubber.  I got off to a good sprint and found clear water for the majority of the course. The water was quite shallow and many people made the mistake of trying to run the last 50m, but I kept with my swim stroke and passed a couple dozen people.  With a time of 7:45 as I exited the water and the second fastest swim, I was very pleased.

Ebeneezer Park

View from the swim start area
In general, I much prefer the Olympic distance to Sprint races.  Sprints are over so quickly and lack the same sense of satisfaction that I crave given the volume of training that is dedicated to racing!  However, I couldn't help but be excited for just 14 miles on the bike!  The course was rectangular in shape, had a mix of rollers and flats, and featured a few railroad track crossings and speed bumps just to add a little excitement.  My goal was to push harder on the bike than I ever have in the past, knowing that I can generally run well off the bike.  My time of 39:43 was third fastest of the day, and just 5 seconds shy of second fastest.

As soon as I stepped off my bike, my quads were feeling the result of pedaling hard and fast.  Exiting T2, I was overcome with nausea and was concerned I was going to have that first experience of crossing the finish line and then making a bee-line to a garbage can.  However, when they announced that I was the first place age-group women, I knew I had to dig hard and hang on.  Fortunately, once I focused on my run cadence and breathing the nausea passed.  The out and back course allowed me to keep an eye on my competition.  I passed one woman in the open division (their swim wave started 6 minutes before mine) and then saw the lead open division female approximately one mile ahead of me.  I hung on to a sub-7 minute pace despite the 700 feet of climbing over the 5k distance and made a hard sprint the last quarter-mile hoping to dig in to the deficit of the lead open female.

Ultimately, I came up shy of beating the open female, but took the win for age-group women.  I'm always striving to race faster and can't help but wonder if I could have pulled off the win if I owned aerodynamic race wheels and an aerodynamic helmet (both of which my competition had).  Such is the fun, yet frustrating, aspect of triathlon - so much expensive technology!

Always love the feeling of finishing a race, changing into clean clothes, and refueling with a Mix1.
And that wraps up the 2012 triathlon season.  I had initially intended to race Rev3 Anderson, but the combination of early bike check and the race coinciding with my vacation, didn't jive logistically.  I'll be glad to enjoy some less intense training, especially given that my two month stretch on trauma starts soon.  The goal for the early off-season is to rediscover my passion and enjoyment in the simple pleasures of running and biking.  2012 was a great season with a couple overall podiums, and I'll be excited to build on that moving into 2013!

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