USAT Nationals: 3rd Time’s a Charm?

And just like that, over a month has gone by and I haven’t recapped the race, talked about the results or updated on what the heck I am doing over here. AND in that time, apparently I let my domain name expire so the blog was non-existent for a month (Thanks, Holly for the heads up on that one!).

The primary reason I went silent is because we (finally) moved into our house in Richmond the day we got back from Milwaukee and 4 days later left for a 10-day vacation to AFRICA. And well, when you take that much time off of work and life (and training…gasp!), catching back up is a b*tch. And the longer I went without coming back to the blog, the easier it was to ignore it completely. {P.S. I considered just bagging the blog all together, but decided that I still had the desire to share and connect with all of you (Hi Mom!) so I decided to keep ‘er going!}

Since so much time has passed, my memories from the race aren’t all that clear anymore, so I have tried make this more brief than my usual race report ramblings.

Race Eve

After a relatively late night with my favorites in Chicago on Thursday evening, I tried to sleep in as much as possible on Friday morning.

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At 11 p.m. on Thursday night – outside Peace in Chicago. Maaaaybe not where I should have been at that time on the night before the night before the race, but #worthit

We finally dragged ourselves out of bed around 8:30, picked up the rental car and headed up to Milwaukee around 10ish. On the way, I took my first dose of my typhoid anti-virus, which was supposed to be started 8 days prior to arriving in Africa (foreshadowing). The trip was smooth and we arrived with plenty of time to drop stuff at our Airbnb and head down to the race site for all the usual happenings: bike pick-up, packet pick-up, practice swim, quick bike ride, shake-out run, bike check, etc. So many logistics. The primary thing of note here is that our test swim was freezing. The air was cold, the water was cold and we almost backed out of it altogether. I am so glad we got in though because it helped prepare us for how it would feel the next day.

We finished the rest of the race prep around 1:30 then got lunch at our favorite little cafe on the race course before heading to the grocery store. That evening we went to a cute little Italian restaurant for dinner, but I spent almost the entire time in and out of the bathroom. My only guess is that the typhoid medicine really messed up my stomach. After dinner I bought some Imodium (for only the 2nd time in my entire life) and that seemed to help get things under control. I tried to stay as hydrated as a could, but this was definitely not the ideal situation the night before my “A” race.

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I am not joking and this was not planned. We showed up wearing the EXACT same outfit in Milwaukee. If I wouldn’t have switched my sunglasses the day before…we would have even had the same shades on!

Race Morning

Despite moving up to the 35-39 age group, I still somehow was stuck with the late start like the last two years. But since transition closes at 7, we still had to get up at 5-something to get everything setup. {Luckily my stomach had calmed down and I felt completely normal the next morning.} After being separated in different AG last year, I was grateful to have Char’s company for the 1ish mile walk to the race site from our Air BnB. We got set-up quickly then parked ourselves for the hours of waiting.

In the last few minutes before it was time to head to the swim start, we got a nice little surprise, when Jenny and Manny stopped by during their long run! It was sheer luck that they were able to find us in the sea of neoprene and spandex!

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❤ ❤ ❤

1500 m Swim – 23:56 (1:27/100 yd), 17/164 AG

Unfortunately there was no miracle overnight that warmed the water up about 5 degrees. It was still a frigid 63 and I was sporting a sleeveless wetsuit. After a short warm-up, we all lined up, holding on to the dock. They played the Hunger Games music (fitting for the blood bath that was about to ensue) and the horn sounded and we were off. I thought the first 100 m were less brutal than in the past, but when the group narrowed to go under the bridge, things got rough. I finally put my hand on someone’s shoulder and pushed her off of me during the back part of my stroke because she KEPT swimming up on top of me. It took almost 750 m before things really spread out and I finally found my own water and cruised through the finish. My effort felt on point, but I kept getting colder and colder as time went on – especially my hands and arms. I don’t know for sure, but I have to assume that this is why my swim time was so much slower than last year (52 seconds!). I was disappointed when I saw my time, as I knew that I needed every one of those seconds to try to break 2:20.

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T1 – 2:31, 21/164 AG

SAME EXACT T1 time as last year. At least I am consistent! (Also – as I was running up to transition, I saw Victoria and said hi. It turns out that we must have been swimming next to each other for most of the last half of the swim).

24.8M Bike – 1:08:12, (21.9 mph), 41/164 AG

I had fleeting flashbacks to last year when I started on the bike. I felt blah and had a moment in the first 5 miles where I thought “Ugh. I don’t even care.” I knew I needed an attitude adjustment and that fuel can do that for me. Sure enough, within a few minutes after sucking down a Gu, I was ready to get back to work again. I am glad that I recognized this much earlier than I did last year. For the most part I felt really strong and steady on the bike. I felt like I was working hard, but unlike a few recent races, it seemed like the pace and power output were in line with the effort. I played leap frog with a few people and did my best to stay out of any draft zones, as there were referees everywhere and they were giving out penalties generously. As I cruised down the bridge at the end, I was really happy to see that I made it in well under 1:10. When I heard Brad yell for me, I gave him a big smile!!

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T2 – 1:22, 21/164 

In and out. Super happy with this one.

6.2M Run – 44:40, (7:11 min/mile), 18/164

Within the first few minutes of the run, I knew that it was going to be a tough day. Sometimes it take me about 1/2 a mile to get my running legs back so I tried to be patient, but my legs just felt dead and it definitely wasn’t getting any easier. I tried to lock in to a 7:00 pace and hope that things would turn around, but even in the first mile my pace was slipping to 7:05-7:10. Just about 3/4 of a mile in, a girl came past me running strong and steady. I decided immediately that I was going to go with her. I locked into her cadence about 2 feet behind her (am I so annoying or what?!) and just hung on.

Mile 1 – 3: 7:00, 7:02, 7:01

My new friend was as consistent as could be and the ONLY reason that I was able to hold this pace. It hurt, but I felt like she was pulling me right along with her. I tried my best not to breath to loud or be too annoying, but I am sure she was more than ready to drop me. Mile 4 in this race is always the hardest for me. I reminded myself of that before the race and again during mile 4. I felt like if I could push through that one mile and get to the turnaround, I could finish strong. But my little pacer and I both started dropping off pace during that mile. Then at one point I saw her look down at her watch and she evidently saw what I did (7:15 min/mile) and she picked up the pace and took off. I tried to go, but it just wasn’t there. I kept shoving down Gatorade chews and water, hoping to find some energy from somewhere, but I was dead.

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Pain Face.

Mile 4-6.2: 7:10, 7:14, 7:25, 6:55 avg. (0.2)

The last 3.2 miles were HARD and I suffered bad. I did get a little boost at mile 6 when someone told the girl behind me that “the girl in white is #15 in your AG! Go!”. That meant that I had placed Top 18 and would earn a spot on Team USA! (even though I am not planning to go to Cozumel, I was happy to finally earn that spot!).

2015 Olympic Distance Nationals Overall Time: 2:20:44, 17/169 AG

Not quite the sub-2:20 I was looking for (again) and 5 seconds slower than my time in 2015. Putting together all 3 sports in one day is a challenge that has eluded me in this distance. I finally got the bike where I want it this year and the swim and run were off. If I were able to swim and run like 2014, my time would have been 2:18:xx. But alas, that is what triathlon is all about. I focused on quality on the bike this summer and it definitely paid off.

Post-race hugs from our friend Phil, whose back went out the day before the race and was unable to compete 😦 (Also, one week before Iron Mt. Tremblant – which he went on to finish!!)

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The rest of the weekend was spent doing all of the recovery things we love most – eating, drinking and hanging out with friends.

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Brunch back in Chicago Sunday afternoon.

About Corey

I am a 30-something swim, bike, run addict married to my best friend and in love with my two schnoodle doggies.
This entry was posted in bike, friends, Goals, Race reports, Races, running, swimming, training, triathlon. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to USAT Nationals: 3rd Time’s a Charm?

  1. Mom says:

    You know I read every word of your blog and love it!

  2. Awesome!! congrats!!! Sounds like a good but hard day!!! 🙂

  3. I’m so glad you decided NOT to bag the blog. Love reading your adventures. I know you were hoping for a handful of seconds faster in this race, but I think you did simply amazing. You are so speedy in all three sports, and I would have run a 10K PR with your time after the swim and bike! You are a rock star. xoxo

  4. Pingback: ITU World Championships – Race Report |

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