Saturday, September 30, 2006

IronGirls 5k in Clearwater, FL Sept. 30, 2006

I really enjoyed this race very much! It seems like it has been awhile since I have run a 5k (only) race. This was first class from the onset. I was invited to attend, which basically meant they graciously paid for my entry into the race. This was based on running in some past local races.
This past week my training was on the super low side due to my lung issues, which I promise to explain further one of these days. My expectations were to run somewhere in the 23 minutes range. I wasn't sure how my recent tri training would effect my road racing, so it was hard to set a goal. Then, I learned the course would include 4 hills. 2 shorter and steeper ones and 2 going over the causeway bridge. These were longer... a lot longer. So, I gave myself a bit of a time cushion upon learning this. It may not sound all that daunting, but to us here along the flat Gulf Coast, the biggest hill we get is going over a speed bump!
The start was a little delayed due to getting all the proper streets closed and safe. Waiting is never easy before a race, but the MC helped to keep us motivated. Once off, and on our first hill right away, I tried hard not to go out too fast. The running sin I usually commit. Down the road and up the bridge I was feeling really good. I missed the first mile marker, so I wasn't sure of my pace. I told myself to go with how I am feeling and not worry so much about the time.
Up hill number three, seemed the longest to me, I dug my eyes into the lady in front of me. She seemed strong and I envisioned being an extension of her. 4th and final hill was quick but still hurt. I knew it was flat and down from that point and tried to give what I could.
I hit the turn for the final stretch and saw the clock below. It read 22:40. I thought, "Darn, I have got to be more then 20 seconds from the finish line". Then something in me said, "What the heck, go hard and see what happens." I crossed the line in 22:58.
Although, in the realm of my entire running career this would be considered a slow time, I was pretty happy with how I did and that I met the goal I had set for myself.
I ended up 12th overall and 3rd in my age group. I received a neat sterling silver pendant with the IronGirl logo and year on it.
This race was one of the best races I have run. Not because of the course, but because of the obvious effort that went into making this women's only event fun, high energy and friendly. Everyone I came into contact with was super nice. Afterwards I had a chance to visit the vendor tents that were set up. There were free samples galore. I received a complimentary massage, food samples, drinks, free pictures from Ryka shoes (that they took and printed within a few minutes of finishing), free magazines, and a gorgeous and huge buffet of fruit, muffins, breads, and hot breakfast wraps.
The results were quickly posted and the awards went smoothly.
I will definitely seek out this event to do again in the future.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Okay all you runners, cyclists, swimmers and triathletes:

What race would you list as the BEST? Is there one of you have done that has the best course, support, t-shirts or post party? Spread the word so others know which dates to hold in their race calendar. Feel free to include pictures.

And, always feel free to post a question or topic that you would like to see discussed.
Coach Christine

Monday, September 11, 2006

18th Annual Tarpon springs Triathlon 2006

1/4 mile swim, 10.5 mile ride, 3 mile run

Well, I now have another triathlon under my belt and felt more confident with this one.
Anyone who is familiar with Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs FL, knows how pretty and "one with nature" you can be there. The waters offer lots of grassy areas that are home to all kinds of sea creatures. On more then one occasion I have seen dolphin mere feet from me. Quite amazing.
But, on a morning with low tide, it can be kind of gross to swim in all that. The sand in the grassy area is very mushy and unstable. And there basically was no water over the grass. So, we all swam through the grass. Each stroke brushed along the sea garden and bumped into various critters and wild life. It motivated me to try to swim faster and get the heck out of there. Lots of people were getting the willies in the water. The swim was crowded too. I am glad I had a couple swims in me before this one. I was knocked around a lot.
When we exited the water, we were covered with little slug-like sea bugs. I later named them Sea Boogers, b/c that's exactly what they looked like. I guess they were in the grass.

I transitioned pretty quick, for me, and headed onto the bike course. The course itself was quite nice. Through the park and into some of the more wealthy neighborhoods. We also went through the downtown area that is really cute and known for it's Greek food and sponge docks. I even could call the course rolling for Florida. It had a couple decent little inclines. My concerns with the bike course are that there are a lot of hard turns. I heard about three wrecks after the race. There was quite a bit of gravel on these turns that, had it been swept away, would have been safer. I ended up on a sidewalk trying to take one hard left. It was also very narrow and I seemed to always be fighting for a space among other competitors.

T2 went well and I set off for the run. I was determined to hold my own on the run, since I am a runner! I was not going to let anyone in my age group pass me. I hooked up with a younger girl and we started to pick off people. Then a group of ladies came up to pass us and one was 38. So, I had to go with her. I did and eventually she couldn't hang anymore. So, as far as I know, no one in my age group passed me on the run. I felt good until about the last half mile, which is on the way back to the beach and in the direct sun. It was very hot and it took a toll. No one threaten me, I let up some, which disappoints me now.

All in all this was a fun and learning experience. They had a ton of good give aways afterwards and excellent Greek food samplings for a donation.
Here are my results (I placed 5th in age group):

FEMALE AGE GROUP: 35 - 39 Place O'All No. First Last Age City St Finish Rank Swim Tran 1 Rank Bike Tran 2 Rank Run ===== ===== ===== ============ ============== === =================== ======= ====

5 142 135 Christine Hinton 35 Dunedin FL 1:07:18 12 8:46 1:36 6 31:38 1:02 7 24:18