Sunday, June 5, 2011

First Sprint Triathlon

On May 30th, 2011  I participated in my first ever sprint triathlon, the Heart of the Valley Sprint Tri here in Corvallis.  I've been planning on doing a Tri in June, the Blue Lake Sprint Tri in Gresham, with Derek and Annie.  However this spring, after coming home from my cruise, I lost interest and thought I probably wouldn't do it.

Then Lauren Ohlgren, my art & triathlon newbie friend,  pushed my motivation by doing her first two sprint tri's in May.  She was so excited about her races and spilled all her info and excitement onto me.  I was worried about losing my motivation again and wanted to do a race soon to try it out and know what it was like.  While the courage was up I paid my money to enter  the HOV s-tri. I liked that it was my "home pool" and I knew the course well.

After entering,  I had a short period of high anxiety as I realized that the race was only a week away (where the heck did May go?) and I hadn't been doing anything serious for the last 3 weeks.  The swim was 750 yds, 350 yds longer than the race I had trained for.  The bike portion was 11 miles with 6 hills and I hadn't been on my bike for longer than 6 miles in over a month and a half.  Running?!  Not so much.  I was working up to running and hadn't gotten that far yet. This course was a nice easy flat 3 miles.
 Beside the 3 "events" of a Tri, there's the "transition factor", often called the 4th component of the race.  T1 is the transition from swimming to biking and T2 is the transition from the bike to the run.  Both of these transitions are timed separately, with the goal of being as quick as possible during these changes of equipment.  There's a whole lot to learn about how to transition quickly.  Luckily for me Lauren dropped everything to give me as much information as I could stand so that I could relax some.

Before the start, with my transition area set up.  I was racer #1 because I had the slowest projected swim time.  Just for the record, I wasn't the slowest that day.  
Once settled down, I slept well leading up to the race and came to the race morning with the attitude that "it is what it is".  I was calm and ready to get it going.  Two days before the race I learned I would be in the outside pool and in the first wave, which was a relief because the laps are 50 m vs 100 m.  I would have to do 15 laps, but I could rest more often.  I needed those rests.  The swim was much harder than I thought it was going to be.  I finished in about 26 mins, which was slightly slower than I expected.  I was the last out of my pool in my wave.

Listening to the start count down (while cap).  I had only the guy at the right edge of the photo in my lane.  
T1, swim to bike.  Putting on my bike gear and drip drying.
Heading out for the rain yet!
The bike ride was an 11 mile loop up Highland Dr to the Lewisburg area and back.  I wasn't sure how those hills would feel after swimming for a half hour.  They were fine!  What's going on, this isn't that bad?  The bonus to hills is the back side where you can let it rip.  I dealt with nausea near the top of two hills, but otherwise felt great and passed 6 people.  Had a heavy downpour near CVHS, crazy weather!  Had to be careful as I flew down the south side of Highland drive that I didn't run over any painted line, else I might crash at high speed.  Came into T2 feeling good and earned a time of about 50 mins on the bike.
Back from my ride.  Hit a downpour just before the last hill back.  Feeling good though.

Took off on the "run" at a walk.  Hard to get the hips in the mode of moving that way.  For some reason my hips hurt like crazy and running actually felt better, except for the aerobic part of it.  I alternated running and walking the whole way.  I passed a couple girls, always checking to see if they were one of the 3 Athena's in my group.   I caught one of them, but not the gal who won our classification.  Candi, Lauren and the Hills were on hand at the finish line, so I ran some more.  I finished the "run" in about 34 mins.

I'm sure I'm running because I know the camera is there.

I'm glad to have it over and know what it's like.  It was a fun time and can't wait to do more.  The highlight was the bike ride, I'm ready for more of that!  I feel good about doing the race and it was fun to come in 2nd in the Athena over 40 group.  If I keeping working, 1st place isn't that far off.
Crossing the finish line!

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