Saturday, May 10, 2008

Race Report: Clemson Triathlon

Swim 750 meters 00:23:05
T1 00:03:27
Bike 11 miles 00:46:22
T2 00:01:50
Run 5K 00:44:06
Total time 01:58:48 (compared to 1:50 last year)
143 out of 148 women, 11 out of 11 of women age 50-54

Despite being slower than last year I felt I had a much better race. I've kept up my basic swimming, running, and some biking, but I haven't been able to train seriously this spring. I've had particularly little time for biking--I was out of town three weekends (and then my daughter was here) plus taking my husband to doctor's appointments gets in the way of weekday afternoons. I decided I wanted to do the race anyway but I wasn't expecting to be fast.

There was a thunderstorm during the night but it was a beautiful warm morning. I packed my gear into a smaller than usual backpack and rode my bike to the race site (about a mile from my house).

We got back from Charlotte in time yesterday for me to pick up my packet for the race. I was glad I had; the line was very long this morning. It was so warm I was almost tempted not to wear my wetsuit, but I had done all my open water practicing with it so I decided I would.

There was one change this year: because the water level was low the start was in the water rather than on the beach. With a warmer morning that usual and lots of extra time I even did a serious swim warmup. I was glad I had--I felt awkward at first.

The warmup and open water swim practice paid off, I felt comfortable from the beginning in the swim. I was frustrated for a while by someone who was averaging the same speed as me, by swimming faster and then stopping. And I was swum over by more people than before in this race when the next wave caught up. But I felt good.

The bike felt good, considering how limited my training had been. My average heartrate was 88% of max, so I kept up a pretty good effort. Since I have been doing longer races I don't see as much point in food during a sprint, but I had made myself half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I enjoyed it.

Last year I had a miserable run because I realized as I ran that as I was leaving transition I had spit out a crown that had fallen off one of my teeth. It turned out that it was replaced for free because the dentist said it was a design that hadn't been satisfactory. But for a couple of days I thought it was going to be expensive because I hadn't realized what it was and saved it. Also, last year the run course was changed because of a crew meet, which meant more hills.

This year we were back to the old run course, which has a nasty short hill but then a lovely run on the flat dike. I thought I pushed pretty well but my average heart rate was 79% so I could have pushed harder. At least no one said something about me walking when I thought I was running. The sun felt hot. The university weather says the temperature was 72 degrees at 10 am, but I'm not used to warm weather yet. It was a little discouraging to be passed by a 67 year old woman (I saw her later leaving transition and was interested that she had a fancy Softride bike).

My two goals were to enjoy the race and to push myself, and I accomplished both. I was stiff when I got on my bike to ride home but it isn't too bad now. And I didn't get chafed, which I have struggled with. Now if I can keep myself from feeling badly about being slower than the first year I did the race (I shouldn't have looked). My swimming has gotten faster but my running is slower.

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