Rumpass in Bumpass Olympic Triathlon

2016-05-05 09-14-18_Rumpus in Bumpass International (Lake Anna, VA) - April 30, 2016 - Virginia-Mary

The Background

I think it is important in triathlon to do “tune-up” race before my A-race of the season. It’s a good way to remember how to play triathlon again (how do I set up transition? where is that wetsuit?) and can also be a good way to test current fitness. {Spoiler: I really hope this race was not indicative of my fitness}. I had to do some schedule flopping to make this race work – switching a peak training week with my recovery/race week. In retrospect, this meant the cutback week was WAY overdue by the time it arrived and that I started race week trying to claw my way out of training fatigue. My legs showed some signs of life as the week went on (a really good ride on Wednesday!), but Thursday’s short 1900 m swim felt like swimming through mud. Still, I had hopes that the long distance training and what appeared to be a fast course would serve me well and I could maybe even (gasp!) break 2:20.

Race Eve

I worked from home in Richmond on Friday, which was great for getting a whole bunch of things done during work breaks: Race tires put on, driveway testing new cleats, wetsuit & aero bottle found, race day packing done, etc. This resulted in a relaxing evening with Brad where we cooked at home and went to bed super early.

Race Morning

Praise VTSMTS for the 9 a.m. race start. Even with an hour drive, I didn’t have to get up until 6 and still had more than enough time after check-in and transition set-up. Everything went smoothly and I had 40+ minutes to chill before it was time to swim. I chatted with Victoria, took a few snaps and the time passed quickly.

I made the conscious decision to not warm-up in the water before the swim, which is unusual for me. The water temp was 67°, perfect for a sleeveless wetsuit, but the air temps were around 54. It seemed like it would defeat the purpose of *warming up* if I had to stand shivering in the cold for 15 minutes before my wave was released. When my neon pink cap wave was “on deck” I was able to swim about 150 m around the cove before lining up. Better than nothing.


The calm before the triathlon storm.

The Swim: 1500 m, 24:13 (1:29/100 yd, 2/103 overall)

The start was cordial – a far cry from the boxing matches at Nationals. I found a pair of feet to draft right away, but quickly realized she had gone out too fast as I pulled past her after about 15 seconds. As I sighted, I saw only one neon pink cap out in front, so I happily settled into 2nd with no one around. The main thing I remember in those first 500 m is forcing myself not to breathe every stroke (side affect of not warming up enough). Eventually I found some rhythm and despite chaos around the two turn buoys, the swim was pretty uneventful until the last 300 m. On the way back in, there were so many men in the water from previous waves that it got pretty choppy and I swallowed a lot of lake water.

This is over a minute slower than my fastest time at this distance. Given how hard I have been swimming this spring, I have to admit I am a little disappointed.

T1: 2:09

Maybe the biggest (only?) positive from this race is that I HAD THE FASTEST T1 of all women in the race. This never, ever happens. In fact, I routinely am in the bottom 25% at the big races. I felt like I was fumbling with my helmet forever, but we had to run our bikes up a hill before we were allowed to mount and I sprinted as fast as I could hoping to catch the first female (this is laughable now, as she crushed me in all 3 sports!).

2016-05-04 16-11-22_VTSMTS on Instagram “That's a Rumpus in Bumpass rap

The climb out of transition. Hills never look as steep in pictures. Credit: VTSMTS Instagram.

Bike: 24 miles, 1:08:29 (21.0 mph, 3/103 overall)

I played leap frog with a few men for almost the entire ride, but remained solidly in 2nd place for women. A couple of the men were awesome and cheered me on as I passed going uphill and then as they bombed by me on the downhills. But one was an asshole and almost got me a penalty early in the race. Typical.

2016-05-04 15-56-37_Joe Shrader Photography LLC Search Results Display BMI_B2238

Pain face.

Overall – this hurt. The course was rolling, with no significant climbs, and should have been pretty fast, but I felt like I was just grinding. On flats and downhills, I was able to gain some speed, but anytime I hit inclines, there was no power. I was flat and felt like I was going to the well, but without the speed to show for it. This sometimes is a result of a fueling issue, but I was able to get a Gu down within the first 10 minutes and then another one right around the hour mark, so I don’t think that was it. Just one of *those* days.

This wasn’t far off my best time at this distance, but the course was only 24 miles, not 40k (24.9) so pace-wise it was somewhere in the middle of past races.

2016-05-04 15-59-30_Joe Shrader Photography LLC Search Results Display BMI_B2886

Please get me off this bike.

I want to talk more in another post about my mental game on the bike, so I won’t flesh that out here. I will say that I need to find some confidence before Chattanooga, otherwise it could be a long 56 miles.

T2: 1:15

Once again, the fastest among the women! Shocking! FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER I took my feet out of my shoes before dismounting, which is huge progress. That meant I had to run down the hill back into transition barefoot, which was a little scary because I felt like my body was moving too fast to control, but thankfully I remained upright.

Run: 10k, 45:36 (7:20 avg., 8/103 overall)


The start was a on a mushy single track trail with roots and rocks and it kind of sucked, but once I came out onto the road, I felt decent. I let myself settle into a pace that felt manageable and hit the first 2 miles at 7:05-7:10 pace (my watch was all screwed up, but the miles were marked). If I could have held that pace, I would have been happy, but it got ugly fast. I got slower and slower with splits of: 7:32, 7:18, 7:39 and 7:41. Yikes. Since it was out and back twice, I was able to see that I had a solid 5 minute lead on the 3rd female at mile 1.5 and 4 minutes on her at 4.5. I also knew that the first place women was well over a mile ahead of me. I am not sure, if I had to defend my place, that I could have gone any faster, so I was thankful for that cushion.

2016-05-04 16-00-51_Joe Shrader Photography LLC Search Results Display BMI_R3104


This was probably the most disappointing part of the day. Typically when I don’t have a great bike, I can find some redemption on the run, but this was a solid 2+ minutes slower than my best time in an Olympic Distance race. And even 1:00 slower than Nationals last year, when my running game wasn’t nearly as strong.

Rumpass in Bumpass Olympic Triathlon: 2:22:07, 2/103 overall

Needless to say, this wasn’t the confidence boosting race that I hoped it would be prior to Chattanooga. I love racing and it was fun to be out there, but I just didn’t race like I hoped. I can only put faith into my training and believe that my body was fatigued from the work I am putting in and that taper will bring the magic back. I do still think that there is a ton of value in getting that one open water swim prior to my A-race and reminding my body how to do all 3 sports on the same day. And hey, I can’t complain about a spot on the podium!


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, Goals, Race reports, Races, running, swimming, training, triathlon. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Rumpass in Bumpass Olympic Triathlon

  1. Molly says:

    C you are a BEAST and look so strong in all of these race photos! And SO happy on the podium! You are a natural athlete with lots of experience, I have a feeling the stars will along for you in Chattanooga. Believe in yourself! Side note, I can’t help but place emphasis on the ASS in both RumpASS in BumpASS and I’m giggling at my desk about it.

  2. erin says:

    Second overall… stellar! Well done! I have no doubt you’re gonna rock Chattanooga!

  3. elizabeth says:

    as you said, still awesome to podium but i know you wanted more. some times there are the bad ones to learn from and make you appreciate the ones that go well. And yes, great time on transitions!!! you will do GREAT in Chattanooga- i just know it. Cowbell is ready!!

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