Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Annapolis Triathlon

The shennanigans of this race started a few days earlier when the race directors sent the following note - keep in mind that triathlon rules dictate that wetsuits are not allowed when the water is 78+ degrees:

*** Remember, if you miss your wave start time, the clock is running. Due to the absence of rain this summer, there is the potential for jellyfish or sea nettles during the swim. Take precautions to limit your exposure. Your wetsuit will help, and there are sun screens which provide some protection. The water temp is expected to be close to the USAT wetsuit cutoff of 78F and we will further advise as we get closed to race day. Bring your wetsuits!!

Um, say what???? Thankfully, Joann was able to track down some jellyfish repellant at some scuba dive shop, and Jon located a sea nettle forecast for the chesapeake bay indicating that I had only a 10% chance of running into one.. even with these two facts, I was still quite relieved on race morning when it was announced that the water temp was 77.2 degrees!

After watching members of the Navy band play the national anthem (dressed in their wetsuits, mind you), it didn't take too long until it was time to line up with my wave. I tried to preview the course, but the last buoy was out of sight. Finally, we jumped in and were off. The swim started out as most open water swim starts do, with people grabbing your legs, kicking you, swimming up your back.. the only difference in this race was that we never really spread out like normal, so the trampling continued for the better part of the swim. But all in all, the swim was nice, the water was warm, and it wasn't until the end that I started to see little swimming things in the water.. I did the 1.5K in 36:17 which I'm pleased with.

It became very apparent that the transition is where I really need to put some focus - I spent about 5 minutes in T1 taking off my wetsuit, putting on my bike shoes, drinking some fluids, etc, etc.. This is an average time for me, but I really wouldn't mind shaving off at least a minute of that.. something to think about for next year....

Out on the bike, I felt good.. this was a great course, with mostly rolling hills, 2 significant downhills (one that led right into a 90 degree left turn which made things interesting), and 1 tough climb right in the middle that separated the men from the boys - as you think you're approaching the top, you go around a bend and realize you're only halfway up! ouch. But, after my experience in mountainous Columbia, MD, I'll take it! Coming into the stadium parking lot, I saw - and heard - Joann, Ingrid, Jon & Marc... definitely helped getting up that last incline into T2! I finished the bike in 1:39:07, which was about what I'd expected considering my training lately has been much more run focused and not so much on the bike..

I spent 3 minutes in T2 before heading out on the run.. again, my focus has been on marathon training, not 10K runs, and so my run became another training run instead of a race pace.. which I'm fine with considering the marathon is 4 weeks away. About 20 yards into the run, I found a running buddy and we decided to pace each other, so it was nice having someone to chat with.. the way the course was set up, it allowed my cheer squad to stay in one area and see me multiple times, which was great. my one complaint is that there were no mile markers anywhere on the course.. of course, it was a nice surprise when we go to a water stop hoping we'd gone about a mile, and the lady told us we were at mile 2.5 - yippee!! 1:32:42 total, and consistent with my marathon training pace - next year, I'll focus on speed...

Overall, this was a great race and I'm glad I did it - and again, SO COOL having friends and family there!!

No comments:

Post a Comment