Race Morning: woke up super early…my alarm was set for 2:50am and I was out of bed as planned by 3am on the dot! This was my earliest wake up call to date. Despite my nerves, I actually slept decent. I woke up a few times but was able to get right back to sleep. Probably got 3.5-4 hours total which is pretty good for me on a pre-race night. I had packed everything the night before so all I had to do in the morning was wet my hair, get dressed and rack my bike. I was out the door a few minutes before 4am right on schedule. My mom came with me (she is the #1 TT jockstrapper* and new photog!) and we headed to Wawa (must. have. caffeine.) then to my teammate Kurt’s house…again, right on time 🙂 We racked my bike on Kurt’s car and headed downtheshore. Then we headed back to Kurts…he forgot the directions….then we really headed downtheshore.
Pre-Race: we got a parking spot one block away from transition (whoo-hoo!!!) which was great because even though we were there before 6 it was pretty packed. Luckily I got a good racking spot on the rack closest to the bike out. We went inside to get marked up and then just hung around. After some potty stops (Note: the had REAL bathrooms!!!!! Real as in with a door and plumbing and a sink and everything!!! Racers of all kind know how big of a deal this is!!!) and chit-chatting it was time to head down to the beach.
400 meter swim (more like 500 meters), 11.5 mile bike, 3.1 mile run (longer if you ask me)
Swim: 13:30/16:11*; 274/375
Heading down to the ocean I was a nervous wreck, becoming more panicked the closer I got to the water. Once we got to the water, I went in and kind of just floated around for a second. It was clear that the swim was longer than 400 meters and it was later determined by the RD that this was in fact the case. While waiting for my wave, I ended up meeting a few other girls who were panicked too. In most situations, I would advise against finding people who also panic, but in race situations I find it oddly calming. There were 5 waves and I was in wave 3. When the whistle blew I was off and splashing- I just put my fears aside and pushed through. The waves made it tough to get out to the buoys but I just took my time and jumped over them as they came at me. A few were pretty big and pushed me back but I kept on moving. Once I was out swimming, I felt great. I was actually really enjoying myself and having a good time. It was really difficult fighting the current, as we were swimming against it, but the gentle waves made me feel more buoyant and therefore safer. Before I knew it, I was swimming to shore! It was so much fun riding the waves in!
*I say 13:30/16:11 because when my actual swim time was 13:30 when I checked my watch…my total swim time is 16:11 because it includes the long hike up to T1. I know everyone had time tacked onto their swims because of this, so it is totally fair, I just want to make the distinction.
What I would do differently: hopefully now that I have an ocean swim under my belt, next time I won’t be as panicked! And next time I will try to dive through some of the waves going out to the buoys instead of jumping them all- a few of them were way too big and pushed me back, creating even more work for myself.
After the long run from the beach to my transition area I needed a minute to get my act together, yet I was still trying to move as fast as possible. I washed off my feet (I HATE sandy feet!), put on my socks/shoes and helmet and off on the bike I went.
What I would do differently: Nothing. I had my area set up well and felt like I did everything I could do for a fast transition. I know I could save time if I didn’t wash my feet, but I am OCD, so that won’t happen.
Bike: 49:19- 14mph/avg, 359/375
So the good news is…my bike time improved .6mph! 🙂 And in other news…my bike was still slow, slow, slow! Even though I am still slow, the steady improvement is a reason enough to be proud of myself. The course was 3 loops (with a few tight turns) and I just took my time. During my first loop I saw a bad bike accident and it really shook me up. I had to take a second to get my composure. As most of you know, the bike is still new to me and seeing this accident really got to my core. Honestly, I think even if I was a super great biker it still would have upset me. She was really bloody and looked like a broken doll. She was clearly seriously injured and that is never something you want to happen. I saw her on my second and third loop as well; on the third loop they were getting her into the ambulance and I just prayed that she was alright. I won’t lie, seeing the accident affected my ride for sure, but I still pushed myself the best I could.
What I would do differently: I need to figure out what gears to be in. When it comes to the gears I am pretty clueless. I noticed that I felt like I was pedaling much harder than I needed to and not going as fast as I should have been. This is my #1 priority to work on before my next race. Also, I have to remember to drink more on the bike. I didn’t drink enough on the ride and came off feeling weak. This is no way to start the run.
Not much to say here; I racked my bike, took off my helmet, grabbed a GU and off I went.
What I would do differently: Nothing. I was stoked with this time.
Run: 32:50- 10:36 avg/mph; 325/375
As I mentioned, I felt a little weak coming off the bike so as soon as I got on my run I took a GU and washed it down at the first water stop which was right after the transition exit. I felt better within seconds. I had a really good run for the most part. About 2.5 miles in my right calf tightened up so I did a little walk/run/walk/run and was able to walk it out. After that, I only walked once and it was only for a few seconds. Total walking time was probably less than 2 minutes! I once again sprinted through the finish and I felt great! I personally think the run was longer than 3.1 and I am further convinced of this because of my time. I could be wrong, but I really think I had a better run than 10:36 pace, even with the walking. Regardless, I am mostly happy with my performance.
Overall: 1:42:39, 348/375
I’m still in the back of the pack, but improving with every race. Each finish is a success- in this race I felt mostly good about all three disciplines, so I have no reason to be disappointed.
Pros: great venue, lots of volunteers, nice course, warm water, great weather and lots of spectators. I really enjoyed this race from start to finish. I am definitely putting it on my “to-do” list for next year.
Cons: in my opinion, the only cons to this race were the miscalculated distances and the accident. No one likes to see anyone get hurt and it was hard not to concentrate on her misfortune. They announced before awards that she was stable and en route to a hospital; I emailed the RD today but he hasn’t been updated yet. I am hoping she is making a quick recovery.
Post Race: ate some watermelon and oranges. I usually can’t eat a whole lot right after racing. Didn’t stick around too long post-race. Got changed, cleaned up transition and took off. The weather was supposed to get bad and we wanted to beat out the storms. Good thing too; as soon as I got my bike through my front door it started raining. Ten minutes later when my mom and I pulled into breakfast, it was down-pouring!! We were soaked going from the car to the restaurant- it was my second swim of the day! I ate the biggest plate of potatoes you can imagine and had a bagel with cream cheese to go with it. Fatty carbs and I loved every single bite!!! After breakfast my mom left and I tried to nap but for some odd reason got a major second wind. I spent the night hanging at my parents house watching a movie with my dad. Then I came home and crashed finally!
My teammate Kurt, me and my teammate Brian- the after race picture 🙂
*Jockstrapper= athletic supporter