Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tucson Tri Race Report

My last race report was 6,271 words, so I needed a break. This has caused a back-log of race reports, so I will do my best to catch up.

The Tucson Tri (3/21/10) was the weekend after XTERRA Saipan, so I didn't have any expectations for this race. I was going to go out, race, and see what happened. My training leading up to it had been about trails and endurance, and not the short, fast, speedy stuff. In October at the Tinfoilman my personal goal was to be under 1:20. For this race I wanted to be under that same benchmark, but was ok with being a few minutes over.

On race morning the WORST NIGHTMARE EVER for any athlete happened. My alarm did not go off. I used my watch alarm, and apparently a week in a humid environment and 6 years of racing in water caused the alarm chime to die. The watch still worked, and I still had a little alarm picture indicating it was set, just like normal. There was nothing to indicate it wouldn't work the next morning. I just happened to wake up that morning and check the time, 50 MINUTES LATE! I threw my race gear on, grabbed my water bottle, and ran out the door. I didn't need to load the car because it was already loaded with my bike and gear from the night before.

I flew down Speedway, which annoys me because the speed limit is 35 mph. I was, um, slightly over. I really didn't want to get pulled over, and tried to time the lights to where I would get mostly green lights. I needed to make up all the time that I could. I rolled into the parking lot, grabbed my gear, and hit the transition area. I was able to make a 50 minute gap into a 20 minute gap, and arrived at transition at 5:20 AM. I found TTG row, set up my gear, and waited for the race to start.

I was in Wave 8 (I'm getting very used to being in Wave 8) so I had plenty of time. I was able to eat my breakfast and watch the other swimmers. The only thing was, it was freezing cold in the morning! Many of us had worn sandals, myself included, so my feet froze. A couple of hours later I could start to feel them again. I wandered around, and met up with Leslie who was volunteering at the dismount line, and Johnny who was taking photos. I watched the mayhem at the dismount line for a bit, then decided to bid farewell to my warm clothes and get in the Kasser pool to warm up.

Last race I warmed up for about 10 minutes before my wave, and that seemed to help. So I swam an easy 200 and got out. I walked down the starting area of the pool and ran into my friend Hunter, who I used to race motorcycles with a couple of years ago. He had convinced a friend of his to do the tri as well. He had really been working on his swimming, and had graduated to a fast wave after doing the November Casa Grande tri as his first tri. I'm sure we'll see him on the podium soon.

I got to my lane and the other person assigned to my lane didn't show up. So I had the whole lane to myself! I also had Tom Hurkett from Master's swim timing for me, so I knew I was in good hands and he'd let me know when it was time to get out. The horn blew and we were off and I started the swim, which I'm never a fan of. My goal for this race was to do flipturns at the wall the entire swim. Yeah, all these years of triathlon and I was never a flipturner. Until now! I did my turns each time at the wall except for the very last one, when Tom put in the stop sign to let me know I had one lap left. I did an open turn so I could yell "Thanks Tom!", swam the last 25 yards, and got out. I wasn't the last one out of the pool for my wave, so I met that goal. I checked my watch and my time was 14:30, so I was right on time.

I ran out to transition, threw my gear on, and ran out. Total time in T1 was 1:18 from the end of the swim lane to on the bike and through the first corner. I pushed it hard on the bike right away. As usual, I ended up leap frogging with some people where I would pass them and then later they would pass me back. Euclid was fun as always, and I just wanted to make it past that part on all 3 laps. I got done with the bike in 34:59, and did my flying cyclocross dismount into transition. Zac got a video of it here:

I switched out of my bike gear into my running gear, and was out of transition T2 in 34 seconds. On the run course my toes were in pain, numb from being frozen earlier in the day. I pushed the run as hard as I could, but I was definitely feeling the fatigue. I saw lots of Tri Girls out on the course at this point, and would cheer across the mall for them. I also saw Zac and Anne out on the course cheering, and Anne's daughter was giving high fives. Two laps was painful and seemed to take forever, and finally it was time to make the turn towards the finish line. I couldn't sprint much faster, couldn't breathe, and just had my legs carry me there. I crossed the line and hit the timer on my watch, and looked down to see 1:18:47! A new personal record! It was 18 seconds faster than the race in October!

I hung around at the finish line with the Tri Girls, then grabbed my gear and changed in the locker room. I waited for the results to be posted, and since the live results don't get sorted by age group, had to count those in my group. If I counted right, there was a chance that I might have been 3rd in my age group. So we stayed for the awards, and they announced my name! Finally! I had been 4th several times in this race series last year, so I was so happy to finally get on the podium. I got an awesome embroidered towel.

The race was a blast, and the best thing was being able to go out to lunch and head home with a pretty short drive. But boy do these short sprinty races hurt! No time to settle into a pace, or enjoy snacks, or enjoy the scenery. It's just go, go, go!

Pics from the race:

Hanging out with the hooligans. ;) Chatting with my friend Hunter before the race.

Look! Flipturns!

Almost done with the swim.

Out on the bike course.

And onto the run.

For High Fives, apply here.

Me, Shari, Kristen at the finish.

My towel for 3rd place!