Monday, March 9, 2009

Desert International Triathlon Race Report

That 5am alarm clock on race morning, which was really 4am before the time changed was awful! However, after I got over the "ughhhhh, too early" part, it was a lot of fun.

The swim was fairly typical - I got clobbered several times in the beginning and then it spread out. Our wave was the first and it included male and female elites, M29 and under and M54+. Small race so there were only four elite girls.

My main goal in this race was to push myself in the swim and on the bike. In the past I felt I did not go hard enough. I got in a good warm up and from the gun swam hard. I think it worked because when I made the third turn my arms were starting to hurt. I had trouble finding feet to draft. I found a set in the beginning only to quickly realize the guy was doing backstroke. REALLY?! I can't draft off a backstroker! And how is he still in front of me? Am I swimming that slow?! Out of the water I was 2 minutes down on the first female. 2 minutes is a lot for a short swim - I hoped maybe she could not bike or run, but being that I was racing elite I highly doubted this. I later learned I actually had a good swim - the girl in front of me just had an awesome one. She beat everyone - even all men out of the water with quite a margin.

T1 was fine except I couldn't get my left foot out of my wetsuit. I finally sat down. My friend Mike raced elite as well and we both had the same problem getting our wetsuits off. Brian was yelling something about "good transition" which made us laugh.

The bike was great. It is a 2-loop course. I got my heart rate up to where I wanted and just held it there. It hurt, but it also felt like I was flying, so I was happy. Being in the first wave I had one guy way off in front of me that I could stare at (as he slowly rode away from me) and that was it. A few times guys passed me and it gave me something else to at least focus on and try to chase. Other than that it was almost like doing a time trial - not the typical tons of people to chase down.

T2 was quick. No wetsuit = no problems! Into T2 I was 1:30 down on the girl in front of me. I have always relied on the fact that I can run in triathlon. My typical race usually involves chasing people down on the run.

Out of transition and onto the run - six miles to try to move into 1st. The run is: deep sand, rocks, gravel, concrete - you name it, we ran on it. Not ideal for getting into a rhythm, but I like trails so it was fine. By mile 1 I knew it was going to be a hard run. I got a side stitch and could not push or get the heart rate up because I could not breathe. Oops! The legs felt fine, but I couldn't push them because my side was screaming at me to stop! So I hung on and ran as fast as the body would allow.

My favorite part of the race was my number. I've never had a double-digit number before! I ended up 2nd elite, but actually 4th female overall because two age groupers raced faster than some of the elites.

So hopefully I got some of the cobwebs out with that "first race of the season" and learned a few things in the process. It was a fun and a good kick-off to the season!

Ian and I after the race - he rocked - we both almost podiumed with our 4th place finishes!

Steven and Brian were awesome for hanging out all weekend in the desert with me and making it a great weekend. After the race we rushed home for a "Charisa Birthday party" which will get its own post tomorrow.