04 August 2008

CONFIRMED - I'm faster than I was in high school! Hooray!

Soooo, I completely missed the month of July. I really thought I would stay on top of this whole blogging thing, but I'm blaming my slackerness on school (I blame everything on school). So I did the Culpeper Sprint triathlon this past Sunday. It's a relatively small race, no frills, no fanfare, no coddling - you can pick up your packet the morning of, no need to rack your bike the night before, and the swim waves are sent off close together so you're not sitting around forever waiting to start. Basically, it's all about the race and having a good time.

The location of the race was beautiful (definitely one of the prettiest and most scenic races I've done) and the weather was perfect. I even got to the race site a little early (for me, anyway) and had plenty of time to set up my bike and transition stuff. I had bought a new swimsuit the day before (you aren't supposed to try anything new on raceday, but I always find something new to use) and decided to wear it to race in (I don't like tri suits very much - they are sometimes uncomfortable and seem to accentuate the thickness of my thighs and rear end - so I guess I'm equally concerned with how I feel when I race AND how I look - I'm tired of bad race photos!) Anyway, about the swimsuit - it's a bright pink Splish suit, with blue straps, and on the front is a picture of a little fish about to get eaten by a big shark. I wore it in honor of Shark Week.

The swim - 750 meters: 17:06
I'm not a fast swimmer. This race confirmed that. But I felt good, didn't have to stop and didn't switch to any other strokes. This, in my mind, shows a vast improvement over triathlons in years past. So even though I'm slow, at least I don't have to stop and I'm satisfied with that. The lake was really murky and weedy so I wasn't a fan of that. I was spoiled by Mooseman's swim in the cleanest lake ever!

The bike - 16 miles (according to my Garmin it was almost 17 miles): 55:29
And not exactly the fastest biker, but not terrible. It was a rolling hill type course, I passed a few people on the bike (my proudest moment was getting into my granny gear going up a hill and passing about 7 guys on their tri bikes - of course they passed me back on the descent, but it was fun while it lasted). I felt good overall and averaged about 18-something so I'm pleased with that.

The run - 3.1 miles: 21:21 (and THIS confirms I am faster than I EVER was in high school!!)
I am so proud of myself for this run - it was really fast for me. In high school my fastest ever 5K time was 21:39 - the only time I ever broke 22 in a xc race. And until this year, I hadn't broken 22 since. But on Sunday, after swimming and biking, I somehow pulled out a 21:21 on a moderately hilly course. I felt great the whole run, even picked up speed as the race went on. I passed a bunch of people and didn't crash and burn at the end. I guess the intervals and tempo runs are training off - I can run harder, faster for longer. And it was the 3rd fastest run time OUT OF THE ENTIRE WOMEN'S FIELD. I NEVER have been able to say that! So my run totally makes up for the mediocre swim and bike ride.

Final time: 1:37:38 - 25th overall out of 183, 2nd in my age group out of 30.
I didn't think I placed in my age group and had stuff to do back at home, so I hustled out after the race and didn't stay for the awards. Too bad for me - they were giving out big beer stein mugs! Perhaps they will mail it?
I also will now wear socks on the run. My feet were all bloody when I finished running - some of the blood even stained through (I am slightly proud of that :) On the upside - my transitions no longer look like I sat down and took a nap between events - T1 was 2:10 and T2 was 1:34 - much faster than the Columbia Tri!

I will be a better blogger. This is my last week of quantitative analysis and I'll have three weeks of freedom before school starts up again! I'm so excited I can hardly wait. All that is standing between me and freedom is a darn paper! Off to bed so I will wake up for swimming in the AM!