Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Crescent Moon Sprint Triathlon

750 Meter Swim * 11.5 Mile Bike * 5K Run

The Crescent Moon is a late season race that has been blessed with great weather for the three years that I have done it. It is a small race of 600 people at a venue that I know well. Really, it is a perfect race to end the season with. There was one problem this year however, and that was my desire. I really had none. The day before the race I was seriously considering not doing it. I was tired and a bit depressed and just had no desire to get up at 5:00 am, swim in a lake etc etc. I really battled with this decision but fortunately I started feeling better by the end of the day and found myself packing my tri bag.

The day of the race I did the things we all do on race morning. Find the best spot in transition that you can, get body marked, set up your gear and contemplate when the best time is to get in the line for the Port-a-Potty (I assume I am not the only one who contemplates this but I could be wrong).
As is always the case at this race, my wave was the last to go off so I had plenty of time to stand around and think. On an occasion or two I found myself thinking "maybe I will just sit this one out".

                     Looking longingly at the spectators and the big climb to T1

 Once I was in the water my mood shifted a bit and my goal was to get out of it ASAP.

                                                            OK, that is done!

They moved the transition to a different location which in turn provided us with an extremely long run/walk from the swim exit to T1. And of course it was all up hill. We even had a few sets of stairs to climb. The only positive change in this part of the race was the wetsuit strippers that they added this year. Those guys/gals rock!  The timing mat was at T1 so all of our swim times were minute(s) slower then our actual swim time.

The bike course also had some changes in that the entrance and exit were on bike paths. Riding on these paths was a bit tricky with a sharp turn or two and certainly not the safest route to take. My mood shifted a bit as I started out on the bike.

The bike is my strongest event and unlike the run where I have resigned myself to having people of all ages and sizes pass me, on the bike, my goal is always to beat my previous times and do my best to place as close to the top of my age group in that part of the race. While I thought I knew the bike course pretty well, apparently the person setting up the course did not. We later learned that he added an extra turn which added an additional 1.3 miles to the course. You can imagine the confusion and reactions when the times were posted and the bike speed was calculated based off 11.5 miles and not the actual 12.8. I had looked at my computer and was aware of what happened.

T2 was pretty quick but the time I spent heading out on the run course wasn't. Some leg cramping didn't make things any faster. After mile 1 was complete and we were on dirt paths, things improved for mile 2. The final mile was better then the first but not as good as the second. Truthfully, I was just happy to be finishing.
                                              Fortunately this was down hill

After the race a couple of friends and I hung out for the raffle with the hope of winning the grand prize Zipp wheels.

 While that didn't happen, one of my friends did win a Rudy Project aero helmet. You might think this is strange but I was really hoping that I wouldn't win it. My friends always joke about me needing an aero helmet and I can't imagine EVER wearing one of those.

In terms of times and placements, I placed 10 out of 22 in my age group and had the third fastest bike split. Really the only HUGE difference between the top finishers and me is that they can run four minutes per mile faster then I can. Oh well, what are you going to do? :)

In other news, I now have the Adamo saddle on my bike. I have only tried it out for a very short time but I have high hopes for it. I hope to provide a report of it in the near future.

Happy Fall Everyone! (where did summer go?)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Park to Park 10 Miler Race Report and Yet Another Tri Item Purchased.

The Park to Park 10 miler is a running race that takes its participants through four Denver parks and many residential streets. I had heard about this race last year and it sparked my interest. Since I am training for the Denver Rock and Roll Half Marathon and have a difficult time getting myself to do the long runs I thought the Park to Park would be a great way to accomplish that task at least for this week. I e-mailed Julie to see if she might want to join me and fortunately for me she said yes!

The course starts and finishes in different places so Julie and I decided we would meet at the finish line, drop off a car and ride to the start together. Once we finished the race our plan was to drive back to the start to get the other car. The plan worked great. It was a fantastic morning for running. It was cool outside, the sun was shining and there was a lot of shade on the course. I didn't have any real goal that I was shooting for except to finish before the cut off time. Julie and I started out together and then separated for a bit. We eventually met up again where I started following a run/walk plan that Julie was doing. I have a hard time motivating myself to run after I start walking but Julie kept me on my toes. I don't know if she knows this but she really pushed me for awhile. It was painful but good for me. While we separated a few more times, we ran the last half mile together and crossed the finish line at the same time. A time that was under the cut off!  It is so much nicer having someone to share these experiences with. We had a good time! The only goof up was that I erased all my data off of my watch before I could look at it. :(

Besides the run/walk that I did with Julie, there were two other things that I did for the first time during this race. First, I ran without any music. I had my MP3 player with me but had only planned to use it if I was running on my own. While there were times during the races that I could have used it, I decided to run without it. I found that I really didn't miss it to much. I doubt this would be the case if I was just out for a long training run on my own. The only down side to not having music was having to listen to a girl's heart rate monitor beep at her every minute as she tried to increase her pace. I swear this happened through the whole run. She would kick up the pace and pass us but quickly started walking once the HRM started beeping at her. We would then pass her only to have her run ahead again for a few feet before the dreaded beeping stopped her in her tracks. Ugh.. The second first for me was using my new Nathan four bottle fuel belt. It was great! I own the two bottle belt that I have used for a couple of years but actually like the four bottle one better. I also never had to stop at an aid station as I had enough fluids with me.

In other news, I have purchased a new saddle for my bike. For those who know me, this should not come as a surprise. I have had a horrible time trying to find saddles that work for me. It took me a year to find a good saddle for my road bike and I have already tried two saddles for my tri bike but neither of them are really working for me. So, instead of the traditional saddle, I have decided to venture out and try something very different. Here is a picture of my new saddle.

I have read some really good things about the Adamo Saddles and it just looks like it will be a better fit for me. At least I hope it is.

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.