2011 Season Recap

I have been meaning to recap this season for a while now so today seems like a better day than ever!  I have to say, this season was really great.  Most importantly, I had a blast racing, met a ton of new people and had great success!  I raced my  tail off though – 26 races!!

Here’s a little recap from each race…

Cupids Cup – 5k – 21:11

11th OA/ 2nd AG

I had bronchitis before and during this race so it was really tough.  I don’t remember much but literally gasping for air coming down East Blvd.

Carla’s Fund Time Trial – 8m time trial – 21:25

1st OA

This was immediately following the Cupids Cup, and obviously still had bronchitis.  This was a fun (hard) charity ride computrainer ride at Uptown Cycles.

Waxhaw Duathalon-  2m run / 18.63m / 2m run – 1:21:30

3rd OA

This was a really fun day!  The run course was on a trail which I’m not that strong at.  I rode my tail off today to try and track down Stephanie Hucko, and never could.  The first time of many this season.  🙂

Corporate Cup 13.1 – 1:38:31

9th AG

Did this race with Tom and Jim!  We had a blast but I hit a wall hard at about mile 12, coming up Morehead!

Quintiles 13.1 – 1:59:01

I paced my sister at this race to her goal sub 2 hours.  It was awesome to run with her and it’s so nice to take the race pressure off.  Troy was running the full so after I finished with Dawn I headed backwards on the course and paced Troy in for a Boston Qualification sub 3:20!!  One of my best 20-milers leading up to Boston!

Dawn and I after Quintiles

Cool Breeze Sprint – 250m / 20k / 5k – 1:05:37

9th OA / 1st AG

So this was the worst race of my whole season!  My goggles totally filled up with water when I pushed off the wall and I never got my riding legs.  The entire Navy Triathlon team showed up and destroyed me.  My boss renamed this race “fricken Cold Breeze”.  It was freeeezing.

Boston Marathon – 3:52:12

4655 OA

I was so ready for this race and trained my little tail off.  I ran a 1:40 first half and was feeling great.  At about mile 15, I was heading into an aid station and attempting to go behind the volunteer to fill up my water bottle.  As she thought I was coming in front of her to grab the water she was handing out, she stepped back to get out of my way.  At this point, I “jerked” to my right get out of her way.  I literally felt like I tore my right quad muscle.  It was excruciating.  I debated calling it quits, but given it was “the” Boston Marathon, I couldn’t bring myself to.  I literally hobbled and limped my way to the finish line for the next 11 or so miles.  Aside from IM Louisville, this race goes down as the biggest disappointment in my athletic history.  Turning onto Boyleston Street at the Boston Marathon is supposed to be exhilarating and momentous – a moment you remember forever.  I honestly don’t remember much about making my way to the finish other than trying to whip the wince off my face.  This day ended in the medical tent and after about 4 hours of attempting to get back to my hotel, I spent the next week or so with the most painful legs I have ever dealt with.  I hope to make my way back to Boston one more time, someday.

Me, Andrew and Tom at the Boston 5k the day prior!

White Lake Sprint – 750m / 14m / 5k – 1:18:01

11th OA / 2nd AG

Another not awesome race.  My swim here was atrocious, but can’t really point out exactly why.  I rode the entire bike course without hardly seeing another female so I had no idea what kind of race I was having.  I had a decent run of 21:13, but overall not an awesome race.

Over the Mountain Olympic – 1500m / 45k / 10k- 2:40:36

5th OA / 1st AG

I had a decent race here today.  This was my best Olympic swim of the season – 19th overall – but still no where near fast enough to be in OA contention.  It was also my slowest 10k of the season.  I realized as I ran out of transition that I forgot to put my insoles in my racing flats (and had taken out the original insoles) so I ran the 10k on the soles of my racing flats.  Probably not that good for my feet!   I do love this race though and am looking forward to executing better in 2012.

Fletcher Flyer Century – 100m – 4:48:57

This isn’t technically a race but I had great ride today!!  This is my 3rd year doing this ride and I’ve loved it every time.  Rode 11 minutes faster than first year and 5 minutes faster than last year in 2011.

Tri Latta Sprint – 750m / 17m / 5k – 1:26:43

5th OA / 1st AG

A pretty good race today!  Same story with the swim, actually one of my worst of the season.  Tough run course but managed a 22 min 5k.

Blood Sweat and Gears Century – 100m – 6:06

5th OA

This was my first year doing BSG and man, it’s all its cracked up to be…and MORE!  This was a tough day, left 1 of my 2 water bottles in my car before the ride so managed with only 1 for the day, but overall a great experience.

Fabulous 4th Metric Century – 100k – 5:02

Well, this started off as an awesome day.  We rolled out with a really fast group and I was feeling great sitting in….until I flatted at mile 8.  Two awesome guys were kind enough to stop and help me and we ended up riding the rest of the day together.  Not exactly the ride I planned, but ended up getting a good workout.

Piedmont TT – 14.42m – :35:23

1st Cat 4 / 2nd OA

This was my first official bike race, though TT’s are not really bike races.  I love time trials, because it’s like triathlon riding 🙂

Piedmont “Open” Road Race – 38.4m

1st Cat 4 / 8th OA

This was my first real bike race.  Road racing is interesting and tactical and I learned so much from Marianne this weekend.  I learned two things this weekend….I love bike racing and I need to learn how to sprint.  I spent entirely too much time pulling everyone around and cramped a bit at the finish.

Stumpy Creek Olympic – 1500m / 27m / 10k – 2:37:25

15th OA / 2nd AG

I was assessed a 2 minute penalty for my race bib being turned at the finish line which bumped me down 4 places in the overall and 1 AG place.  I had a pretty good race today…if you only count biking and running.  My swim was an utter disaster.  The “hill” destroyed me last year and I refused to let it get to my head this year.  I ran a 44 min 10k which was a 5 minute improvement over last year.

Heading out on the run at Stumpy

Tour de Orange Century – 84m – 4:11

The heat index was over 100 when we rolled out for this ride at 8:30am so the race directors opted to shorten the century course by about 15 miles.  It was a brutal ride with the heat and the course was windy and far from flat.  I ended up with a group of 5 ex-European bike races who pushed the pace quite a bit and I was thankful to be able to sit in!

High Rock “Open” Road Race – 41m

1st Cat 4 / 4th OA

I don’t remember much about this race other than it was really hot and the Cat 3 men caught us with about 200 yards to go, which made our finish a huge cluster.  I grabbed a wheel and rode it in wherever I was in the line as there wasn’t much room to move around.

Crossroads Crit – Cat 4 and Open – 30 min and 45 min

Cat 4 – 1st OA

Open – 7th OA

I did two crits today in Salisbury since I’d driven all the way up there.  This was my first criterium racing experience!  I was super nervous heading up but felt better after talking to Marianne and after riding the course pre-race.  The Cat 4 crit was first and I decided to break on the first climb.  I was able to get away from the group so it ended up being more like a “time trial” in order to stay away from the group.

The “open” crit was about an hour later and I was even more nervous since this would be my first actual crit experience with other girls around, cornering, etc.  I was glad to have ridden 30 minutes on the course earlier to get comfortable with the turns, but I was also nervous with how my legs would feel.  Luckily, they ended feeling ok and I was at least stay in the lead group.  I ended up finishing 6th in the field sprint (7th OA as a girl had gotten away on a break early) and was pleased with my first few crit races.  I was hooked!

During the Cat4 Crit in Salisbury, the pace car letDawn ride a few laps so she took some cool pix 🙂

AG Nationals Olympic – 1500m / 25m / 10k – 2:23:31

19th AG

As I recapped earlier in my blog, this was a decent race results-wise but not a good race “execution”-wise.  Travel disasters the day before meant stiff and sluggish legs.  Despite totally bonking on the run, I ran a 43:55 10k which is an Olympic distance PR.  Given how flat the run course was (other than one huge hill), I should have been able to run a bit faster.  The best part of this race was qualifying (by the skin of my teeth) for a Worlds spot in NZ in 2012.

Signing in for Team USA!

Lake Norman Sprint – 750m / 17m / 5k – 1:28:36

4th OA / 1st AG

I had a great race here, again if you consider it a duathlon.  I hung a hard right at one of the buoy’s in the water and ended up in no-man’s land thus turning in yet another lost race in the water.  Otherwise, I ran a PR 5k at 20:39!!

Wake Forest Crit – 30 min

1st Cat 4 / 7th OA

This was the longest and hardest 30 minutes of my life.  I raced as hard as I could with zero legs and stayed on the lead pack for all but the last 5-6 minutes when I just couldn’t hang on any longer.  A really tough course that I’m not 100% sure I’ll ever go back to again.

Carolina Cup Circuit Race – 45 minutes

1st Cat 4 / 6th OA

This was the day after the Wake Forest Crit and I was toasted.  45 minutes, after 30 minutes the day prior, sounded like an eternity!  A group of 6 of us got away in a break on the first lap and stayed away for the whole race….but I fell off the lead group with about 8-10 minutes to go.  I finished up and was never caught by the group behind us so took 6th overall.  It was a beautiful course and I am excited to go back with hopefully some fresher legs next year!

This was at the Carolina Cup – I was SUFFERING

Pinehurst International – 1500m / 30m / 10k – 2:43:52

5th OA / 1st AG

One of my best races of the season.  This course is well suited for me.  I swam “ok” today, rode pretty well and ran 44 on a very hilly course.  I used this as a good race prep for Halfmax which was just one weekend following.

Heading out for a windy ride at Pinehurst…

HalfMax Nationals – 70.3 – 4:55:44

2nd AG / 7th OA

A perfectly executed race for me!!  I felt great during the swim, drafted a little, swam a pretty good line.  The ride was boring and flat and very very windy but had a strong ride.  My goal was to run sub 1:39:59 and I ran just a shy over 1:40 which I was disappointed about that but overall a great race and the perfect end to a loooong season!

No matter how hard you try, no one looks good in an aero helmet!

I raced a lot this season and I had a ball!  But next season I will likely race a bit less and hopefully swim a bit faster so I can see some better OA results!

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