Sunday, September 19, 2010
I did the Glendale Community College F1 Sprint Triathlon this morning. This was a small event put on by Tri-Family Racing. They do a series of events over the year at different venues around the city. The F1 event today was part of 3 events - a kids' triathlon, the adult race, and a relay. The interesting thing about this one was that you had to do each discipline twice.
Before the adult event got started we got to watch the kids do their triathlon. How cute - and inspiring! There were kids from 6 or 7 years old up to about 12, and they did a 100 yd swim, a 2 mile bike and a half mile run. They were just amazing to watch.
After they had all finished, we started to line up for our event. This time we were put in order by age - oldest to youngest. The numbers started at 101, and I was number 108 which tells you something. The oldest guy was in his 70s. They started us on the 150 yd swim at 15 second intervals. I got passed by a couple of people in the pool, but I passed a couple, too. Then there was a reasonably short run to the transition area to get on the bike. The bike ride was flat, but rather twisty with lots of tight turns that required lots of gearing up and down. The course went in a two mile loop, then you had to get off the bike and run thru the transition area, get back on the bike and do a second loop. On the first loop, I got a little thrown off for a second by a wasp getting caught between my helmet and my sunglasses. Fortunately it didn't sting me, and I was able to get my glasses off and free it without crashing. Almost missed a turn, though! After the second loop, it was back into transition, and off on a short run of about 1.25 miles that included a lap around the football field on the track. Back to transition, get rid of the shoes and grab the goggles again, and back into the pool for another 150 yd swim. I thought I was going to drown! However, I got thru it, made the change to the bike again, just about forgot to do the second loop around the course but remembered at the last minute and got it done. Finally a short run again, this time about 0.75 miles back out to the track where we finished.
Fortunately (and not surprisingly) I wasn't in the top 10 male finishers, because those folks had the pleasure of resting for a little bit and then, along with the top 10 female finishers, going back and doing the course a third time to determine the ultimate overall winners!
As for the hardware - I placed third in my age group and got a medal! Now, I guess I have to confess that there were only 4 people in my age group, but at least I beat one of them!
Overall lots of fun, even though it was getting really warm by the time we finished. When I got home and checked the thermometer on my deck (in the shade) it said 110 degrees. My next one will be in about a month, and it will be a more standard set up.
I took a couple of pictures this morning but I haven't had a chance to download them yet, so I'll try and add them to this tomorrow if any turned out well.
Have a great week!
Adding my times:
First swim 3:18
First bike 15:38
1st run+2nd swim 11:42
2nd Bike 16:43
2nd Run 3:49
Total Time 51:10
Third out of four in my age group.
About 3:31 behind second place in my group.
About 7:20 behind first in my age group.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I completed my first triathlon yesterday! It was the 3rd Annual Red Rock Sprint Triathlon, and was held as a fund raiser for the Special Olympics of Arizona. It was based at the DC Ranch Village Health Club in north Scottsdale. This is a little long, so if want to skip to the results at the bottom, feel free!
I went up for packet pickup on Friday, and they had a short tour of the course and transition area, which was very helpful. They gave some good pointers on entries and exits from the transition area, and it became clear that there was a disadvantage on T1 if you were set up on one side of the area instead of the other. Basically, the transition area was set up in a U shape with the entry from the swim at the curve in the bottom of the U. However, the exit from T1 was at the top of the left arm of the U. So, if you were set up on the left side you only had to run your bike half as far to the exit as you did if you were set up on the right arm. Not really fair to the folks who chose the right hand arm.
I got to the event early (about 5:15 AM). They had told us the transition area would open at 5:30, but it was already open when I got there. I got a stall at the end of the second row from the exit – perfect! I racked my bike with my helmet and sunglasses on the handlebars, and laid out my towel with the rest of my gear all organized on it. Since it was a pool swim, I didn’t have to worry about a wetsuit. I wore my trisuit, which is a one piece suit that combines top and shorts and is basically made of spandex, which you wear for all three disciplines. Saves time on the transitions. Once I had my stall organized, I ate my breakfast and relaxed for awhile. It was amazing to see some of the really high end tri-bikes that some of the athletes were using. On the other hand, there were many who were using mountain bikes or street cruisers.
Next up was body marking – race number on the right upper arm, age on the back of the left calf and ‘S’ for the sprint event on the back of the right calf. There were 2 other events going – a relay for the sprint, and what they called the Unified which was a shorter relay which teamed regular athletes with Special Olympics athletes. That was really moving to watch! I wish I had known about it early enough to have participated in it as well.
Final part of the preparations was getting your timing chip, which strapped to your left ankle. Then it was just a matter of waiting for the start.
Since it was a pool swim in a 25 yd pool, and each athlete had to do 300 yds, they had the pool roped into 6 lanes. You started in one corner, did up and back in the first lane, ducked under the rope, did up and back in the next lane and so on until you arrived at the end, where you climbed out of the pool (fortunately with a ladder). The first swimmer, wearing number 101, started at 7 AM, and they started another swimmer every 15 seconds. I was number 240, so as you can work out, I didn’t actually start swimming until about 7:35. At the start I was worried about running into a swimmer coming back down the lane so I was keeping as far to the left as I could – too far as it turned out. I banged my left hand on the wall of the pool and didn’t realize until I hit T1 that I had taken a little chunk out of the back of my hand. About halfway through the swim, another swimmer going the other way smacked me in the mouth – fortunately not too hard, and no damage done, but it put me off my rhythm for a moment. I finally made it to the end, climbed out of the pool and started the run to the transition area. It was a fairly long jog which included going across a lawn (which was wet an slippery by the time I got there), down a sidewalk, up a flight of stairs, and along another sidewalk to the transition area which was set up in the parking lot. I dropped my goggles off, got my socks and bike shoes on, put on my sunglasses and helmet, grabbed my bike and ran out of T1 to the mount line.
The bicycle route was laid out doing 3 circuits around a course of about 4 miles. It was basically 2 miles down hill and 2 miles back up on the other side of the circle. I did well around the first circuit, but my calves started to cramp on the second one. I pushed on and made a point of taking in more sports drink, and they settled down again. The third circuit seemed pretty good, but I was probably going a little slower on that last uphill. At the end of the last circuit I made the turn back into transition, and when I dismounted my legs really felt odd. I realized I wasn’t going to be able to run back to my stall in my bike shoes so I paused for a moment and took them off, then ran in my socks all the way around the U to my stall. Then it was rack the bike, off with the helmet, on with a cap, into my runners (which were set up with elastic laces) and out the exit again. It wasn’t until I got out the exit that I realized I had left my water bottle behind, and there was no way I was going to do the run without it, so I quickly went back and grabbed it.
As I started the run, I realized my heart rate was way up and I was breathing pretty hard. In my reading about triathlons, they talk about “having legs left off the bike” – it appeared that I didn’t! I had pushed the bike a bit too hard, and with the remnants of the cramps in my calves I was not able to run very well. On top of this, the run course was basically uphill all the way out, and downhill all the way back. I had to take a lot of walk breaks on the way out, and I was pushing fluids the whole way. I finally started to feel better, and with the downhill I did better on the way back. Finally the finish line was in sight, and for each runner they were stretching a banner across for you to run through. It felt great to get across the line!
Overall, I was pleased with this first tri. My times were not impressive, but I got through it and learned some things for the next one. Overall, here is how the event broke down for me:
My times/Age Group Winner/Overall Winner
T1 2:31.4/ 1:47.6/1:21.0
Bike 38:48.3/ 30:36.5/27:58.2
I was 13th out of 15 in my age group and 82nd out of 115 men. Out of all the male competitors, I was 91st in the swim, 78th after T1, 69th on the bike, 72nd after T2, 103rd in the run, and 82nd at the finish. Pretty slow, but all that matters is that I did it. And, I learned some things for next time – be careful about what stall you choose, don’t push so hard on the bike, and do a lot better on the fluids and fuel!
I’m already looking forward to the next one!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I survived my first sprint triathlon today! It was great to do, and I learned a lot for the next one. It is already too late tonight to give the full report, though, so that will have to wait until tomorrow.
I hope everyone is having a great weekend!
Friday, September 10, 2010
I went and picked up my race packet and did a little tour of the course today. There is a long run from the pool to the transition area, including a set of stairs. The bike course is three loops of the same route - each loop is 2 miles downhill, then 2 miles back up, meaning you finish on an uphill stretch. And to top it off, the run is an out and back course - uphill all the way out and downhill on the way back. At least it isn't the other way around! 300 yard swim, about 12 miles on the bike, and a 5K run. I'm really looking forward to it!
Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
I had a good swim this morning, despite having left my goggles at home. I did 1500 yards total, but the big deal was that I did 500 yards in one go with no rest breaks. I still have a ways to go to get to the 750 I'll need to do for the major sprint triathlon I have coming up on November 7, but for the little one this weekend I only need to do 300, so no problem there.
Wednesday already tomorrow! Have a good one!
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