Sunday, April 26, 2009

Riverwood Golf and Athletic Club Sprint Triathlon

On Saturday April 25th I traveled the short distance over to Clayton for this sprint triathlon for a workout in my preparation for my upcoming Ironman in 7 weeks. I had never participated in this event because I usually find myself running a couple of ultra's in April. My main reason for choosing this one this year other than needing to get in some practice and have some fun is that my friends Bill and Margherita Scott live in this neighborhood. I knew it would be a fun event and I'd get a chance to visit with my friends.

I headed over a little early and after some coffee at the Scotts, we rode our bikes the short 1/4 mile over to the race site at the Athletic Club. Heat had finally arrived with Spring in the area and it was already a warm morning, but very pleasant for hanging around waiting for the start. This one had a pool swim and my start time was 8:46 so I had a little time to kill while I waited. Bill and Margo were doing a relay with their daughter Stephanie doing the swim and she was going to start about 2 minutes before me.

There was nowhere to warm up for the swim close to race time so I was going to go in without a chance to get adjusted. I felt smooth in the water but was wondering if I was taking it too easy. I had predicted I would do the 300 yrds in 5:30 and after I climbed the ladder out of the pool I looked at my watch and it was at 5:36 so I was dead on with that prediction.

I was quickly in and out of transition and started on the bike. I was happy to feel good right from the start. One really good thing about the bike course is that the 1st 5 miles or mainly flat and slightly downhill making for easy pedaling and also it allows you to get your legs warmed up. I felt I was making good time and as I passed the 5 mile mark I was averaging 19.6 mph.

The next 5 miles would be a little more difficult with a few hills but no really steep or long climbs and a bit more of a head wind. My average at 10 miles had slowed to 19.0 but I still felt great. The course saved the worst for last though. The biggest hills including the toughest one in the last half mile slowed me to 18.4. I made a mistake and shifted too quickly into a bigger gear near the top of that one and had a sharp pain shoot in my hip at the ITB connection causing me to have to stop pedaling and lose my momentum. Fortunately the pain subsided after about 30 seconds after I finished the climb and would not bother me the rest of the day.

I knew as soon as I climbed off the bike that I would not be running well today. As I ran my bike through transition my legs felt completely dead and I was moving so slow. I was regretting not doing any bricks since the Azalea Festival Tri 6 weeks ago. All I had to do was rack my bike and take off my helmet so I was quickly out on the run course. The good part was it was mainly downhill to start allowing me to get the legs moving and control my breathing. The bad part was I would have to come back up that hill.

I was a little surprised at my one mile split and the 2nd mile I actually picked up the pace a bit. But then I hit the hills on the return and reality set in. I just do more hill repeats. And bike riding.

But overall it was a great day, a lot of fun and nice to hang out with the Scott family. Unfortunately I have no photos from this one.

Here is a link to the race website

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