I love racing locally–so many familiar faces and no real worries about travel.What a great race. I learned so much this time around. The more I do this the less nervous/anxious I become and just let loose and have some fun.
I prepped all of my stuff the day before and walked around the house a million times thinking I forgot something. My alarm went off at 5:00 am and we got out of the house around 5:30. Why am I up this early? This repeats through my head several times. We arrived to the race site and we meet Steve and Jessica in the parking lot. Familar faces and I get a little less anxious. John helps me pump up my tires in the parking lot. We wander over to the transistion area shortly after which is pitch black. Last year they had huge lights up which was helpful. But luckly I learned my lesson from Tri Latta last year and brought a flash light! Crisis averted.
What follows is the standard race day pattern–I set up my transition spot pretty quickly, get marked with my number/age, get my timing chip and slap it on my ankle, go to the bathroom numerous times.
The swim order is usually determined by submitting a 100 yd time. I was number 251 and technically this was when I would be starting. Oddly enough, folks starting doing whatever they wanted with the entry time. I thought this was odd and caused more stress. But I can’t complain because I got to start with my buddy Sommer who stuck back with me a bit. Add on top to this a different pool start than last year…and you get some stress. All participants had to dive or jump into the water. I knew this ahead of time and practiced my butt slide into the pool. I didn’t need to break my goggles (which I saw happened to many people) or inhale a bunch of water and freak out. My pool entry was a success.
I have finally learned that triathlon pool racing is more about dodging flaying swimmers than about speed. You can have the swim of your life and quickly come to pool congestion that stops you to a crawl. Fortunately, I did alot of passing with ease. Regardless of who I passed it boosted my self confidence up quite a bit. My two favorites where frog kicking guy and back stroke/floating woman.
The bike went fairly well. This course is rolling hills and while I have been biking a bit…not nearly enough to really push this course. So I went at it with a fairly moderate pace knowing I had to leave something for the run. Unfortunately my nutrition was not working at this point. I was concious of drinking a ton which worked out. But I started getting hungry about 5 miles in..uh oh. I ate a decent breakfast but can never eat a ton because of nerves. Once I get on the bike I guess my belly gets hungry. So I just gelled about 3 times with no other good option. I know this was a risk because too much gel causes my belly to gas up.
Transition 2 is also slower for me because I have to put my socks on for the run (don’t like riding with socks..weird I know). The run began and my legs were mush. This was a quick reminder that this is not a just a 5k. As predicted my gels weren’t working and I was burping the whole time. The run course was the same as last year, two loops. I broke it down mentally into these two loops. It went by pretty quick but I was shuffling not really running. My legs were not listening to my mind to pick it up. I saw some friendly faces on the side lines cheering me on which was great. I had a little left in me for one last sprint to the end and I was toast. I just wanted fooooood!
I had a great time this year. I learned to not take myself too seriously and not let training control my life. I like having a race as a fitness goal otherwise there isn’t a whole lot of motivation to stay or get into shape. I’m not sure what’s next. I’m looking forward to biking and running for fun during the fall. I would like to start getting stronger for the run. I felt good progress last year but just burned myself out.
P.S. I have to give my friend Jess some props for placing second in the Novice division–she kicked some serious bootie!