Sunday, April 29, 2007

First Race of the Season: Langley Pond

Over the winter, I could not get excited enough about my training to be bothered to blog about it, especially with injuries and such. I have read some other blogs and am glad to see everyone is heading into a new season, ready for fun! Now that I am back, somewhat improved and excited about racing, I thought I would write about my race for anyone who wants to read it.

Yesterday, me, Christa and Big Tom (our greyhound) headed to Aiken, SC to race in the Langley Pond Triathlon. It is the Olympic Distance Race which is a 1500m swim, 24.? mile bike ride and a 6.2 mile run. It was nice to get back to the races and see some of my friends/competitors. In fact, I got so caught up in talking to people, I almost did not get my transition area set up in time. Going into the race, I was feeling pretty good about my post injury workouts and my new bike position and I could not wait to see if my swim coaching in the "off season" paid off. My pie in the sky goal was to finish the race under 2 hours and 30 minutes. After a warm up and a pre-race toilet session, I was off to the starting line.

The swim started out kinda rough. This year, I am trying to be somewhat competitive, which means I am mixing it up in the crowd. Sometimes it seemed like I was swimming in a washing machine, a kick here and a slap there. Plus, I was adjusting to the lack of visability and choppiness I dont get in the pool. The first lap(of two), my mind kept saying "I need another damn hobby, this sucks".

At the end of my first lap, my time was 15 minutes, which means I could beat my best time, If I do as well in the second lap, So I got focused and swam hard on lap 2. When taking a breath, someone slapped the crap out of my face. It knocked my goggles loose and made me choke on water. That just pissed me off and motivated me to swim hard enough to smoke him at the finish. I beat my swim split personal best by over 3 minutes, so I was on track for a good race.
Swim Time: 29:09

Transition 1 was organized and smooth (for me), except I had some trouble getting my wetsuit peeled off.
T2: 1:44

The start of the bike leg in this race was a real jacked up mess. You had to leave the transition area, run the bike (with bike shoes) in grass and gravel 400 yards to the bike mount area and ride. The bike course went over several railroad crossings, so there was a danger of a train ruining the race. Everytime I heard a train whistle, a cringe went up my spine. As the ride started, I realised my computer was not working! I use that to keep track of my average speed and cadence, to keep me pushing. I rode hard, but had no idea how fast I was going or anything. One of my friends was along the road with a flat, so I threw him my spare. Maybe that would send some good karma my way, because I could use it! I just kept an eye on my watch and made sure I got done riding quick enough to make a fast run worthwhile. Pretty much a crappy race on the bike, but not bad enough to take me out of the game.
Bike Time: 1:13:25

Transition 2 was slow. I ran past the row where my stuff was and one of the Yanks on my shoes were jacked up and I could not get one of them tightened. After fiddling with it for a while, I said "the hell with it" and took off with a loose shoe.
T2: 1:45

One of my coaches used to say "just run your ass off". That is what I had to do to make my goal time for today. I went out there put it on the line and ran hard from the start. If I could hold on good, if not, then at least I could go home knowing I tried. My legs were a little tired from the end of the bike, but I worked that out and became a running machine after a half mile. It was an up and back course so I could see who was ahead of me. I knew I was doing ok when the elite stud dudes were still on the run course when I was!!! I was a little farther behind the elite women than I wanted to be. I must be running fast, because not one person passed me the whole run and I picked off those who passed me on the bike, one by one by one.

At the turnaround, I got a shot of enthusiasm as I checked my watch. If I do the second half of the run the way I did the first, I was going to make my 2:30 overall goal! At that point, I went into what seemed like a dead sprint. I passed more people and got to the finish line tired, sore and happy as hell! I beat my best run split by over 2 minutes.
Run Time: 42:29

Afterwards, I was flat out tired, physically exhausted, but great all at the same time. I finished with a 2hr 28 minutes and 31 second time. That time was good enough for a 2nd in my age group out of 14 other people! The only downer is I could not get my post race junk food fix, because I was really sick to my stomach, so I slept the rest of the day. Overall, I am ecstatic with my performance and will be working on my bike riding, so I can get better!

Overall Time 2:28:31
Overall Rank 26 out of 74
Age Group (35-39) Rank 2 out of 14

I'll post some pictures later!

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