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.

21 comments:

D said...

Nice work lady. I have cobwebs no matter how many times I do something. I've been getting out of bed for over 27 years and I STILL can't get that right for some reason. :)

Beth said...

Congrats Charisa!!! Great start to the season -- I know that first race back is always tough so next race will be that much easier! (yeah, I know...they are NEVER easy) Sounds like it was a great day though and you achieved your goals! YEAH!! :)

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

WOOO HOOOO!!!! Stellar job - FANTASTIC! All that work in the pool is really paying off! WAY to push the bike - super job! The run WILL come around - anyone with a 1:25 HM split can run, and run fast! :) I'm SO SO SO proud of you!!! Yippeeeee! It's going to be a GREAT season!

ADC said...

Yay, eay to go. Well done. You look really strong.

LoveOfShoes said...

Congrats on the race- in looking at the results, don't feel too bummed the girl who won beat you out of the water...her brother only has a few world records and gold medals :)

Herrad said...

Hi Charisa,

Great post made great reading felt I was there with you.

Brilliant effort wonderful what a race.

Love,
Herrad

IAN said...

You forgot we had the Clydsdales too!! Great meeting you guys this weekend. Awesome race, I told you were podium bound! Hope it was a great B-day... you earned it with a #2!!

Teresa said...

Great race and great report. Way to get out there and get it done! Why is taking a wetsuit off SO hard?! Happy Birthday too!

Maggs said...

Congrats. Great race. I'm so glad I don't have to struggle with wetsuits for most of my races. I really dislike them.

solarpowered said...

Congratulations!

Chloe said...

Congrats! What a great race report! Guy doing backstroke? He must have one heck of a stroke to race with it! Crazy!

Evan said...

Congrats!! That is awesome.

If I was in the swim I would have drowned in the first 2 minutes. I think that is why I just stick with the running thing. You 3 sport athletes are crazy!!

rocketpants said...

Awesome job!!! That run course was tough footing. The guy who came in second had a severe bloody nose and looked like he totally ate it. Bummer we didn't connect. Great day for it aside from the icy lake conditions.

beth said...

Happy Birthday- AND what a fabulous start to the season- its all about just jumping in. you look so cute all zooted out!

DAMN SIDE STITCHES!

GoBigGreen said...

Great pictures:) and good race!

Kiet said...

Charisa, FYI, Hayley Piersol is a national caliber swimmer and Olympics trials qualifer, looks like she is switching sports and jumping on the triathlon bandwagon.

Ordinarylife said...

Well done!!

Nice post and photos.

FLATOUT JIM said...

Yeah, I hate it when I have a good swim, only to be outswam by soneone having an awesome swim. Happens to me all the time. NOT!!

Seriously though, I once raced 2:36 at our local olympic distance, and placed 6th in my age group. The guy who won the next youngest group was over 3 hours. Go figure.

FLATOUT JIM said...

OH and good work lightning!

Snakebite said...

Congrats and great job!

kera said...

You're awesome girl!!!! Some of this lingo I don't quite understand but I DO get you placed 2nd or 4th and did AWESOME!!! Yeah!!! Congrats!!!