Monday, April 6, 2009

Lonestar Quarter Triathlon race report

I had a lot of angst going into this race, and in the end, it all turned out fine. I had a good time watching my friend C do her first ever triathlon- the sprint on Saturday. I think I am a very good sherpa, though my pictures were not all that great. And it gave me a lot of time to figure out the course and learn all the little tricks, like where the good bathrooms are! Moody Gardens is an excellent venue with plenty of parking, good indoor bathrooms, and plenty of space for spectators. And Endorfun who puts on this event is fantastic. I've been to a number of events where I wonder where my registration fee goes because they're not spending it on the race. Not this one- good organization, good schwag, decent food. Too bad they couldn't dial in some better weather- it was hot, humid, and windy!

Anyway, Sunday comes around and I'm just ready to be done with it already. The swim is cold- about 65 degrees, and with the wind, it is pretty choppy. I settle in to a comfortable pace, but am focused more on my technique than speed, doing drills during the race. That slowed me down. Plus, I didn't know how much gas I would need in the tank later, so I didn't want to go out too hard.

The bike was the best part- flat out and back. There was supposed to be a headwind going out, but it was more of a cross wind. So when I hit the turn around, I was expecting this big push back in and it wasn't there. Though I was going about 12 mph out and 15-16 mph back, so there was some help. I was about 50-50 in the aerobars, which is pretty good for me. And the only major problem was my bike shorts were all bunched up in the crotch and I couldn't fix them, so that was uncomfortable. I tried to think of songs that I knew the words to as a distraction, and as soon as I hit the turnaround, I knew I would be able to finish.

At T2, I changed shorts and went to the bathroom, and then set off for the run. I took it slow and steady, and once I found my legs, was able to maintain a jog. I didn't have to walk, though I did walk the aid stops and the one little hill. It was a two loop course, which was just fine, though a little windy, so at points I couldn't really tell exactly where I was. The nicest thing about the whole race was that the Quarter got started first, so that most of us were finishing as the Half leaders came on to the run course. What that meant for me is that I got to watch the leaders with the bike guide, and the excitement of the second and third place guys trying to catch up. And because they have four laps, I got to see them a couple of times before I finished. It was hot, and the wind didn't get bad until after noon, so it was just stifling hot. The funniest thing is that 10k I did last weekend- the same time as this 6.5 m run. So I run faster after doing 2.5 hours of other exercise. Hmm. That's just a little odd!

Anyway, after the race, I got into the massage tent immediately because most of the Quarter athletes had left and the Halfers hadn't finished yet. And same with the food tent. It was perfect. C and I watched the T3ers run for a while before she had to leave, and then I hung around a little longer before I went to the hotel to shower and eat before coming back for the awards ceremony. And I won a free prize- a fuel belt, though since I already have one, I gave it to another T3er who doesn't, but still- I won something! Yay!

So I finished. I worked myself up, and did just fine. And hopefully that panic will translate into going to practices so it won't happen for the next race. Of course, the next three are all sprints, but I can work on speed for those, before gearing up for the longer two races at the end of the season. Longhorn is only 5 months and 19 days away!


KB said...

Well done. Now you need to treat yourself to something fun, like another expensive gadget for your bike.

everybody's entitled said...

Hooray for you! You are doing great!