Saturday, August 15, 2009

Race Report: Faces of Courage Reverse Triathlon (1:33:12)


This is the first triathlon for which I registered. I was lured in by the pool swim, and at the time I thought this would be the closest I'd ever get to doing a tri because of my fear of swimming in open water. This is the same reason why I tried a duathlon. I've quickly come to realized that it's easier to get used to swimming in open water and doing a real triathlon, because the easy way out in trying to avoid it (reverse tri with pool swim or duathlon) were not so easy after all.

Official Stats:
  • run = 36:34 - 9/10 in AG
  • T1 = 1:46 - 4/10 in AG
  • bike = 43:47 - 7/10 in AG
  • run + bike total = 1:22:07 - 7/10 in AG
  • T2 = 5:14 - 9/10 in AG
  • swim = 5:53 - 8/10 in AG
  • total time = 1:33:12
  • overall place = 141/159
  • age group place = 7/10
The times and distances listed below are from my Garmin since the official results are based on the advertised distanced (instead of the actual distances I ran/biked) and include mounting and dismounting.

Run = 3.14 miles in 36:35 @ 11:39 min/mile
I took it easy on the run and ran/walked using 2:1 intervals in hopes to keep the foot pain at bay. It still reared is ugly head, but the walking helped. Almost everyone in my wave passed me during the run, as well as most of the next wave (women over 40 are fast!), but I wasn't going to risk further injury to the foot. The course was beautiful, winding through a nearby neighborhood. Not surprisingly, I finished the run 9 of 10 in my age group.

Run Start

T1 = 1:46
As you can see from the photo above, I already had my cycling gloves on during the run, so I just had to swap my hat for my helmet, switch shoes, then grab my bike and go. I had the 4th fastest transition in my age group.

Bike = 10.5 miles in 43:12 @ 14.6 mph
The bike was rough, and I am sad I didn't even average 15 mph, let alone maintain my previous race pace. For some reason, I had trouble catching my breath for the first few miles. I think the run took a lot out of me since I had not been able to run more than 1-2 miles in the past few weeks due to the foot pain. As I struggled to get through it, I remembered MaryLynn's goal of passing 5 people, so I set out to do that just for her :) I passed 7, including 1 guy! =D The bike course was also through a nearby neighborhood (a different one) and mostly flat. Even with the slow pace, I made up some time on the bike and climbed to 7th in my age group.

T2 = 5:14
It makes me laugh that my transition from the bike to swim took me almost as long as the swim itself. I was pretty tired when I finished the bike so I was moving a bit slowly. That still would have netted me a fairly fast transition though, were it not for the fact that I started running towards the pool the wrong way.  Silly me, I ran towards the pool, but they wanted us to exit transition the same way we exited for the bike and run all the way around. I would estimate it was about 1/4 mile.

Swim = 200 yards in 05:53
I was exhausted when I got in the pool, but the water felt so good. I even passed one other swimmer! The pool was at most 5 feet deep, so I could stand up whenever I wanted, and I did a few times but not many. I didn't care for the course -- swimming down one lane, then up the next for a total of 8 lengths. Getting under that rope to switch lanes every length really disrupted my rhythm. Now I have an official baseline for my swimming, but I am sure I can do this a little faster when I don't spend 1 hr and 22 min running and biking. I finished the swim 8th out of 10 in my age group, but still hanged onto my 7th overall age group place.

Swim Start Swim Finish Getting my metal :) I really did this?

Post Race
The post-race spread was the best I've seen yet: grilled burgers and hot dogs! I was feeling a bit ill when I got out of the water, so I didn't take full advantage. I felt better once I ate and we were in the car waiting to get out of the parking lot, but it was too late. After we checked out of the hotel, we feasted on lunch at Applebee's and I had a well-earned huge mudslide :) Even though I think this may be more difficult than a real triathlon, I'll probably do this race again next year. It's a nice change from the normal triathlons and I enjoyed the course.

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