Monday, July 06, 2009

Captex - My 1st Olympic Triathlon

This race report is looooooooong overdue - it's been almost 40+ days since I did the Captex Triathlon, and I already have my next Tri coming up this weekend! Yikes!! I have been completely swamped though the last few weeks with work, wedding planning, my engagement ceremony, rehearsals for a drama that happened 2 weekends ago, other Asha-related stuff etc etc. I don't think I can remember all the details from that day since it's been a while, but I'll try my best to provide the gist of everything that happened!

On the Sunday before the race, I went to check on my bike and wanted to prep to take it to transition for the pre-race dropoff. To my horror, I discovered a FLAT on the bike! I made an SOS call to Amit Bhai, who told me to call down and take the bike to J&A. I did just that. The bike tech there could not find anything wrong with the tube and was a little perplexed on how the flat happened, but nevertheless, he changed it for me and declared the bike to be race-ready! I was more relaxed after that and went to get my race packet and dropped my bike off at Transition. Since I got there pretty early, I was able to get a nice corner spot. I then went to scope out the swim course, and the various transition entrances/exits. The swim -> transition and transition -> bike distances were pretty long I met Amit at the Transition and we discussed the course a bit more. I then went for a drive along the bike course to check it out! Overall, I felt pretty relaxed about the race. My main concern was the weather - it was going to be HOT on Memorial Day and I am just not a fan of the heat at all!

Race Morning:
On race morning, I hitched a ride with Amit Bhai. Amit likes to be at the race site as soon as Transition opens, and I decided I would try that out this time, after the fiasco at Rookie, where Vish and I got to transition 10 minutes before it was going to close due to parking challenges! Going early gave me enough time to set everything up, visit the port-a-pottie, fill up air in my tires. This is definitely something I am going to strive to do in all races! It's amazing what it does to keep you calm pre-race! I then walked over to the swim start and hung out with Amit, Steph and Bradford there till the race started!

The Swim - 1500m
Total Time: 37:40 min
Pace: 2:31/M
The swim was one big loop in Town Lake. I have never swam in TL before, and the closest I have coming to experiencing the TL water is in Barton Springs Pool. Everyone around me was wearing a wet suit, something that I didn't have and didn't use! As I entered the water, I was a little taken aback by the coldness of the water! It felt like it was freezing...I started treading water to warm my body up before the gun went off....As the wave started to leave, I was still feeling a little cold and it me about 200m or so till the first buoy to get semi-comfortable with the water. I wasn't able to swim freestyle at this point at all! After about 400m or, I felt a lot more comfortable and switched to freestyle, and swam steadily parallel to the auditorium shore, switching to breaststroke only if I had navigational issues (which i did a few times!). The rest of the swim went pretty smoothly, and I even managed to enjoy it somewhat. My swim pace was about the same that it always has been, not faster, but not slower either.

T1: 7:13 min
T1 was long for me for 2 reasons - one due to the fact that the actual distances from swim exit to my bike in transition and the run from the transition to the bike start were pretty long, the 2nd due to the fact that I really had to pee and so was stuck in the long port-a-pottie line! It's amazing how long the line was in just T1!

The Bike - 40K
Total Time: 1:45:30
Pace: 14.1 mph
The bike leg was my favourite leg of the race! The 40K distance was made up of 4 10K loops around downtown. Hydration-wise, I was this time prepared with my camelback and it felt awesome to drink water anytime I wanted to w/o stopping or trying to do a balancing act to try to reach down for my water-bottle (sth I'm terrible at!). My folks were sitting at the interesction of 1st and Cesar Chavez and it was fun to wave at them and hear their cheers during each loop! Since the course consisted of loops, I was able to say Hi to Amit Bhai a couple of times as well, until of course he zoomed past me! :) Overall, I had a fun bike ride despite the 2 horrible hills on each loop, and 14.1 is my best bike pace till now!

T2: 5:40 min
T2 should NOT have been remotely close to 5 minutes, and ended up being that because of a stupid stupid mistake! :) I arranged my bike back on the rack, removed my helmet, had a drink of water with a Gu and took off running. When I reach the run exit, I realized that I was still wearing my bike shoes!! :D I don't know how I didn't realize that before because it feels really weird when trying to walk, let alone run, wearing bike shoes! :D I hobbled back to my transition area and changed it to my running shoes. This blunder however cost me a few minutes!

The Run - 10K
Total Time: 1:27:34 h
Pace: 14.06/M
What can I say about the run?? It was hot, hot, hot, and I had a terrible time through the run! Somehow I didn't feel the heat that much when I was on the bike, but on the road, it was torturous. I ended up alternating between jogging and walking while struggling with the usual stitches I get in the heat. Even the salt tablets that helped me during my marathon did not help this time. Another reason for the poor run was also because to be honest, I didn't focus much on my run training at all! I biked a bit and swam a lot, but neglected running - and that really came back to punish me during the race. When I do the Olympic again, I really have to focus on running. In the Sprint distance, I can somehow wing it with the 5K run, but for a 10K run, I definitely need more training!

Overall: 4:03:38 h
Overall, I had a good experience with my 1st ever Olympic Race. I could have had a better time by doing some better prep work and avoiding silly mistakes, but I went home with a lot of lessons learnt and look forward to learning from this experience when doing future longer distance Triathlons!

The remaining Tris for the season included the Couples Triathlon this weekend and the Sweet and Twisted Triathlon with the Tri-oomphers in August - both Sprint distances. I am not going to have the time to train properly for these, but hope to just have fun with my friends doing them. Hopefully, I will be able to incorporate the lessons learnt from the 2 Tris I have done so far this year in those races!




Vishwas said...

Good job, you are getting stronger! Way to build on this...

Itisha said...

We FINALLY see the race report! I had been checking semi-regularly :)
Good job on the swim. Cold water makes me so so miserable. Something I have to learn to handle.
Congratulations on the Oly distance!

Sharanya said...

CONGRATS!!!! Am so proud of you! Killer time, as you would say. :) Insightful as always about your learning through the experience! Your next one can only get better!

Amit Bhutani said...

Yet another accomplishment in yr bag of bragging rights ;) Nice job! Hope to see you move to the Half Iron level in 2010 :)