Sunday, April 17, 2011

Reservoir Tri Race Report

First tri of the year.  A smaller race, capped at 400 entries.

We arrived plenty early and I was lolly gagging a bit getting everything set up.  Maybe compounded by the fact that they didn't use the traditional, hang your bike by it's seat, taking up as much space as you want, bike racks.  They had racks that you propped your wheel into, which ended up making your neighbors much closer to you.  Nice in that it limits people from really spreading out, but also makes it tight to squeeze in between bikes to get your stuff set up.  Once I had everything set up and was squeezing into my wet suit, they were announcing that everyone would have to be out of the water in 10 minutes.  Yikes!  

Had to hustle down, with a very quick hello to Molly who was spectating (and whose pics I have blatantly stolen), to jump into the murky water.   And as soon as I started my "warm" up swim,  I thought to myself "WHAT were you thinking?!?!"  My face, hands and feet were really feeling the chill of the 58 degree water. At least the race company was reporting that it was 58.  I think they may have exaggerated upwards.

Jeff all toasty warm in his beanie and jacket.  Me...not so much.
The word of the day for the swim....chop.  The breeze that we saw and felt floating around evidently kicked up the chop on the reservoir.  Especially around the back side of the little peninsula that the course goes around.  Right sided breathing resulted in a face full of water.  I like to alternate, but found myself breathing mostly left sided in an effort to take in air.  The plus side is that I stayed plenty hydrated on the swim portion of the race.  

Into T-1 where I got caught up in my timing chip a bit, and off with my trusty Trinity for a little ride around some rolling hills.

Yes, my feet are bare.  I had my shoes hooked up to my bike and put them on while moving to save time in T1.  Today though, I'm not sure it was much of an advantage.  My feet were so numb that I was having a hard time feeling whether they were actually stuffing into the shoes.  In this picture I think Molly captured the moment when I looked down to see my gels sliding off the side of my bike frame.  I had taped them down, but evidently not well enough. Luckily there isn't video, as the sound bite wouldn't be PG rated.  I managed to grab the second gel before it could escape and stuffed it into my shirt pocket.  Lesson learned...always carry spare nutrition.  The bike was breezy.  And rolling hills.  With a couple of climbs.  Followed by a couple of descents.  Which I am evidently more tentative on with the new bike.  Room for improvement for sure.  As I realized I wasn't going to make my goal bike time, I kept my legs spinning as hard as I could. I just kept thinking that I could still shoot for my run time.  The day wasn't lost.

Feet out of the shoes, hop off the bike, and into T2.  It was like running on blocks of wood.  I couldn't feel my feet at all (and didn't until about 3 miles into the run).  

The run was rolling as well.  More uphill on the way out and down on the way back, but still a few hills on the way back to keep your legs honest.  Ouch.  Lovely that they put the turn around at the top of that little hill too. *Thanks* for that!  I had been grabbing a cup at each water stop and slowing enough to make sure I got it all down, but at the last stop I grabbed a cup for the mouth, one for the head, and another for the mouth.  At this point it was feeling a bit toasty and I was feeling a bit dehydrated.  My head was trying to tell me that I should just take a little walk break, after all we weren't going to PR today anyway.  I countered back with "How bad do you want to hit that run number?!?"  So I kept moving.  Once I could hear the finish line I was even able to pick it up a bit.  And once I crossed over a ramp into the finish chute, I picked it up even more and had a nice kick into the finish line.  Chicking a guy in the process. Sorry dude, but's the finish line...pick it up a little, eh?

You can see the guy I chicked by the green flag on the left of the finisher's chute.
And just like that the day was done.  Not an overall PR, but an oly run PR by more than 3 minutes.  Nice.  One of my goals for this year was to drop my times in running off the bike, so this is a good start.  Amazingly enough, I'll be back at this same spot for my sprint race next month.  Yep, racing again in only 4 short weeks!  

I hope the water warms up a bit by then.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Here we go

And so we come to it.  Race week!  The first tri of the year.

I'm feeling mostly good.  The leg is still a little achy, but it doesn't flare up during any of the swim/bike/run, so I think it will be fine.  Most likely an adductor strain, it makes itself heard at unusual times.  Getting up off the floor.  If I twist my leg certain ways. (I know, don't twist those ways!)  Mostly I'm feeling ready to get going.  This seems to be my race week M.O.  I just want it to be race day already!

I haven't really done much any open water swimming yet this year, so jumping into an international distance tri should be interesting.  I feel like I'm swimming better than I ever have tho.  And extra buoyancy from my full wet suit won't hurt either.   The estimated water temperature sounds a bit chilly, but I know that once I get moving I'll warm up quickly.

I've gotten a few more outdoor rides in with Trinity and altho the shifting is more temperamental than Ruby's, I feel like I'm getting it down.   She's at the Bicycle Garage now getting her race shoes put on.  The weather should be good this week, so I'll be able to get out for a few more short rides before this weekend.

And the run....well....I feel like I've made some nice progress already this year in running off the bike, so I'm looking for good things there too.  And with my new kicks, my feet feel super light. 

So, for now, it's just do a bit more work.  Rest a lot.  Eat good stuff.  Review the race plan.  Think good, strong thoughts all week long and get ready to GO!