Sunday, June 06, 2010

Danksin Triathlon Race Report

Danskin Sprint Triathlon Austin
[6th overall, 1:17:21]
Swim 1/2 mile: 13:48 (1:34/100yd)
Bike 12 miles: 37:25 (19.2 mph)
Run 3.1 miles: 23:48 (7:40/mile)
Full results

This was my second time doing this race. I raced in the elite wave this morning and there were only 3 of us so our start seemed very personalized. It was nice to start first, right at 7am, and to be able to avoid some of the heat later in the morning. I felt fresh during my warmup and was excited but calm at the start.

My swim was very strong today, 4 minutes faster than in 2008. All the open water practice I have been doing lately has helped me learn to focus on my form outside the boundaries of pool lanes.  My sighting was perfect and I swam right on course the whole way.

The bike course was hilly - it seemed like there was way more uphill than downhill. For the most part, the hills were long and not too steep, long grinds, unfortunately the easiest way to make my average speed take a hit. There were also a bunch of turns and gravel. I am not aggressive enough with my handling in these situations because I have some fear of crashing after my two crashes of 2008. Also, I am not completely sure but my front brake may have been rubbing the wheel for part of the ride. I had to keep trying to adjust it. On the positive side, my head was in the right place and I pushed myself to labored breathing for the entire ride and worked to maximize my gearing choices, often shifting up to maximize my power. My bike was 2 minutes slower than in 2008.

The run course is all on grass through Lake Decker park and there were some big hills. The hurt was on but I knew that at least it was short. Spectators told me I was 5th off the bike and 4th was about a minute ahead of me. By mile 2, #4 was walking and I passed her easily. It was so early in the morning that no one was out on the run course yet. I remember from 2008 that there are lots of supportive spectators and funny homemade signs on the course for the age group athletes... they weren't out there yet. Spectators or no spectators, I kept pushing and was the 4th finisher. My run was 2 minutes faster than 2008. I ended up placing 6th overall because two age group athletes were faster than me within their waves.

What did I learn today?
- My head is in the right place
- I have good mental focus when I need to
- My swim and run are faster than ever before
- I MUST triple check my bike for mechanical issues before races
- I was reminded that sometimes it's better to go for the bigger gear

Later that day.... 

Swim 2.4 miles
4 x 0.6 miles@17:11, 17:09, 17:12, 17:18 (60 seconds rest between)
[1:08 not including 3 min rest]

It's time for my final race rehearsal workouts before I start my taper this week. This was the swim, and tomorrow will be the bike and run.  I could feel this morning's race in my arms as I did this swim but it wasn't too bad and I had no trouble with endurance for this distance. I did have some trouble getting out the door to get to this swim and my mind was trying to talk me out of it in all sorts of ways. No dice there. I got it done. Together with my swim this morning, the pace I swam these repeats makes me confident that I am capable of swimming my 1:05 goal at IM.

Ok, now fueling up and resting for 107 miles starting at 0600 tomorrow morning...

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