Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mini HaHa Triathlon

Just competed in Broomfield Colorado's Mini HaHa triathlon last weekend. For those in Colorado who are looking to get into Tri's this is a great starter event. It has a very manageable distance with 300M swim, 11 mile bike, and 2 mile run. And the race is very well organized.

I've been training up for a few months now just trying to get back in shape (literally) from my back injury a couple of years ago. I train in a morning tri group at Lakeshore Athletic Club with a handful of awesome moms and a dedicated coach (Jen Lesea) who also has a startup company in the fitness space called Fitwise Training.

The swim was in the Broomfield Rec pool. I followed Jen's advice and claimed a fast time to my lane mates so I could get that first position. They had about 5 people per lane with varying times, so if you weren't in front and were reasonably fast you would get slowed down by having to pass people at the wall. They let people go at 5 second intervals. I told them I could do the 300 in 5 minutes, thinking this was a good bet since I was in the 5-6 minute heat and it indeed won the pole position. I took a little water in the goggles during the first kick off the wall, so right off the bat I'm thinking oh great this isn't going to go well. I swam the first lap with chlorinated water sloshing in my eyes and when I reached the wall looked up and the next person was about 5 meters away, so I quickly emptied the goggles and kicked off with a bit less gusto this time. I exited the pool in about 5:10, always kept ahead and lapped a couple of people who had admitted b4 hand that they were probably 6-7 minute swimmers.

When I did the transition people were clapping and cheering. I was about the third person out of the pool and headed quickly out of the building jogging barefoot to the bikes. I had practiced the transition one time before and had my helmet and sunglasses ready, my shirt, and my number bib on a tri belt, and last socks and shoes, so I could put on the helmet, wipe my feet, and put on the socks and shoes. I goofed because I put my helmet on and then realized, I'm not going to get my shirt over it (doh!) and had to take the helmet back off. Result: my first transition ended up taking about 2.5 minutes. I pulled the bike off the rack, and jogged to the end of the transition area and mounted the bike. This is probably my strongest leg, so I cranked on the bike passing quite a few people, especially on the one hill in the ride. Admittedly a number of these were on Mountain Bikes but it still feels good to pass people :)

The next transition only went slightly better. I missed the spot on the bike rack where my stuff was and had to back track. I probably spent about 2 minutes on this transition. At this point I'm 44:20 in. My goal was to try and complete the race in under 1 hour. Now I've been doing some running but typically around 10:00 pace, so I thought oh well, I'll just go out at my normal training pace and see how I feel. There was a guy on the bike leg who I traded positions with a couple of times who got through the transition about 20 seconds ahead of me. He didn't look like he was going all that fast so I set out to keep up and see if I could overtake him on the run. I never did. It turns out he was running just under that 8:00 pace. I came in at 59:34 and was pretty spent. It was a great experience and I'm sure I'll be back. Hopefully next year I'll also take on the Boulder 5430 Sprint at the Res.

What I learned from the race:
  • I perform best when I'm chasing people
  • Everyone is extremely friendly at triathlons
  • My transitions suck
  • I need a new bike (I rented one for the race which was about 5 lbs lighter than my 15 year old steel frame wheeler, and I flew)
See you next year, Mini HaHa.

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