Leaving on a High Note – The Rookie Tri

April 26, 2011

The good news?  The Rookie Tri is done.  The better news?  I didn’t drown.

As I mentioned in the last post, I joined approximately 800 others on an early Sunday morning at Decker Lake in Austin Texas to compete in the Rookie Triathlon. Having never done a triathlon before I was a curious about what to expect.  I arrived at the venue at 6:15 am and began the process of checking in.  First to body marking where my race number (297) was written on both of my upper arms and both of the front of my legs and my age was written on my right calf.  Then to the transition area where Chris helped me find my assigned spot and set up.  By now it was about 7:15am and my wave wasnt scheduled to go until 8:40.  Off to the truck for a nap.

The swim was the only part of the race that I was worried about, mostly because I didn’t know what to expect.  Others had tried to tell me just how chaotic this part of the race could be but I was still unprepared.  I had worked hard in the pool and was confident in my abilities, but I couldn’t get any sort of rhythm going.  After 150 meters of being kicked and run into, my pulse was through the roof and my anger was rising.  I needed to put myself in a happy place – which is just what I did.  I stopped trying to pass people and just breast stroked to the finish.

The next two parts of the race went better for me.  I was able to keep a good pace on the bike and the vast majority of the racers I passed were extremely polite and happy to move to the right so I could get by.  The run started out a little slow but after 1/4 mile I was able to  loosen up and lengthen my stride.

How did I do?  I won my age group by 12 seconds.


Rookie Triathlon – Austin, Texas

April 18, 2011

This past Sunday was the Rookie Triathlon here in Austin, Texas.  By some weird quirk of the cosmos, I was somehow convinced by a good friend that I needed to enter.  It was promised that if I did, my karma would improve and that my chi would be in harmony.  Whatever.

So I began my journey at the end of February for a race on Sunday April 17th.  Having not run since the last disaster – and before that for more than a decade – and never haven swum, I assumed that a month and a half was more than sufficient.   I needed the figure out a way the swim for 300 meters and not drown, ride 11 miles and not run over anyone staring ahead of me and run 2 miles without killing my knees and ankles.  As a Belgian young lady I knew as a teenager used to say –  “Piece of Pie”

The Run

First things first;  I needed shoes and a plan. I have a love hate relationship with running shoes.  I know from past experience that a good quality and proper fitting shoe would make all the difference but I’ve been known to hold onto a nickel pretty tight.  Nevertheless, off the Hill Country Running for the right gear .  Nate Price, the downtown store manager, hooked me up with a pair of Brooks Adrenalin shoes  (11 EEE)  that fit perfectly.

The plan was easy.  I called Derick at Durata Training and told him I was back in the game.  After a few questions to confirm that I was not under the influence of any controlled substances, or uncontrolled for that matter, he outlined a plan.  Now, Derick is a highly accomplished runner in his own right and Coaches a number of elite runners and triathletes, so I sat back a waited for the brilliance.  Ready for it???    Start slow – I mean like hare and the tortoise  slow, DMV slow, Florida old man driver slow.   Oh yea, I forget the most important part of the plan – Listen to the Coach and don’t act like an ass.  Easier said than done.

The Swim

Now this was going to be a problem.  Every time I tried to swim in the past, I couldn’t make it any further than about 25 meters before my lungs began to burn.  I needed someone to teach me –  Remember the friend that convinced me that a triathlon was a good idea? Well, he stepped up and volunteered to teach me.  I began trying to swim twice a week at the Lakeway Swim Center and after a few workouts where I was passed by both 8-year-old kids and 65-year-old grandmothers I began to figure it out.  Not very well mind you, but enough that I was pretty confident that I could swim 300 meters and not drown.

Am I ready?  Probably not.  Will I finish?  No doubt.  Will I enjoy myself?  We will see.  Stay tuned.