Monday, August 03, 2009

State Games of America - Sprint Triathlon Race Report

A little late coming, but here it is...

It is common for triathletes to build up their race season, starting with a sprint distance, then olympic, progressing towards half ironman, if they choose that distance. Sometimes I like to do things a little different than the norm. My race season started with a half ironman, then olympic, and finally a sprint race on Saturday. Sprints go by really fast after you've done longer distances!
The State Games of America came to Colorado Springs this year, so why not do a tri in your own back yard. I encouraged several of the Team In Training folk to either participate or watch, so we had a good showing. Was also surprised to see one of our Denver coaches down at the race. Charley is amazing - you'd never guess he was 62!

Anyway, so as race mornings always do - the alarm goes off around 4am. quick shower and eat my standard pre-race breakfast. Pack up the car and drive the short distance to Memorial Park. On the way Martha calls and asks if I have an extra helmet. Sure do! I get to the lake and the sun is just slowly rising. So far it is a cool (50 degrees) but clear day. Push the bike around the lake and get to transition. I find Martha and my extra helmet is too small for her. So she has to make hers work (really just the plastic shell got warped from being in the car). I believe some duct tape did the trick.

Transition prior to the race is pretty chill. I find my designated rack and set up my bike. I smiled if the bike next to mine was my competition.
The rest of the COS TNTers racing all made it to transition - Becky, Jon, Michele, Martha, Mitch. Shannon is racing as well. As usual, my goal is to catch her since I predicted she'd have a 5-7 minute lead on me out of the swim. Jason showed up with his camera gear and should be able get some decent shots since the bike course is a 4-lap course.

I tried to get in a swim warm-up but the weeds were so thick it was just a little gross. So I just hung out waiting for the start. We corral to the swim start as they call each wave. I'm in wave 4 and off I go...
750m Swim: 19:53. Yikes! Leaky goggles (warm-up swim would have identified that) and the swim was just not the best. Had to gain my composure a couple times - nothing major but just wasn't digging the swim right away. When I saw the lady pass me doing the back stroke, I forced myself to put my head in and just swim. Found a groove (albeit a slow one) about a third of the way into the swim and made it to the beach. There was Jason when I exited the water yelling "you swim like a girl!" He thought he might have missed me...but nope, I'm just a little sluggish in the water.

T1: 1:41. Coach Matt was on the sidelines. Wetsuit came off pretty easily and all I had to do was put on my sunglasses and helmet and grab my bike and go. A Gazette reporter/photographer was there and snagged this shot out of T1 and it made it into an article about triathlon transitions!
13.1 mile bike: 46:09. 4 laps of a very hilly course that was closed to traffic! Each lap had about 250ft of gain and the headwind seemed to be on every descent. I was hoping for a 42 minute split, but still not too bad. I thought I'd be cold with the cooler temps but was just fine. Before each turn there would be a volunteer holding a sign that read "caution, caution, caution." Some volunteers would also verbalize the upcoming turn, others would just stand there. Saw a lot of flat tires - wonder if the cool morning had anything to do with it or the rough sections/seams in the road. I got a lot of HEED from my aerodrink spashed on my from those bumps.

T2: 1:33 No real issues here, just wiped some of the rocks off the bottom of my feet from the asphalt. Got my socks and shoes on, grabbed my hat and race belt and headed out. Realized I couldn't really feel my feet.
5k Run: 23:22. I think it was a little short, but I'll take the time! Sprint tri runs are really about 25 minutes of pain. Run as fast as you can...keep running! The temp at this point was perfect - the cloulds overhead kept the sun at bay. Since I couldn't feel my feet much, I just made sure my legs were moving quickly. I saw a lady up ahead with a "3"-something on her calf so she became a target. Passed her right before the turn-around. Then I caught up to a 24 year old guy, but he would let me pass him. He could tell I was there - I was breathing pretty hard! So he essentially paced me for about the last mile of the run. Mitch had finished his race and was out on the run course cheering for us. Run hard. My nose was a little congested so I couldn't take the deep inhales that I like to do to help focus my breathing. That was a bit annoying for most of the run. But at least towards the end I could feel my feet! The my "pacer" saw the finish line about 100 yds ahead and kicked it in. I don't have legs like that, but I did what I could!
Overall time: 1:32:38 2nd place W30-34! I could not catch Shannon and she took first. I was 1:44 behind close (it's all in the swim - she had 7+ minutes on me there). But very cool to get a medal at the State Games! TNT folks did well - Michele got 3rd in her age group (and Athena so she got 2 medals!) and Charley got 1st in his age group.

Complete Results

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