As I sit here trying to rest my legs for the third of three races in 5 days, I’ll provide a quick update on how my first triathlon of the season went yesterday. I will give my race a B+ rating.
As I had mentioned, I had a lot of anxiety coming into this race. It was not only my first race of the season, but also my first race as an “open female” (a.k.a. “elite” here in Charlotte). To me, registering for the open division says to the world “I think I’m pretty good”. With that comes pressure. Maybe it shouldn’t, maybe it should, but whether it should or not, for me it does. My goals of yesterday were, as they are for every race, try to pull out a not-the-worst-in-the-world-swim, do my thing on my bike, and have a top 10-ish run split. Maybe after a winter of training, my goals would change, but oddly enough, they haven’t. I’m hoping at some point, I can revise my swim goals, but I’m far too honest with myself to do so now…that would lead to a season of serious disappointment!
27:18 – 36/128
Maybe for the first time in my life, I can report a “good” swim!! I didn’t break any lightspeed records (probably never will) but I sighted well, I swam straight, I drafted a little, I swam with both my right and my left arm (thanks Justin!), I swam “hard” and I overall felt pretty good. My left shoulder bothered me for the first 400 or so, no clue what that was, but it went away quickly. I loved the time trial start of this race as it eliminated my “fears” of racing open in which the gun goes off and the entire elite field swims miles ahead of me and I exit the water 5 minutes behind the pack with the crowd booing. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating with the booing, but my biggest hesitation of changing categories was obviously the swim – particularly the exit. So this was a good ice breaker into what I’m sure will happen at every race to come.
T1: 1:30 – 14/128
Terrible. Like every racer has their stories, wetsuit wouldn’t come over massive Garmin, then wouldn’t come over timing ankle strap, blah blah. Had to sit down, which is like rule #1 “do not do”. Slow as crap, but welcome to your first triathlon of the year when you don’t do any “run throughs” before the race.
Bike: 1:14:26 – 3/128
The name of this weeks bike rides for me in wind! Today headwind was rocking strong. I rode as hard as I felt my legs would allow, but they never had “5th gear”. I did what I could, would have liked to have felt better but I didn’t. About halfway through, my bento box came unstrapped and flipped over nearly dumping out all of my race fuel. I had to pull over to manage that situation in a jiffy. I need to figure out where I’ll be storing my race fuel in future races. My one piece doesn’t have any pockets on it, and my current bento boxes don’t fit correctly around the stem of my new bike. It was hanging by a thread the whole race and one big bump would have popped it off again. I stuffed all my gels in my kit and just left it empty. Considering I rigged it that morning, it was poor planning on my part and the result was having to pull over and sacrifice precious race time. But that’s what you get for being me. 🙂
T2: 1:25 – 50/128
If T1 got a horrible rating from me, this one gets a something-worse-than-horrible rating. Poor planning gets me again. The socks I selected were a bit too thick for my racing flats and the result was that I could hardly get my shoe on. Had to sit down once again. Got up and headed out to run, forgot my “emergency gel”. Given how my legs were feeling on the bike, I thought I truly might need my emergency gel and ran back to grab it. Time spent, 5-10 seconds. Everyone has their story though.
Run: 45:27 – 10/126 or 127
Well, this run started off good. After my legs finally realized that yes, indeed, I was going to require them to now run for 45 someodd minutes, they began to cooperate. The 1/2 mile coming out of transition pretty much sucked. Looooong steep at first, then gradual hill until the first turn kept my HR hovering right about 186, right where I feel REALLY uncomfortable. I passed a younger guy a bit before the first turn and I don’t know if he was saying it to me or the person in front of me, but he said “calm down and it will get easier”. Whoever it was aimed at, I took his advise! Running fast is hard for me. Maybe it’s just as hard for everyone else, but I’m not sure if it’s because of my size, my stride, my head – whatever it is – it’s SO hard for me. Once I calmed myself though, I was ready to settle in for a good run. The first two miles ticked off and I was averaging right around 7:00 pace. Perfect. However, the course got much harder from there. Miles 2-5 pretty much sucked, with long stretches of uphill. I thought this run course was very very hilly all around. I was fading pretty hard by mile 4/5 but I held on to what I could, which wasn’t much. My goal was a 44 minute run and I failed miserably at that, but I met my goal of a top 10, by the skin of my teeth.
Overall – 2:30:05 – 3rd open / 6th female
3rd open sounds “great”. But 6th female is not so great. I have a lot of work to do, especially before Eagleman. Many of the things I’ll be working on don’t even include swimming, biking or running, they are just logistical things that I think overall, cost me about 45 sec – 1 min today. In a “shorter” race, that is/can be detrimental. Work to be done!
Off to race Noda Grand Prix!!!