Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Biathlon Race Report

This was an impulse race for fun. I have been feeling like I hadn't raced in a long time and once you get used to doing something like that you need to keep doing it. I'm addicted to racing. Which is funny when you think about how nervous my stomach gets before even the smallest and easiest of races.
So, even though training had been slim I decided to fork over some dough and knock out the Waikiki Swim Club's Christmas Biathlon, a 5km run/1km swim low pressure fun event. Anyone can run 5km, and doing the swim after the run for once sounds like a great idea. Then I can make up time on all the damn runners who can't swim. No surprise this event was thought up and hosted by a Swim Club.
The other reason for doing the event was Super Awesome Wife was due on the 11th of Decemeber. This might be my last chance to race for a while. Please keep the above date in mind for later.
Hanging around before the race was fun because I meant a person I knew only from the internet who was doing her first multi-sport event (and who placed in her age group!), a guy I meant at the swim meet and open water swim I did over the summer, and Team Bloody Mary (now Team Tri-Rita), who are at nearly every event hosted on the island. All great people, all really nice to see.
Tim swims and Anne run and neither care about racing. Good people
The race started with a 5km run around Ala Moana Beach Park. I purposely did not bring a watch of any kind to reinforce the idea that this was only for fun. Time didn't matter. Of course I had a goal time in mind, I know about what I can do a 5km in and what I can swim 1000m in, but I wasn't planning on sweating it. Haven't been running enough to sweat it. In fact, I was unsure of just how my knee would tolerate the race. Would it tweak and I'd hobble around for three miles? Would I get to run a fraction of it?
Turns out I ran the whole thing, went out a little too fast at the top and paid for it at the end, but overall a nearly pain-free experience. Well, knee pain free. You can't not run at all and then try/not try to race three miles without some pain. But that's more of a Bad Training Dumbass pain.
One thing I spent time thinking about was transition from the run to the swim. You never go in that direction. I needed to put a cap on, and I wasn't about to wear one on the run. So what to do? Stop and put it on? Do it while running? I went with the latter, tucking my goggles and cap into the waistband of my suit. And with about 100 yards to transition I took off my visor and glasses and popped the cap and goggles on without breaking stride. Easier than I thought. Then all I had to do was take off my shoes and drop the visor and shades and into the water I went.
The run-to-swim transition wasn't too bad. Slowing down to take off the shoes helped the heart rate adjust. The hardest part was pulling all the blood out of my legs and into my arms and shoulders. I'm not happy with how my swim went. It's not really fair because I haven't been swimming too much either, but expectations are high. There was no rhythm or smoothness in it. I just got it done. Was able to do decently compared to most of the other racers, but not what I wanted. It is fun to do my strength at the end of a race for once. Meant I got to swim from person to person. I'll catch you, now I'll catch you, now I'll catch you. That's a nice change.
The return was directly into the rising sun, making sighting difficult. I basically swam towards the sun. I sighted by blindness. Where can't I see? I'll go there. Which meant I didn't see the exit buoys until I was almost on top of them. Think I went in a straight line. Normally do.
Pro Tip for multi-sport athletes (and I know a lot of you need this): Swim as far in as you can. Seriously, until your hands scrape the sand. Because if you pop up too early then you're trying to run in hip deep water. That's slow. Swim until you're scraping bottom then when you pop up your in shin deep water and you can easily high-step out.
Run- 27:31
Swim- 20:16
Finish- 47:47
Age Group- 5th
Overall- 37th
47 second off my very own mug!

 Any normal day that would have been the big event. But when I got home Super Awesome Wife had a much more important event warming up. You can read all about it here.Want a hint? I wrote most of this post like this-


  1. Sounds like a really fun race! I wish I would have gotten that swim tip from you several months ago as I learned the "swim in as far as you can" lesson the hard way! I knew that, but funny how you forget and do something like try to walk 5o yards thru the water when your adrenaline is pumping during a race LOL! Nice post and enjoyed your articles on Active.com!