Monday, August 07, 2006

Race Report: Rivercities Triathlon

1/2m Swim, 18.2-mi Bike, 5k Run

What a fun race! Our friend, Norman, had said that this race was a blast, and it really lived up to our expectations. Registration opened on the first of June…and all 1400 slots were taken within 3 hours! The race boasts a fantastic goodie bag, and it was – a rolling duffle bag, running shorts, two shirts (including a groovy tie-dye shirt that fit the theme of the race: the sixties), socks, a hat, sunglasses, and a few other things. We left early morning on Saturday for Shreveport, hoping that everything would calm down a bit – our car battery died at 3pm the day before, and our friend, Marcy, had some family come into town unexpectedly, so we had to make some last minute arrangements for our dogs. The drive to Shreveport was uneventful, and we picked up our packets in the most amazingly efficient way that I have ever seen…we essentially entered a building and walked through the hallways picking up this and that…we were done in less than 5 minutes! And there were all of these people who were excited to help you with anything! It was really nice!

We hung out at the hotel until the pasta dinner, which was held at the Isle Capri (now Diamond Jacks Casino). For $10, there was a really good dinner, and lots of really good raffle prizes (next time we know to buy some extra raffle tickets!). Got back to our cheapskate motel and slept well.

We had breakfast at our old standby – IHOP – oatmeal, but we changed it up a bit and ordered a short stack of pancakes, too. We got to the race site with plenty of time to spare. A monster thunderstorm had blown through the night before, relocating swim buoys, blowing down speakers, and blowing out the fences. Apparently, it was a miracle that the race got off with only a 15 minute or so delay. Justin took off in the 3rd or 4th wave, while I had to wait until the 7th wave. I got to see Clay and Norman exit the water, and I cheered them on. While I was lined up ready for my start to go, I saw Justin leave the water. I really hoped that he had had a great swim, but I never saw how many guys from his wave were ahead of him. My gun went off, and I was surprised that there were not many women around me at all. One woman took off, and I just tried to keep her in sight. I was really hoping to have a good swim to make up for my poor showing at KC, and I think I did a pretty good job of keeping focused (not letting my mind wander!). I pulled someone the whole time – I guess I should take it as a compliment that she thought I was going well enough in the correct direction, but technically, it slows you down a bit, so I kept trying to pull away from her…but she held on. Oh well. I exited as the second woman from my AG. I got to my bike and took off thinking to myself that I needed to catch that first woman, and I must have caught her early when there was a lot of congestion, because I never saw her really. With six waves of people ahead of me, I really passed a ton of people. In fact, no one ever passed me, on the bike or the run. I pushed the bike really hard and was amazed at how much faster I was going than most people – several miles per hour easily. I was able to keep my HR above 165 (my goal), so I was pretty happy about that. The bike leg was over way too quickly, and I transitioned to the run. The run went fine, although I saw a really fast woman (Melisa Christian) from Dallas who has qualified for the 2008 Olympic trials for the marathon – she is one fast runner. I panicked a little and started to feel the pain a lot more. I’m actually disappointed that I didn’t channel my adrenaline a little more to have an even better run after I saw her, but I sort of just tried to hold on (instead of kicking it up a notch). I ended up beating her by a good margin, but was disappointed in my reaction – I think I’m still learning how to embrace the discomfort on the run. Anyway, I finished well and found out that I had the top woman’s time! My splits and total time:

Swim - 13:38
T1 - 1:19
Bike - 45:23
T2 - 1:01
Run - 20:56
Total - 1:22:15

I’m quite happy with my bike split – I averaged just over 24 mph…definitely a personal best. I need to keep working on the swim and run. I really think I can do much better on the run, but I am struggling to go into that zone of pain/discomfort…I’d like to get my tri-5k down to 20 minutes. We’ll do a bunch of 5 and 10k’s this winter, so I’ll keep working on it.

My award, by the way, was a 3-foot tall lava lamp, a pair of Oakley sunglasses, and a bike shop gift certificate. A groovy day…

Rivercities 2006 Results


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