Monday, October 4, 2010

Housatonic Valley Sprint Triathlon

I had originally heard about this race through my father back in May or June. He saw it advertised at work and it grabbed his attention. My dad recently made some serious life changes for the better and my brothers and our mom couldn't be more proud. Not only did he quit smoking, but he changed his diet completely in order to lower his cholesterol, better control his blood sugars, and also lower his blood pressure. To date he has lost over 40 pounds and now works out 5-6 times per week! When he saw this sprint tri posted it gave him something to potentially work towards accomplishing.

Fast forward to late August when my dad decided he had better wait another year as he felt he was not ready yet. At this point I was already registered so that if he decided to sign up I could do it with him. Even though he postponed it, I was still going to race.

The sprint was a 1/4 mile swim, 12 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. Advertised as a hilly bike followed by a run with one serious hill and some rollers. I was in the first wave and looking forward to blasting through the swim. When the gun went off I did just that. As I rounded the final orange buoy and turned for the beach, I looked up to pick my line. As I did so, I saw the cones on the beach and headed straight for them. In the process I swam to the right of a tall white buoy that I thought marked the swimming area of the town park, but as it turned out it was included as race course buoy. I was out of the water first, pulled off my cap and goggles in time to hear a volunteer tell me I missed a buoy and would have to go back. Que the anger...

I threw my goggles back on and went back out around the final buoy and back to the beach and lost about 45 seconds total. As I got through T1 KJ could tell I was not so happy so she just kept shouting positive things to try and cheer me up. I tore out on the bike course on a mission to catch the lead biker. 12 miles and 32ish? minutes later I hadn't seen him, that is until I was approaching T2. As I was going into T2 he was exiting. Some more frustration while trying to get my run shoes on warranted some more positive comments from KJ, and off I went.

Keep in mind this race had a cash prize and I wasn't about to let a swim error cost me some serious dough! I went through the first mile in 5:47 and had the leader in my sights. I slowly tried reeling him in while still making sure I would have enough to make the pass and hopefully put time into him. I caught him just after mile 2 (5:35), and after we exchanged some friendly comments I pushed forward. Within in the last 1.1 miles I was able to put 43 seconds into him and take the win!

It was a special win because this was the first race I have won with my parents being there and it was nice to celebrate with them. The only down side to the day was I had missed my perfect race because of my swim error. My idea of a perfect race is to win the overall while also having the fastest swim, bike, and run splits. I had just missed this in the Chicopee Speedo Challenge when a 17 year old beat me out of the water by a few seconds.

I am super thrilled with my year so far, especially as of late with back to back victories in the Speedo Challenge Sprint and this Sprint. Up next is a race that really matters, the Mighty Man Half Iron in Montauk, NY. This will be my final tune up for Ironman Florida and will give me a much clearer picture of my fitness going into my "A" race for the season.

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