Monday, October 09, 2006

Triathlon - the 2nd attempt

I suppose a lot of training CAN help an athlete! haha. So my first experience at a triathlon wasn't all that great. I finished saying it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and didn't plan on doing another one anytime soon. This idea was quickly dismissed once I realized a couple of things. First, triathlons are in fact difficult....imagine that! Second, I am a competitive person, I was not going to let this "triathlon performance" win the psychological battle. Third, it was my first experience, so the whole process was just overwhelming. Lastly, if I could figure out how to swim properly and efficiently, the rest should be a piece of cake! right??

On one particular morning of my swim training, my Coach video taped me so that I could see exactly what he was talking about with my movements. This video tape was the light shining down from the heavens, so to speak. We noticed that my kicking was out of control. I was kicking way too fast. In fact, as I have learned, the kick should be almost non-existant. This was the turning point of my training! All of a sudden I could swim for minutes upon minutes. The only thing I had to do was be able to think of things to pass the time! What a difference! So I can now check off learning to swim efficiently from my list.

So over the last few months I kept working on my swimming, with some running and biking mixed in there. And before I knew it, it was race time again. Like I mentioned on Saturday, the weather outlook was not all that great. It was actually quite miserable. The type of weather where you just want to crawl up on the couch with a nice warm blanket and your favorite paperback! But Sunday proved to be exactly what I wanted, weather-wise. Overcast without the rain. I would have liked for it to be a little bit warmer, but you take what you can get.

On to the results! This race I competed in the Athena's division. This group consists of women of all ages but they have to weigh 150+ lbs. Honestly, I barely make this weight so it might seem to others that I have advantage, but the numbers don't lie Velvet > 150. ;-)

There are a total of 7 girls in my group and I finish 3rd.

The Breakdown:

Swimming 750m - 20:20
The swim part....haha....I placed last, but that's ok! It was my first lake swim ever!! The most important part was that I didn't feel like quitting after I swam! The hardest part about swimming in a lake is the fact that you can't see where you are going. This is something that I will definitely have to work on. At one point I was going in the wrong direction and had to turn almost all the way around! ha! Oh well, room for major improvement here, that's for sure.

Transition 1 - 2:26
Getting better at putting clothes on! At least better than last time. I have these great triathlon shorts that I actually wear in the water. That helped me save some time here. Also, I had to take off the wetsuit....rather hard when you are in a hurry!

Biking 20k (~12.4mi) - 41:35
This is where I start to make up my time from the water-logged swim. I thought for sure I did this one faster than my first triathlon....but a couple of minutes longer this time. There were a couple more hills on this course which I suppose made the time difference. But the key here is that I didn't feel miserable like the last time. I was able to actually ride and enjoy the scenery!

Transition 2 - 0:48
Here you run in from the bike dismount line and put your bike on your assigned rack then grab the needed items for the run. Since I don't have clip shoes (like all the real bikers) I just have to throw on my running hat and go. If you look at the overall female results, you will see that I was the 3rd fastest female in T2. Sweet!

Running 5k (~3.1mi) - 24:50
Did you read that??? TWENTY-FOUR minutes and FIFTY seconds. Oh yeah, that's right, 8:01 per mile pace. I kicked some serious butt in the run!! haha....seriously though, my goal the whole year was to run a 5k in less than 25 minutes. Obtaining this goal in a triathlon made me realize that all of my hard speed-work during the summer had paid off.

Completing this Sprint Triathlon in a total time of 1:29:58 makes me so proud of myself. I am so glad I decided to try another triathlon.....and now I believe I am hooked! ;-)

Thanks Coach Jim for all your training!

And thanks to Kevin for at least humoring me when I get these "great" ideas.

View my pictures here!


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