Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pioneer Sprint Tri Results

Warming Up
Beautiful weather plus beautiful countryside helped me finish under my goal of 1:25. Though my run was the usual "somebody please explain to me why I do this" run, the swim went well, and the bike proved challenging yet faster than I've ever cycled before. I crossed the finish line at 1:22.11. Definitely a sprint tri I'll do again--maybe.

The swim was in a 25 yard pool with six lanes, which meant we had to swim one way in each lane then turn and swim back in that lane, going under the lane ropes to get into the next lane. Trying to breathe when water is lapping up into your mouth because of swimmers passing from the other direction makes for a tough swim. I submitted a time of 5:30, hoping not to get stuck behind a slower swimmer. Didn't work. I got stuck behind a slower swimmer. I managed to get around her and continue on, but soon came up on another slower swimmer. I just backed off this time and settled in as much as I could. My swim time ended up being 5:46. That's a minute six seconds faster than my last 300 yard swim.

My transition to the bike went smoothly. I just pulled a shirt on over my swimsuit top, put my helmet on, slipped my bare feet into my shoes, and was off. Transition time: 1:07. Three minutes faster than my last swim/bike transition time.

The bike was great, an out and back. The first three miles were flat and fast. The next three and a half were hilly and challenging. I got a "good turn" from the guys manning the turn-around, which was nice to hear, then I was on my way back. Bike time: 42:46. Average speed: 18.3. That's 1.2 mph faster than the last sprint tri, even with all the hills.

The transition from the bike to the run was good. My legs were tired, but I managed to run from the transition area and onto the course. Transition time: 1:11. This transition was about 2 minutes faster than my last bike/run transition. I went into this tri determined to work on getting my transition times down, and I was able to do that.

Then the run. Sigh. I.Just.Hate.Running. The course offered great views of old Victorian homes, and the community was this quaint, river town, but my body kept begging for me to just stop the nonsense called running. Several hills only added fuel to the whining fire. The last half mile included a hill that was tough and long. And it was on this hill that the woman who won my age division caught me and passed me. In the end, I finished at 31:28, thirty seconds faster than the last sprint tri.

In the end, I'm very, very happy with my performance overall. Last year, the swim was incredibly hard for me. I truly didn't think I'd ever improve, but I've worked hard on the swim and it's paid off. The cycling is coming along, and I know I have the wonderful, new bike to thank for the faster times I'm posting. Last year it was all I could do to manage a 16 mph pace. This new bike helps me post faster speeds, and I'm thinking on a truly flat course, I might be able to see 20 mph as an average speed. The run? My thoughts are now turning to competing in aquabikes rather than tri's. Perhaps doing an event of just swimming and cycling is exactly what I need. I have my eye on one scheduled for later in the season, so I'll have the whole summer to train for a longer swim and a longer bike. Not having to deal with the run might do wonders for my mind.

A good day, no doubt. Who wouldn't be happy with shaving off six minutes, even if the run still proved to be difficult? I walked away second in my age group (of only three, but hey, I'll take the plaque they gave me), 27th out of 50 women competing, and 98th out of 144 total.

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