Race Report: Cranberry Country TriathlonSeptember 3, 2007
FYI: This blog has moved to a new address. Catch up on new posts at: http://swimbikerunlive.com/
So after taking the majority of June and July off from running/biking to nurse my knee/IT band back into working condition, itwas pretty hard to really set any solid goals for the next race on my schedule for this season. I had been looking forward to the Cranberry for just about the whole season and figured and figured I would just enjoy the course, try and race smart, and have a good time.
The good thing was that I knew that the bike course was really nice and flat, so I wouldn’t have to be too aware of my lack of bike training on any huge hills. Oh, and Momma Bull finally made the long trek out to see me race!
We got there bright and early and I rushed through registration and body marking as fast as possible so I could spend the time setting up my transition area and getting mentally prepared for the race. I spotted Chris setting up his bike just across from my spot on the bike racks. We shared some words of encouragement, and I headed towards the water to pull on my wetsuit and get pumped for the swim.
Side note to all race directors out there: Set up some athlete-only porta-poties. I care just as much about the bladders of our wonderful race-day supporters as anyone else, but waiting in line behind a dozen spectators when I’ve gotta take care of business and finish setting up my transition area is just frustrating.
I knew that the swim would be my strongest leg of the race, since that is the only sport that has really been getting any attention this summer, and decided I’d give it (just about) my all and just do my best to coast through the bike and the run.
This was my first race where I decided to wear my heart rate monitor throughout the whole race. If anything, it was just interesting to watch my heart rate jump up as the time when my wave went off got closer and closer. Standing up on the beach I was chillin’ around 89-90. Then once they called all of the purple caps and I walked to the water, I jumped up to about 125 bpm, in about 10 seconds.
My new found confidence swimming in masses, that I got from the Wild Fish One Mile ocean swim, was awesome. I stepped right up into the middle and waited for that gun to go off. I found a nice rythm and managed to make my way around the lake in a pretty good time.
Swim Time: 25:48
Coming out of the swim we had to run up this stone walkway. (Seriously guys? Making us run up a wet stone walkway is just silly, but thankfully it was heavily assisted by volunteers warning us/helping us if we fell)
Obviously, yours truly didn’t obey the cautions and refused to walk up the stairs. I didn’t do a complete face plant, but it was pretty close. Thankfully, the scene was caught on camera and please excuse my stupid looking “OH CRAP” face and try not to make fun of me too much…
T1 went pretty well. I took my time and purposely went slow to allow myself to take in some Gatorade before I headed out on the bike. I spent almost four minutes in transition, which was a little long, but It was four minutes well spent I guess.
Like the ass shot?
The bike course was so much fun. I kept a nice consistent effort and slowly watched my average MPH climb up and up. A few people tried to hammer up some of the shorter hills and I let ’em whiz by me only to catch ’em later on the flats when they were all busted and tired (well, most of them at least).
I did start to realize how easy it was to waste all of your energy trying to pass people/stay with faster riders on the bike, probably just because it is so rewarding mentally to pass someone on the bike. On the swim, passing people is fun because you can draft, but it is hard to tell how many people you are passing at once because you just can’t keep track of everyone in the water. On the run, passing people is just a whole lot slower and not as exciting. On the bike you’ve got the sounds of the wind speeding past you, the clicking of the gears as you drop down to a big gear to accelerate and just the emotional satisfaction of speeding past another rider at 20+ mph.
I tried to keep myself from going out too hard, keeping the cadence high and easy, but probably didn’t do that great of a job. But the course was just so beautiful and flat and fast that it was hard! You can’t blame me.
Bike time: 1:19:54 (18.8 mph)
I felt pretty good heading into T2 and was looking forward to seeing how the run would turn out. I had pretty decent expectations at that point, but that would quickly fade. I figured that I was feeling pretty good, and my legs weren’t beaten up by any big hills on the bike, so I should be fine.
I started the run at a nice easy pace, downing plenty of water at the first few mile markers, but could tell that I was running low on fuel and my muscles were starting to cramp up in my calves. I quickly adopted the run/walk tactic to give my legs a little rest, but keep moving at a decent pace. I ran for 4-5 minutes (or however long necessary to get me to some shade) then walked for between 30 and 60 seconds.
I really started feeling the pain between miles three and four, and vowed to make running one of my strengths again by next season. Sixteen year old Jamie would be very disappointed with the type of runner I’ve become. I managed to push through it despite being just plain exhausted, and kept on moving to the finish line.
Run Time: 1:03:35
Finishing Time: 2:55:37
Overall, great race. Given my lack of real training, I think I pulled off a pretty respectable race and my IT band didn’t hurt me at all! Most importantly, I had a really fun time, pushed myself pretty hard, and learned a whole lot about my body that I can use during training and for my next races. Not sure what the next race will be… but I’ll hopefully be able to squeeze another sprint in before the end of the season.
Oh. And check out all the pictures here: http://flickr.com/photos/jaybull/tags/cranberrycountrytriathlon/show