Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Shark's Siesta Key Triathlon

October 7, 2012

About a week and a half before this race, I was asked if I would like to do this race, for free. I couldn't pass up a free entry, so I said yes. I haven't really been training for a triathlon, even though I have the TriRock Clearwater race next month. I've been swimming, biking and running, but hadn't done any brick workouts in a while. So last Sunday, I met Gina and Dawn at the beach for a trial race. We swam half a mile in the gulf, rode 9 miles on the bike and then ran 2 miles. The workout went well, so I figured I was ready to do the race the following Sunday.

Race morning started early. I was on my way to the beach a little after 5 am, after a stop at Starbucks for a strong coffee. :) I got to the beach early enough to get a spot super close to the transition area. I decided to go get my number marked and timing chip before pulling my bike off of my car. I brought my envelope with my number on it and showed it to one of the girls doing the race marking. (Lots of volunteers from the Shark's swim team). I said #20, but for some reason she heard #22, so that's what I ended up with on my arm! She managed to turn the 2 into a 0, but it looked kind of wonky. Sigh. Then on my way to get my chip, I almost slipped and fell in the muddy grass area near the pickup spot. Thankfully there were not many people there yet to see my comical maneuverings that I did to catch myself from falling! After getting my chip, I headed back to the car, got my gear and bike and went to get a good spot in transition. I was the first one to rack my bike in our small area, so I got the spot right on the end! I went back to my car to hang out for a while before going to set up a table near the Sarasota Storm tent. I would be handing out flyers for the TriRock event after this race. I hung out with Melissa before the start. She held on to my key for me so I could get in my car right after the race if I want and not have to wait until they opened transition. Soon enough it was time to get into the start area. I was in the second wave and with only 3 minutes between waves, we were soon on our way!

I finished the half mile swim!
Swim: I started out in the back of the group, so that I wouldn't be in anyone's way. I realized right after we started running to the water that even though I had turned on my Garmin, I had forgot to switch it it swim mode. So I was trying to do that as I ran into the water. It was pretty shallow for a good distance, so I managed to fix the Garmin before getting all the way in for the swim. There were not to many women around me, since I started in the back, so I didn't have a lot of arms and legs near my face, which was good. I tried to get into a good swimming rythym and just calm my breathing down. We made it out to the first buoy and then turned left. There were a lot of bouys to swim past before we got to turn left and head back in! Just as we turned at the first bouy, I heard the horn letting the next wave go off. Those guys were going to catch up fast! The water was a little choppy from all the swimmers out there, but I managed to keep calm and swim on. :) I even managed to catch the attention of one swimmer before she swam into another swimmer (she was on her back) and then yelled out at another woman who was about to backstroke out into the gulf (she was going 90 degrees in the wrong direction.) The half mile didn't seem to difficult, I just had to look up every once in a while to make sure I was swimming in the right direction and that I wasn't going to run into anyone. Once I could touch the bottom, I started running through the water. The run across the beach to transition wasn't to hard. The sand was packed down pretty good, so there was only a small sections with loose, dry sand. Swim - 22:49. Transition - 1:53

About 1 mile left of the bike ride. Still feeling good.
Bike: I felt pretty good the first 4 miles of the bike ride. I was passing people and keeping a good, fast pace. We got to the turn around and all of a sudden, the ride felt much harder. I felt like I was riding right into the wind. I kept checking my tires because it was so tough, I thought I might be riding on a flat. :) So happy that I did NOT have a flat. Pretty good speed (18.4 mph) for me. There were only a couple of times that I got stuck behind someone for a brief period of time before I could pass them. It's frustrating to have to slow and and wait for the person on my side to get ahead before I can pass. I'm not a fan of the rules of riding. I had one guy pass me, but not a a very fast pace. According to the rules, I had to slow down once he passed me so that there would be 3 bike lengths between us! Bike - 42:21. Transition 2 - 0:58.

Just passed that guy in the red.
Finished strong!
Run: Transition went smoothly, though it felt like I was forgetting something. I ran over the timing mat and onto the beach before noticing I had forgot to attach my race belt with the bib! There was a volunteer to the side, so I asked him if I should go back and get it, he told me to just keep going. Yikes! I was worried I would get a penalty, but thankfully that didn't happen. The run went pretty well. Sky was overcast until the last mile, and then the sun was behind me, so It didn't feel to bad. The sand was still hard packed and flat, the best for running on. The right side of my upper chest was tight and hurting through half of the run, so I slowed the pace a bit and didn't push it. I was pretty sure I wasn't having a heart issue (since it was on the wrong side of my chest) but still, I was worried. I sleep on my right side and the area has been tight for a few days, I think that's all it was. :) I finished the race with a strong push to the finish line, passing a guy who had been just ahead of me for the last quarter of a mile! Run - 29:00.
Total time - 1:36:57

After drinking a bottle of water and cooling down a little bit with Melissa, I got changed into dry clothes and then hung out at my TriRock table. It was fun talking to people about the race and handing out little freebies like socks and race belts. I did wander over to check out the race results. I came in first (out of 5) in my Athena age group! That was pretty cool! My time isn't fast compared to the times in the regular age group, but that's why I go in the Athena group. These are my peeps! :) I got a very nice Tervis Tumbler and a medal.

After looking at my results from the triathlon I did here in May, I've improved a lot! The bike and run were the same and the swim this day was a quarter of a mile longer than the tri in May, yet it only took me 1.5 minutes longer for this one than the one in May! Awesome improvement. :) Looking forward to my last triathlon of the year next month at the TriRock Clearwater race! I may even be able to use my new wetsuit! :)

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