Monday, March 31, 2008

Mooloolaba tri

Mooloolaba tri

I had a hierarchy of goals going into this tri:

1. Finish the tri.

2. Don't stop (no walking during the run).

3. Finish in under 3 hours.

Done, Done and DONE!

Mooloolaba is a beach town about an hour north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast. The tri there is the second largest in Australia with nearly 1500 competitors. The whole city shuts down for the weekend festival which includes 5K fun run, an ocean swim, a criterion race and the main attraction, the Tri.

I borrowed a bike from my friend Keri for the race. It's her old bike, it's a bit smaller than mine was, but it works. And I was incredibly grateful both to her for letting me use it and in general that I wasn't so broken from the accident that I couldn't race.

I stayed with Joan and Don who are an older couple from Cairns. Joan's in the road runner's club with me. Don's a tugboat captain (seriously). Saturday morning Joan, Julie and I went riding with a few others from Cairns, just to test out that the bikes were good and to try out the hills, then we went for a quick run. My legs felt heavy with anxiety. My run was sloppy and my ride was slow. And started me worrying about the race. My biggest fear was the swim. It's an ocean swim, and I haven't had to deal with surf in a long time. And there was talk that the water might be cold enough that they'd allow wetsuits. I don't own a wetsuit, but it would give advantage to those who do cause it helps you float.

Sunday morning I awoke at 4am to a nightmare that a croc had attacked me on a river. When it was finally time to get up, I put my hair into frenchbraids (which I'd been practicing). Ever since my first tri back in Boston, the hardcore women wore braids. My bangs are such that just pulling back into a ponytail guarantees not being able to see. And my new helmet doesn't offer much space for one anyway. So braids it was.

The swim start is about 1K down the beach from transition. A long cold walk in my tri suit. The sun hadn't really risen yet, the sand was cold and wet and there was a light breeze. By the time we reached the start I had only a few minutes before my heat. I was the first from the Cairns people to go since I'm the youngest. I positioned myself toward the back of the pack, cause I don't like getting swum over. When the horn sounded, we all rushed into the water. There's lots of kicking and flailing of arms all over the place, but the surf wasn't bad, it was easy to get beyond the breakers and on the way toward the buoys. The swim felt fantastic. It was the most relaxed swim I think I've ever had in a tri. All those laps really paid off. The saltwater makes you more buoyant, and the halfway buoys seemed to arrive in no time, and the final ones came even faster. I did get caught behind a few slower swimmers, but no matter. Even having to fight a rip to get back to shore didn't bug me. I felt fantastic.

There's a run of about 500 meters from where you emerge from the water to where you pick up your bike. And the timers don't actually give you a read for transition time, so most of that transition time is added to your bike time. The bike course is a Ks of rolling hills then out onto the highway (which was entirely closed to cars!) for the majority of the course which is relatively flat. For the first 10Ks or so I kept passing and being passed by this woman. It was good cause everytime she passed me I had another goal. I passed her as we were coming over the top of a rise, and I said "I'll see you at the bottom", but she never passed me back. Out there with so many people, I realized how much I love riding, and how much I'll miss it until I get a new bike and a new club. I must've had the stupidest grin on my face, but I was just so happy. I held around 30K/hr and a heartrate of around 170 the whole time. I felt fantastic.

The run was a bit tougher, and in the end my least favorite leg. I got passed by a lot of people on this leg and passed many fewer myself. The sun was high in the sky and warm. The course was a two lap course of out and back. This made it easy to spot my Cairns friends and cheer them on. I realized as I reached the halfway mark that I was on target to beat 3 hours. This thought alone carried me through the last ~30 minutes of running.

At the finish there were hugs and high 5s and lots of watermelon. My time of 2.51 that I recorded on my watch matches almost exactly my official time (which can be found here:

It feels good to know that I'm fit enough to do this distance of race. Now, I want to do it faster. (And I also want a new tri top, my new knicks are so much better than my old ones, they dry super fast, now I need a matching top!)


Jon April 2, 2008 at 12:48 PM  

I know this is something I'd never be able to do, and so reading about it is pretty excellent. You already knew that, I bet!

Dave April 7, 2008 at 8:06 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave April 7, 2008 at 8:08 AM  

(i just wanted to edit my comment - sorry for that mysterious 'removal by author' message)

yaaaaay! congratulations! and you must have been pushing to hold a 170 average...!

  © Blogger template 'Solitude' by 2008 | Photo by Jaredflo

Back to TOP