Monday, October 10, 2011

Race #8 of the Season: Crescent Moon Sprint Tri

So I'm super behind here and playing catch-up, but eh.

Waaaay back in late August (or two blog posts ago), we signed up for a late-season sprint tri to hopefully keep us motivated to keep moving for two reasons - our wedding and for the RnR Denver Half-Marathon.

Signing up did neither. Oops. Wedding crap became overwhelming and finding time to work out just didn't happen. Well, that, and one of the few times I tried to run after IM70.3 Boulder my back started hurting.

So, ass-early on September 17th after getting to bed fairly freaking late on September 16th, we woke up and drove to Cherry Creek State Park to do the Crescent Moon Sprint Triathlon because dangit, we signed up for it and paid for it so we were going to go ahead and race the darn thing.

Race Day

Since the days are getting longer (silly fall), it took a bit longer than usual on race morning to see the sunrise.

Crescent Moon Sprint Tri

Sun or not, though, packets needed to be picked up as well as sweatshirts (no t-shirts here) and transition needed to be set up. We found a nice corner spot at the end of the rack ... and also near port-o-pottys. We figured that might be something to regret later on, but the smell never ended up getting bad, so that was nice.

Crescent Moon Sprint Tri
Brandon in trans.

Crescent Moon Sprint Tri
Rocking the new sweatshirt.

Crescent Moon Sprint Tri
Transition set up.

After everything got set up, it was time to get body-marked ... and the customary smiley. Which looked so wrong:

Crescent Moon Sprint Tri

Brandon got an homage to Kris and Mark on his leg, for all their awesomeness:

Crescent Moon Sprint Tri
Crescent Moon Sprint Tri

Soon enough, it was time to exit trans and hit the beach to start our race.

The Swim

As we got down to the beach, I realized one bad thing - I forgot to take off my ring. Usually when racing, I take off my engagement ring and toss it in the bento box, waiting until T1 to put it back on. I know a lot of athletes who swim with their rings, but I'm paranoid so I don't. That day, though, I would have to.

We attempted to warm up a bit in the cooold water and just waited for our waves to go off. Brandon's was first and a few minutes later, I was off.

Unlike a few of the other races I've done this year, I positioned myself on the side in the middle. This was the first race this year where we didn't have a water start (boooo) and I wanted to try to get in quickly enough to try and swim my own race.

The strategy worked for the most part. Being off to the side meant I didn't get smacked around too much and not being at the back was good mentally knowing I would be the last (or damn near the last) out of the water like, say, Boulder Peak.

Due to the cold, it took a minute to find my groove, but once I did, I felt pretty good. The only issue I had with this race was that there needed to be one more sighting buoy. There was one, the turnaround buoy, the third not too long after that and then the fourth waaaay down the way near the exit. Most everyone I talked to after the race agreed that we needed another big honking orange floaty buoy between 3 and 4. Maybe they didn't because maybe they only had four buoys, but we all needed another sighting tool out there.

The worst part of the swim portion wasn't the swim, but the two minute long (for me; i timed it) run back to transition. Here, I'll show you with pictures I took pre-race:

Crescent Moon Sprint Tri
Crescent Moon Sprint Tri
Crescent Moon Sprint Tri
Crescent Moon Sprint Tri

Yeeeah. Crappy. As a result, a marginally crappy swim time was made to look even worse due to the mat being at the beginning of transition. Thanks, tri.

Time: 26:44 (rank: 406th overall)


Transition went pretty quickly ... with the only issue being the ponytail through the helmet hole. I would have preferred a longer T1 time for a shorter swim time though. Stupid run.

Time: 1:59

The Bike

The bike course was similar to that of Tri for the Cure ... with the exception of the out-and-back section that never existed.

Maybe it was the one bike ride the week prior, but the bike portion went by pretty quickly. I forgot about the sections of crappy pavement, but the hill that damn near killed me at T4tC '08 felt like NOTHING this year.

I did snarf down my gel about halfway through the ride for energy ... something I would have NEVER done in a sprint tri in the past and probably something I won't do in the future. Buuut, due to the aforementioned wedding stress, I hadn't been eating well. One of the myriad ways I manifest stress is by not really eating. Due to that probably being an issue on the 70.3 run, I didn't want to have that happen again so I took a gel as precaution on le bike.

On the way back, I passed Brandon in the last mile of the run and yelled at him, knowing he was having a good day.

Time: 42:07 (16.4 mph, 293rd overall)


In, out, yay.

Time: 1:42

The Run

While the bike course was very similar to T4tC, the run course was not. Which I actually liked. The T4tC run course is essentially an out-and-back - run out of the park, up Dam Road, turn around, run back. The run course for this race had you running on some of the various trails in the park - some paved, some not.

The first mile was a little rough and I had to walk a bit more than I would have liked, but I started picking it up in the second mile (which felt really good) and the third mile felt pretty speedy too. Before I knew it, I was coming into the finish.

Crescent Moon Sprint Tri
Finish line photo from earlier that day.

Time: 31:04 (10:02/mi (... if a 5K truly is 3.11 miles, pace should have read 9:59.96), 323rd overall)

Overall Time:
338/464 overall
142/239 female
30/51 division (F2529)

Not great, obviously, but it does mark my fastest official sprint time (though varying distances, obviously) and it's not too bad considering I didn't train for this race. In April we learned we could b.s. our way through a 5K; in September, we learned we could do the same for a sprint tri.

The bad news, obviously, is that now I have high expectations for T4tC when I do it for the first time since 2008 next year ...

Crescent Moon Sprint Tri

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