Coach Brooks emailed me a race document detailing what to do during the race, how to approach each leg and goal paces. I read it Thursday after Masters swim and
Friday afternoon I picked up Sara at her house, then we drove to Caryn's parents' house in Clayton to pick her up. We headed down to Greenville, checked into our hotel and then drove to Washington Park to check out the venue. We were supposed to swim, but decided against it and drove back to Greenville to eat dinner with another Raleigh triathlete friend, Dave.
|The lovely shoreline of the Pamlico River in Washington Park, NC|
Woke up at 5AM Saturday morning and made my bowl of oatmeal, prepared my nutrition and we packed up the van to head out to the race. Setting up was pretty unremarkable, but I was thankful for the Inside-Out Sport Triathlon Club tent where I could store my large bag.
|Where do I go?|
The swim was two loops on a 750-meter triangular course in a counter-clockwise direction, so as to move with the slight current on the longer stretch of the course. The Olympic men started, with the women following a few minutes later. I headed out in the very middle of the pack, even though I knew I would fall behind, but it makes sighting so much easier. Nothing really exciting happened until I was in the middle of the first loop and the sprint distance men caught up. Flipping Raleigh IM70.3 all over again. I really hate this part of OWS races. I just kept swimming and never stopped to apologize if someone swam into me, even if it was my fault. Oh wellsies! Rubbin' is racin'. Finished my second loop with a few sighting errors on the long stretch, and somehow wasn't the very last person out of the water. Just second to last. :-) I also stood up way too early, and had to wade through the awful sea monster grass. I need to stop doing that in races.
I farted around a bit in T1, because I recently discovered my helmet is a BILLION times more comfortable if I pull my ponytail through the back, rather than a low-po underneath it. Guess I need to practice doing that.
Swim - 1500m: 00:46:30 81/94 OA 6/8 AG
I've been feeling stronger on the bike lately, but I didn't feel strong on this ride. The course is incredibly flat, just a few tiny grades here and there. A little bit of a headwind. I was getting frustrated with my lack of speed until I looked down at my watch. 19.3mph. Oh. Well, then.
My nutrition plan was simple. I had made a 300-calorie Tailwind bottle, had water in the aero bottle and a Gatorade Endurance chew bar thingie. Perfect for 1:20 ride. Except... I DID NOT FOLLOW MY PLAN. AGAIN. I ate three squares, drank 1/2 the bottle of Tailwind and maybe 1/3 of the plain water.
It was really about not wanting to stop and deal with the food - picking it out of the wrapper and bento box, grabbing the water bottle itself, etc. I have a new plan in mind now, I'll talk about it later.
Anyhoo - it was a quiet ride and a few parts were pretty. I passed people, especially on the second loop - perhaps about eight people total. I knew they were going to pass me on the run, but I'll take what I can get. Started to lose some momentum and at one point glanced at my watch to see 17.3mph. Ugh. Saddle started to hurt my rear, I think the nose started to shift. Was glad to get off the bike when it was over.
Bike - 25 miles: 1:20:59 59/94 OA 3/6 AG
It's funny, because I was curious what was going to happen on the run. I've been working hard to get used to the hot weather (and trying to improve in general), and while the morning had been comfortable it was heating up really fast. So, I was genuinely thinking, "Hmm! Wonder how this will go! Kind of excited to find out!" as though I were putting on a freaking science project or something.
So, what happened is I shuffled along and tried to run as much as possible, tried to not look at my watch very often, ate Base salt and ate my Quic Discs. These were in the Raleigh Ironman swag bag, and I kind of like them. There are ten discs in a container, and four discs are 70 calories. Pure carbs - pretty much the same nutritional content as a gel. I planned on eating 1.5 containers, and I did just that. I ate two at a time throughout, rather than eating four every three miles. It just worked better for me, and frankly I was hungry and was starting to feel nauseous.
Then I realized I wasn't sweating very much. Not good. Drank water, poured cold water into the towel I had in my top (they handed out cold towels, bless them). Shoved ice in my bra and held it in my hands while I ran. The course has a little bit of a hill going over a bridge (twice - you turn around at the finish line for the Olympic distance). I looked at my watch and realized I was going to be cutting it close to finishing the run at 1:15. My watch said 1:14, I could SEE the finish line. I was running as fast as I could, and I realize now that was only about a 9:48/mi pace. I honestly had no idea what my overall time was going to be, I didn't look at that screen on my watch during the race. I saw Dave, Sara and Caryn at the finish line.
Then I saw the race clock said 3:30.
What the WHAT? I was going to finish under 3:30? A 16-minute PB? Yup.
Sweet. And I was right in the middle of what my coach had set for me.
Run - 6.2 miles: 1:15:48 82/94 OA 6/8 AG
Total Time - 3:27:12 81/94 OA 6/8 AG
|Another race - done! And congrats to Caryn on her podium finish!|