Saturday, June 25, 2011

5430 Sprint Race Report

It's only about a week late...but here's the race report from my first tri of the 2011 season.

5430 Sprint Triathlon - 750m swim, 17.2mi bike, 5k run

Part 1 - The Wheel Nightmare
My new wheels (which are nice Gray 50mm carbon clinchers) have been a "nightmare" from the get-go. They are nice wheels, but the process of changing the cassette from my other wheel, as well as the tires, brake pads took a lot longer than I had planned. I wasn't able to get the bike ready to ride with the new wheels until Thursday night, and my first ride on them was Saturday morning. I had a 60 minute ride, mostly easy, with a few pick-ups to prep the legs for race day. I was starting my last 30s burst, was just a few miles from home and pssssht....front flat! In the craziness I forgot to grab my CO2! So I rode home really slowly with my weight as far back as I could! I got the tire changed (took a while as the tires I have fit really tight on these wheels...part of the reason getting the bike set-up took so long!). But while changing the tire I apparently pinched the tube, so it wouldn't hold air. I needed to get up to Boulder, so I figured I'd find a bike person at the expo and they could help me out. The ironman wheel rental guy was really helpful, and one of the vendors had tubes with 80mm valve stems so I didn't need to use the valve extender...we got it changed and inflated and it held air!

Part 2 - The Fun Part
After that adventure (as well as getting my race packet) I met some Tri Club folks for dinner on the Pearl Street Mall. We had a nice dinner at Gondolino's and then went our separate ways for the evening. I headed to my Girls Heart Rockets teammate, Jordan's place. Nice place to crash about 10 minutes from the Res. I had a room to myself and my air mattress (which had a slow leak...better the bed than my tire!) But considering that, I actually slept pretty well for the night before my first race of the season!

Race morning - nothing out of the ordinary here, except that I was trying Generation UCAN as my fuel source. No peanut butter-banana-honey sandwich for me this year. I took a chocolate UCAN (one with protein) a little after 6am, and then about half a packet of the new Cran-Raz (which is a great new flavor sweetened with stevia). I would have liked to have had the whole thing, but I mixed it with too much water, and my stomach wasn't ready for that much fluid yet. Shortly thereafter I headed to the water to get my swim warm-up in. I got in several hundred yards and felt ready for race number 1!

750m Swim: 17:58
Started swimming in the pack (Ironman practice!) Eventually I had my own space as usual, but ran into a few people here and there. There was quite a bit of chop and the first half is always straight into the sun. I hit the beach at 17:00...glad it was over. But my fastest 5430 swim yet!

T1: 2:54 Super slow today - first race kinks.

17.2mi Bike: 50:26
I really was hoping to have a faster bike split today, and I felt like I was able to produce a nice steady effort. Matched my time from last year within a couple seconds. The first half is a gradual uphill on Jay Rd and Hwy 36, then Neva Rd...FAST! I had my coach compare my power files from this year and last year.

Similar power, slightly lower cadence this year (last year rode compact gearing) and lower HR. Which set me up for a nice run.

T2: 1:18 - pretty straightforward here - no issues.

5k Run: 23:42 (7:38 pace) Last year my run was an 8:07 pace...
I hadn't looked at my watch at all for total time until it buzzed with my first mile split. I was running sub-8 minute pace so I was happy and just kept going. My legs felt strong so I just ran and tried to ignore my lungs. I always look forward to the turn-around, as the first half is slightly uphill on the out-and-back course. It's nice to have gravity, even just a little bit, on my side.

Total: 1:36:12 (19/90 Age Group)
Note: I didn't consume any calories during the race - just water.

Some of the Pikes Peak Tri Club gang were there with the tent to cheer on our folks. We didn't have the club banner, but I had my NEO banner, so I had a tent for the race!

I also ran into Michelle and Sonja. I think the last time I saw them was Ironman Arizona! One of my clients did the race as well, and I always enjoy giving that extra cheer out on the race course!

Some more photos of the weekend here on

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