28 March 2013

Tri-Mania: Mid-Atlantic Triathlon Expo

This past Sunday was the annual Tri-Mania, the Mid-Atlantic's big triathlon expo. I've wanted to attend it in years past, but I've either been out of town or had visitors or some other excuse. Not this year! I was planning on going AND competing in a couple of the fun team competitions that were scheduled. In addition, there were some speakers I was interested in hearing and vendors I wanted to check out. We also just received our new triathlon kits from ZocaGear and we were all looking forward to trying them out. I thought they were super comfortable, especially the shorts which did NOT have the grippy thing at the bottom of each leg. Damon, Sebastian and Mel did a great job with the design, I loved the colors.

I had to get a long run in that day and I knew I'd want to be social while at the Expo, and not have that run hanging over my head, so I woke up at 5am and got it done before heading to North Bethesda. While I was less than thrilled hearing my alarm sound at 4:45am, it was worth it to get it out of the way. And the streets are so QUIET that early on a Sunday.

The 5k race was up first at 9am - it was reminiscent of high school cross-country with a start on Georgetown Prep's track and then a couple loops through the rolling golf course and around an athletic field. I went out too fast (big surprise), but I was happy to note that my legs didn't feel like lead the way they had during my long run in the morning. There were some speedy, speedy guys and girls out there, with Dawn and Calah coming in top 5 amongst women. I eeked in just under 22 minutes, which was fine.

Pretty sure this was in the first two minutes of the race because I am smiling
We had a few hours to kill before the swim relay - 4x300yds. This gave me plenty of time to ponder such questions as How does one dive off blocks and not lose their goggles? How do you dive off the blocks and not bellyflop? I've never done a swim race in a pool so I've never done an off-the-blocks start and had NO idea how to keep my goggles on. Fortunately, I had some time before the relay to practice and the trick is - tighten the goggles so much and get the suction so tight that it feels like your head might explode. And keep your head down when diving in. Once I got the suction right after two practice dives where the goggles stayed put, I just walked around the deck with them on for the next 5-10 minutes before the race actually started, too afraid to take them off and ruin the good luck I'd had so far. I was the first leg (get it over with) and also the slowest, but still had a fast-for-me time of 4:05. I have zero top-end speed. I felt pretty good during the swim (300yds doesn't give you much time to feel bad) but I was most thrilled about the fact that my goggles stayed on. Seb, Dawn, and Calah on my team all had great swims. I loved watching our "A" team swim during the heat before ours - they are all super fast and it looked like they just skimmed across the top of the water.

Mark Allen was the featured speaker and I listened in to his talk. I had just finished reading Matt Fitzgerald's book Iron War the day before and I was thrilled to have a chance to hear Mark Allen tell the stories behind the book. Epitome of what can happen if you don't give up. I also had a chance to catch up with friends, both those that I see often and those I don't get a chance to see regularly. It seemed like the triathlon community from the entire DC region was all at Georgetown Prep. I caught up with Kate and Blaine from Tri360 and spent some time talking to their Orbea rep about mountain bikes (very much in the market for one, yesssss!)

We closed out the day by watching the bike Time Trial on the Computrainer. Talk about a sufferfest (for those biking, not those watching). I've never ridden on a computrainer and it does NOT look easy. Everyone hauled and did great. Snapple snagged the overall top spot in the team competition for the third year in a row and our "A" team grabbed third - great job guys! We're already looking forward to having fun at this event again next year. A fantastic way to kick off the triathlon season (IF spring ever decides to arrive here, otherwise polar ice fishing will need to take the place of the swim).

Partial team picture, missing a few people


Katie said...

Great meeting you at the expo! nice work doing a long run AND the 5k.

Michael Stevenson said...

That was pretty badass that you did a long run before the 5k. I can't believe your legs held up so well. I think you are on your way to your best triathlon season yet!

Anonymous said...

Nice job lady!

The goggles thing always takes some time. You just gotta make them tight as hell. Lol! Glad you figured it out.

Caroline said...

Thanks Katie! It was great meeting you as well - and I was so impressed with your bike TT! Great racing season ahead, I am sure!
Mike - we will see about that! Can I tell you how freaking fast you are in the pool, like you were skimming the water, amazing!
Beth - I don't think I would ever want to swim long distances off the block simply because of the goggles. So tight! So uncomfortable!