Sunday, August 10, 2008

Return to Socorro - A Race Reflection

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: Uneventful.

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.


  1. Awesome job! That is a significant improvement! No matter where it comes, you did real good!! Congratulations!!

  2. 4 minutes! I'm thinking that I might be able to do 4 minutes at my race next sunday. My last PR at this upcoming race was 1:40.

    Congrats on a great race! Friends and PR! Now that's a good day!

  3. You did a nice job even though you weren't well prepared and didn't have much enthusiasm for it this year. Congrats!

  4. You know, maybe a nice long break is what you need. I spent my winter doing marathons last year, and kind of looked at triathlon as a great way to cross train. It was a great winter! I'm planning on doing the trail run in Jemez next year (May)...join me?

  5. Nice improvement!

    I like the half marathon distance too and plan to go back to it after/if I survive the marathon.

    Congratulations on getting the job done!

  6. Congratulations on your PR and the decision to not do Elephant Man.

    Sounds like that decision took a load off of your shoulders.

    Enjoy your half marathon training!

  7. Congratulations!
    And yes, half marathons are really nice (they could use a fresh positive name, but hey, it's the event that counts.)
    Happy running!!

  8. Sure didn't mean to cast a negative spell... because really, half marathon is a really amazing, yet sane, distance.
    There is even, now a 50 states club for HALF marathon. This is a good thing. So happy 13.1 running.

  9. Well done, and well done follwoing your happiness not your 'should'

  10. #1 Thank you for mentioning your pool accident - I'm signing up for my first ever pool tri in Sept. and would not have thought of the footing issue. You may have just saved my neck!

    #2 I hear you on the need to focus and pare down your schedule. We have only so many hours in a day. So now, run, Lisa, run!

  11. Great job, Lisa! I think you did awesome!

  12. Well you had a fantastic race and had a nice improvement but that is a bummer it didn't spark an interest for triathlon again. I hope that a little break will get ya back into it. You have to follow your heart though or you will end up hating it. :>) Congratulations on a great race!



    GREAT DECISION...... it's better to be motivated towards something that excites you rather then being pulled into something out of "should do" if you get me...

  14. What are brick workouts? (Hope this isn't a stupid question?)

    Well done on your bike improvement. This is huge!

  15. First, way to go beating your 2006 time :-) Especially 4 minutes off the bike.
    Even though the race didn't spark the tri urge, I think it was a really valuable one because you sound so satisfied with your decision to do the half. As one of the others said, its doing what you want rather than what you "should".... training is meant to be fun, and go with where the spark lies!

  16. Impressed.
    which Im not sure is what you wanna hear :) but as a woman who may never DO a tri---Im in awe.


  17. PR!! Awesome!! Congratulations on a fantastic result.

    Kick back, celebrate a bit, and focus on having fun with your half marathon training.

  18. You did fantastic Lisa!! Whoot!!
    And dang you look fab in those race photos!! ;D ;D

  19. Nice job on the race!!! You rocked it and I love your race pics!

  20. Nice speedy swim, great improvement on the bike, and your run, too! You did pretty awesome despite the fact you were not excited about it and didn't prepare as much.

    I so understand wanting to focus on running. That half mary distance is fun and gets ya hooked! I can't wait to hear about your upcoming running races.

    Like you said on Saturday, we don't *have* to do any of's our choice. It's much more fun to do the things you *want* to do :)

  21. Nice improvement even though you felt blah about the race. I know what you mean. I have definitely had races like that.

  22. Nice job, especially on the biking and getting good pictures! You should take the break from triathlon that you need. I took off 3 years, partly due to baby, but also since I just needed it. And I might not return to real training until my next long race...who knows when that will be.

  23. Nice job! It may not have been the race you wanted but that just shows how far you've come since 2006. Sounds like you've hit the doldrums a bit. A good schedule mix up is indeed in order. Sign up for something you've always wanted to do but found a reason not to?

  24. That was a great job taking 4 minutes off the last time you did the race. It sounds like all the time you have been spending on the bike is helping

  25. Nice race! You done good!

  26. You did great despite lack of training and not having enthusiasm for the race. There's no doubt training for 3 sports takes a lot of time, and I understand completely your feeling to concentrate on running for a while. Keeping a tri as a cross training focus however is a good choice and I'm betting by the next race you will surprise yourself again.

  27. Great job!! You are a huge source of inspiration for me. Thanks for being awesome!! :-)

  28. Great job!

    I also think I'm for the half marathon distance. This marathon training takes far too much time for me (i'm slow). Enjoy the new training schedule!