Monday, October 1, 2007

Race expos, expert advice and tri #2...

So this past weekend was the Mission Bay triathlon. Sprint distance which, for those of you playing along at home, is about half the distance of the olympic race at Pac Grove. Since I know you're just craving numbers, that's a 500m swim (.31 miles), 15km bike (9.32 miles) and 5km run (3.1 miles).

I did it in 1:14:01, so now I have a benchmark for future sprints. With any luck, it'll only get faster.

This was a great race for me. I've now got a floating start under my belt, which is cool. Instead of running into the water in a tangle of thrashing humanity like we did a Pac Grove, we all swam out to a buoy and when the horn sounded, just started swimming. The new bike continues to perform well. Once I go back and get the fit adjusted, it should be perfect. Also, I managed to get and keep the computer in the right mode this time, so I could actually track my cadence and speed, so I knew how I was doing. Finally, and this is key, I ran the ENTIRE run course. No cramps, no stretching, no limping, no walking. Fantastic.

In case you're just tuning in, it was a really fun race, more so for being home turf. Makes me want to try all the other races in town. It is odd, though, to drive into Pacific Beach at 5AM on a Sunday morning. The only other cars on the road are going the same place you are.

Even more interesting than the race was the expo the day before. Coach Gurujan gave his course talks and several of us Pac Grovers volunteered to demonstrate transitions and answer questions. We had a fun time and it was kind of surreal to have people coming up and asking us for advice. Most of us had all of one race to draw from. Now we have two. It was a trip to answer those questions and to think that just a few short months ago, we were the ones asking where we'd go to change our shorts between swim and bike (you don't), what you carry your keys and wallet in (your bag, in transition) and how you ride a bike in your aero bars (if you haven't, don't try it on race day). So many other questions. How do you attach your race number to your wetsuit? What does "no drafting" mean? How hard is it to switch from biking to running?

Suddenly, all us rookies are experts?

Still, to see some of those people on race morning, and see the jitters and excitement on their faces. I wonder if that's what we looked like at Pac Grove? Probably.

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