Tuesday, June 29, 2010

First try of the season

Last weekend was the High Cliff Triathlon. I was a bit nervous about my training as the sheer number of training hours/miles has not been up to expectations. I was excited none-the-less for my first triathlon of the season as up until then I had only competed in running races. The morning is always a bit hectic because I am not so good with time management and have a hard time getting going in the early morning. Anna and I got to the start and parking was a nightmare as usual so by the time we got to transition we were rushing to set up our spots, get our timing chips and warm up before the start of the race. We got everything done and wet suited up as we headed down to the lake. I didn't get a chance to warm up in the water before they cleared the beach for the start so I crossed my fingers and waited for the gun.
Each year I forget how shallow the swim is and once the race started it was more of a run for the first few hundred yards. After about 200 yards the water was waist deep and we could finally start the swim. This was a blessing and a curse because as we got to deeper water the waves grew larger and it became difficult to spot the markers. I lost the first group just after the first turn and ended up leading the second group of swimmers back to the finish. I had hoped to stay on the heels of the lead pack so I wouldn't have to spot but refused to wait for other swimmers in the second group not knowing their swimming strength. I exited the water in 22min. about 1 min behind the lead group.
I headed out on the bike and because I was unsure of my cycling fitness decided to start easy but it is hard to do when going fast on the bike is what you're used to. I tried to keep my heart rate low and just stay calm. It worked well and I felt comfortable up until mile 40 where my fitness level definitely came into play. I had to push a little bit harder than I wanted the last few miles of the bike as we turned into a strong head wind the last 7 miles. My speed slowed a lot but I tried to tell myself to not go into the red zone and save me legs for the run. I ended up going 2:32 on the bike which I was happy with for my fitness level.
After a quick T2 I headed out for the grueling 1/4 mile climb to start the run. I slogged my way up the hill with heavy legs banking on them felling fresh at the top. It was not quite the case and it took an extra 1-2 miles to work the bike ride out. I also took a caffinated Power Gel at mile 3 and from then on I was moving. The sun grew hotter as the run went on but I was feeling fresh and hydrated and my speed increased with each mile. I was very happy to see that my run fitness was good and I pulled out a 1:40 half split. Not to bad considering my first few miles were slow up the hill and with a bathroom break. My total time was 4:38 and I was 34th overall. A good race. Anna ended up have a terrific race for her first half ironman ever. She had a strong, swim and bike and got 2nd overall with a 4:47 total time. An impressive race for her.

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