Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sportsplex Super Sprint Triathlon

Hello friends and other readers of my blog. I've been slow about posting my reports and not very prolific in my writing these days but the next few weeks shouldn't be as busy so I hope to pay more attention to my writing now.

Last weekend, August 23, Margo and I once again traveled together for another fun day of competition and training in the Tri world. This time we would be going to Hillsborough, only an hour away. This would be another short sprint Triathlon and both of us would be using it as a fun way to train for bigger events yet to come. The race would be held at the Superplex, a very nice facility with two indoor pools and an ice rink as well as a fitness center.

It was a beautiful August morning, muggy but not too hot as this has been a rather mild August. The drive over passed quickly and we arrived with plenty of time to make our preparations in transition and wait for the swim to begin. I was happy that they had a 2nd pool and took advantage of that to get in a little warm-up swim a few minutes before my start time. Margo and I are swimming close to the same pace so our start times were only 40 seconds apart. I got off to a great start and was feeling good passing the swimmer in front of me after the 1st 100 meters and gaining on the next one. A 100 meters later she let me pass her and I picked up the pace to get clear but soon found myself in oxygen debt and struggling. I had to back off the pace and relax and then let her pass me back and then another young swimmer caught up and I let him go by too. I finally got my breathing back under control and finished ok. I was disappointed when I checked my time in the pool of 8:18, especially considering that I swam so hard. It was only when I remembered that it was 400 meters and not 400 yds that I realized it was the fastest pace I've done in the pool since returning to swimming in June. Oh yeah.

My transition was a little slow but I was soon on the bike and feeling good. I was making pretty good time but I could see that it wasn't going to be easy. The course seemed to be predominately downhill and since we'd be coming back the same way I'd be climbing back up those hills on the return.The course was a lollypop shape with about a 5 mile out-and- back with a two mile loop in the middle. As I came out of the loop I checked my average pace and was very happy to be quite a bit faster than any race so far this year and I felt great. But as expected the ride back was quite a bit harder and I watched my average steadily dropping as my energy faded. I've still got a lot of work to do with my biking, especially developing power on the hills, so I was happy to finally reach the downhill to the finish back into transition.

The 2nd transition went much better and I was out on the run quickly. I was soon running a decent pace on the mostly flat course but there was a steep hill on a side spur we would have to run up just pass the half mile and again around the two mile mark on the double out and back course. I was was barely moving faster than a walk the first time up that hill. That is so frustrating to me knowing that a few months ago I could have charged up that hill with no problem after years of training on the hills of Umstead but hopefully I'll get back to my normal running strength and endurance before long. After turning back down the hill I began to run better and got into a good rhythm and by the time I was going up the hill the 2nd time I felt much better. I finished strong with my best run in a tri so far this year.

Overall it was a good day for me. I wasn't last in my age-group in any of the three disciplines this time. Woohoo! Ironically I have always felt the swim was my weakest link in the tri chain but so far since my return to the sport I have ranked higher in my age-group in the swim than in the bike or run. I guess that's good in a way but shows I've got a lot of work to do on the bike and I need to get my running back to normal.

It was another good day for Margo too and she once again won an age-group award finishing 3rd in the women's 45-49. She is also now 3rd in her age-group in the Trysports Endurance Seires Points standings. Way to go Margo!

Sorry but no pictures from this day.

Here is the link to the race website.

You can scroll down the page to the results links

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