>> Wednesday, July 29, 2009
My last post was all about 4 CVA Tri Club students who finished their first sprint tri at the Chisago Lakes Triathlon on Sunday. This post is my report.
Pharmie and I got up and headed to the race site. I was HOPING my 4 students would be there!! After a quick set-up and bumping into a few friends, I saw all 4 students - whew! Pharmie was doing the Half IM, and I was doing the sprint. Some of the aisles in the Half IM part of transition were a LITTLE tight. Here’s a shot of Pharmie’s row from later in the day:
(I had to Photoshop out my junk. It was very visibly
3 o'clock, if you know what I mean...)
Wave 12: On your marks... GO!!
400 Meter Swim:
I had to follow my own advice: I stayed to the outside, and I kept it easy. It was only a 400 meter swim (that was WAY long), but last year I went out WAY too hard and was spent at the turn-around. Staying to the outside worked GREAT, as I only brushed up against 2 people over the course of the entire swim. It wasn’t necessarily a FAST swim, but it was a GOOD swim.
I was rounding the turn around buoy after 5:02, and I hit the beach in 10:51. By the time I had ran up the beach, up the grassy hill, and crossed the transition mat, my “400 meter swim” officially went in the books as 11:36. Yeah. That was fairly longer than 400 meters.
As I was running up the beach, my 4 tri club students were standing next to the path cheering for me (they were all in later waves). I smiled and yelled “the swim’s a little long - just stay calm - you can do it!” as I ran past throwing them high-fives.
Helmet on. Sunglasses on. Shoes on. Got bike? Let’s go.
21 Mile Bike:
My biggest personal goal for the day was to push hard on the bike. We got out of town, and the bike field spread out. (I started in wave 12, which was only the 2nd sprint wave [waves 1-10 were all for the Half IM.]) I passed a woman about half way in who said “Oh good! I AM on the right course!” She hadn’t seen anyone in a while either.
I spent a lot of my race thinking about things that I never told my students! Every time I came to a normal, minor triathlon obstacle, I thought about how I never warned my students. I’ve forgotten most of them already, but it was things like “Watch for the arrows when the Half IM and Sprint courses split, and make sure to take the correct one!” And “take a few miles to let your stomach settle after the swim, then pump the fluids a little harder near the middle of the bike. But not too much near the end of the bike because you don’t want to be running with a sloshy stomach!” Etc, etc.
Overall, a pretty uneventful, quiet, lonely ride. I followed my game plan pretty well. I checked my overall average every 5 miles, and here’s what it was:
- 20.6 at mile 5
- 20.8 at mile 10
- 21.1 at mile 15
- 21.3 at mile 21.2 (end of bike)
The bike course was a little longer than 21 miles (according to my computer). During a perfect day, I was hoping to break or get really close to 1 hour on the bike. Well, my time of 59:59.1 still left me 0.9 seconds to spare! ;)
Normal T2 stuff: bike racked, running shoes on, pondered Obama’s stimulus package and how it tilts more towards new spending as opposed to tax cuts, etc, etc.
My second biggest goal for the day was to see how close to 19 minutes I could get in the 5K. I know, I know... that’s pretty nuts. But it was what I was shooting for. I had pushed hard on the bike, so I knew 19:00 was not gonna happen. But I was still going to give her hell!
Mile 1: 6:21. “Yeah, 19:00 is out.”
Turn-around: 10:06. I don’t know why, but I KNEW I was still going to finish sub-20 for the run. I knew I had some “left in the tank,” and I could negative split the run.
Mile 2: 6:33. I was slowing down, but again, I KNEW I’d be able to pick it up. Maybe I was running too easy. I started upping the pace just before mile 2.
Last 1.1 miles: 6:48. That got me in with a 5K time of 19:52. Not where I wanted it, but I made up a lot of time with a solid bike performance, so I still felt great about my race.
Rudy snapped a few photos of me hitting the finish line:
Freshly shorn legs carrying me home!
I’m only dry in a few spots...
• Swim 400 Meters*: 11:36.5
73rd fastest male
16th in AG
• T1: 1:30.3 (63rd male, 15th in AG)
• Bike 21 Miles: 59:59.1
83rd fastest male
15th in AG
• T2: 0:31.1 (19th male, 3rd in AG)
• Run 5K: 19:52.2 (6:24 pace)
12th fastest male
4th in AG
• Total: 1:33:29.6
47th out of 822 overall
40th out of 375 men
9th out of 59 in AG
* When the top swimmer out of 822 does the 400 meter swim in 8:18 (2:04 / 100), I think we can safely say it was a long swim!
• Fastest bike average (according to my computer) that I’ve ever posted during a race: 21.3 mph! (Previously, it was last year at this race where I posted 21.0 mph, but that was on a bike course that was 4 miles shorter!)
• T2!?! That fast?! That’s not me! I’m a dawdler in transition! Oh well, I’ll take it!!
• Fastest 5K in a triathlon that I’ve ever posted! (I’ve done better in a few duathlons.)
Well, my day was FAR from over. I had 4 tri club students on my tail, and Pharmie was going to be out there for a while on the Half IM course. I got through the finisher’s chute, took my camera from Rudy, and ran back to the other side of transition to the point where the bike course and run course are side-by-side so I could watch for Evan, Sarah, Trent, and Hannah to come in.
I cheered for Evan when he came in off the bike. And then again when he was headed out on the run. Only when he was running, my voice cracked as I shouted “Go Evan!” It surprised me. I was close to getting a little emotional at the sight of the CVA Tri Club getting close to finishing their first race! It totally caught me off guard! My eyes weren’t getting teary at all, but there was a little lump in the back of my throat.
So I saw Evan come in on the bike, and take off on the run. Sarah and Trent headed into T2 about the same time. At that point, my head was on a swivel: Evan could be coming back from the west at any time, Sarah and Trent could be coming from the east at any moment, and Hannah was still on the bike coming in from the north! I was spinning around and around with my camera making sure I didn’t miss anyone!! It was like some sort of bad triathlon waltz! (If you didn’t see all the photos and their race reports in the previous post, make sure to scroll down to check it out! Their short race reports are pretty great!!)
All 4 of them finished, and it was time to track them down. I congratulated all of them!! (And there might have been sweaty hugs.) I was STARVING and THIRSTY because I bypassed the food tent post-race to make sure I didn’t miss any of my students. So I ran through the food line and got some PB&J sandwiches, some wheat rolls, a banana, 2 chocolate milks, and some Swedish pancakes!!
Anyway, Pharmie came running out of T2 a bit later. She was on PR pace!!
Technically, I’m not nude - socks.
Before I knew it, Pharmie was headed to the finish line with a major Half IM PR!!
That’s my girl!
Monday, the day after the race, I received this note from Hannah and Sarah: