(Before I continue, it is important to know a few things. First, their timing mats malfunctioned and therefore some splits were not recorded. My bike split is missing but I was able to figure it out between calculating my other splits and using my odometer. The worst part about the malfunction is that I have no idea where I placed within each discipline. Secondly, their distances were slightly off…this happened last year as well so I am not surprised but it helps to know the exact distances. Lastly, regardless of the slightly smaller distances than advertised, I still PR’d. And by such a great margin that even had all the distances been point on, I still would have PR’d!)
Wake up call 4am once again. Ran a little behind and for some reason WaWa was packed so we skipped coffee and headed straight downtheshore. Once there I had to get my packet- this was a comp race for me so I had to still get all my things in order. Finally, I was numbered and headed to set up transition. I had a really bad rack spot; it was far from swim in, bike out and bike in. The only upside was that it was all the way on the end so at least it was easy to find. Once I was set up, it was hang around time. Took some photos with teammates and hung out with my parents. Yes, parents…my dad came to this race too! Before I knew it, we were heading down to the beach. It was go time.
I had a great swim. I remembered from last year to dive into the waves instead of trying to fight them off. It worked great! Once I was past them the water was calm and I easily found a rhythm. One girl kept stroking into my leg and it was getting really annoying…I had no choice really but to kick her off- enough is enough! When I finally got away from her I really poured it on. While I think the swim might have been a little short, I don’t think it was more than 25 meters or so. I was very happy with my swim and my speed getting out of the water and all the way into transition…it was a long run from the water, through the sand, over the boardwalk, across the street and into T1!
What I would do different: Nothing really…this was a solid swim
Ate a few bloks and got my helmet on. Was drying my feet and trying to go as fast as possible but my feet were so dirty from the run in! I ended up just dealing with wet socks and going about my way. The only really bad thing was that I forgot to put on body glide before the race…I didn’t want to waste time, so I just went on without it through T1. Big mistake. Big.
What I would do different: I needed a second towel solely for feet drying! Oh, and it is okay to “waste” time on body glide!
Bike- 40:34; 15.9mph avg.
Mounted the bike and took off. Thanks (as always) to my friend Kate who pumped my tires, I was hauling butt on the bike. (Turns out my air level was really low-oops.) The bike is three loops…down, around and river and back. The turn around is super tight and the only time I really slowed down. Oh, other than the time on my second loop where a girl dropped her water bottle and I had to slam my breaks to avoid it! That was a close call! If it weren’t for the scenery of the lake and ocean, this ride would be super boring…but it is flat, fast and pretty so I like it. This was my best biking yet- seems like I am getting better and better with each race. 🙂
What I would do differently: My dismount still needs some work. I MUST do more brick workouts!!!
I really wanted to get in under a minute…but it took me close to that just to get from the Bike In to my rack spot!!! Once I got there, I racked and peaced out. I grabbed two GU’s, downed one, and put my race belt and visor on all as I was running out of transition.
What I would do differently: Nothing. I was happy with this.
Run- 35:39; 11:30 pace
Once I was all situated I began to jog slowly along…but it took less than a 1/4 mile for me to realize that my calf cramp was not going to go away without some effort. I gave in and stopped to stretch it out. As I began to run again another girl, Sarah, ran up next to me and we jogged along together for a little while. Turns out, she was also recovering from a hip injury! The run is one loop around a lake and then out and back along the ocean. As we neared the end of the lake loop Sarah encouraged me to take off as she needed to slow down. I was pumped by the crowd (the end of the lake loop is also right at the finish) and the energy got me going. I kept a good pace until the damn crap reared its ugly head again with about a mile or so left to run. I actually had to once again stop completely to stretch it out. Here, I met Mike, who was also suffering with calf cramps. Unfortunately, Mike was having it a lot worse than I was and could hardly walk. I decided to try to walk mine out since there was only about a mile left in the race. I jogged/walked and then really picked up the pace when I started to see the crowd. At about that time, my friend Brian found me and walked/ran with me. At one point I looked up and said to Brian, “wait is that the finish? Are we here?” because I could not believe it came up so quick- I looked at my watch and knew I had a PR. From that moment on, I poured it. I sprinted through the finish high-fiving people as I went by and crossed the line with a huge smile.
What I would do differently: I ran much more solid at NJ State and the difference is, I was taped. This was perfect running weather and if my calf hadn’t cramped I would have run a lot better. There isn’t much I could do different, I gave it 100%…maybe I could have pushed through the cramping but the truth is, I am still gun-shy about pushing too hard and getting injured.
This was a great race. The weather was great, my parents were both there and I had a good time. Of course getting a new PR helped too!
I am so happy to be back racing! When I got home from Belmar, I thought to myself “I think I am finally getting good at this” but really, I think it is a mixture of realizing who I am when it comes to this sport and confidence. As soon as I gave myself a break, decided to just have fun and relax with my racing, I have been excelling. Additionally, the support I get from my family, teammates and friends and all of you is amazing!