TandemHearts

See Jane Tri – 2011

September 25th, 2011

I signed up for this race after stressing out so much on Barb’s Race because  I wanted to end my season with a fun race.

I put a lot of pressure on myself this season to see some significant improvement and it just wasn’t happening in my races; I’d see awesome times in training but would choke on race day.   I was obsessing over times and projecting where I would place, and by every race day earlier in the season I was totally freaked out and a basket case.  I’ve been so busy since school started that I didn’t have time or brain cells to obsess over this last race and that’s probably a good thing.

I really like the venue at Shadowcliffs and I’ve done numerous races there.  They are always changing the courses slightly so I try to not compare one race to another.  The swim is always pretty much the same, but the bike and the run change.  For this race, the bike was longer than in other races and the run went up the steeper side of the big hill.

Suited up and ready to rock!

The Swim

I was in the last wave for the swim which meant for a long wait since they were starting the waves at 6  minute intervals.  I made sure I was one of the first people into the swim corral so that I could position myself well for the start.  I was chatting with the other racers and trying to encourage those who seemed to have serious jitters.   For a lot of the racers this is their first race and something they have been working toward for months.  Someone  was worried about being cold and I said  that the swim was short and they would be fine.  She replied, “You think this is short?”   Oops – well it is short, less yardage than I do in  warm up on those rare occasions that I actually swim.  🙂

The announcer counted down our start and we were off!   This was my first race with a run into the water start which was a little weird and I worried my goggles would fog, but they were fine.  I quickly  rounded the first buoy and I could see that there were a few people ahead of me.  Our caps were either hot pink or fluorescent orange, which made them very easy to spot.  Sadly, on this section I started veering too much to my right and ended up swimming a bit more than needed.   We had a long run from water to the transition area and this is where they put the timing mat, so my swim time includes that run.  I still finished 5th in my age group on the swim and 68th overall.  Pretty good for a chick who only swims about once every two months!

The Bike

The bike was a total blast!  I felt so strong and was flying by tons of people.  I knew with being in the last wave I would have to deal with lots of bike traffic.  Generally people were riding to their right as they should, but I did have a few groups that were riding two or three abreast that I needed to move around.  Heading towards the one hill I had someone pass me.   I put on some speed and soundly passed her back and a couple of other riders as well,  since she was in my age group.  Apparently she put on a burst of speed too and latched on to my wheel as I could see her shadow as we rode up the hill, across the top and down the other side.  Drafting is not legal in USAT sanctioned races and I wish an official had been there to see this as she was on my wheel for at least a half a mile.  As we turned the final corner to  head back to the park, she flew off my wheel and passed me.  I knew another acceleration at this point would  hurt me on the run so I let her go and rode my own ride back to the park entrance.    Heading down the hill into the transition area I had clear road, for the first time ever racing here!  It was so exhilarating to fly down the hill with it’s  swoopy curves and not have to be hard on the brakes because of the traffic ahead of me.  I only had the one person pass me that I noticed, but apparently someone else did as well because I finished the bike third in my age group and 20th over all.  I was ahead of both of them on the swim.

Shifting to the big gears and settling in.

The Run

Ahhh… the run… it continues to be my weakest link.  This race made it clear that I need to set my Garmin to pace myself.  I took off way too hard out of the transition area and blew up on the first hill and that pattern continued throughout the race.  I’d recover a bit and take off again much too fast.  I probably burned a few candles too many on the bike too, but I have no regrets about that –  it was fun!  I didn’t find a good sustainable pace until two miles in and I only managed that with continually staring at the GPS on my wrist.  That’s not good on a three mile race.

Overall

This race was a great way to end my season. The entire race was just so much fun and I finished feeling great.  I can definitely see improvement in my bike and my run.  I clearly need to do some more bricks and I need to ride harder on those days than I have been – more of a race pace to really get that burn in my legs before the run.

Stats

Swim: 7:56,  AG: 5/72, Overall:  68/525

Bike: 39:10, AG: 3/72, Overall: 20/525

Run: 33:20, AG: 46/72, Overall: 319/525

Total: 1:24:36,   AG: 11/72, Overall: 95/525

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