Monday, July 31, 2006

Las Vegas Triathlon Race Report

No, not that Las Vegas. Las Vegas, New Mexico, with a population of 14,500 and altitude of 6800 feet. True to the name of the distance, it was a Herculean effort to drag my 165-pounds around the course. This was my second Olympic tri, having done the Squeaky Buttman in May.

This is, first of all, a race I would absolutely do again. NEXT time I'll get more than 3 hours of sleep. Miguel "Sharkbait" stayed over the night before and and drove up with us, and we stayed up too late watching a movie he brought over and wound up turning in after 11. We then got up at 3 am to make the trip up to LV to do the Olympic distance tri.

I do not endorse or recommend this as a race strategy.


The weather was Gorgeous, cool and breezy. This race was well-organized. I loved the bike stickers that you don't need twist ties for and that don't leave stickygummy stuff on your bike, and that's what you get at this race, plus, it's chip-timed. The volunteers were very enthusiastic. I'm shuffling along at about a 60 minute mile pace, and they're screaming "Wow! Good job! You're DOIN' it! Outstanding! WOO-HOO!!!". I usually feel the need to speed up to earn that type of cheering, but not yesterday...I just nodded and waved weakly.

Clearly, the Olympic isn't my race. Yet. Bearing in mind that in the past year I've gone from, "no thanks, I'll take the elevator to the 2nd floor"...to...running 8 miles continuously without walk breaks. My endurance is crap. This has been my aerobic-base-building year.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

pdf file of the run and swim courses. The swim is in Storie Lake, and is done in three waves. The women went first, which is refreshing, because as I've mentioned before, I enjoy not being dead last coming in. Storrie is a nice cold lake. It was about 70 degrees on the surface. I can't judge water clarity, since, like a lot of back of packers, all the murk is stirred up by the time I'm swimming through it. The only unpleasant thing I noticed was the faint smell and taste of fuel toward the end of the 1500 meter swim (if you KNEW how polluting boat engines were, you wouldn't want to ever boat or use a jet ski again) My time for the swim, 44 minutes. Good news: I've been puzzled as to why siting is so difficult for me, and I finally figured it out: if you wear blue-tinted goggles, it cancels out the orange of the bouy, so you can't see it. Duh! I even teach a lesson of this in physical science! Clear or gray for me, from now on.

The bike (pdf bike map) is a rolling out-and-back bike course with a gradual upward trend on nice roads, but you don't realize it at first.
  • [This is a bit off the subject, but does anyone out there but me feel a little put off when people pass you, and say, "Good job!"
    I always say, "thanks! You too!", but I'm thinking, "not good enough, I guess; you're passing me. In fact, the extra breeze generated by your passing is slowing me down...oh, forget it. I do appreciate the attempt at sportsmanship, and you're already a quarter mile down the road now..."
    I don't want to seem like a bitch, though, so I just think it to myself.]
The bike was 40K, or about 25 miles. I finished it in about 1:35 or so. There was a slight headwind coming back, but not enough to really slow you down, and you appreciate that breeze on the run. I don't feel like I really hummered it (inside joke). I was concerned about having something left for the run. (Again: my story, and I'm sticking with it.)

This run brought to you by the letter P.
The run is "p" shaped, an out-and-back with a little loop in the middle. It's very well-marked, with aid stations about every mile or so. The aid stations had water and sponges. Did you know that if you sponge off your legs with cool water, it feels GREAT?? I also tried putting it in my bra top to cool me down, but it warmed up too fast and then, it was just a warm sponge in my bra, which felt weird. I ran with Debi, another Outlaw, and I think she was being charitable sticking with me because I was slooowwww. It took me 1:30 to finish that run, which is astonishingly slow, even for me, but I figure that, 1) we were nearly 7000 feet above sea level, and there were hills, 2) I was operating on about 3 hours of sleep, and 3) I had to stop several times and fiddle with my race belt because I had borrowed one at the last minute and couldn't seem to get my number to stay on it, and 4) I had to stop to pee.
There were some hills and it was challenging, over a mixture of blacktop and firm dirt path. When I stopped to go to the bathroom: "P" is for paranoid: that someone would come along and see me - like my son, who at 15-year-old doesn't need that kind of image in his head. I've discovered another fine benefit of being a back-of-the-packer is that you can pee if you want to, and nobody will see you. The key is to not be the absolute last runner, because there's always a vehicle following you.

I would like to announce that this was Mini-me's first Olympic distance, and he went the distance, baby! Husband and I had mulled over whether to let him do it, but he insisted that he wanted to try it. At 5'9" and 185 pounds, we figured he could handle it. He was pretty tired when he was through; I'll spare you the details because I don't want to take detract from his manly image. As his mommy, I'll just say that he suffered to finish this race. He wasn't in pain; he was just really, really tired. He never quit.

He then set upon me with demands that he be rewarded in every way possible by unlimited TV and computer time, extra food, recognition, acolades, etc.

All of us (and Miguel!) came home with hardware. Husband placed first in the Clydesdales division, son first in 15-and-under, and I was second Athena. It took me 4 hours to finish, but baby, I'm done. I came home and slept for 5 hours, and after I'm done posting this, I'll sleep some more! After that, well, I'll sleep some more.
Results are posted here.

1 comment:

  1. As I've only competed in one race to date, I may not be qualified yet to agree with your "good job" bike passing comment, but I'm going to anyway. I'm glad you commented on this because when it was being said to me it felt more condescending than supporting, though I'm sure it wasn't meant to.

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