Sunday, June 7, 2009

DiamondGirl Delaware Race Report

The title of this race report should be “I need more OWS practice!” This will be a lengthy report, so pardon me, but I am pumped and have lots to share. I travelled to Delaware Saturday evening with Amy Johnson (another MMTC member and my “She Does Tri” camp roomie…we also work together at Montgomery General Hospital). We went to Lums Pond State Park and checked out the course. The bike route was only 10 miles so we drove it to get a feel for things. The course was about as flat as you can get, if you didn’t count the speed bumps in the park. There were only 114 people registered, so there didn’t seem to be any “bad” spots in transition. After scoping things out, we headed to the hotel and researched good spots for a pre-race dinner. We settled on “La Casa Pasta”, which turned out to be an excellent choice.

Over dinner, we both commented that we really needed elastic laces to put in our running shoes. This prompted a wild goose chase through Newark in search of elastic laces. With no running stores nearby, we tried Dicks, Modells, Eastern Mountain Sports, Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, and The Walking Company. NO ONE had elastic laces. Oh well! (Of course you will see where this would have been nice when you read about my run). Prior to turning in for the night, we had the opportunity to meet up with Nanci Santiago (another MMTC member). Finally to race day. We were at packet pick up as soon as it opened and able to get set up in transition before most people. I was happy that I seemed to have everything I needed (transition was my biggest stressor this past week), and got myself set up without too much trouble. There was a dense fog, so when we walked down to the beach the buoys were barely visible. Luckily it burned off and we were left with a clear, beautiful morning before the race start. I was a bundle of nerves at that point. Despite years as a lifeguard at a camp on the Chesapeake Bay, and practicing OWS in my wetsuit, I had a classic case of open water panic when I started swimming. I didn’t get kicked, but felt constricted in the neck area by the suit and got a couple big gulps of water. I ended up treading water to catch my breath, then swimming a combo of breast stroke and freestyle to calm down. I rounded the first buoy (it was an out, across, and back in course…the technical name for which I am not aware of), and was wondering how I could swim a mile in the pool without much trouble but felt awful after 100 meters. After rounding the second buoy (and seeing the second wave get too close for comfort), I kicked it in a bit. I stuck with freestyle for the last leg, and remembering a tip I read in someone else’s race report, touched the bottom three times before standing up. I felt a touch unsteady but was able to run through the grass to transition and get my wetsuit top off as I went.
(Swim Time- ¼ mile in 14:30…..this did include the run to the transition area, but put me at 62/114)

T1 (1:54)I have no idea if this is a good transition time or not (the mats were right on either side of transition). I did feel pretty good about how it went. My wetsuit came off easily, and the crate I brought came in handy for sitting down to put my bike shoes on. I knew my swim was not good, but thought I could make up for it a bit on the bike.

Most of my bike training this spring has been in spin class, so my goal was high rpms for this flat course. I passed several people on the first half of the course, including a couple from my age group (that felt pretty good). It was lonely on the second half, but I just kept pushing it. The only person who passed me was an elite triathlete from the second wave (which started 3 min behind us). I figured that was a good sign. My biggest fear on the bike was the dismount but I managed to get it. (I am loving my new Trek Madone!!!!)
(Bike: 10 miles in 31:49, rank 18/114)

T2 was ok except for the fact that I got up to run and realized one of my shoes was too loose…of course I tried to leave it alone and ended up stopping during the run to tie it. (T2 1:14)

The run was all about just finishing for me. I have done really well on some 5K runs lately, but had no desire to empty my tank too fast on this one. The course was partially on grass, partially on road (some of which was uneven). It was an out-and-back, stated to be 2 miles, but based on the average times people were clocking it had to be shorter. I managed to twist my ankle on an uneven part of the road, but it didn’t hurt too much to run (not quite the same status now). At the turnaround, I started talking to another woman as we ran. She had quite a positive attitude and gave me someone to pace with. Usually at the end of the run I will crank up my speed at the very end. This time, I could barely pick it up at all at the end. Having never done this before, I was happy with my time and the fact that I finished at all.
(Run: 14:19 for “2” miles)S

o of course I was shocked to find that I had finished 29/114, and that I had taken 2nd place in my age division (mind you, 1st in my age group finished about 6 minutes before me). Feeling pretty good for my first tri!