Alright, time for the real thing–the Rumpus in Bumpass race report! Sorry for teasing you guys yesterday, but I wanted to make sure you were completely caught up on my day Saturday. Plus I don’t like letting perfectly good pictures go to waste:).
Rumpus in Bumpass Sprint Triathlon
(750 meter lake swim, 12 mile bike, 5 kilometer run)
Despite feeling icky on Saturday, I woke up Sunday feeling good and excited for the Rumpus in Bumpass Sprint Tri (I still smile every time I say the race name:).
It was a beautiful (although slightly chilly) morning. The weather forecast was sunny with a high of 70 degrees. And yes, I did feel guilty that we were blessed with such beautiful weather for the sprint tri when the international distance folks were hit with strong winds, rain, and storms on Saturday. I’m sorry, guys!!
We left my house around 6:30 am to give us plenty of time to get there (and possibly get lost/have a flat tire/etc), since the race did not start until 10:00 am–a BIG plus in my book, thanks, Setup Events!! We made great time and arrived around 7:45 am, and were greeted with a picturesque setting.
Despite the sunny and beautiful weather, there were some remnants of the horrible rains yesterday. The muddy lane to the (field) parking lot was pretty much a quagmire, and I was worried my poor little Mitsubishi Lancer would not make it. It did, and as I parked I just prayed we would also make it back out of there!
The paths leading around the site and the transition area (as well as the trail sections of the run, as I would later find out), were also giant mud pits. Again, I can’t really complain because of what the folks who went Saturday had to put up with…but it was a bit of a mess. (The race organizers did put down a bunch of mats and crates where they could, though).
We leisurely picked up our packets, set up our transition area, got marked, put on the appropriate sunscreen and body glide, and relaxed at the car for a little while (I love not feeling rushed at races!:).
As we stood in line to get our packets, we watched the other athletes and their bikes going by us on the way to the transition area. We had not done this race before, and given its smaller size (750 people), we expected it to be a low key crowd. But as we watched many an extremely fit athlete with their high-end bike go by, we realized that we were wrong. In reality, this early season race drew some pretty serious athletes. Some people had traveled from other states, and even Australia to be there!! Not that us athletes with our mid-grade bikes and only a handful of tris under our belt were alone, mind you, but the proportions were definitely a bit different than I expected.
Eric was quite the photo-journalist at this tri (thanks, hunny!). And this is the only close-up of me in swim cap I’ll ever let you see.
When the race officials sent out the water temperature on Thursday, the water was 68 degrees. BUT, the lovely storms and all of the associated rainfall meant that the water temperature had dropped to 61 degrees on Sunday. It was more than a bit chilly in my sleeveless wet suit, and I was not excited to get in the water.
As we waited for the gun to go off (which felt like forever in the cold water), I tried to focus on calming my breathing and taking deep breaths, since I was nervous and I have heard that the cold water can constrict your breathing even further. I told myself that this swim would be a piece of cake compared to the international-distance swims I had done in my past two triathlons. Then, the official finally blew the horn, and we were off!
I can assure that I am not in the front of the pack, here. As I started swimming I felt alright, but I was a little bit frustrated that I immediately reverted back to only breathing on my right side, even though I had been feeling very comfortable breathing on both sides in the pool lately.
As the swim continued, I quickly realized that I was wrong in my “piece of cake” swim theory. In fact, the swim was quite the opposite. I felt weak trying to fight the not-very-strong current/waves in the lake, and the buoys seemed hard to sight (I don’t know if I was just out of practice, or spoiled by the huge and frequent buoys at Nation’s, or if the buoys were out of line, as some race reports from Saturday suggested…but of course we did not have the same high winds/rain, so it was probably just me!).
As I turned the final corner to the swim finish, I was feeling very weak, and that feeling was only compounded by the fact that the swim finish was very hard to identify. I struggled on the last section, and my time showed it. I finished in an embarrassing 19 minutes (I am a slow swimmer to begin with, but this was even slower than my pace for Nation’s, which was upstream in the river for part of the time).
I was not very pleased with myself. Granted, I have been slacking in the swimming department a bit, but I still have been swimming much longer distances than the 750 meters for the sprint tri. I guess my lackluster pool work was not enough to prepare me for being in the open water again. At least I know before the half–I will be spending a good deal of time in the pool the next couple of weeks!!
I finally dragged myself out of the water (with a much-appreciated hand from a volunteer) to finish the swim 21st out of 32 in my age group–not very impressive, and made my way to the transition area.
When I got my bike and headed out of the transition area, I was still gasping for breath and trying to recover from my horrible swim. The long, muddy path exiting the transition area and the fact that we had to run up a big paved hill (and I have big plastic bike clips on the bottom of my bike shoes) did not help. In fact, it was kind of cruel, really.
When I finally was able to mount my bike, I was still breathing incredibly hard from the swim and the long, muddy, uphill run to the mounting line. I spent the first few minutes on the bike just trying to catch my breath.
I finally got into a decent pace on the bike, but didn’t push myself too hard (and honestly I probably did not have the energy to do so, if I wanted to), since I was already not having an awesome race and didn’t want to completely wear myself out–this was not my A race after all, and I have two hard weeks of training coming up!
Still, I passed a good deal of people, and was only passed by people on the much nicer bikes with their fancy aerodynamic helmets and disc wheels–showoffs!;).
The bike course was a nice rolling course with beautiful views and some gorgeous causeway crossings. There was a good deal of wind, and I spent most of the ride in my aerobars (despite not having used them much previously…my sore neck is thanking me for that today).
I finished the bike in 42:22, which was still much slower than my Nation’s pace (and at half the distance I had hoped it would be faster), but in a more respectable 7th out of 32 in my age group for my bike time.
In the transition area I traded my bike, helmet, and bike shoes for running shoes, my race number, and my running hat, and headed back out the long, muddy path and the hill.
This was my first triathlon since I got my Garmin, and I decided not to use it for this event. I didn’t want to swim with it on, and I decided it was not worth leaving it in transition/fumbling to put it on for such a short race (but I probably will use it for the half). So, I had no clue what pace I was running, and never saw the 1 mile marker, so never was able to get a clue until I saw my official race times!
The run had some rolling hills, but nothing too bad. I
passed chicked a handful of guys, and was only passed by a couple guys and one girl (and she was a tiny little skinny-minnie, so I was okay with it;). The run seemed to go on forever (probably because I did not have my Garmin and missed the first mile marker), but the one thing that helped me get through it was the fact that I was wearing my Team in Training jersey, which meant that every other person in their TNT jersey cheered for me with TNT’s traditional “Go Team!” cheer! I love that TNT is such a great community, and that wearing my jersey means I have tons of fans cheering for me, even if they don’t actually know my name!:)
The good old brick feeling in my legs lasted just about all of the 3.1 miles, and led me to believe I was running pretty slowly, and I was just not feeling fresh for this race at all. So I was pretty surprised when I saw my time and saw I had run 8:04 minute miles (not stellar, but not bad for how I was feeling).
The last portion of the run was on the trail, and the roots and mud made it a bit treacherous, but fun! Plus I counted it as practice for the mud run in two weeks!:)
As I neared the finish I picked up speed, and passed a couple more guys. The fans were great and the race had a great finish line atmosphere for being a “smaller” race. The announcer also called out my name as I approached the finish, which was cute!
My overall run time was 25:02 (which was 8th in my age group of 32), and transition times of 2:06 and 1:47 (not horrible considering the long runs in and out of transition) made for a final time of 1:30:16 (9th in my age group overall, 51st woman out of ~250).
Although I was not sure what to expect for my time since this was my first sprint-distance tri, I have to admit that I was kind of expecting it to be faster considering my time for Nation’s (international distance) was 2:49, and on a much harder course. However, I have to be realistic with myself–this was not my A race, and Nation’s was. I raced Nation’s all out, and I felt great doing it. For Rumpus I did not feel great, and did not give it my all. And while that is okay because it was not my A race, it was also a bit of an eye opener that is going to make me get my behind in the pool more these next few weeks.
My two lady friends also rocked their triathlons! Jessie, who was doing her first tri, totally kicked booty, and I am SO proud of her!!! I just hope she had some fun and doesn’t hate me now for convincing it was possible and that she could do it!
We celebrated with some great post-race food (free Papa John’s personal pizzas–I only ate half and gave half to Eric–plus oreos, trail mix, and oranges).
While I may not have had a stellar race, I loved this race and will definitely be back again and again. The race organizers did a stellar job, the fans were great, and most importantly, the race had awesome volunteers. I tried to tell as many of them “thank you” as I could, but I am sure I did not do them justice. There were so many middle/elementary/high school girls out there at the course turns/water stops/food tent/cutting my timing chip off my ankle that were so sweet and encouraging (I got cheered “go purple team” by many of them:). Thank you volunteers, you really make a race so much more enjoyable!
I also love my race shirt, which actually fits!
After a long drive home in 95 traffic (yuck!) I celebrated my race day with a *free* (Eric got coupons from work) California Tortilla salad (it was awesome!) and a movie date with my husband (we saw Hanna, also pretty awesome!).
Lettuce, tomatoes, corn, cheese, tortilla strips, guacamole, cilantro, and grilled steak (I am usually a chicken girl, but for some reason I was craving steak yesterday), with honey-lime dressing on the side. Delicious!
I also celebrated by cleaning off the mud from all of my belongings…except for my poor bike, I just did not have the energy to get to it yesterday:(.
Speaking of no energy, I am exhausted, and need to get to bed again. I will leave you with one more “race photo,” courtesy of my photo-journalist husband.