Preface: In 2006, I focussed all of my training on my first ever triathlon, the Socorro Sprint Tri. I had been counting down to the event all year. I attended a tri workshop, practiced transitions, included several brick workouts. I was psyched and ready to race.
I was back at the same venue this weekend, but with a much lower level of enthiasm. No brick workouts under my belt. Not a single transition practice. I was feeling pretty blah and wasn't willing to treat is as anything more than a glorified brick workout.
Pre-Race: Got up at stupid o'clock in the morning after a terrible sleep. Downed a cup of coffee and a piece of peanut butter toast. Breakfast of champions, not! Took one bottle of accelerade out of the fridge for prerace. Had a frozen one in the back of the car for the bike.
Arrived at the venue for packet pick-up, got my race number, and made my way to transition. We were racking according to race number, which was assigned by estimated swim time. I liked that fact that the racks were numbered (no searching for my bike after the swim) but figured that meant it would be crowded in T1 b/c everyone on the rack would be there at approximately the same time.
Chatted with Cindy and Misty as well as some other non-blogger friends prerace. In 2006 I knew only one other person at the race. I've met several nice people through the sport in the past few years and found many familiar faces in the crowd this time around. I watched the daughter of one of my new running group friends do the swim in the kids race. She rocked it!
The Swim: It's a 400M seeded pool swim based on estimated swim time. I have no idea what swim time I submitted. I had signed up last year and couldn't make it after the hospital visit for the ovarian cyst last year so they forwarded my registration to this year. I'm guessing I may have sent in something like 8:40 which would have been reasonable last year, but not so much this year as I haven't really been doing swim drills this time around. The water felt nice. It got bunched up near the end and I had to pass a few times but otherwise just let people by and swam an easy pace. I was pretty sure it was much slower than 2006, but it turned out to be closer than I thought.
swim time: 2006-9:05, 2008-9:19
T1: Normally transition isn't worthy of much discussion, but in 2006 I slipped running out of the pool and over to T1. It wasn't pretty. I split my chin open and had road rash on my left arm, hip, and chest. I did NOT want that to happen again so I left a pair of sandals near the swim exit and purposely took my time rounding the corner on the wet pavement.
T1 time: 2006-2:00, 2008:-2:28
The Bike: By the time I mounted my bike, I was already 40 seconds slower than 2006. But my greatest improvements have been on the bike and I was looking forward to this segment. Some portions were beautiful and I found myself having a good time out there. I tried to wave, shout, etc. everytime I saw someone I knew. I got to see Cindy three times, twice on out and back portions and once when she blew by me looking strong and happy. I'm still pretty slow, but I easily cut a good 4 mins off my 2006 bike time.
bike time: 2006-52:35, 2008-48:20
T2 time: 2006-1:03, 2008-1:15
The Run: Oh, if wishes were fishes. I wished that I had done a few brick workouts. I wished that I had remembered to take the gel I had stashed in my bento box. I wished that I was back at my 2006 weight and about 10lbs lighter. I wished that some clouds would form in the sky. Sadly, none of my wishes came true. The highlight was seeing friends out on the race course, all looking strong.
run time: 2006-32:22, 2008-32:18
total time: 2006-01:37:01, 2008-01:33:37
Post-Race: I had packed a change of clothes, shampoo, brush, etc and had fully intended to shower in the locker room at the pool and hang around for awhile. But the combination of insufficient nutrition & sleep and too much sun was getting to me. I ran into SWTrigal who tried to convince me to stay, but I was toast and just wanted to go home.
After-thoughts: I had fun because of having friends at the race venue, but still feel pretty blah about triathlon right now. I came home and promptly sent an email to the Elephant Man RD asking to cancel my registration. With this, I can rearrange my training and focus on my current passion, the half-marathon. I will however, keep the Patriot Tri (a local sprint) on my calendar as cross-training. I feel good about this decision; it may be the real reason for that big smile when I got home.