Friday, April 22, 2011

Practice Exam

Last weekend I dusted off the cobwebs and did my first race of the year. The Big Rock Olympic Triathlon. It seems like I am getting a late start this year since last year by now I had done a couple of half marathons, a marathon and an olympic distance triathlon. Took a little longer this year to get to a start line, you'd think that would mean I was more prepared or something. Think again. I considered this race a 'practice' race. Just like when I was preparing to take my nursing boards, I took practice exams. I treated the practice exams like the real thing, I just wasn't completely prepared to take the 'real' exam yet. Last Saturday, just like in my simulation exams I set about preparing all my equipment and went about racing like it was the real deal. I knew that just like the pre exam exam the pre races race would show me the areas I needed to focus on. Maybe, just maybe a little fear would be injected into my complacency!

Here is what I learned:

1)While the zigzag stitch is a super cool stitch on the sewing machine, zigzagging might not be the best approach to a swim that is being timed! I'd say more open water swim practice is needed but that would imply I had done any. Maybe I could fix that drift to the right if I practiced. Although, to be fair, the person on my left kept coming towards me and I was just avoiding personal contact. At least my in laws will be happy to hear that I have some leanings toward the right!

Perfect temperature Lake Swim

2) My new Specialized transition pro bike is fast! (thanks Experience Cycling!) My new bike is smooth! My new bike looks sweet! My new wheels are fast! My new tubeless tires provide a fabulous ride! My new tri kit looks awesome with my new bike! (thanks Swim West:)) My new bike needs a faster engine, I thought these Specialized bikes came with an engine in the bottom bracket? Hmm,  my motor seemed to be missing the turbo injection! Time for some intervals and efforts, no more chatty chat rides:(  I'm actually very happy considering I have only been on the new bike 4 weeks and I hadn't been on a time trial bike since May. Thanks to Matt Hoffman for setting me up on my bike and getting the fit so comfortable!

Yes, Red is one of my FAVORITE colours!

3) No girls passed me on the run. Oh and only one passed me on the bike. Small races are very helpful for building some confidence. Lots of work to be done on the run, but progress is being made even if the time doesn't reflect it. My legs transitioned immediately off the bike, which was great since it was my first time  on the new set up running off any effort on the bike. I apologize to all the guys who I came up behind and they had to listen to my porn star breathing. I always forget how the air out there affects my asthma. One thing, it either made them speed up to get away from me or they let me pass uneventfully and didn't care that they were being chicked, as long as the noise stopped! 

The results of the practice exam are in and I need to work on lots of areas but I am not as far behind as I thought I was going into the test. My swim, even crooked was right where it always is. I consider this excellent considering all the time I took out of the water in the last year and where I was when I got back at it. My bike is fast, now to just tune the engine to match the chassis. My run is a work in progress, but progress is being made. Even though it was a 'practice' race I still managed to place and come home with some hardware. 2011 is looking promising! Time to hit the books so I am ready for the real exams!

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