Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Race Debriefed

Alright, so you read the recap of yesterdays race, right?? So what did I REALLY think? Well, here it goes: 

First, I LOVED it. Like want to do a few more love it. I have run (I think) six half-marathons and this was by far, easier than the halfs. I think the different events make it seem like it goes by faster and using different muscles doesn't make you as sore or physically drained post race. We also got to see Dad and CT3 in between each event, so it was fun having people cheering for you - and seeing them more than once along the course. 

That said, though this was my first triathlon, it sure wont be my last. Below are some things I learned along the way. Mom, feel free to add to, if you'd like!!

GEAR SUGGESTIONS
I had a few wardrobe malfunctions. First, I lost my hair tie. I had nothing to pull my hair back and so I had to bum one off of someone who looked like they actually were prepared. She kindly informed me that that was her tip for the races, to have extra of everything pre packed. Duh, thank you lady, maybe next time. Until then, can I have the rubber band or not?? 

Also, we forgot sunblock. The light pink sunglasses outline on my face looks REAL cool. Along with that, I have stripes on my legs from where my spandex shorts stopped and my arms have a nice shirt tan. If you don't want to look like a zebra, take and apply your sunblock. 

Pack all of your stuff for the transition area in a bucket. Any old bucket will do. You can set your stuff out in your area and then turn the bucket over and use as a seat to sit on while getting changed. Much easier than balancing, however beginners like myself didn't know this trick of the trade. 

Throw a pair of old flip flops in your packed gear. I had taken off my shoes to get ready for the race and then decided I needed to use the bathroom. Who in their right mind is gonna use a porter potty barefooted?? Had I had the flip flops, I could have slipped them on and done my business. 

Make sure all of your gear is properly adjusted for YOU. I couldn't get my helmet to snap on. I had been training in CT3's and Mom had given me an old one of hers since she just upgraded. That said, I should have adjusted it prior to race day. 

EVENT SUGGESTIONS
In regards to the different events, I felt pretty good. My swim technique I could use a little tailoring on (breast stroke vs. freestyle as mentioned in the last post), however I did find out that this half mile (750 meter) distance was one of the longer ones for a sprint tri race. That said, a 1/3 mile (600 meter) or a 1/4 mile (440 meter) swim would be chump change since I am already in shape for the longer distance. 

They say to pick  your head up and look where you are every 9 strokes or so. Do it. You don't want them coming after you in a canoe or motor boat to help you get back on course cause you haven't watched where you are going. 

Occasionally throughout the swim, Mom would pop her head up and ask me if we were beating anyone. Though I laughed, I would recommend just focusing on the swim instead of who is behind you. I love you Mom, and yes we did pass some of the ladies in our group and even some of the men in the group that started ahead of us. Go us. 

The bike, was better than I expected. I had only done up to 13 miles in training, and so the 15 though a little longer, was fine. I need to practice and understand the gears of my new (well soon to be new bike) a little better. 

The run was easy. I hadn't focused as much of my training in this area as I tend to run more than bike or swim. That said, I wasn't as worried about it. I need to keep up my training here as it will be a key event for me to shed seconds off of my time. 

FOR SPECTATORS
Take a lawn chair, snacks, books and a camera. This one was well organized and had food, bathrooms, a band etc, but it doesn't hurt to have your entertainment and food, especially if you are waiting the whole time to watch and support your athlete. 

Many people brought dogs. Fine to do, make sure your event site is okay with it. 

Take lots of pictures of your athlete. They aren't the most flattering, spandex, sweat and all, but great memories to cherish, look back on and be proud of. 

Dad and CT3 were able to see us start and finish each event. They started watching near the beach where our swim started. They saw us finish the swim and as we went and changed at the transition area, they migrated to the exit of the transition, they saw us depart on our bikes and then went and found a cozy spot in the shade. There they perched til we returned from the bikes. They saw us come in, then we went and dropped our bikes and headed out for the run. We once again passed them on the way out and then again on the way to the finish. 

Now all races, may not be just like this, but given the fact that you are transitioning and changing gear in between events, they all have to come and go from a respective area. That said, I would think most of them would be similar with the times that you would be able to see your participant. 

CONCLUSIONS
Overall, it was AWESOME and all of you should consider it. The people at the race were super chill, there were folks of all ages (and sizes) and the spectators were really supportive and nice.

I am hoping to weasel some of you in and then we can train together and race together! Let me know if you are interested! Stay tuned for a post with my upcoming races!!!
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