Saturday, May 14, 2011

Race Report: Clemson Triathlon

750 meter swim 27:53
T1: 4:31
11 mile bike 53:07
T2: 2:08
5K run: time not posted

I hestitated whether to do this race because I have been doing so little training.  But I hated to miss it--I have done Clemson five times, just skipping last year because that was the weekend that worked for my sister to help my mother move.  So I signed up, figuring I could pull out if my knees or back started giving me trouble.  I was pretty faithful about taking a 10 to 15 mile bike ride every weekend the last month, but I didn't push my run/walk past the 2 miles I have been doing.  I did the open water swim practice two weeks ago and I was excited to be doing it, which convinced me that I would enjoy the race.

I got up around 6 and had a leisurely breakfast and rode my bike to the race.  Very relaxed.  It was after 7:15 when I got there, so I didn't have a long time to wait around, though I think the start was later than 8 am.  I had decided not to bother with a wetsuit and was happy that the water felt quite warm.  It felt 78 to me, but they didn't announce that so it must have been just under.  I swam in my sports bra and tri-shorts and then added a short sleeved shirt.

Usually I have been so excited I get out of breath at the start of the swim, but I got a steadier start this time.  The water was still but the sky was cloudy so the buoys were easy to see.  I was pleased with how straight I swam.  This race starts people in waves of 50 or so, and while there was at least one wave that passed me, I didn't get pushed around at all.  It is a long run barefoot to the transition area.

The bike went smoothly and I think I kept my level of effort up fairly well.  I passed a couple of people the last mile.  I ate a half a peanut butter and marmalade sandwich, which tasted wonderful.

The first mile of the run my legs were pretty unhappy and I wondered if I could go three miles.  I took frequent short walk breaks and walked the uphills, and that felt right.  By the time I got to the turn around my legs felt much better.  It had gotten fairly hot, but I was grateful for a breeze and for a cloud that shaded me most of the time I was on the dike.  A Great Blue Heron flew low over the dike not far ahead of me.  I was enjoying the world around me.

I was happy to see the photographer still there when I finished.  Usually it seems the photographer doesn't wait around for the last few finishers.  The web site doesn't list a finish time for me, which surprised me, as the finish was still set up and I would have said the timing system beeped when I finished.  They have been nice in the past about not cutting off people who exceed the time limit.  I didn't happen to look at the clock, so I realized I had no idea of my time and that was probably a good thing. But I would like to have it for future comparisons.  And I had been feeling so comfortable because it is a Set Up Events race, and I trust them.  I did listen to the awards because sometimes I am 3rd out of 3 in my age group, but this is a big race for around here (over 400) and there were more than 3 women in the 55 to 59 year old age group.

I felt sore but I kept walking to gather up my things and after a while my legs felt ok but tired.  No chafing, which makes me feel I've found the right approach to what to wear.  I wasn't looking forward to riding my bike the three miles home but it felt like it was good for my legs to go back to riding after running.  I did walk my bike up the hill to my house.

It also meant that I was still warm enough that I stretched when I got home, which should help how I feel tomorrow.  I also lay on the floor for a while with ice under my back and my legs elevated.  It is nice to feel virtuously tired.  And now it is raining, much needed, so the weather has been very cooperative.

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