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Race Recap: Hermosa Beach Tri 2011

Race: Day at the Beach Triathlon (Hermosa Beach, CA)
Date: October 9, 2011
Start Time: 7:00AM
Location: Hermosa Beach Pier

It’s been nearly a month after my second sprint triathlon (I’m  not counting the baby sprint I did in Redondo Beach in June ;)) and I’m now only (finally) typing my race recap! I should have done this earlier since I PR’d (YESH) but it was October, and for the second year in a row, it was overloaded.

Still, I am beginning to LOVE triathlons — at least like them a little bit more than before :). The distance might seem short to others (quarter mile (1/4) swim, 10 mile bike and 3.1mile run) but it’s still a challenge for me — which means, there’s still room for improvement.

Back in September, I wrote down my goals for October, and more specifically, an outline for the Hermosa Beach Tri. I’m proud to say I’ve surpassed the goals I’ve set for this 2011 triathlon! That being said, my performance in this race wasn’t without its, er, issues. LOL.

Packet Pick-up
Sis and I did the requisite packet pick-up at the Triathlon Lab store in Redondo Beach, CA. We were elated (we always jump for joy at the littlest of things ;)) when we peeked into our packets and saw that the timing chip came with a neoprene strap. Yay! Just like the Redondo Beach Tri, having the thin, yet reusable neoprene strap where one’s chip would be affixed meant that we would not chafe at our ankles, as we did at last years HB tri. 😉 LOL small victory already.

Morning of the Race / Transition
Already went through a HUGE bump even before the race started. You can read the longer version here, but in a nutshell — I got a flat as I was pumping the tyres of my bike. Though I looked calm, I was nearly ready to give up and throw the towel in (or however that saying goes) whilst my sis was calculating the time it might take for me to go home, get my mountain bike and get back to the race before transition closes. Thankfully, through the help of a kind stranger and being prepared with spare gear (I had a flat kit, and spare tube in my bike’s under-seat bag), I was able to remedy the seemingly mountainous problem of a broken tube valve. Thank goodness, too, for taking that REI clinic: Basic Bike Maintenance!

Fixing the flat took 20 minutes, but because we arrived at the parking lot early enough, my sis and I still had enough time to set up our gear at transition, get into our wetsuits and take a piccy or two. 🙂

My transition area - set up!

My transition area - set up!

Sis and I were in the same age group this year which meant we started together for the swim! Whilst waiting for our wave to begin (we were on Wave 9, which was about 45 minutes after the event began), we were trying to keep warm on the shore and then 20 minutes before our start time, got acclimated with the ocean’s temperature by doing a quick swim out and back. I think this helped me A LOT that morning: I was able to practise my swim out (diving under the waves) and swim in (catching a wave back to shore). By the time the gun went off, I was confident about my ability and that carried over to me not panicking at the start of the race (which I tend to do!). I got to the first buoy in no-time (without hyperventilating) but then after making the first turn, I was spent! OK, I might’ve gone too fast again. LOL. It was a bit of a let down to see the lot of my age group way ahead, but I reminded myself that I was only competing with, er, myself and like last year, gave myself mini-goals. I switched between freestyle for nearly a dozen strokes, followed by six breaststrokes. Though I never truly found my rhythm, that was enough to get me to the second buoy and back to the shore. Swim chip time: 13:46 (including the run from the shore to T1). Goal met! ^_^

I resisted the urge to chit-chat and have a T1 time of 03:36 (goal met!) but in my haste, I also forget to put on my socks (lol couldn’t find them!), and EYEWEAR. Thankfully, my myopia isn’t that bad. LOL. I also don’t know how I could’ve folded the forefoot area of my right shoe’s insole but I didn’t have time to fix it and proceeded on the next leg of the race.

THREE LAPS. Check! 🙂 Bike time, 35:33. I was more tired riding this year and barely sped outside of 15 mph (average speed was about 16.8mph) but my ultimate goal was to count the number of laps correctly and I wasn’t thinking about anything else. Hahaha. Oh, the course was a little bit more battered this year — that is, there were more potholes, broken/uneven asphalt than what I remembered last year. I hope the City of Hermosa Beach fixes those! I have already sent my feedback to the race directors and hope they do something about it, too…

I found my socks and spectacles. LOL. They were under my running hat. I didn’t have time to put my socks on, but happily put my specs on (I CAN SEE!) and ran out of T2 for the final leg of the race! T2 time: 01:37

I wasn’t as enthusiastic in the run as I was last year and it didn’t help that just outside transition, after the water station, the Strand was nearly packed with passers-by! I guess when you’re at the tail end of the race, they don’t keep the race course clear any more 🙁 Still, this lady (whom I found out was in my age group) flew past me and I knew I just had to keep up with her. Eventually, I sort of gave up and found another person to run after. I have to note that my effort level was 6 out of 5. LOL. I was literally out-of-breath the entire time but was able to resist the urge to walk. I met my time/pace goal (average pace was 09:14 min/mile) and finished the race with a huge smile on my face. Run time: 27:44 (ten seconds off my 5k PR! Oh yeah).

Chip Results:
Swim: 13:46
Transition 1: 03:36
Bike/Cycle: 35:33
Transition 2: 01:37
Run: 27:44
Final Time: 1:22:16

I bested last year’s results by 19 minutes! ^_^

Future Goals
Next year, my sis and I plan to tackle the Long Beach Triathlon — it involves a half-mile swim, 11mi bike and 3mi run. Of course, we’ll really get serious about our swim training (we may even sign up for some masters swim clinics, on top of Dave’s ocean swim clinics) but we’ll definitely sign up for the Hermosa Beach Tri again!

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