Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pleasanton Tri for Fun #3 race report

My results: I finished the race in 1:10:05, which is a nice improvement over last time.

My breakouts (and comparable from June's race of 1:12:33):
  • Swim: 7:24 (8:08)
  • T1: 2:33 (3:00)
  • bike: 30:27 (31:25)
  • T2: 1:20 (1:40)
  • run: 28:21 (28:20)
So with the exception of the run, I was improved all around! The funny thing is, I've done more running than anything else since the last time I ran the race. I actually think I ran faster this time, but I paused about 30 seconds into the run to stretch out my right calf which was cramping up after the bike. Without that pause, it'd have been improvements across every single area. Woohoo!

My color commentary on the day:
As I prepped my transition area this morning at Tri for Fun #3 under a beautiful pink and orange sunrise out in Pleasanton, CA, I found myself wondering how in the heck did it get to be August 16 already?!

No matter how time had flown, it was still time to race. I'd done my first Tri for Fun in June (race report here) so today's would be a good way to gauge just how much I'd improved in the last 60 days. I can't say I'd spent the whole 60 days prepping for the triathlon. In the meantime, I'd trained for and summited Mt Whitney (14,495'), taken a 2 week road trip vacation and kinda fallen out of a disciplined approach to improving my times.

As always, the race was well-organized with check-in and transition setup going smoothly (for those of us who got there before 6am). The Shadow Cliffs lake level was lower than ever, attributable to how little rain we've gotten this year, but it was still no-wetsuit-needed warm and mostly clear.

According to race organizers, there were 1,000 of us on the course this morning, split out into six waves (competitive, M16-39, M40+, F16-39, F40+ and relays/others) departing at five minute intervals. And just like last time, there was a very congenial attitude amongst the "competitors" with a warm welcome for the hundreds of first-timers doing the race.

I'd been steeling myself for a hot run (yes, even at 8am) but temperatures were quite comfortable even as we hung around cheering for late finishers past 9am.

Changes I'd made since running last race? I resolved not to take the long outside lane in the swim, I'd gotten a one-piece trisuit and I'd purchased a number belt. I also resolved to push harder on the bike and not walk up any of the hills on the run course (a bad habit I'd formed on the last Tri for Fun).

And in doing all the above, I managed to shave 2.5 minutes off my June time, and I'm rather proud of my improving in each area (calf cramping during the run aside) instead of taking out a big chunk in a single discipline. On top of all this, I posted negative splits for the bike and the run, so I think I'm developing good habits there, too.

My competition:
Of the three of us (Thom, Neil and me), I still came in last, but felt more respectable than last time as our times were closer. I also posted the best bike time of us three even though they both have Aero bars and I do not (still haven't installed mine), so just watch out when I get more aerodynamic!

Shadow Cliffs Tri for Fun Maps:
I saw a lot of traffic came to this site after my June race report looking for maps of the course. Good news for those searchers: I wore my Garmin 305 for the bike/run legs this time, so I have the map data as well as some good data to analyze re: heart rate and pace.

The Bike Map
Bike leg goes clockwise around this route with an out-and-back in SE corner


The Run Map (explanation below)

The run leg follows the jeep trails on site and goes in somewhat a clover shape that starts at the green pin, goes by Heron Pond and then cuts SE down around the Arroyo del Valle loop, back by the Heron Pond to do the NW loop and then all the way down to Arroyo del Valle again before heading along the Shadow Cliffs Lake shore to the red pin finish.

Next time?
Unfortunately, I'll be out of town for the Tri for Real race. I'd really like to see how much I could improve on that one over this, but it's not to be. I'll just have to wait for Tri for Fun #1 in 2009 on my way to doing my first half Ironman.

1 comment:

Michelle @ Diary of an Aspiring Loser said...

Great job getting your report up fast! I'm going to post mine in a little bit. Wasn't that sunrise beautiful? I didn't get there until 6:30. I knew that'd make it hectic but it worked out ok. Didn't want to rise any earlier than 4:15. Anyway, good job improving on your time!