Lake Padden Sprint - June 27, 2009
My time certainly wasn't stellar: 1:35:23 (1/4 mile swim, 10 mile bike with a couple VERY steep hills, 2.6 mile run on a trail that was up and down). My system was kinda yucky all week, and after a long swim on Wednesday, June 24, I felt pretty blah Thursday and Friday. Fortunately, today the soreness in my right calf from that doozy of a cramp I had Wednesday was gone.
I thought the swim would be great, but while I had a great start, I soon started feeling limp and floppy. So not my best swim. I actually flipped over on my back and kicked for a few seconds a few times, later I also backstroked. Never thought I'd have to resort to that trick. Funny, though, toward the last as the shore got closer, I started to feel better and stronger. Didn't feel dizzy when I stood up. Probably should have hustled more up the path (uphill) to the parking lot where the bike transition was. When I saw my swim time later, I realized that with "chip timing," I was still "on the clock" until I crossed the mat into transition. Total time 10:12, but my actual swim time was a little over 9 minutes by my watch. (Not sure exactly, because I didn't stop the stopwatch until I was starting to walk up the grassy hill toward the concrete path.)
I mostly enjoyed the bike leg. I passed several people and got passed by a few. On the first really steep hill, I rode all the way up, passing a couple who were walking their bikes. My gearing didn't feel right, though. I attempted to shift down from 2 to 1, but it didn't feel like it. By the time I was approaching the second really steep hill just on the other side of I-5 (in Bellingham), I couldn't get the front derailleur to do anything; also I was smack behind two guys who were going very slow. One of them pulled over in a park-in-ride lot, and I followed, unclipping and hopping off. My chain seemed to be stuck, so I started walking up the hill where I saw some race volunteers and told them about it. The two of them got the front shifted into 1 for me, but I continued walking up the hill until I got to the level intersection at the top before getting back on and riding up the third hill, which wasn't quite as steep as the first two, and was very easy in the low gear! Then I just took it easy the rest of the way back. (I finally figured out what I was doing wrong with the front derailleur a week later!)
On the run portion, I just cruised along, dropping to a walk just briefly a few times. But I mostly kept up a steady pace, despite a crampy pain in my left abdomen (which mysteriously went away once I was finished and my breathing slowed down a little!). The trail was fairly smooth with some short up and down hills...very pleasant...a nice "cool-down."
The awards ("trophies") were only to the top 3 female/male finishers. No age group prizes. The results aren't even separated into age groups, just male/female. Then the race director started giving away stuff to various people in the audience, such as someone who raced with a friend, someone wearing green, someone who forgot their goggles, etc., etc. I didn't pay much attention to it; I was just eating and resting and hanging out with my hubby. One thing that was humorous, though, was when perhaps the very first freebie was announced-a "transition bag"-the race director said that some people sure had a lot of stuff in transition. "In fact, I could live for a week on what some of you brought for transition," he finished. Chuckle, chuckle...Well, it wasn't me who had all that stuff! I had bike shoes, run shoes, flip flops (that I'd used to go the lakeshore for a warm-up in the water), socks, helmet, Lake Padden tri race shirt with my bib pinned on it, small (hand) towel, water bottles, and a small Camelbak backpack...hey, just the necessities!
Overall, I had a fun day, and will probably do another triathlon this summer.