Banana Death is named after a dessert at a Colorado Springs restaurant, but it is fitting for me since I eat a lot of bananas while I train for triathlons and other endurance events. This is a main place for me to talk about my training, but you'll certainly see other thoughts and experiences as well!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Summer Open Sprint Triathlon Race Report
The race weekend started Saturday morning when I went to Sedalia to do a group ride with Team In Training. That was a windy mess! But we did get to ride with Team Hero Ed Sanford, a survivor of stage IV non-hodgken's lymphoma. He gave an inspiring talk to the group before our adventure into the 30-40+mph winds!
Then I headed up to Littleton to meet Tim at the dealership so he could drop off his car for some maintainance. Jessica (not that Jessica, THAT Jessica) met me up there and all my race gear went into her car and Tim got to take my car back home.
Next was the trip up to Boulder for packet pick-up and a couple unsuccessful attempts to find a Chick-fil-A. We got our race packets, had lunch at Whole Foods, and then drove the few miles up to the hotel in Longmont. Chilled for a bit and got our stuff around, then met some other peeps racing for dinner at Oskar Blues Brewery. I'd love to go back for a non-prerace meal! Went conservative, but I couldn't resist getting some hush puppies! Plently of southern foods on the menu! Yum! We did all share this order of fried pickles (a first for me).
Back to hotel, final race prep, and then bed. But not before Jessica had to knock on the door for the room next to us, as their TV was just a litle bit way too loud!
Sun was shining and winds had died waaaaay down from the day before. Water temp ~61 degrees. I was trying my new Xterra Vector Pro X2 sleeveless wetsuit. Maybe a little chilly for sleeveless, but I wanted to get a good swim in before Kansas to make sure I didn't have any issues. Turns out it was fantastic! Love the new wetsuit! Port-o-potties were the flushable kind! Note: don't use the provided toilet seat cleaner on your hands - there is hand sanitizer on the other side...
I am not a fast swimmer - I have some flexibility/range of motion I'm still working on (slowly), but this was my best swim I've had in a sprint triathlon. I'd never gone under 18 minutes. Part of it might have been the sleeveless wetsuit, as my arms didn't get fatigued like they normally do. Plus I was able to draft a little, which rarely happens. But typical swim for me, I run into the person who can swim faster but doesn't have the endurance when they stop to breast stroke! Frustrating! Despite being "slow" and in pretty chilly water, this was the best feeling swim I can remember.
Except for it taking a few extra seconds to get the wetsuit off my ankles, this went smoothly. I had my shoes on my pedals, so after putting on my helmet and sunglasses, I just needed to grab my bike and run.
The road out of the reservoir was bumpy, which made getting my feet in my shoes a little more challenging. Once I had them on it was time to ride! The course was 3 laps and very flat for Colorado! Near the middle of the first lap I hit a bump and the yellow spongy thing in my aerodrink popped out (not uncommon for that to happen, but it sucks when it does). Technically I should have stopped to pick it up, but I was cruising. And of course I then got splashed at every bump and crack with the Lemon-Lime HEED in my aerodrink (the sponge helps prevent that...when they stay in place). Not fun, but I couldn't let it affect my riding, though I probably took some of the bumps a little slower after than. The speed bumps (the wide kind) were a little annoying as well. But it truely was a pretty fast course. On my second lap I passed a woman who had crashed - she was being attended to by medical personnel, but I'm not sure how she crashed. On my third lap I saw someone else's yellow sponge near mine...at least I wasn't the only one! Heading back into the reservoir there was another single bike crash, this time a guy, being attended to. I don't think I've seen two crashes in a short race like this before. But the course was closed to traffic and we had a whole lane, so I'm not sure what happened. Back on the bumpy road back into the res, I was able to get my feet out of my shoes and dismount before the line. Always a plus!
T2 - 1:36
Once I dismounted, it was a short jaunt into transition. At this point I realized my feet were a bit numb. They were feeling thick and heavy. I put on my socks & shoes, grabbed the race belt, hat and gel and went on my way....after I rinsed some of the HEED off me.
Run course was an out and back on a hard-packed dirt road (or maybe it was paved at one point). A little bumpy and it had a gradual hill up to mile 1, then downhill until the turn-around, then of course back up the hill and the last mile was downhill. Loved seeing the snow-capped mountains in the distance after the turn-around! This run felt great - except for my lungs being about maxed out, my legs felt strong and I was able to negative split the miles.
Nicely organized race. I'd do it again for sure. Had a great weekend hanging out with TNT folks and Jessica, a Pikes Peak Tri Club member. Most of TNT folks are those doing the Harvest Moon in September. They got in a little practice race before they take a couple weeks off of structured training. Great seeing all the Purple out there! Found some other PPTC members before and after the race - a couple even made it to the podium. All-in-all, a great race and a fantastic weekend!