Sunday, May 31, 2009

Salem Spring Triathlon

What a great day! Drove down at 5am that morning and got parked, packet picked up, and walking into transition to find my bike rack. Felt pretty cool to put my bike on the 2 special "Elite Only" racks because I entered Elite this year. Elite is a division you either qualify for or sign yourself up for to race with the fast people. All the Elite's start in the same wave which is nice because you're racing your competition directly. Anyway, saw all these pretty bikes, my bike and I were definately intimidated and a bit embarassed to have my bike there with all the pretty carbon bikes equiped with race wheels that together cost more than either of our cars. I was really hoping for a good race so I wouldn't make a complete fool out of myself.

A good example of the pretty and very expensive race wheels, Zipp's, behind me. I'm sure I even drooled a little.

I like to be really early, plenty of time to set up and feel relaxed doing it. But as others showed up I continually became more intimidated by these women I've seen win top 3 in all their races, but I decided something. I can race them, I can wanna beat them, they can beat me sometimes too, but we can all be friends. So I introduced myself and got to talk and joke with some really really nice people.

800yd Swim: 5 or so minute warm up about 10-15 minutes before the start, then we were off. The water felt great and didn't taste bad at all despite the widespread film I saw floating on top before the race. I felt good, had a decent but not great time. Sighted well, the sun wasn't in our eyes and didn't make too much body contact with others. Although I will say it never ceases to amaze me how someone can swim horizontally over the top of me when I'm going straight (and in the right direction). Looking back I should've pushed harder, but I was pleased that I felt long and strong and not fatigued like I did last year. Had some water in the bicep of my wetsuit, gotta figure that out. I believe I came out of the water 4th woman. 13:04, 1:29/100yd avg

13 mile Bike: My great nemisis. I always lose time on the bike and it really ticks me off. Today I knew if I wanted to place well I was gonna have to get out of my comfort zone...and I did. I never felt like I was just cruising enjoying the course, I was always pushing hard. Now not cranking down, stomping in my hardest gear, but I was never resting. I was passed by 2-3 women in the bike which is pretty good for me. There were several short but good climbs, and lots of tight right hand turns, many of which came coming off a downhill. Speaking of downhill, I never used my brakes on them and actually pushed hard down them which is really good for me. All that said, hilly, tight turns course, I still averaged 20.4. Nice
5k Run: Well I can tell I pushed hard on the bike because I didn't have the springy yay-we're-off-the-bike-lets-go-run legs I'm used to. I pushed hard and felt like puking (but not in a nauseous way) mostly the whole way. Picked off the first lady that passed me .5 mile in, someone I was surprised at myself for passing. Kept running, couldn't find the other lady in front of me, figured I was in 4th or 5th place. About mile 2.25 I realized the "guy" I thought was in front of me was actually a lady, a really fast one! So now the chase was on. I was pushing as hard as I figured I could and when I first found her I counted and was 15 seconds down, and she seemed to be running just as fast as I was. Took about .5 mile to catch up to her, and I couldn't believe I passed her. These are women that scare the crap out me, these are winners. We had .5 mile to go and I wanted to look back but didn't , just ran my race and held on as best I could. I still figured I was 4th, maybe 5th, but as I ran through the chute they announced my name and "our 3rd place woman". Seriously?! I was so excited, I just did not expect to do so well. In the end I had the 3rd fastest run time of the day with a 20:07. Crazy, I know. I also ended up with very fast transitions too (although did I mention my bike shoe fell off as I was getting on my bike and I had to run back a few feet and retrieve it? Not cool).

The podium was really fun. They put a tiarra on Sarah, the overall winner and gave her sparkling cider to shake and spray, pretty cool :)
I spent a couple hours after the race chatting with the lovely ladies, and a few guys I met today. I did great today and am really happy with it, but it's funny how my body told me I'm not nearly as trained as I thought I was. Time for some added hard work!


Megan said...

Congratulations Leslie! How amazing to place your first time racing elite. If I was rich I'd sponsor you and buy you a fancy tri bike!

Nurse Heidi said...

You GO GIRL!! Way to show them that a "toyota" bike can beat a "porsche" because it's the horsepower on the pedals that really counts :).

Ann said...

WOW! GREAT job Leslie, placing 3rd in the ELITE group! I love your new blog!

Danielle said...

Great job Leslie! Way to go!

- Danielle (dtverdal from BBC)

Becky said...

I am floored, Leslie! I thought it funny that you said, "These are women that scare the crap out me, these are winners." Well, you proved that YOU are a winner! Way to go, Woman! :D

Sara said...

Leslie, you're amazing. I hadn't had a chance yet to congratulate you on your podium finish. You are one of my heroes, setting such a great example of being a triathlon-mom.