Sunday, July 15, 2007

Couples Tri Post-Mortem....


Every morning of a race - be it a fun 5K or a full-fledged Sprint Triathlon...I always wake up wondering why I am doing what I'm doing - getting up at ridiculous hours....putting on my sporting gear...eating my nutrituous breakfast (ie. tasteless)...trudging to the race venue half-asleep...trying to compete for parking with all the other hundreds of participants..etc..etc...

And the next thing I know...I am at the race start...the gun shot goes off...then I go off!...And that's when all the fun really begins....once the race starts...you forget everything...and your mind begins to just focus on one thing....getting to the finish line!...And when you are doing a triathlon....you are focusing on getting to not just one..but THREE finish lines!!.....

I did the Couples Tri yesterday morning with Amit...we signed up just 2 weeks ago on an impulse....I completed my first ever Sprint Tri almost 5 weeks ago (Danskin) and had not gotten on a bike or into the pool since then!....My only real training before the race was a 5mile bike last Friday and a 800m swim at Deep Eddy's last Thursday....the only thing I have been doing consistently is my running....and ironically...my timings for both my swimming and biking improved in this race whereas my running absolutely showed no improvement....a result I am extremely bitter about (maybe that's why I called this a post-mortem improper bostonian? :) ) But the one thing the running did help is give me the stamina to finish this race with almost no training...so thank god for that!
The Swim...800m
Danskin: 23:05
Couples: 22:39
The Swim course was slightly different from Danksin - but was in the same lake. The water temperature was also almost the same. This swim was slightly more comfortable than Danskin, just because there was less people in the water (Note: Danskin has close to 2600 participants - compared to the 700 participants at Couples). I improved by 26 seconds which I am quite pleased about considering I hadn't really done any swim training since Danksin. I also managed to get in more freestyle this time, which I'm also pretty happy about. Overall felt good about the swim.
Transition 1...
Danksin: 6:11
Couples: 4:54
My Transition 1 time was also much better for the Couples. I attribute it mainly to the fact that the transition area itself was a lot smaller than Danskin, and it was much easier to find my bike amongst all the hundreds of bikes. As for the actual transition activities (dry myself..put on my shoes...bike helmet..gloves)...I still feel that I can become more efficient and this is something I want to work on before I do my next Tri.
The Bike...12 miles
Danskin: 1:00:05
Couples: 58:46
The Bike course was almost exactly the same as Danskin (including the 2 nasty nasty hills)...and although I could have done much better considering that I was now familiar with the route and knew when to anticipate the tough portions of the bike course, the lack of training really played its part here. I had a slightly better timing overall but it was still as tough as Danskin was and my legs during this course started to show signs of becoming tired!
Transition 2...
Danksin: 2:54
Couples: 1:56
Once again, a slightly better transition than Danskin - and once again attributing this to the smaller size of the transition area and also to the fact that I knew exactly where to go to start the run...I was a little lost during Danksin! Efficiency-wise, not sure I could have done anything better - I thought I was pretty quick in taking off my biking gear...putting on my run cap...and well really...that was it!
The Run...3.1 miles
Danksin: 44:24
Couples: 44:13
Now this is the leg of the race that I am truly upset about...yes I did improve by a grand total of 11 seconds...but it's not something to boast about considering all the running I have been doing since Danskin as part of my marathon training. I was hoping to complete my running in at least less than 40 mins! Even my half-marathon pace was MUCH better!!!...I was thinking about it all day yesterday...and I figured the way I train for a marathon is completely different from say how I would train for a 5k - for the former, my key focus is on endurance - whereas for the latter, it is more on speed. I did finish the run without feeling like I was going to die, which is always good...but I was still slow...some of it probably due to my legs hurting after the biking...but a lot of it mostly due to the fact that I "felt" so tired mentally...I believe that there is still a lot of room for improvement in this leg of the race...I'll defn need to do more bricks (bike+run training together)...focus a little more on speed and trying to push myself even though my mind is telling me to do otherwise... and try to achieve an overall more powerful finish!

Overall Results:
Danksin:02:16:41
Couples: 2:12:30.2
All said and done, it was still a fun race and I felt really good afterwards....The awesome post-race massage I got also helped (I wish I could have taken this guy home!!!! ;) ) It was also neat being in a race with my coaches!! And also even more neat to have been in a race with some top-class ironmen triathletes!!....
And last but certainly not least of course....this was the Couples Tri after all....and I couldn't have done it without Amit Bhai!!....He was extremely supportive throughout....gave me tons of good tips for the bike leg...was there cheering me on at the finish line (he finished waaaaay ahead of me!!).....and although we could have had a much better ranking overall if I had gotten some better results...he never once worried about that and instead focused more on our individual improvements!! Thanks Amit!! You're the best!!
And these are all the reasons I guess I keep wanting to race again and again!! :)
Next Race: Thinking of doing the August 26th Skeese Greet's Women's Tri with Sharanya...Let's see!

19 comments:

Improper Bostonian said...

hmmm...post-mortem doesn't seem to sound that good...post-triathlon analysis/summary/review would have sounded more pleasant...:-)

congrats on the run...

vishy said...

So did u come first?

Ciara said...

Thanks IB! And no Vishy...I didn't come first...If I had...I would quit my job now and become a professional Triathlete!! :)

Sharanya said...

Congrats, woman! Well done!!! That's freakin awesome, especially considering how little you've trained on your swim and bike. Very proud of you, and can't wait to do the next one together!!!

The Steph said...

Great job!! It was a tough one, huh?

My massage was awesome, too!!

Ciara said...

Yeah...was pretty tough!!

Also didn't helpt that I got tri envy yesterday as all the super road/tri bikes whizzed past me as I struggled to get up the hills on my hybrid!! haha...

And yes...the BEST part of the race was really the massage!!!

vishy said...

huh.. so how long did the person to finish first take??

800m swin in a lake.. that seems to be a real death trap for me.. I would have probalbly gone 1/5th way and cried for help.. actually after reading your post I really wanna go out and test my limits... let me know they have the next tri..

Amy said...

most excellent!! when you think about your run time, i hope you'll take into account that you ran 10 miles the day before and that you trained all week (not exactly a taper). i am super proud of you.

Ciara said...

Thank you Amy!! You're the best...I think I've told everyone I know about your Iron-woman performance!! :)

And Vishy...the top finisher tool 58:09.8!!! That's LESS than HALF my time!!!!!! :)

Improper Bostonian said...

Ciara:

I still don't agree that "post-mortem" is the right word in this context. My dad is not William Shakespeare. Yet I think that post-mortem is meant to be used ONLY something had failed, say Indian Cricket team losing badly or consistently, when analyzing performance. To be honest, you did great. To finish the race when you could have easily given up, says a lot about you. Ofcourse, you didn't plan and prepare properly for this event (which I will expand in my next comment), which you know by now based on your careful dissection of your performance. Sometimes its good to know how bad things can get (worst-case analysis) even when you don't follow prescribed norms. I think you are richer in information as to what you can do, and what you should do to be better athlete. You are now Tough and Mean...:-)

Good luck on your next race...

PS: it might be good idea to simulate your next race, a week or two before the actual one, so that you have enuf time and a reference point to calibrate your physical and dietary routine before the actual race...

Ciara said...

haha....yeah I know post-mortem is not the best word and has a negative connotation...but still...adds some drama to the post huh?? :)

yup...will defn train better for the next one...still haven't decided if I'm gonna sign up for that one yet!....

Improper Bostonian said...

drama? Actually, it did...:-)

even if you decide not to run for the Aug 26th one, hope you continue training...

Improper Bostonian said...

a question on massages...is it part of all triathlons that at the end you get a free massage? Do women give massages too, or is it just men? :-)

If your answers to my Qs are favorable, I think I will start training for a triathlon too...:-)

Improper Bostonian said...

Ciara:

Out of curiosity, did you come up the quote "Life is ..." by yourself, or were you inspired by the Italian proverb "La Vita e Incerta Mangia il Dolce per Primo", which means Life is Uncertain, Eat Dessert First...

Interestingly, there is a book out there with that as its title, written by a dude named Sol Gordon...
One part of the book's description says "Happiness is out there waiting for you -- it's just a matter of knowing where to look. Life Is Uncertain... Eat Dessert First! shows you how to find it. "...

Ciara said...

Umm actually...there's an ice-cream store here that sells a T-shirt with this quote printed on the back! That's where I saw it first...and well...loved it instantly!!

Improper Bostonian said...

oic...but i think you missed the pun intended about the way the book (mentioned 2 coments above) was marketed...

vishy said...

I think thats still pretty good.. u have just started ... the one who came first has probably been doing this all his/her life. Keep it up.

Amit said...

Great job sis!! It's amazing how only less than two years ago (remember Dilloman '05!!), you were uncertain if you could pull off doing a relay sprint with just the swim portion and look at you today...you have 2 relay and 3 individual Tri's in your "Bag of Brag" TM with the 1/2 Marathon as serving as the icing on top. Truly phenomenal!!

p.s 1: Thank you for the kind words towards me in your blog. I should thank you as you were the one who pushed me to signup for this event.

p.s 2: Improper Bostonian- Yes, there are plenty of women in the Massage tents, thanks to a Triathlon loving/supporting local company by the name of "Performance Wellness", so start preparing for the next Tri ;-)

Improper Bostonian said...

Thanks Amit for the useful info...Its good to have some pep talk once in a while like this for events like Tri...I will look up someplace to practice swim...danke schoen :-)