Monday, July 13, 2009

Rocky Gap Sprint Tri

I hadn't heard about the Rocky Gap sprint until last weekend, but was on a "tri high" after my first tri so I thought I would give it a shot. My swim was less than stellar last week (14:34 for 0.25mi), so I figured this would be a chance to get more swim practice. The scenery was beautiful, but the bike and run were the polar opposite of last week (completely flat vs "rolling hills"). I drove up the morning of the event by myself, and was lucky enough to run into a friend from nursing school and her sister as soon as I parked my car. There is nothing like unexpected support at an event. This event was slightly different than last week's, as there weren't assigned spaces in transition. I got there early, and got the end of a rack. There was plenty of time and space for me to set up, but eventually people were parking their bikes against the temporary fencing. The swim start was still water, with men 55 and under in the first heat and all others in the second. One of my problems last time was feeling like my throat was constricted. Having some time in the water before the swim, and working more to adjust my wetsuit totally paid off. I shaved more than 4 minutes off the swim from last week, but could also tell that there is room for more improvement.
(Swim: 0.25mi, 10:15).

I think my transitions are going fairly well, but they didn't clock the times and I am not coordinated enough to time myself. The bike was not exactly what I would define as "rolling hills". There were virtually no flats....all uphill or downhill. I ended up regretting the two spin classes I did this week but held my own on the bike. I tend to do well on the uphills and then get passed on the downhill. There was a man I kept leapfrogging with on the hills. Unfortunately it was an out and back, so you got to know the course, but every downhill was an uphill on the way back. I ended up clocking 29:10 for 8 very hilly miles.

The run was not my finest. My glutes were tight after the bike and the run was hilly. I actually walked a couple of strides on the first half. After the turnaround, I got a lot more steam. I started passing a few people (on the bike and run, I got lots of oomph if I passed a younger male since they started two minutes ahead of me). I really picked it up for the last stretch, and ended up sprinting with a man who tried to overtake me. (I'm not super competitive, but I couldn't let him pass me in the last 50 yards). After a much better swim, I really was just looking to complete the tri and enjoy myself. My time was nothing stellar (13 minutes slower than the fastest female), but apparently good enough to win my age group. I was shocked when they announced my name. I know to enjoy my podium experience now, since I am going to be blown out of the water at a bigger tri. I am totally hooked now, and excited to train for two Internationals later this summer.