Monday, August 17, 2009

Patriot Camp

This past Saturday I attended Patriot Camp, sponsored by TQT and led by coaches E. and C. A fellow TG and I left for Jamestown at 5:45 a.m. for a full, fantastic, fun day of biking, running and swimming. We split into two groups for the bike ride – Sprinters and Olympians. The Olys rode on Route 5 while Sprinters rode on the adjacent bike trail. The trail was wonderful, and also flat – a pleasant change from the PP hills last week. Someday the trail is supposed to go all the way to Richmond, and it will be a fantastic ride. Then we had a hands-on bike maintenance clinic, where we practiced changing a flat tire. For me, it was my second tire change of the day, as I had blown out a tube while pumping up my tire before we even started the ride. I was using a fancier pump than I’m used to and I didn’t push/pull quickly enough when I should have. Next on the agenda were running techniques and drills, followed by a 3-mile run on the bike trail. Even though I was the last one to finish, I had an excellent time for me, so I was pleased. After lunch we moved across the road to the swim venue. We practiced open water starts, sighting, and techniques for swimming against the current or in some chop. The last session of the day was on race strategy and nutrition. This camp was a wonderful training experience. It was well organized, had great swag, and provided super support for aspiring triathletes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Progress in Pink

I did the Pink Power sprint triathlon on August 9. This was a new, all-women event, and there were nearly 400 participants – half of them first-timers. The swim was 400 meters in an outdoor pool, the bike was 11+ miles of rolling hills, and the run was 3.1 miles around a small lake, thru the woods, and up more hills. I suppose the race director didn’t want anyone to say the race wasn’t challenging, but, for my part, I would have been just as satisfied with a flatter course. I’d done the run several times before the race, so I knew what the terrain was like, but I hadn’t expected my legs to feel like they were stuck in cement when I got to that segment, so the last mile was tough.

Overall, the race was fun. I rarely do as well as I hope beforehand that I might, but my particular goal for this race had been to finish ahead of at least one of the three competitors in my age group, and I placed second. I also was encouraged when I compared my split times with my performance last October at the Napier Richmond Sprint. I think that course is much easier, despite the one, long uphill climb on the bike segment. At the Pink Power, I had a slightly faster swim, a much faster T1, and a comparable bike and run. So I guess I’m still in the game.