Last Saturday (Aug 16, 2008) Kyle and I did the Beaver lake Sprint Triathlon. It is a good local race with a short .25 mi warm swim, hilly 138 mi bike course (perfect for me), and a rolling 4.3 mi run. Last time I did it in 2006 - as my 2nd triathlon ever.
We got there faster than we expected - probably because there is not much traffic at 6:30 am. It is a small event so no lines to get body marker or anything. The racks were organized by bib # which seemed to be based on when you registered because Kyle and I were 181 and 182. After getting body marked and all that we set up our stuff, went to the bathroom, went for a 10 min warm up run, talked to a few people we knew, did final prep and got into our wetsuits.
I found my Mom & Jerry as we wondered out to the lake. Kyle got in for a warm up swim but since my wave started almost 20 min after his I decided not to. Kyle was the 2nd wave and he was in and out pretty quick - I think he came out of the water 6th in his wave which is great.
I had to wait a little longer before I finally got in the water. As usual my wave was women 29 and under. I seeded myself as usual somewhat up front but off to the right side. Once we started my usual pace and gradually speed up so that the last half I was going pretty hard. It seemed like I was some where in the middle of the pack.
Once out of the water I ran and managed to get through transition pretty quickly even with the wetsuit - good to see it is getting easier/faster as I do it more often. Then I was off on the bike.
My goal for the bike was to get after it right from the beginning and push myself the entire way no matter what. The first half was relatively flat and easy so I just tried to push it and keep the cadence up. I did not brake going down the big hill - which is huge for me. A the course turned on to the flat highway for a mile or two I increased my cadence and got ready to climb. Once I turned right on to the first part of the climb I ate a gel to make sure I did not waste everything on the first baby climb. Then I started picking up the pace so by the end I was completely in zone 4 -5. It was hard but in a very good way. I was able to continue to push it over the crest of the final climb. I felt good and let me self go back to a good strong zone 3 intensity level. After the climb there is really only about 4-5 miles with a few little rollers but all super easy to the transition area - I kept my focus and just spun the rest of the way back. It was somewhere with in the last mile of the bike that I saw a girl is my age group pass me but I assumed there were a lot more girls in front of me so I did not really pick it up or anything.
T2 was good - mid change I decided to run no socks mostly because I did not want to waste time putting them on for a 4 mile run. The first little bit my legs felt a little tight - esp my left calf - no idea where that came from usually it is my right that gets tight. I caught my mom and Jerry off guard they were surprised to see me running already.
It took at least a mile for me to really feel warmed up. Since the goal for the whole race was to go hard and see what happens I started finding people in front on me to chaise and then pass - I think only 1 was in my age group. I was averaging around an 8 m/mi pace. I started feeling pretty good and even though my garmin says mile 3-4 was the most hilly part it turned out to be my fastest mile. It had gotten a little warmer out but I never felt the need for any water from the aid stations. With in the last quarter mile I was passed by another girl in my age group. I started to pick up the pace some more but I did not really start to kick till the last block or two. I surprised both Kyle and my mom at how soon I came in to the finish. It felt weird crossing the finish line - just felt like wow that is it.. Guess that is what happens when all you do is long course for a year or two.
Final times :
Overall 1:30:39 | Swim 0:09:10 | T1 1:50 | Bike 0:44:15 | T2 1:06 | Run 0:34:17
5th in my Age Group!!
4th beat me by 23 seconds - ouch.
In the end some of the lessons learned is I can go fast when I want to and I can go even faster if I push the intensity a little more. Sprints are very short there is nothing to save energy for. Don't assume I'm not at the front of my age group - keep chasing.
Afterwards Kyle and I milled around a bit and caught up with a bunch of people we have not seen in a while - even a family from our ski racing days was there.
And last but not least Thanks to the best cheering squad out there - who got up early and came armed with signs and everything.