Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Seal Sprint - or coast

Had my first paid [or rather unpaid - thanks TCSD!!] race since Carlsbad Tri last July at the Seal Sprint. I don't know how long the swim was, my computer didn't work on the bike, and my Garmin was dead so I have no idea how long the run was, since it was highly debated before the race. (5k or 6k or in between?!) I think I'm going to start at the end and work forward.

4th overall female and 1st AG. But that doesn't mean anything - it's a local sprint race where most of the tough competition raced [and actually trained for] the olympic distance. Felt a sense of "BLAH" as I finished with a jog across the line. The last mile I pushed myself and picked up the pace before the last turn. I enjoyed myself for approx 1/4 mile between mile .5 and 1. Then it got sandy, then I dumped a cup of HEED [I hate that crap!] all over myself after a volunteer told me it was water. Oh boy, do I love having sticky stuff all over my face and chest. Next aid station I begged for water. I actually slowed to confirm with the volunteer that yes, in fact this was 'just water.' Reminded me of my first HEED experience with the same wonderful race directing company at my first half ironman where I again got HEED instead of water and poured it into my aerodrink up front during the bike.  For two laps I raced without water, sucking it down, trying to empty that thing. YUCK!! Okay sidetracked.

I came in from the bike feeling like I should have pushed harder. Of course the first 1/2 lap I feel like crap [even with a tail wind] from my high heart rate and the obnoxiously long run into T1. The turnaround brought a head wind and I was battling with this dude on a road bike pushing his hardest gear. I'd pass him, he'd draft, pass me and then I'd have to drop back to legal distance and then decide his pace was too slow once he was out in the wind. After 3 cycles of this I pass him and nicely ask him to not draft off me. 30 seconds later I look back and he's no where to be found. Yeah buddy, I'm on a 650 tri bike with an aerohelmet, I'm sorry no matter how hard you push your upright road bike with your cotton t, you can't be faster than me. For once equipment actually works - sorry to bust your bubble, but girls are actually fast. Ugh. Hit the last turnaround and get a tail wind and coast my way back to transition. Get passed [by the overall female winner] and decide I should practice intervals, since I wasn't pushing at all and she was hammering. I think I'm just too scared to push on the bike because I know I haven't been run training like I should - so blowing up there is VERY possible.  

Back to T1 [is this backwards race report confusing?] and I'm feeling alright. My key transition spot allows me for minimal running with bike time. [Yes!] I already had my wetsuit top off and pulled of the bottoms quickly. socks, shoes, helmet and I was out.

Exiting the swim, I had a scared feeling going into the unknown. Running up the sand beach, ugh, and into the tunnel for the long run to T1. I think my goggles fell out of my sleeve as I faintly remember hearing something drop and looking after the race they were no where to be found. I guess I should've been disqualified for leaving equipment behind. oops.

Swim was alright - beach start, which everyone knows I hate...why does there have to be a running element added to the swim?! I mean they already add it to both transitions, it seems a bit unfair. Anyway, dolphin diving [or face-planting] into the water, my goggles got bumped a bit and filled half way with water. I don't remember this ever happening to me, so I giggle. And remind myself to get new goggles and tighten them a bit for races. I swam annoyed for a while, leading the pack, and eventually flipped over, did a couple of backstrokes while clearing/adjusting the goggles, flipped back over and kept on swimming making a mental note of how far back the next swimmer was, and the realization that I was on my own for navigation and making my way through the 2 prior waves of floaters. Rounded the two buoys and headed for shore. It was a pretty widespread pack so the weaving wasn't too difficult. In my mind I hopped out of the water looking fresh, but I'm sure I looked like poo on a stick, struggling up the sand.

So that's it. Poo on a stick. Had fun cheering with Erin and Frank for Steve who was racing the Olympic. Got a good leg massage. Ate some of the usual koz continental breakfast. And went home to my husband - who was on duty so he didn't get to see my race. The swim was in the bay - directly across from his boat. I waved to him as I was passing the far buoy.

Still trying to decide what's next. I need something on my plate to train and look forward to. Any ideas?