Saturday, October 08, 2011

LB Sprint Tri Race Report - Part II

not a bad setting for a race!
Last Sunday was another long training day, but this time I start it off with a local sprint triathlon. Nothing like some top-end work before a big endurance ride. This race, the Lindsay Brown Sprint Tri, is held on the Air Force Academy and put on by their triathlon team. Lindsay was a cadet who lost her life in 2007. This race has been held for several years and raises money for a fund that helps cadets in times of emergency. Even though the cadets might be new to triathlon, and some having no experience whatsoever, if you want great volunteers, get some cadets! More on that later.

As the AFA is only a few miles from my home and I need to be logging in lots of miles on my bike, it made sense to just ride there. So I got up at 6am (yes! finally a race that isn't a 4am wake-up call!) and finished up my race morning preparations. A breakfast smoothie of plain Generation UCAN, 16oz water, 1/2 scoop whey protein, cocoa, a banana, and some peanut butter - all that blended up gave me plenty of energy for the race. I double checked my bags, put on my jacket, strapped on my transition backpack and headed out. I left the house around 7:00 and was at the race site by 7:30. Riding there also allowed me to preview some of the hills that I would experience on the course.

I got my packet, set up my bike, and headed inside the natatorium. It was a pool swim in their newly remodeled facility. The first wave was to go off at 8:30 and it was going to be the women and relays. They had 16 25yd lanes with two per lane. Before the start I was just chilling by the pool side, feeling a bit tired from my last week of training and the 12ish miles I ran Friday night. But they called us up and I hopped in the pool. My lane-mate was Colleen, and I would see her later.

SWIM: 18:20
When the horn went off, I had resigned to not push too hard, but rather to keep my form as solid as possible. Colleen got a bit ahead of me, and ended up about a lap and a half ahead. But I felt good with my swim (no real warm-up) and after the first 500 yards (haha) I was settled into a comfortable pace. It was 825yd (750m) swim, so 16.5 laps of the pool. The race had lap counters (but I counted myself as well) and when I did expect it, the kickboard was in the pool, indicating I just had 25yds to go. So I pushed to the other end of the poll and climbed out as best I could. I had left my flip-flops, a small towel and my jacket on the side of the pool, grabbed them and dried off a little with the towel.

T1: 1:24 I walked quickly to transition and got ready to hop on my bike. It was a windy, windy day, but warm enough to not need a jacket. So all I really did was put on my helmet, shoes, and head out.
glad I used this bike!
BIKE: 47:22
Winds coming out of the west, and it seemed all the uphills were west. Here's my bike GPS data. Yeah, about 1300ft of gain in 12 miles. It started with a nice little climb before we screamed downhill. Then some more climbs. As I passed a couple people heading out onto the course, I noticed a girl in her big chain ring. This race does get a few cadets doing their first race, and I felt bad if she was going to grind the whole way, so I suggested she shift into a smaller one. She thanked me as I passed her by (I do hope she knew how to shift!) I am certainly glad I used my road bike with compact gearing, as the TT bike would have been a bit useless going 7mph up a hill. Half-way through the first lap I eyed a guy ahead of me in an Army kit and I wasn't too far behind. My plan was to catch him, and I did just as we started the second lap. I screamed down the hill a second time and started the climb back up. A couple guys passed me at this point, but I think those were the only people to pass me on the bike. On the second lap I passed a lot more people out there, but they were most likely on their first lap. A couple folks were walking up the steep hills, and I offered them words of encouragement, and always as I passed folks.  The cadet volunteers were at every turn clearly indicating which way to go and giving positive words. When I came to the turn to head back to transition, I was glad to be done with the bike, but I knew the run wouldn't be easy, either. I misjudged the distance back to transition and slowed down to take my feet out of my pedals way too soon. So the Army Guy caught back up to me. Phooey! :)

T2: 1:20
The grass was still soggy as I ran barefoot back to my transition spot. I had to wipe my feet off before putting on my socks and shoes. I grabbed my garmin wrist strap, pulled the unit off my bike (thank goodness for quick release), hat, race belt, was a bit of a juggling act making my way out and I almost went the wrong way (but the volunteers were there to get me in the right direction!)

RUN: 26:33
GPS data. Another hilly course. As I started on the run, I saw a woman a bit in front of me. She looked familiar and it turned out to be Colleen, the woman I shared a lane with for the swim. She was in my sights and my plan was to just slowly reel her in. I made ground and by the 2nd aid station around mile 2, she was closer. But she realized I was chasing her down so she pushed the pace a bit. My strategy here was a little off...I should have tried to catch her sooner and not at the end. When we hit the track, the last time I did this race we had a lap of the track and then the straight-away to finish. This time the finish was just the I didn't turn it on until it was too late. 17s was all that she was ahead. I should have tried to catch her by mile 2 and then pushed to stay ahead and gain a lead. Oh well -next time!
Finish line on the blue track
Total: 1:34:57 and 3rd place overall female.
Full Race Results
My Photo Gallery

The competitors and volunteers were awesome for this race. It was well executed (although you'd expect that from the Air Force Academy!) and the cadet volunteers were extremely supportive and  friendly. The competitors offered words of encouragement to others. The one that stood out the most was a young competitor who was about 15. As I was running down one of the hills, he was riding up it, and he smiled and  cheered for me. These moments are awesome - everyone is out doing their own race, but supporting everyone else. After the race I chatted with other competitors, hung out for the awards and then rode home.
I was pretty exhausted, but still had an endurance ride to do. So I changed, ate a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, and headed out on the TT bike for 3 hours...

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