Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sunfish Triathlon Race Report

Last Saturday was the Sunfish Triathlon in Meridian, Mississippi!  I'm not sure exactly when this race started but it's been around for a long time.  I raced it back in the 80's at a different venue - I think the new site at the Bonita Lakes Park has an easier run, but a tougher bike course.  I set my race goal to finish in the top 5 women. 

The Girls! My new friends!
My husband Bill was able to go with me again to the race!  Makes for a much better day for me to have him there.  I rarely see him during the race though - I think at the next race he can make it to we'll plan a place for him to be so I can look for him while I'm racing!  There were quite a few of us from Hattiesburg racing, I think 11 or 12 total that I knew and some others that I haven't met yet! 

Sunfish has a time trial start - pretty much my least favorite type of start.  They lined us up by age which meant I was WAY in the back.  This is my second race here in Mississippi and both had time trial starts.  I wonder if it's just a more utilized format here.  You never know how you've done until the results are posted. 

Race Face?
 My swim went off just fine.  I tried to keep my stroke long and stay relaxed.  My friend Chris gave me a little pep talk just before the swim and said that I should be able to swim the same as him.  I guess it worked too well because when all was said and done he beat me by 4 seconds!   The Masters Swim practice is working!  I had the 6th fastest swim split women.  HR:  Max 171 / Avg 135.

The bike course was really tough with a lot of challenging hills.  I was able to push the pace on the downhills but climbing was slow.  I had to shift down to my small front chain ring a lot!  I've had my new bike for about 5 weeks now and I need to get it in to have it adjusted.  Cables always stretch when they're new and I had a lot of issues shifting during the race.  I know better than this but just didn't make the time to get my bike to the shop.  We were lucky that during the bike there was a cloud cover for most of the time but unfortunately that disappeared for the run.  6th fastest bike split women.  HR:  Max 177 / Avg 167.

The run went up and over a dam then around a little "lake".  There was some shade on one part on the out and back but on the back half of the lake the trees blocked any breeze and it was hot as blue blazes.  When I climbed back up onto the dam for the return I thought I could have moved faster walking.  We did get a down hill finish - I saw a lot of people just hauling you know what down that hill to the finish line!!  12 fastest run split women.  I do think I could have pushed the run a little bit more but was a mental wimp with the heat and humidity and ran within myself.  HR:  Max 185 / Avg 176.

When the results were posted on the timing van I saw that I'd finished..... 5th Overall Female!!  Sweet!  Okay... let's do some math here though...    6th in the Swim - 6th on the Bike - 12th on the Run - do you know what that means?  Remember my post on transitions and Free Speed??  Fast Transitions can have a huge impact on race times.  Take 10 or 15 seconds off a transition? - not so tough with a little planning and practice.  Take 10 or 15 seconds off your 5K?  You'd better be prepared to get to the track and do some interval work!  I'll take Free Speed any day (actually I should go to the track too)!   Included in my first transition (:41) is also taking off my Speed Suit that I wear over my tri suit.  And included in T2 (:37) is putting on socks!  

After the race I changed and spent some time handing out Aquaphor Samples!  A couple people recognized Team Aquaphor knew other teammates from other parts of the country! 

Some of my new training partners - Lesley, Judy, Chris and Deanna!