Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mock Triathlon Race Report

Today's mock triathlon was so much fun and was a huge confidence booster!  Nine hours later, I'm still grinning from ear-to-ear.  I shared this great experience with friend, and fellow aspiring triathlete Tanya, my husband crew-extraordinaire Steve and cheering-squad daughters.  After playing it cautious for the last several months following my injury and surgery, it was really fun going balls out and having some of my favorite people along for the tide, ride and the stride.

It was a beautiful clear day in Eugene, Oregon.  After random hail storms and a solid month of rain, we were delighted to have the weather's cooperation for our "try tri".  Tanya rode her bike to the gym.  She has a hefty mountain bike that gets plenty of around the town miles as she hauls around her kids in their "bike train" (a tag-along with a bike trailer behind it).  My bike on the other hand is light, has skinny tires, has never been attached to a lock, left unattended or spent a night outdoors.  I have yet to find an appropriate name for my bike, but Princess comes to mind.  While "Princess" can't tow, she can GO!  We nervously rifled through our bags and set things up for T1 in the back of my van.  It was now time for our do-it-yourself event to begin!

Tri Mommas are ready to "bring it"
Donning our brand new tri-suits, Tanya and I climbed into the pool.  Steve had a clipboard, pen, stop watch and spreadsheet.  He would count laps, record splits and let us know when we were done.  Our job was to swim 750 yards.  This is 30 pool lengths or 15 laps in this particular pool.  I wanted a good time estimate for my 500 meter swim so that I would be properly seeded for my upcoming triathlon.  I was pleasantly surprised and pleased with my time.  In my excitement, I went out a little too fast.  It would serve me better to maintain a more consistent pace .
    Lots of nervous energy
    Here I am
    Here's Ms. Textbook Swim Form
    We quickly pulled off swim caps and goggles, toweled off and made our way out to T1.  Steve had pulled our bikes out of the van and had laid out our cycling accessories.  He's a keeper!  (Sorry I snapped at you earlier, honey!  It was pre-race nerves, not you.)  All the tri books that I have are very specific on the order that these things go on.  I had studied up ahead of time, but all that prior knowledge flew out the door in my excitement.  I still have no idea what order I put on my jersey, shoes, helmet and glasses.  Off we set for a chilly ride underneath a crystal blue sky.

    From the gym, we rode out to the fabulous river path for what was supposed to be 7-8 miles but actually turned out to only be 6-1/2 miles.  Oh, well.  We had a brief jaunt on the road and hit both of the traffic lights on the route.  In less than a mile, we were out of vehicular traffic and on Eugene's lovely river path.  This portion was a welcome break for me from swimming.  I was able to suck down my Gu and gulp down a half of a water bottle's worth of Gu Brew.  I had wet hair under my helmet, a light long-sleeved shirt over my tri-suit, bare feet in my cycling shoes and fingerless cycling gloves.  I froze!  Now I know that I could use another layer or a warmer layer on my core, fingered gloves and perhaps something to keep my head and feet warmer.  My legs felt fresh and eager to cycle.  After a few rough bike to run bricks, I was cautious though.  I didn't want to tax my legs so much that they'd be flat come running time.  I was also feeling overly cautious after taking my first spill on my bike the previous day.  I figure I was riding at about 60-70% effort.

    At the beginning of our ride
    At the end of our ride. Tiny specks of blue and black across the river.
    Finally dry by the time I make it to T2
    Steve and the girls were at the park and had set up T2 for us.  As I was bending down to take off my shoes I got a serious muscle cramp that stopped me dead in my tracks.  Ouch!  I could barely move and I still didn't have my running shoes or Garmin on!  I relaxed, breathed and rubbed into it until it finally subsided.  Wow, that was intense!  I had worried that it might be an event stopper.  So many things can happen out there.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for bodies, weather, equipment, fellow participants and all the other variables on race day.  We are all very brave and optimistic for getting out there and trying.  I recently saw a cute sign that a child held that said "My mommy's a winner just for tri-ing." I couldn't agree more.

    Tanya and I were on the homestretch.  We had a 2-1/2 mile run left.  As mentioned earlier, I was nervous about going from my cycling to running.  I had yet to have a good experience in the handful of times I've had a bike/run brick.  Thankfully, today was different!  I think it was because I had great company and support.  We took off for our run with what seemed like a ton of energy.  My legs still had the bike-turn-over feeling, yet it felt like I was running ever so slowly.  My running partner coined our muddy trail runs as "Flintstone style running".  This is so appropriate!  Legs are spinning just like good ole' Fred's when he's starting up his car.  It felt like my legs were spinning but not getting anywhere.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that we were running at 8:25 pace with seemingly little effort.  We slowed it down to just under nine minute miles and had a nice conversation for the next 2-1/2 miles.  The miles went quickly and surprisingly painlessly.  My daughter Skylar joined us for the last quarter, she's got a great kick, is a good sprinter and served as the perfect rabbit to reel in Tanya and I.

    Our rabbit, Skylar leads us down the homestretch
    Wahoo! We did it!
    I highly recommend race simulations.  Not only are they confidence boosting, but they also help you work out any kinks before race day.  Come race day, I'll know to pace myself better during the swim portion, dress warmer for my bike portion and excitement and post-bike leg turn-over can help my running portion.  Two more weeks until my first real sprint triathlon!  Could it possibly be any more exciting or fun than today?  I don't know but I do know that I love tri-ing!

    Mock Tri Stats


  • First 250 meters: 5:04

  • Second 250 meters:  5:29  This gives me a 10:33 time for 500 meters

  • Third 250 meters:  5:48.  This gives me a 16:15 time for 750 meters.

  • BIKE
    • 6-1/2 miles in 30 minutes
    • First mile: 8:58
    • Second mile: 9:00
    • Third half mile: 8:24
    TOTAL (Including transistions)
    78 minutes


    1. I LOVED this post! I agree we need to train like race day, I did a mock tri yesterday too!!! It left me feeling excited and confident about the season ahead, you're gonna kick butt!! That sign was so sweet, so awesome that you have such a great support network. Keep us posted on how the race goes, i'm excited to hear about it!

    2. Thanks Christie! Glad that I found your blog. Best of luck in your training & upcoming race season!