Sunday, June 15, 2008

2008 Blue Lake Sprint Tri

My first medal!!!!!

Blue Lake Sprint Triathlon
Date: Saturday, June 14, 2008
Location: Fairview, OR
Distance: 800 meter swim/12 mile bike/5k run
Time: 1:30:01 -- Athena division, 3rd place!!!

Coffee & banana, carpooled to the race, set up transition, and then milled about chatting with other Headhunters.

Nadine, Tracy, and I pre-race/post-body marking:
Warm Up:
Just a quick swim. One of my training partners has a huge fear of open water, so I spent about 10 minutes coaching her into the water and helping her get warmed up and comfortable. Which was great, because it alleviated my own anxiety.

Swim (800 meters):
00:15:52 (pace = 1:59/100m)
During the deep-water start, a lot of people were crowding towards the back and to the sides, so I said "hey, why not?" and swam up to the front inside spot to start. Suprisingly, it was not chaotic at all. The downside is that there wasn't anyone to draft off of until people passed me.
I got a little off-course in the first 200 meters, but once I sighted more often I didn't have any more issues. I had trouble finding someone to draft off, so I hopped from feet to feet until I found a pair that worked. I stayed on him from the second to the third bouy, and then passed him on the sprint into the finish.

I probably could have gone harder on the swim, but I hate coming into T1 with out-of-control breathing. I still knocked almost 3 minutes off of my time from last year, so I'm pretty pleased. I tied for first in my division coming out of the water, and was in the top 23% overall.

Coming out of the water:

T1: time = 2:48
I had the second fastest T2 in my division (she beat me by 1 second) and was about 20 seconds faster than last year. I felt slower, but I think I was a tad slower at my station but ran in and out faster.

Bike (12 miles):
00:37:56 (pace = 18.98 mph)
I definitely passed way more people than passed me, which was a nice change. I passed one guy who blew my mind when he decided to give me a lecture on proper etiquette --

Him as I'm passing: "You know lady, you're supposed to say 'on your left' as you pass."
Me: "yeah well, I can't breathe"
Him: "it's proper etiquette and you need to say it"
Me: blow snot rocket back towards him
Him as he passes me: "here, I'll show you how it's done -- 'ON YOUR LEFT'"
Me as I blow by him and leave him in my dust: "like this? On your left [dill hole -- that part was under my breath]"

My race strategy for the bike and run was to go as hard as I could until I puked. If I hadn't puked, I could still go harder. I was regretting this decision when we hit the head winds and I wanted to slack off. I told myself to suck it up a few times and then reminded myself that I didn't want to get passed by Mr. Dillhole again. Also, one Athena had beat me out of transition and I had leap frogged with another one and was currently in 2nd place. My run is the weakest and I needed as much distance on everyone as I could get.

As we headed back into Blue Lake park, I made the wacky decision to take my shoes off on the bike and try a flying dismount. I say it was a wacky decision, because I've only tried it once on a training day and I almost wrecked. My reasoning was that this was also like a training day and that trying new things would be okay. (Huh? Not sure about that reasoning...) I got my right foot out without any trouble, but my balance taking the left foot out was really shaky. However, running through transition with one shoe on would look absolutely retarded, so I kept trying and finally managed to get it off. My "flying dismount" didn't have too much "flying" in it, but it was nice not to run in my clunky cleats (Keo Look).

Me, on the bike:

T2: time = 01:56
Fastest T2 time in my division. I was 1 second slower than last year though. For the first time ever I had trouble getting my socks on. I have to wear socks due to blistering, but maybe I can figure out a better system. Perhaps a liquid bandage type of thing?

Run (5k):
00:31:29 (pace = 10:10 min/mi)
Well, running is by far my weakest event. I've been working on it a lot over the past year and while I've gone from a 13+ min/mi to a 10 min/mi, I'm just not fast. I saw one gal in my division pass me on the run right from the start and one had beat me in from the bike, so as far as I could tell, I was in third place. I felt a little defeated at that point because I was positive that I hadn't built enough of a lead to hold that position. Which looking back on is quite funny, because I never had any intention (nor thought I ever had any chance) of placing top three in my group. I don't know at what point it became important to me that day...

Anyway, my strategy was still to not back off on pace until I puked. I never did puke, but I was extremely uncomfortable the whole time. At the turn-around point I saw what I thought was someone in my division. That kept me motivated for the second half of the run and I never let her pass me!

I came into the finish chute feeling strong, but worn out. I think I left it all out there, which was my primary goal for the day.

Crossing the finish line:
Denise, Lisa, Dede, Julie, and I after the finish:
Event comments:
This was my first medal ever! When I found out that I had placed, not a single thing could knock me off Cloud 9. I'm still there, actually. :-)

Last year I did this same event as my very first triathlon. I finished happy, but hurting. One solid year of training later and I knocked 12 minutes off my time. In a sprint distance! This was an awesome confidence booster and reinforced that I've chosen the right fitness path for myself. Even better, my sweetie-pie was there to watch it all take place, and he couldn't have been prouder.

The course itself is flat and not very difficult, but it is a great first-time event and/or season opener. I think I'll be doing this each year so I can gauge my progress.

Third Place!!!:
Me, Denise, and Julie with our placing medals:

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