I am not sure how this has worked out, but I have raced 3 times in the last 3 months and every single time, I have left the next day to travel to IL for work. As a result, my race reports have suffered! I am finally getting around to write this, in chunks, during breaks and over lunch.
Friday evening was very low key. After I washed my bike and packed my race stuff, I made seared tuna, baked sweet potatoes and steamed veggies and Brad and I had a quiet evening at home.
The morning started off very uneventful. I was up at 4:45 and out of the door by 5:10 for my 1:20 drive to Rock Hill. I was NOT looking forward to the drive, but just turned the music up and zoned out.
I set my cruise control just below 80, when the speed limit was 70 on I-85, but neglected to drop it down after the speed limit dropped to 65. Aaand then, I passed the cop sitting in the dark as I came over a hill. *&$^#%&*@! Of course, right after I passed him, he pulled out and eventually he turned on his lights before pulling me over. He didn’t even ask why I was speeding, where I was going or why I had a bike on my car and was dressed to race at 5:45 in the morning?! I thought for sure he would have a little sympathy for me trying to get to my race on time at this ungodly hour on a Saturday. Nope. He just told me I was speeding, collected my license and registration then gave me an $81 ticket. He said he was doing me a favor by dropping my clocked speed from 79 to 74 so that I wouldn’t have to pay as much. Sure, dude.
I was a bit stressed after getting the ticket. Both because I was worried about being late (and of course NOW I couldn’t speed to get there) and because I was just pissed that I got the ticket! As I was sitting on the side of the road after I got the ticket I tweeted…
I SO wish I would have seen Marlene and Ricole’s responses before the race, because they both assured me that it meant that it was actually an omen that I was supposed to go FAST today…in my car and on my feet!
I ended up getting to the race about 15 minutes later than I would have liked, but I still had plenty of time to get checked in, marked, transition set up and warm-up in the pool.
I also had time to find out at the pre-race meeting that the swim was NOT 400 m as advertised, but 500 m. AND that the bike was NOT 15 miles, but 18 miles. Seriously?! It really isn’t that big of a deal, but they could have advertised it on the website or sent an email just so people were prepared. I heard some of the tri-newbies freaking out a little over it. I would have definitely done the same if it were my first race! I quickly mentally re-thought my fueling on the bike so I could account for a little over 10 minutes extra total race time.
I am REALLY glad this is the last pool swim of the tri season. I started 7th on the swim and no matter how much I tell myself to go out easy, I always, always go out too hard in a pool. There is something about swimming up and back in lanes that makes it feel like it should be a sprint. At about 100 m, my feet were tingling and I could was already fatigued so I let up a little and just tried to get into a smooth rhythm. For me, smooth = fast, but I never felt like I settled in. At halfway, I got clobbered by a guy trying to pass another guy ahead of me, then I got tangled up with 2 other guys on the last 100 when we were trying to pass the guy who started 5th. I was still pretty happy with my overall time, which was just over my goal of 1:20/100m.
500 m: 7:01 (1:24/100 m); 1st female, 2nd overall
(this was the time that was on my watch after I got out of the pool and does not include the time from the pool to the entrance of transition, which is another 13 seconds)
T1 – 42 seconds
I was out of breath and felt like I just couldn’t push hard enough for the first 11 miles. I guess I finally got warmed-up right about 11.5, because after that I felt strong, like I could push hard and stay in a heavier gear. The course was a surprisingly hilly out-and-back and the way back in was deceivingly harder than the way out. Miles 11-15 were actually the slowest, even though that is when I felt the strongest.
I kept thinking as I climbed that I should have been out of the saddle and fighting up the hills, but I couldn’t convince myself to do it. I just stayed seated and dropped the gear. I don’t think I have really developed the ability to suffer on the bike that I have on the run. I suppose it comes from experience?
I am still extremely happy (and a little surprised) by my overall bike split.
18 miles: 52:46 (20.5 mph); 1st female, 14th overall
T2 – 28 seconds
As I ran out of transition, the race director told me that I wouldn’t win (spoiler: I was first place female at this point) if I didn’t pass at least one guy on the run. OF COURSE I wanted to chick some dude, so I was definitely up for that challenge.
It took almost a whole mile for my legs to shake-out and feel “normal” after the bike. I pushed hard, but tried to find a pace that I could maintain. I quickly saw a guy up ahead that I wanted to catch but it wasn’t long before I realized that he was getting further and further away. I was pushing, but I knew I wasn’t running sub-7:00’s.
Then as I came up on the half-way point, I saw an arrow on the ground indicating a turn into a neighborhood. I KNEW there was no turn here, but there were no volunteers telling us where to go, so my body just reacted and I turned left. I got all the way down a small hill and into the neighborhood before I realized that this was DEFINITELY not right and I headed back out of the neighborhood and to the turnaround point.
After that I felt sort of defeated. I knew that additional distance would keep me from meeting my time goal and I had already miscalculated what time I left transition, so I was already thinking that my pace was in the mid-7’s. I spent the next 1/2 a mile without much motivation. I just wanted to be done and didn’t feel like pushing myself. Eventually I heard the music of the finish area and I summoned up a little motivation to push through the finish.
After the race, people who had GPS watches said the run course was only 2.85 miles but I estimate that I ran roughly an additional 0.1 miles in my little detour.
I am disappointed in my run time because I would definitely like to see it under 7. I am also disappointed that I mentally gave up for a little bit when I didn’t think I would meet my goal. I usually find that I can push myself way beyond what is comfortable in this distance and I definitely didn’t dig deep and do that Saturday.
2.95 miles: 20:55 (7:05 min/mile); 1st female, 11th overall
Overall time: 1:22:07; 1st female, 12th overall
I did end up getting 1st place female and fortunately Jim (the race director) still “let me” win the race, even though I passed no guys 🙂
This pic was actually from the race 3 weeks ago (in the same location), but cute Jamie on my right also go 3rd in this race too! I seriously wish I didn’t look like such a tool up there…
I will also add (in case you were wondering) there were only 30 women and 70 people total in the race. I will definitely enter some bigger races and get a reality check of how I rank soon!