Tuesday, January 02, 2007

First Annual "SPRINT to the FINISH Triathlon" 2006

About a week before the holiday, I asked my friend Keri if she wanted to run the MADD Red Ribbon 5k Run with me on New Year's Eve. I thought it would be a great way to round out the end of the year.

Keri, had other ideas, and as a big fan of the TRI-Kahuna's podcast "Get Your Geek On", suggested that we turn our 5K run into one last triathlon - just something simple - a sprint or a supersprint distance.

I'll be honest, I hesitated, I wasn't sure that I wanted to do that much in a day. Heck, I wasn't sure I even *could* do that much in a day right now at my current weight and fitness level. Then I thought about it some more and came to the conclusion that I had no right trying to do a half-ironman triathlon in 6 months if I didn't think I could handle the "sprint-distance" elements with breaks inbetween workouts. So I said "Yes, let's do it..."

Now here are some realities that I am sharing that I hope will perhaps offer ** YES YOU CAN DO THIS!! inspiration** to those of you who think "I could never do that" ... and might earn me some lattitude from my fellow respected triathletes when they look at my slower times. I now have some concrete beginning of season numbers that I use to determine progress as I head towards Eagleman.

Holly's JANUARY 31, 2006 REALITY:

1. I am 35 pounds heavier than I was when I raced a similar distance in April 2005 (albeit a longer bike leg) 2005 Kinetic Sprint Triathlon: 2:18:00
750m Swim: 27:00
18 mile Bike: 1:12:37
5K Run: 38:24

2. The last time I was in the pool for a swim workout was August 2006.
3. The last time I was physically on my bike was October 2006...
4. I have been doing 45 minutes of spin classes 2x a week since October 2006
5. Running is the only TRI discipline that I have consistently trained in this fall.

First Annual "SPRINT to the FINISH Triathlon" 2006: 1:54:46

SWIM: 750 yards - 18:48

Keri and I drove to the REC Center and hopped in the pool at just past Noon on Sunday. It was pretty full but we were able to share a lane. We spend about 10 minutes warming up. I practiced flip-turns (badly) while Keri tried our her *new* wetsuit (from her personal santa/husband) and then we gave each other high-fives and started the chronos on our watches for 750 yards of swimming. After about 400 yards, I found that my initial fatigue was replaced by a steady pace that I could maintain, leading me to believe that all is not lost in the water - as long as I continue to get in the pool consistently for the next 6 months.

BIKE: 12 miles - 58:37

After a cool down lap in the pool, we took about 20 minutes to shower, dry our hair and change into bike gear. Then we hopped in the car and drove 10 minutes down the road to the W&OD bike trail in Vienna. We did a quick out and back and both remarked on how lucky we were that 1) the weather was beautiful and 2) that we still felt pretty good! Of course we learned at the 6 mile turn around that it was a strong tailwind that helped us feel strong and powerful. The 6 mile return trip in the head wind was lightened by the group of cyclists in tuxedo jerseys. That made us smile even while we admitted to one another that perhaps the 5k run might hurt a little but at that point we were pretty *high* on ourselves and our accomplishments for the day thus far. We even made created a new "team" name - Team TCW: Acronym translated on a "need to know" basis....

RUN: MADD Red Ribbon 5K - 37:20

We had about a 1-hour rest between the bike and the run, during which time we changed clothes, ate powerbars and drove to the race start. Obviously that transition time did not go into the overall race time!

The course for the MADD Red Ribbon 5k Run is a hilly loop through the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. It is usually a larger local race full of runners and walkers of all ages. Right from the start, Keri and I had to thread our way through a bunch of walkers to get moving.

Our plan was simple, run until we had to take a break. Our first walk break happened just before the water stop at the midpoint of the race, about 16 minutes in. Our second break was a 2 minute walk just after the 2 mile marker. Then we ran it into the finish line. We kept the pace solid and strong the entire time. We had enough energy to chatter and laugh about the pack of 12-year-old girls that we couldn't seem to shake. We even had enough *umph* at the end to put in a little sprint to the uphill finish line - Keri just barely missed running a woman over who had slowed **way** down just before the line.

So in terms of final results - Keri is the winner of the First Annual "SPRINT to the FINISH Triathlon" 2006 with a time of 1:52:02. She was two minutes faster than me AND she won the race in the SWIM! And *they* say a tri can't be won in the swim?? Maybe Keri should go pro! HeHeHe....

Seriously though, when I sat down to write this race report, I thought that my times were pedestrian compared to past seasons. I though for sure that my extra weight and the year of cancer treatments and interferon side effects had really done me in and slowed me down until I realized that with the exception of the bike (which was a longer course). I have improved my pace in two of my tri-disciplines with very little effort. What if I actually did some hard work?

750 yd SWIM: 27:00 (2005) - 18:49 (2006)

5k RUN: 38:24 (2005) - 37:20 (2006)

This just goes to show me yet again .... that most of my "excuses" are in my head and not anywhere near by swim, bike and run realities. Looks like it is time to get serious about training for 2007 and get out of this particular head space....



Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the race report!! Great Job!
Best of luck in 2007.

kerihadley said...

to my fellow TCW, what a great way to finish 2006 and get great starting numbers for this upcoming year. it's always a pleasure to play with you.