Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sweet and Twisted Tri!

Steph and I did the Sweet and Twisted Tri last weekend...we were the only 2 Tri-oomphers there 'cos we were waaay too enthusiastic 2 months ago and signed up for it! :) The race however sold out before the other girls could sign up!

The day started off pretty well...I had gotten Amit Bhai's help the previous evening to get my bike checked and my bike rack put up on my car (I have been slacking off on this forever!!)...I got a call at 5 in the morning from Mr G (a friend who's been curious about Triathlons but has never managed to wake up early enough to make it for one of our races! :p) asking for my gate code! He had actually woken up early enough to ride with me to the Tri...and I was glad he came! Cos the drive to Pace Bend Park was loooooong...much longer than the one to New Braunfels for the Rogue Tri...and I really appreciated the company!

We reached the park about an hour later...and I went to set up transition, while Mr G took in the scene around him and did some *ahem* bird-watching! ;) Amit Bhai, who was volunteering at the event, came by the transition area and reviewed my set-up and gave his nod of approval...20 mins later Steph arrived - about 10 mins before Transition closed - and quickly set up her stuff! We both then made last min potty trips, and then made our way to swim start!

I did my 1st Tri at Pace Bend park almost 3 years ago, as part of a relay team. I was the swimmer then and was familiar with the lake...things had changed quite a bit though...the swim start felt like it was so much further away - and it was! Due to the low rainfalls over the last couple of years, the shoreline had moved further out! This of course meant that we would have to run a longer distance from the swim exit to the transition area - not fun!

We were one of the last waves to start, at ~8:30...The swim was pretty good....I like swimming in Lake Travis....I remember having one of my best swim paces ever during the Dillo relay 3 years ago....and the swim last Sunday was pretty decent too and much better than my Rogue Tri swim pace!

The run from swim exit to transition was looooong and seemed never-ending...I did have Steph for company though, since we finished our swims approximately at the same time - so we just chatted, bitched, joked alternatively and made our way to transition! I was practically dry by the time I reached, and didnt even have to towel dry myself...put on my shoes and helmet quickly and ran with my bike to the bike exit...we had to climb a mini-hill to get to the run course which I walked cos I was still a little weary from the swim and the run to transition....once I reached the road, I got on my bike and started the bike course....The bike course was a 2 loop course, with each loop ~7.5 miles. The loop was just full of rolling hills....with very few flat legs in between...each time you thought you conquered a hill, you would see the next one in was quite crazy....but in a way, I have to say I enjoyed the steep rolling hills more than the not-so-steep but neverending hills I've ridden on my other races! I got off my bike after the 1st loop to get a drink - I still suck at hydrating on the bike!! :( Defn something I need to improve on!! - as I was getting back on the bike though, I felt a sharp pain on my left quad, so rested for a couple of mins more before I got back on the bike again! No pain this time, and I started on my 2nd loop. The 2nd loop was a lot more fun and as I was more familiar with the course now, I could plan the gear shiftings that needed to be done much more in advance!

The run was on a trail through the mini-forest at the park...not a very nice course...was rocky, bumpy and at some points, slanted! The water-stop positionings were also not so great - there was one at 0.5mile and one at 2 miles...I didn't really need water at the 0.5 mile mark, but was craving it at the 2mile mark! I took it pretty easy the 1st 2 miles - my left quad was hurting again....but then picked it up during the 3rd mile....About 400m from the finish line, I heard my name being yelled out by Steph, Amit and Mr G - and that really pumped me up and I manged to sprint pretty hard the last 200m and finished strongly!
Swim (500m): 13:36, 2:45/M
T1: 05:58
Bike (15 miles): 1:12"03, 12.2 mph
T2: 02:09
Run (5K): 42.19, 13:39/M

Post-race, Steph and I ate tacos, got massages and chilled....overall it was a hard race, but I enjoyed it....among the 3 Tri courses I have done, Decker, Pace Bend and the TX Ski Ranch, I think Pace Bend is now my favorite - just 'cos of the swim and the bike courses! I have yet to do a race in Downtown Austin - which I will probably love even more....but that's something to think about next year! Tri season for me is over as of 2008....and I had great fun during both Tris and training with all the gals in Team Tri-Oomph!

Special thanks to Steph, Amit, Mr G and Bradford for helping me out with various stuff before and during race day and for being such awesome cheerleaders!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Temple Tri

Wait between the race start and our swim start (1 'painful' hour):

Vinit and I were regretting giving very very conservative swim times for the two of us. which pushed us to the back of the queue.

350m pool swim (00:13:46):
Comfortable. Mostly smooth. It was a litle tricky to go past people who were standing, walking and doing backstroke.

T1 (00:4:05):
I think I was napping. Also took a loo break :P

9.1 mile Bike (00:43:50):
There were some hills but I still had fun pushing myself.

T2 (00:1:33):
Mostly good and quick. Had a little bit of trouble parking my bike AND I forgot to take off my helmet but thankfully remembered before exiting transition : D

2.1 mile Run (00:26:46):
My legs were super tired after battling that last hill at the fag end of the bike course. Got side stitches again. Temp must have been 90+ but it's about time I got used to running in the heat. The hilly second half of the run course made matters worse. Overall run - not very great, could have been better.

Crossing the finish line and being welcomed by Steph, Steph and Vinit (1:30:03):
Absolutely PRICELESS!