It’s TRI-DAY! Sue A’s Caz Triathlon Report

August 17, 2008 · Print This Article


Cazenovia Triathlon

Sunday 8/10/08



I had been looking forward to this triathlon since the start of the summer, however, life turned pretty hectic and I wasn’t able to be as consistent with my workout and sleep schedule as I’d wanted to be.  Oh well, life happens!  Since the start is just a couple of miles from my house, I had planned on bicycling to the park.  And typically, I prefer to arrive at the venue with at least two hours to spare (crazy, I know…pity poor Janet who frequently carpools with me!)  However, upon crawling out of bed, I was immediately conscious of the very relentless rain coming down.  I scratched the idea of arriving early and savored breakfast and coffee, even took a few minutes to check the weather forecast.  The radar showed that the rain had already moved off to the east and with nothing behind it, I figured we might have a decent day.  Having tortured my long-suffering boyfriend (Dave) with my tri-day exuberance (he’s not a morning person!) and since the rain had stopped, I decided I’d better get going.  On my way past Captain Kate’s house, I noticed her car was open and she was loading her stuff for her trip to Auburn to compete in the Great Race.  Forgetting that it was still early, I hollered out “Happy Tri-Day!”  Pity her poor neighbors (anyone sensing a theme here…?)  Sometimes my enthusiasm just can’t be contained.  I did look pretty unprepared for a triathlon; since it was wet and rainy I had street clothes and a rain jacket over my tri outfit.  I must have been a sight pedaling through Cazenovia!  Kate snapped a quick picture, we exchanged wishes of luck and we were both off. 

Registration, chip pick-up, body marking and transition set-up all went very smoothly.  I had a bit of trouble deciding what time I wanted to put on my wet suit, as transition closed at 8:00 when the Olympic-distance athletes started.  That left me with 45 minutes before my start.  Ultimately, the weather dictated that I put it on earlier than later, because I was starting to get cold.  I did manage to get a glimpse of Janet running from the swim finish to transition…she had a fantastic swim time and really hustled up the hill to transition.  That would be the last I saw of her until the finish!  Finally it was time for the first of the sprint waves.  Wisely, I had seeded myself in the fourth and final wave.  I spent the last few minutes conversing with two other women who were very nervous about the swim.  One, doing her first ever tri, started sobbing a couple of minutes before we started.  The support displayed from all the other women was very moving and once again, I felt tremendous pride in being involved in an incredible group of people.


The swim pace started fast and I rather surprisingly found myself sticking pretty well to the pace and feeling almost comfortable to boot.  I settled into a somewhat steady rhythm and tried to maintain that pace.  When I finally had the presence of mind to look for the first buoy, I realized I had strayed quite a bit into the center of the course.  I corrected, slowed down and did fairy well for the rest of the swim.  I sure wasn’t able to run up the hill to transition nearly as fast as Janet, though!


T-1.  Well, what could go wrong, did go wrong.  My wet suit caught on both arms and both legs, my socks didn’t want to go on my feet, I had trouble getting my bike off the rack and to top it off, I was a couple of paces away from my spot when I realized I forgot my race belt with my number.  I had to set my bike down and go back for the belt.  What fun.  


suebikeHere’s what I look like when I’m trying to quell those evil voices that keep nagging me when I’m not doing so well.  I was just thankful that the swim and T-1 was over and   that I was finally able to get onto my favorite leg.  In case you’re wondering, this bike course starts on a fiendishly steep hill out of the parking lot and onto the main road.  Leaping onto the bike in traditional tri style is pretty difficult for most people (though I have witnessed Janet mastering it!) and impossible for me.  I have to get one foot clipped in before I even think about moving forward.  Once onto the main road, it’s mostly down hill or flat; then there’s a 90-degree right turn and you’re climbing another steep hill.  To add some excitement, the race organizers offered a hill prime for the fastest time up the hill.  Now, I had told myself before the race that I shouldn’t bury myself on the hill prime and I thought I was okay with that decision.  Once the timing mats were in sight though, that competitive spirit took over and I was giving it all I had. 



To my great disappointment, the results of the hill climb were not posted, so I have no idea how I did (I do know that I didn’t win, though).  I didn’t feel as good on the bike course as I usually do, but I did have a better swim and run time than last year, so I guess training is paying off and the three events are evening out for me.  I purposely held back a little on the bike, hoping for something left for the run, but I don’t really think that strategy worked.  I don’t think the time I made up on the run was worth what I spent on the bike leg.  Oh well, each race there’s something new to learn!  The good part, though, was that I felt pretty strong on the run;   I was even able to crack a smile when I saw Dave on the sideline with the camera!  It turns out that I probably held back a little too much on both the run and the bike as I finished feeling better than at any of my previous triathlons.  My biking and running could certainly handle the step up to Olympic-distance, but I’m sure my swimming couldn’t; so that will have to wait until next year, as I had originally planned.  I will conclude my triathlon season in six weeks at the Finger Lakes triathlon in Canandaigua, NY.  I’ve set a goal of 26 minutes or less on that run; lofty but I’m pretty sure I can do it.  Now I’m off to go running so I have a chance of reaching that goal!



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