So, having been severely frustrated with the fact that my first triathlon failed to produce split timing, by the fact that my bike ride turned into a walk and ride, and the fact that the safety truck had to help me with a chain issue that would have likely meant not finishing, I had to do another one.
Yesterday was the Coffman YMCA Sprint Triathlon in Springboro, OH. It consisted of a 300 yard swim, an 11 mile ride, and a 5k run.
Springboro is an interesting little burg, if you ever happen to find yourself there. I spent the night before the race in a shockingly nice Knights Inn right off I-75 for $40. By shockingly nice, I mean the room was large, the room was clean, and the bed was comfortable. Way better than the average trucker style motel. With lots of floor space it was the ideal place to do pre-race bike maintenance and install my new computer. I got everything organized for race day, and settled in for several episodes of House before falling alseep.
I awoke to my alarm, dressed and ate, grabbed my bike, then headed to the YMCA. However, when I got there, I realized I hadn't grabbed my bag, so I had to go all the way back and get it. I got back to the Y with only 15 minutes til the scheduled start, so I hurried into transition. Thank goodness again for a night before packet pickup.
Almost the same transition layout as last time, from top to bottom:
The helmet was on top of the bike seat with gloves inside.
This race was substantially smaller, about 1/2 as many athletes (250 pre-reg, about 50 or so race day), but because the facility was smaller, it felt equally crowded.
Normally, I train in a 25 yard pool, so I expected that this race might be more to my liking because it was in a 25 yard pool. Not so much. In fact, other than the fast folks who went first, the pool was a mess for everyone. The serpentine setup was such that each swimmer had to go out and back in each lane before moving to the next lane. What this lead to was a gigantic cluster of swimmers and such slow speeds that some folks walked through some laps. I started somewhere in the 150s, after having been #'ed 222. I just didnt see waiting when I knew I'd be pushing up on the people in front of me most of the race. I didnt quite have the swim I did in the previous race, but I am sure I won't be too upset with my time.
Next came the bike, which is the area I need the most improvement in over the previous race. I drove the course the night before, and while it was 1.4 miles shorter, and not quite as difficult, it was still hilly, lots of rollers with a couple tough climbs. It turns out that I was a lot better on the bike this time. I RODE EVERY BIT OF THE 11 MILES! No walking. In fact, I didn't take a break until after mile 5, and only to retie a shoe, and take a quick drink.
I didn't pause again until around the 8th mile, and I wound up taking 2 more quick breaks before finishing. Total stop time was about 4 minutes, maybe less. For the second consecutive race I had a bike issue, but I'll get to that in a bit. Based on my bike computer, my ride for 11 miles was between an 1:00 and 1:05. (Splits still are not up yet).
Transition was pretty quick, except I knocked over the neighboring bike, so I had to stop and fix it. I knew I was the last one heading into the 5k, because the safety truck had followed me the last 2 miles of the ride. I was surprised how many people were still on the 5k course though this race. Last race, there were less than half a dozen folks still on the course when I got there. This time, there were probably a couple dozen (I think) still out there, though all of them were on their way back when I was on my way out.
I was definitely stronger on the course than last time, as I didn't have to pause at the rest station to drink and rest. I did have to pause though, cause they didn't have the damn water ready, only some of that Heed crap. I didn't have to pause long, and I told them to have 2 waters ready for the return trip. there was a pretty decent hill in the 5k, and I did pretty well with it.
Just as before I found a little bit left at the end and sprinted my last 50 or so yards. I would have sprinted longer but part of the course was on grass until a bit before the finish, and I was afraid I'd fall or turn an ankle.
As it turns out I made a slight improvement over last race... 41 MINUTES! Yes, this race was 2 bike miles shorter, with a shorter swim, but neither of those makes up all of that time. The walk was harder, and the swim was pretty slow. My end time was 2:06. I STILL don't have splits yet, but I'll update when I do. My fiancee did a 4 mile run last night with 680ish finishers, and they had results in 4 hours! (She came in around 34 minutes, which is good but not her best)
2 last things:
1. They didn't have XXL technical shirts, so to make it up to me.... THEY GAVE ME A FREE ENTRY TO ANOTHER RACE! I'm going to do the Maumee Bay Triathlon June 21st. The big deal of that one is that it's close to my parents home, and the swim... is 750M! Double my longest, and it's gonna be an AWESOME challenge. I'm going to work with a swim coach a little to prepare for this.
2. Oh... and the bike problem I mentioned? I heard a familiar " thump thump thumping" before mile 10. I knew what it was, but I checked anyways at the top of the 2nd big climb. Yep, I'd flatted. But there was NO WAY I was stopping this race, especially so close to the end of the ride. I had passed a couple folks who had DNFed because of flats way sooner in the ride, and I was determined to get through. So I did the last mile and a half or so on a rear flat.
Yes.... I AM that hardcore.