Thursday, August 18, 2011

2011 Bridgeland Race Report

A year ago, this was my first sprint triathlon with an open water swim. I finally have a chance to see how much my times have improved over a year.

I was pretty exhausted already after throwing a baby shower for my sister-in-law the day before.  But somewhere I found a second wind to pull this off. I had laid out all my clothes and equipment the night before so I was pretty confident that I had everything.  Transition set-up went quite smoothly that morning.

This 2011 race will always be an extra special one for me since Charlie signed up for his first triathlon.  The course is in the Bridgeland development which is on 290 and Fry road.  So cool to finally get to do a race together.  And our friend Jenn...it is her first too.  We have to leave our house at 4:30am.  We all pile into Jessica's SUV where her awesome husband drove us all down and stayed to root us on.

There is quite an increase in the number of people from last year.  But as expected, the OnUrMark racing productions is extremely well organized and the extra people were well accommodated.

It is a beautiful cloudless morning and I have an hour before my wave starts after transition closes.   Charlie is the first age group wave after the professionals and I feel nervous for him.  As I watch him take off and I see he is okay, my nerves get the best of me and I decide to hit the port-o-potties. Whoops...line is crazy long and I decide I do not have to go that bad.  I sit on the shore and wait.  I chat with 22 year old swimmer next to me who is in shock that I am 35.  I think she  made my head triple in size but least it took my mind off being nervous! 

Swim: 500 M
Well, my goal is to swim freestyle the entire time with little to no stopping. Well, I managed to swim about 90 percent of it freestyle.  I found a groove and decided to take Coach Pam's advice and sing a song.  The first song to come to mind was Vanilla Ice's "Ice, Ice, Baby" because I truly know all the words without music.  I am cruising right along and sighting along the coast and I think I am doing quite well until I pause for a moment to look up and discover I am way outside the buoy. I am quite a bit off course. Yikes!!  I had to take a hard left another 25 yards to position myself on the inside of the buoy.  I am feeling a little frantic inside because I do not want a DQ penalty for being off course. There went my groove...from that point on I was back to bobbing my head up and down every few strokes to see where I was at. Not what I envisioned at all.  I must master the alligator technique to sight in front of me and not just to the side.

Note to self: Must add extra open water practices to my 70.3 race training.

2010: 17:01
2011: 16:27 (not as improved as I was hoping to see, but I will take it)

T1:
Because of my blister issue, I decided to bring 2 different pairs of socks.  I knew this would affect my transition times but thought it would be worth it to have dry feeties (yes, I invented that word).  I am still trying to master the art of gracefully drying off and putting on socks over my soggy feet ALL this while I heavily pant from recovering from the swim.

2010: 3:24
2011: 2:54

Bike: 13.5 MILES
Did I mention I love my Felt bike??  I feel like a rocket on it.  The only ladies that passed me had the Lamborghini type bikes and I was okay with that.  The course was flat and fast and I really enjoyed it.  I even pulled back a little at the end to save my legs for the run.

2010: 51:49 (16.2 mph-14 miles)
2011: 41:00 (19.8 mph)

T2:
This is where I took a hit putting on my dry socks.  Oh but it was so worth it not to run with "squish, squish" sounds in my feet.

2010: 2:35
2011: 2:10 (estimated from my Garmin since timing company lost the official T2 time)

Run: 3.65 MILES
Okay, so here is where I discovered my epic fail.  I did not drink enough while on the bike.  So as I start running...I am obsessed with all things water.  The water stations can not come up fast enough and all I want to do is drink.  The first mile is on unshaded sidewalk and the sun gave me a beating.  I did a combination of run/walking until I hit the shaded trails. Halfway thru the trails, we hit the oasis of iced sponges.  Then I think my Hammer Gel kicked in and my legs sprang to life. But by that time, the damage had been done and I could not recover my overall time on the run with the last mile and a half.   Hard lesson learned.

2010: 46:00 (13:06 pace/3.5 miles)
201l:  41:55 (11:29 pace--Again, since the official race results combined the run with T2 time...I am going by my Garmin)

Overall:
I really enjoy this race every year.  The swag is so choice.  I like when the tech shirts are actually fitted to the body.  Everyone gets nice finisher medals and a water bottle.  The race director really knows how to treat the triathletes. The after party had a live band and a mini expo.  Pizza and My Fit Foods were available after the race.

2010: 2:01:16 (Age group 43 out of 44)
2011: 1:44:27 (Age group 48 out of 74)

Charlie survived but said that this triathlon will probably be his one and only.  Just not his cup of tea...

He told me that he has a new respect for me now on how tough they can be.  Last year he did not understand why I would even think of walking during the run portion.

Now he completely understands the method to my madness.

Well, maybe a small part of my madness.

Sigh.  Okay...maybe just a tiny glimpse of my madness.

But even just knowing that still makes me grin from ear-to-ear!

Totally worth it to me to have him there with me....even if it is only once.