Saturday, March 3, 2012

Desert Triathlon - My First International Distance.

Tomorrow I am competing at my first International Distance Triathlon - a 3/4 mile swim in a lake, a 24-mile bike ride and a 10k run.

deserttrilogo2010I have a couple of concerns about tomorrow.

First, I am not sure I will be finished by the time they have awards and the drawing for the Cannondale Slice Triathlon Bike. I registered for the Desert Triathlon before Dec. 31 so I could be entered in the drawing for the bike. The rules say you don't have to be present to win, but I would sure like to be there when they call my name.

I had to laugh when I read the email from the people putting on the event saying, "You need not be present to win, but I hope you will all stick around to see who the lucky winner will be."

Stick around? Who are they kidding? I'll still be out there running on their darn course. I wish they would wait for me to finish. It's the least they could do, since I AM WINNING THAT BIKE!!!!!

Why do I think I won't be finished? Well, I went online and looked at last year's results. For women in the 50-54 division (yes, I am 51) the fastest woman completed the course in 2 hours and 25 minutes, but she was a fast swimmer, rode her bike at 21.8 miles per hour, and ran at a 7:59 pace. I WISH!!!!

Since my wave goes off at 7:51 a.m., if I could go as fast as she did, I would have 15 minutes to get cleaned up and be at the awards ceremony and personally accept my bike.

The slowest woman - sorry, lady, but I don't know what else to call you - last year took 3 hours and 38 minutes to complete the course. She swam the 3/4 mile in about 35 minutes. I don't think I can swim that fast. By my calculations, I think it's going to take me at least 45 minutes to swim that far. I am not that fast.

And out in open water I tend to zigzag a bit, so my 3/4 mile may end up being 4/5 mile. I am bringing my guy to be my swim buddy, but he is horrible at directions so I don't think he's going to be much help in keeping me on course. He's just going to make sure I don't hyperventilate and have a seizure or something out in the middle of the lake. Race directors frown on that and I certainly do not want to be an embarrassment to my triathlon club.

Back to the slowest competitor last year. She biked the 24 miles at a rate of 15.10 miles per hour. I am pretty sure I can do that, maybe even faster, since they say the course is flat and I now have aerobars. She ran the course at a 12:54 pace. Usually I can run faster than that. My last 10k I ran at a 10:20 pace, but that was just running, not after a bike ride and a swim and in the HEAT!!!!

Heat is my second concern. I am not very good at biking or running in it. I AM very good at sitting in the shade when it is hot and sipping on a cold drink - but that's about it.

The weather channel said it was going to be 60 degrees when we take off on our swim. When I get on the bike it is going to be 68 degrees. I can handle that.  That's perfect bike riding, I mean racing, weather. Around 10:30 when I start out on my run it is going to be about 78 to 80 degrees. That's a little warm for me to be running in.

By 11 o'clock it is projected to be 81 degrees by noon, 83 degrees.

So here's my plan: enjoy my swim and go as fast and as straight as I can without getting out of breath; get out of my wetsuit and out on my bike by 9 a.m., though I pray that it will be faster; be off my bike and running out of transition around 10:30 so I can hear them say my name as the winner of that fabulous triathlon bike; after hearing them call my name, the run in the heat is going to be much easier because I will know that my new wonderful bike is back at the finish line waiting for me.

However fast or long it takes me, the bottom line is I want to finish this International Distance with dignity and get a PR (which I will because it is my first) and remember that the last place person in my division is somewhere out there sitting at home on her couch!

 This is NOT me!!!

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