This week’s theme was definitely risk.
Starting with my Thursday night Project Management course…where the topic was risk and ending with the super sprint tri on Saturday.
An interesting dialogue happened in my course on Thursday. The professor posed the question “Is walking across a street a risk?” In my mind it was so I said “Yes”…I mean what if someone swerved to miss something and hit you? What if you had a seizure and collapsed in the middle of the pedestrian crossing and got run over? All these thoughts going through my head…yet in the past I have done crazy things like skydiving and rock climbing with no hesitation at all. Why is a street crossing a risk?
Quickly the professor responded that crossing the street was NOT a risk but purely a task or an activity. This really got my mind going. What if we approached life with the willingness to take more risks? What if we viewed what may seem as a risk in our conditioned minds as really a task for the day?
Annie Oakley – Super Sprint Tri – 400 meter swim/11 mile bike/2 mile trail run – Aug 11, 2012 (my first triathlon in 10 years)
Saturday was the Annie Oakley Super Sprint Tri. This was an all female event with about 200 women competing. I mentioned in an earlier post that I had signed up on a whim. I had great aspirations to train for this race at least by swimming or doing some brick workouts. Needless to say, as of this Saturday at 4am…I had not entered a swimming pool one time in over 5 years (unless you count casual swimming at the local pool or sitting in my dogs’ baby pool). Was I taking a risk? Do you know how it feels to get out in a lake and even though you know how to swim…you don’t have your breathing technique down so you start to overreact and stress? All this was going through my head.
My results ended up as a finish time of 1:12:28 and 8th in my age group.
I am going to try to do my best to do a quick race report 🙂
The race starts at 7am, so we left my house around 5:15 so we could get to Herb Parsons Lake by 5:45 or so (the general start time for most things such as body marking, transition set up etc for the race). We got there just in time and the parking area was already almost full! After the women’s race there is a men’s race so you could see that people were planning ahead as lots of the male racers were showing up to get ready for their race. We had no problems parking. We did forget a bike pump so Adam asked if we could borrow one and we headed on our way to the transition area (please keep in mind…when I say I did 2 triathlons about 10 yrs ago…I knew NOTHING…and I didn’t own a bike and swam a couple of times if that before those races)…so I consider myself Green…
Adam told me to grab my stuff and take it down to the transition area to mark/reserve a spot…and then we would go get my bike. Got down to the transition area and ‘reserved a spot’ by putting my big bag over the slot where my bike would go in. Then proceeded over to body marking (dang, they write your AGE on your calf in triathlons…that was nice). Then went back to get my bike…this is where I learned my first lesson of the day 🙂 Got back to the transition area for my spot…and someone had taken it and put their bike in it! I wouldn’t say I was upset…but more shocked that someone would do that. The girl that I believe may have been friends with the girl who took it…suggested I take the end spot on the block (I could see someone’s stuff on that spot also) and I told her I would not do that to someone (the same thing that happened to me, basically take someone’s spot when they are not looking). I went over to the next row and Adam found a slot (right next to Leslie’s slot)..so I felt like I was in good hands. Setting up transition is funny…you really have to predict what you will need when you are darting from swim to bike to run and lay it out just right. I kept it pretty simple. Towel, bike shoes, socks, Chomps, running shoes, race belt w/race number for run, bandana. For any experienced triathletes, you will notice I have missed a step.
I ran into quite a few ladies that I know from running. Amanda and Erin were nearby and we were all chatting when I looked down at Erin’s leg and saw a band around her ankle….that is when I realized I never got my timing chip LOL!!!!!! Here I was planning to start this race in 15 min or so and I had not got my chip. Newbie for sure.
The way the swim worked is we had to jump off a pier into Herb Parsons Lake. We were to go in order of our registration number (or race number). I was #187. They let elites go in before everyone else. The swim went out in somewhat of a square shape. You swam straight out to a buoy then to the right around another buoy and then back to the pier. I guess about 100 ladies went in before me? If you take the elites + the approx 77 women before me. Once the elites went in, they waited until they started to finish the swim and let the rest of us go in every 3 seconds. I started out the first ~75 meters or so doing free style. Okay, no swimming in over 5 years…so the fact I had no rhythm to my breathing caught me QUICK. I started to panic a bit. I then switched to breast stroke. Although much slower….it was easier as I did not panic since I could breath much more easily. I found my biggest struggle after the breathing issue is there were quite a few women in front of me that I literally had to navigate around. For example, one lady went from swimming freestyle and then flipped over to do backstroke but then went diagonally right in front of me so I had to literally predict the collision and go out and around her. That type stuff happened several times. By the time I got back to the pier, 5 of us bunched up at the same time to get back on the pier…that was a bit of an issue also as you are hanging on waiting to get back up the steps. Finished the swim in under 12 minutes. That was a shocker for me! I did much better than I expected (not fast by any means but much faster than I planned).
Transition from swim to bike was not bad at all. I moved quickly down the path but ran into the problem of the lady in front of me almost slowing down to a walk and I could not get around her (very narrow path between outside edge of where bikes were staged and the fence/barrier edge of transition area) and we both had to get through that area to our bikes. It was difficult as you feel like you are breathing down someone’s neck and you don’t want to be rude…but oh well. I learned of a new challenge!
Getting ready to get on the bike I put my helmet on first so I wouldn’t forget it 🙂 and then decided to not wear socks. Put my shoes on and headed out to the orange line outside transition where you are allowed to mount your bike. One of my fears was getting penalized for breaking a rule…so remembering my helmet and not to get on my bike too soon were biggies.
The bike was a pretty nice route. I decided not to wear my Garmin for the entire race so I went on how I felt. The route was basically a big square. Very easy to follow, well marked and supported. Some rolling hills but nothing too strenuous. I ended up averaging over the 17mph pace that I had set as a goal (just based on how I felt). I got passed by 3 ladies and I passed around 10 ladies, so that made me feel good about making up some time on the bike.
Transition from the bike to the run was super easy. My nose got super runny on the bike so I blew my nose quickly (in the bandana that I brought) and put running shoes on…and put on race belt. I never ate any of my chomps and I swigged a bit of Gatorade right before I finished my bike.
The run goes out across the levee along Herb Parsons Lake and then onto the trails. I think at this point I was having way too much fun. I definitely was not pushing myself (a weakness of mine for sure). I said hello to several of my friends I saw as I was running and headed from the levee to the trails. There were not many people on the path…so about a mile in…I honestly wondered if I was on the wrong path? I think at this point my hesitation caused me to slow down. There were a few water stops that helped. I remember the last one on the trail and I asked the guys how much was left in the woods? They told me 1/4 mile…it felt like more than that to me. I was pretty happy to get out of the woods and feel myself “going back”.
Overall, I would say the race is a ton of FUN! It is so well organized and really easy. I definitely plan to do it again next year. I think it is a great race for beginners but you could also use it as a fun short race to really push yourself. I think in hindsight I could have pushed myself further but I honestly had no clue what to expect and how I would feel. My legs were still a bit heavy from finally doing pistols in my CrossFit class on Thursday. The crazy thing was after the triathlon, my legs felt great (no pain left). I was surprised how the super sprint course actually leaves you feeling refreshed at the end? I don’t think I have ever done a race that has left me feeling that way? I think overall, this risk was worth taking. In the end, it really did feel like I was doing an activity 🙂