February Race Redux

My friend Sachi and I teamed up again to do a triathlon three weeks ago at the College of San Mateo.  It was an identical repeat of February’s competition, with the exception of storm clouds rolling in to threaten the festivities.  The race would have proceeded regardless of the weather because a little rain certainly wouldn’t affect the swim and the stationary bikes used for the cycling portion were set up under a tent (zoom into the picture at right to see one). There were at least a couple of spots on the run which would have been dangerous in pouring rain, but fortunately that’s a scenario that never came to pass.  Dry weather held out the entire morning.

As with the last tri, Sachi and I checked immediately upon arrival.  We each velcroed a timing chip strap around an ankle and momentarily shed our jackets to allow race officials to Sharpie our race numbers in large, easy to read numerals on our upper arms.  Compared to the last race when I was able to set up my gear only at the last minute because of mechanical problems, I managed to ready my stationary bike, bottle, shoes, and socks with plenty of time to pull on my swim cap and goggles and warm up briefly in the pool.

Ah, the pool.  I felt much more relaxed about the swim in this second race, but actually swam more slowly than in February.  (Maybe I was too relaxed!)  Anyway, the good thing is that I was fairly calm going into the bike and not in a panic, and I managed to leave the pool at least 10 seconds before the very last participant.

Fortunately, I’m a bit faster at biking and running and managed to catch up a bit before the end of the race.  The morning was split into 6 heats, slated towards increasing proficiency as the morning wore on.  Sachi and I started early in the morning with 13 other women and men spanning a wide age range.  Of the 15 people in my heat, I placed 13th in the swim, 7th in the bike, and 3rd in the run and ended up somewhere in the middle overall.  Even though I swam a little more slowly this race, it was considerably more enjoyable than in February.  In fact, because the triathlon format was no longer new to me, the entire race was even more fun than in February, and I managed to shave more than a minute off the last race.

These two mini-triathlons were warm-ups to a more traditional triathlon I’m planning to do in early June.  There, I’ll be swimming in a reservoir and using my own road bike on an actual road.  In the next month and a half, I need to get back into biking after taking time off during the cold wintry months.  Even more importantly, I have to break out of the pool and try swimming in open water.  I hope to attend an open water clinic next month where we’ll spend a couple of hours on land learning tips and then head into the icy (~54-57F) bay water for an hour of swimming at Aquatic Park in San Francisco.  Not to worry, I have a brand new triathlon wetsuit at the ready to help keep me both warm and buoyant.

Swim (400 yards):  12:11 (vs. 11:42 in Feb.)

Bike (10 kilometers):  19:51 (vs. 21:18)

Run (1.5 miles):  12:48 (vs. 13:03)

Total: 44:51 (vs. 46:03)

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