18663 Ventura Blvd, Suite 202, Tarzana CA 91356

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hansen Dam Sprint Triathlon

After my foray this past year into olympic distances and a half ironman, I decided to take a step back and do a sprint triathlon.

The swim: 500 meters. Small inland lake. Water felt like bath water. Because of the temperature and the short distance, I chose to go without a wetsuit, a decision I do not regret. The start was crowded -- for some reason, all women 39 and under started at once, and the older women, 40-49 and 50+ each got their own waves to start in. I'm a little jealous, but I guess age should come with some privileges. I swam a bit off course and had to swim back around a buoy, maybe losing 10 seconds. My time out of the water was about 13 minutes.

Transition 1: I've been really focusing on getting my transitions better, trying to take a few extra steps out. I removed the strap on my sunglasses in advance. So, run to bike, put on bike shoes, put on bike helmet, put on sunglasses, wish good luck to guy I know in transition, and run out with bike. Bam bam bam.

The bike: 11 miles, relatively flat. Coach Jamie said go hard because it's a short race, don't save energy for the run. So I pushed myself. I passed a lot of people on mountain bikes and a few on road bikes. A lot of people passed me too. But hey, the bike is not my forte. There was one sharp turn where the woman next to me nearly took out my bike. My pace ended up being about 17-18 mph. For me, that's good.

Transition 2: Another area I've been working on. Before dismounting the bike, I un-velcroed my shoes and pulled my feet out. So once I dismounted, I could run faster with bare feet than with my clumsy bike shoes. Helmet off, right sock on, right shoe on, left sock on, left shoe on, and this time with thinner socks that are easier to pull on than my usual thick socks. Grab visor and run. But, boy did I have to pee! So I made a quick pit stop at the port-o-potty. It took me 20 seconds to do my business. As I dashed out, someone yelled to me, "Quickest transition port-o-potty stop ever!" Funny.

Run: The phrase that I always repeat to myself during the run is "Mind Over Matter". I really think the run on any triathlon is as much mental as it is physical. It's the point of the race where our bodies are tired from swimming and biking, and we have to find it in us to efficiently use all the energy that's left in us to finish those last few miles. The trail run was for the most part flat, though there were a couple of slight hills. At the end was a rather short, steep hill. My heart rate shot up to 194. Mind over matter, keep going. And I just pushed to the finish. Average run time: about 9:15/mile.

Overall time: 1 hour, 19 minutes.
Average heart rate: 164/min

These are my measurements. Official times have yet to be posted to the internet. But I'm really happy with how I did. Probably my best sprint tri ever.


Anonymous said...

Awesome job, VHD! Or should I say, VSD: Very Speed-D, ha!

David said...

Hi Heather, I'm so psyched to have found you! Congrats on your races!! I'm in Rochester, where I gather you were a resident or fellow? I know a bunch of people at Strong, but not in cardiology. Was your coach here Mary Eggers? I'm a triathlete and ethical vegan, and would love to talk diet with you. I did the Soma half some years ago...I think the course has changed since then. Anyway, if you wanna chat, I'm at doorknob [at] rochester [dot] rr [dot] com. Cheers, David

Unknown said...

Great work! Very speedy! Another great phrase I was thinking about today is "There is No Spoon" from THE MATRIX. Can be applied in many situations. I said it to myself today when forced to take a cold shower at work after my ride in.