I was looking forward to The Rookie because it's a sprint at the Texas Ski Ranch in New Braunfels, and it is the same course as my first adult triathlon (not counting the Ironkids tris when I was 11 or 12) last year. I was interested to see how I compared to last year and hopefully I had improved. And I did, but barely:
- 2008: 1:30:28
- Swim 8:13; 2:44/100 m; T1 3:39
- Bike 47:47; 13.8 mph; T2 1:38
- Run 29:08; 14:34/ mile
- 2009: 1:30:14
- Swim 8:37; 2:52/ 100m; T1 3:26
- Bike 47:23; 14.2 mph; T2 2:08
- Run 28:38; 14:19/ mile
There's a rumor that the swim this year was long- a 400m swim vs a 300m swim. That would make a difference, though the swim was tough because the mud and silt were really kicked up on the second half- more like swimming in chocolate milk than water, and I was sighting a lot more than normal. The water was actually really disgusting- a bad sulfur smell, and knowing the goats are pooping in the water, along with 1000 people peeing in it in the pre race warmups. Gross. But the improved bike and run times are exciting, and if I hadn't left my gloves on, and then turned around to put them back, then T2 would have been shorter and I could've broken 1:30.
The other interesting thing was I was able to push really hard on the bike, passed a lot of people on the first half where it's pretty flat, but once I hit the hilly section on the second half, I was hurting, and that was not a good omen for the run. I started the run with an older overweight woman with a green tri top on, and I thought "she's not any better than me, I'm going to catch her," which shows that I do have some hidden competitiveness in me! But even though she was walk/running, she was staying 10, then 20, then 50 feet ahead of me. And at the half way point I realized I was not going to break 1:30, and that was demoralizing. But I trudged along, and was happy to finish.
A lot of the T3ers out there, a couple of fast folks that got awards. The race was well organized- High Five puts on a good show, even with a huge crowd of ~1000 triathletes. The only beef- I always stick around for the awards, not only to cheer on the winners and keep a bigger audience, but most of them give out door prizes, or other freebies, and I figure that's the only award I will ever win. And at the end of this- zero door prizes, so boo on that.
And even with all the prerace drinking water, and trying to stay hydrated during, I still came home with a bad dehydration/ exertion headache, which lasted most of the afternoon. But a good race, and the first of the Texas Tri Series- in the bag!