Monday, May 26, 2014

Season Opener - Tri #2

So this summer we will be traveling to races the day of, it’s less expensive and will train me to be ready for any distraction. Of course the 2nd race of the season is 3 hours away! It doesn’t start until 9 so you’d think we could leave at 5-5:30 but I need time to get my packet and do my 1 hour bike run swim warm up. So my alarm went off at 3am and I got up and made breakfast, a nice breakfast sandwich minus the cheese. I triple checked my race bag and had everything. This was the first race of the season with an open water swim. Due to the cold spring I was only able to swim twice in Echo lake. The first time it was too cold to stay in for a length of time so Steve and I swam a few strokes to get the feel of a wetsuit again.

Steve arrived at 4 and we packed my car; bike, tri bag, extra clothes bag, Steve's bag, Gina's bag, the cooler and food bag and of course Laura’s presto chango!  Gina drove while I wrote about the previous race in the back seat. Her and Steve chatted most of the way down.

I read the athlete race day packet and checked the website. I scrolled down to the bike leg and noticed they had to change the course due to construction. They cut the course in half!! It was now only 8 miles. I did not receive an email nor did they make it very clear on homepage of the website. I was also getting extra nervous due to the competition being closer to Boston and the contingent of Elite and Collegiate triathletes. When we arrived we discovered the parking was first come first served and was split into separate coves with not much direction as to where transition area was. As we were unloading the car I watched to see where athletes were going and ended up following them.

I checked in, got body marked and set up transition. The rules for this race stated that once you check your bike into TA they strongly suggested against taking it out. Well that doesn’t work for me or most serious Triathletes who get a good warm up in. I asked about that when I checked in and she was hesitant to let me do it. The other rule was that your run number had to be on during the bike. Most races it’s just required for the run. I’ve never ridden with my run number on. I wear it on a race belt so the bottom is not pinned to my suit therefore causing it to flap at high speeds. Oh well those are the rules. I set up and went out for my warm up: 10 mins then 2 x 3min hard efforts with 5 min recovery in between.  Half way through it I was at mile 4 so I figured I’d ride the whole course, which I never get to do. Now I knew what to expect.

Back to TA and out for my run. I felt so scatter brained and didn’t feel confident in my routine. I needed to refocus and know that I had this I know what I’m doing. Finished my run and squeezed into my wetsuit. Steve and I walked down to the water. I walked in and it nearly took my breath away. There were only a handful of athletes warming up. I didn’t want to dunk my face in but knew I had too. WHOA!! I swam up and around the buoy and back to Steve. Booties were allowed for this race so I borrowed Leah’s. This would be the first time to swim with booties so I was hesitant but I didn’t want my toes to freeze!! I swam to the buoy and back and it was too distracting plus I haven’t practiced taking them off at speed so I went without.

We walked to the pre race meeting and then it was time to start. Steve and Gina wished me luck. They said do your best and don’t think about the others. I found the group of women with yellow caps.

The swim was a point to point so we walked in wave down the shore to the start. It was an in water start so no running, just treading until the horn blew. We walked in and everyone’s breath was taken away. The sign said 58º, yea felt more like 48º. It was a little choppy but the wind was at our backs so that helps. I tried to find the best position. I know I’m not fast so I put myself in the middle. Bad idea. It was the worst swim start ever. I got hung up pretty good and couldn’t break out of it for a while. Once I did I felt better. I got through it and was about 35th out about the middle of the pack according to Steve. Now to get the suit off and on the bike, need to practice that more.  I only had 8 miles to get my time back so I had to go super hard plus I knew the course. The road in the park had some good cracks but I knew that so I let a little air out before I left my bike in TA. That helped a little. I still hit them at speed while in the aero bars and almost got tossed off. I hammered as hard as I could and passed a lot of racers. I didn’t get passed so that always helps me mentally.

Back into TA and onto the run. It started with a steady up hill not the best terrain to start with but everyone had to face it. My legs felt ok and once it crested the hill I picked up the pace. I stared getting stomach cramps and they lasted for the entire run. Maybe my breakfast didn’t sit well or my pre race nerves got the best of me. I don’t but man it was uncomfortable. After the 1st mile the course changed to grass and slowed us down. I could see runners on the last part of the course as it crossed the top of the damn I was excited for that. I passed some more runners and up another hill to the top of the damn. As I was getting passed the wind was strong. I yelled out Come on!! He agreed. He passed me on the left and blocked the wind for a few seconds. So I was able to keep up with him for a few strides. He read that and dropped back behind me on the right. I didn’t want to drop back and play that game so I just kept running. I had to shut my mind off to the cramps I was dealing with otherwise I would have stopped and couldn’t let that happen. He ended up passing me back just as we got off the damn and I tried as hard as I could to catch him but I couldn’t. I finished with all I had.

I found Steve and Gina they were happy with my times, which always feels good. I talked about how it went and then walked to the bathroom hoping for relief. I could barely stand up straight it hurt so bad. No luck. Steve found some ginger minty liquid stomach relief at the expo and encouraged me to drink it. I really don’t like ginger but I drank it. After awhile it started to help I still didn’t want to eat anything. I tried to jog again but couldn’t. I drank my recoverite and tried to relax. We checked the results and I was 5th female.

We stayed for awards and I got a glass and a flower and hope for prizes too. We packed food and hung out I still didn’t want to eat but I knew I had too the cramps were nearly gone so I got a sandwich down. We began the 3 hour drive home and I felt happy about my effort.

Overall: 52/433
Female: 5/167
Age Group: 1/25

View online results here.

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