Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to compete in my first every draft-legal triathlon: The Monroe (Washington) Elite Development sprint-distance race. Not only did I get to fly with my hubby up to gorgeous Washington, with its super clean, fresh air, but I also got to learn from 2004 Olympic Triathlete (and someone I have looked up to for the past five years) Barb Lindquist. Barb lead a clinic during the weekend, which included race-prep and skills work the day before the race AND race debriefing, more skills work, strength exercises, snacks!, and video analysis the day after the race. While the race itself was a great experience, the clinics made the weekend even more worthwhile.
From Thursday night through Sunday morning, we were hosted by our “Washington Family”, which we borrowed from my college roommate, Kirsten (basically a sister to me). They fed us homemade lasagna and burritos, and even sent us off each day with sack lunches. They made us feel so comfortable and at home, which is huge when you are stressed out about everything that could possibly go wrong before and during a triathlon–especially an out-of-state triathlon, with a brand new race format, rules that you aren’t used to, specific equipment requirements, etc.
Some Highlights from the weekend:
- getting a ride to the airport from my mom and dad 🙂
- the nice lady who quickly came to our rescue with jumper cables when my dad’s truck battery died on our way to the airport.
- having hubs around (he is so helpful with everything and I really can’t imagine how I would have done this race without his support!)
- family dinners with our Washington family
- delicious Thai food in Monroe (loose leaf tea, pad Thai, pineapple fried rice, and mango ice cream)
- getting to see people that I hadn’t in a while, or had never met before but had talked to on the phone (Barb, a Canadian junior elite triathlete named Rowan, and Kevin from NorCal)
- 69 degree water = no wetsuits allowed for the swim! I love non-wetsuit open water swims 🙂
- working so hard during the race that I threw up a bit at the finish
- drafting and riding in a group during the race (communicating and cooperating with competitors was strange but fun)
- eating (and site-seeing) in Seattle: Serious Pie, and Molly Moon’s
Some Lessons from the weekend:
- putting rubber bands on shoes/bike to keep shoes in the proper position to mount bike
- mounting the bike while running (holding handlebars, hop on right foot to put left foot on shoe, then push forward with right foot three times to build momentum, then throw right leg over bike)
- cut the bottom of the legs off the wetsuit for easier removal after swim
- wear one cap under goggles, and race cap over goggles, just in case the top cap falls off
- if you are a stronger swimmer, choose the spot furthest to the left (out of the middle) for the swim, so you don’t get caught in the clump
- if you aren’t hungry, don’t have a snack too close to race time…
- cut race number and attach under seat post vs. on top tube of bike frame
- surgical tubing exercises for swim strength and injury-prevention
- tips for my run: keep arms bent at 90 degrees and follow path from ear to armpit, don’t swing forearms down or in front of torso, push elbows back to drive knee forward, push feet into ground to build momentum to lift heel
- tips for my swim: higher elbow catch, more rotation, don’t let hand slip under torso, keep head in line with body during breath, accelerate hand throughout stroke
- use duct tape to “wax off” race number temporary tattoo after a race
Some Pics from the race (photo credit to Brice Oliver):
|The race start: We get our own box to start from!|
|Newly-honed professional bike mounting skills|
|Getting ready to dismount|
|Just before the vomit happened|
It was a fun weekend, and I hope to have another opportunity to do a draft-legal race soon. Next up: Semana Nautica 1-mile Ocean Swim, July 5th!