Monday, August 5, 2013

Race ReCap

Fifteen races this year, nine of which were triathlons (5 Sprints, 3 Olympics and one Half-Ironman), and no race reports to show for it. I've mentioned my performance, but this is going to be my first stab at a proper race report. 

It all started early Saturday morning, waking up at the Florida House Inn (my absolutely new favorite place in Florida) with a bad case of the sneezes. My whole head felt like it was full of snot. We had gotten in pretty late the night before, and when the alarm went off at 5:15 it felt as though I had just fallen asleep. Don't get me wrong, it was a wonderful sleep, but one that I had hoped to continue. That paired with the non-stop sneezing was making me seriously regret the whole I-will-race-too scenario. Approximately 50 sneezes into the morning, and not even in the car yet headed to the course, the boy informed me he wouldn't judge me if I withdrew from the race. 

Ugh. This is when I knew I was in a bad place. 

I meant to keep track of the sneezes. But, alas internet world, I failed you. Big surprise.  

However, some free pre-race coffee (out of a cookie jar. One of use was upset the cookie jar didn't hold cookies. It wasn't me. You know coffee satisfies me!) AND... 

... a bagel smothered in Cinnamon Raisin Granola Nut Peanut Butter... 

Yes. Pause and read that again. 

It's peanut butter, with cinnamon. And raisins. And granola. And nuts. All together in one epic jar. 

So needless the say that distracted the sneezes. For awhile. They came back full force once we were in the car on the way to the course and didn't stop until my warm up swim. Thank goodness for salt water! 

The waves were serious Saturday morning, and I was glad to have the time to take a warm-up swim, if for no other reason than to get a sense for the waves. While I splashed around and chatted in transition, the boy took his warm up seriously.  

He was racing to win. I was racing for pizza. We all have our priorities. 

It was a bright and beautiful morning, and I was glad I'd recently bought some tinted goggles. It was only a 1/4 mile swim, and I just wanted to get in and out of the waves before a surfer cruised over me. But seriously, they were out as soon as we were out! Heading out the first buoy I looked to sight and saw the biggest wave of water I'd ever seen. 

"Just survive it girl, just survive it."

The wave threw me on my back and sent me back a few yards. Into a herd of girls pulling me under. Time to kick. I don't mean to kick anyone, but if you insist on grabbing my feet and yanking, then I need to kick a. to get ahead and away from you AND b. to send a message. Leave me alone! 

Finally made it to the first buoy and whipped around. At least now the waves were parallel to me, but little did I know that wouldn't be my biggest concern. 

Didn't know .25 mile could be so exciting, did ya? 
Well, just as I passed the second buoy (there were only three) I felt something PLOP into my bra. I didn't really think anything of it at first, just kept swimming. But then it started to sting. Like really really really sting. Still swimming with the right arm, and kicking, I yanked it out with my left hand. 


Like icky, yucky, spine shivery, squishy. So I threw it under me. And onto my right leg. Where it proceeded to sting my knee cap. Needless to say I was over this swim. Finally got my butt out of the water and into transition. Despite all that, looking back at the splits I was the first in my AG out of the water. I'll take it! 

Swim Course. I think we can all see where the squishy was! 

There is no better feeling during a tri than running into transition and seeing all the bikes still on the rack. Except maybe coming back into T2 and seeing all the racks empty!! Transition was smooth and relatively painless. Oh yeah, except for the part where I stabbed myself in the eye with my sunglasses. But my socks, shoes and helmet were all on with no problems so I considered it a success and got the heck out of there. 

The bike was uneventful. Leap frogged with a  few people. Got annoyed when I realized they were all pulling each other and taking turns drafting off me! I was suspicious of the length of the bike course, but it was definitely 17 miles! (The reported times the week before must have been wrong, no girls are going to pull off a 1:05 on a .25/17/3.1) Managed to average 20.5 mph on the course, and was pleased with myself. 

There's the bike in the center. Kept it pretty consistent!
Clearly the swim and run are a different story. 

Came into transition and had that wonderful, no-other-bikes-are-back-on-the-rack, feeling. I was the second in my AG back in on the bike. Wahoo! 

The run is really my weakness these days, so I knew I had to lay out a good run or people would start passing me. I'd already been passed on the bike by one girl, but otherwise I knew I was doing pretty well. At this point I didn't know if anyone had gotten out of the water before me or not. 

The run course was shady the whole time! And unlike my last three races, wasn't on the sand. Not one time. Felt good to have the chance to actually run. My goal was 25:30. Just hit 8:30's I thought. Which I did on the first mile. Not so much on the second. The exciting part was when I was able to pick it up again on the last mile. 

5k came in at 26:04. So 8:41 average. Just enough to keep me in the top 3 (to be fair, top three once the overall winner was taken out of the AG, but I'll take what I can get!). I felt strong crossing the finish line, and not knowing the results was positive about my performance. More than positive, I was a little impressed with myself. Not the race I'd imagined. Sometimes I forget how much I train, especially when I compare myself to others. I'd expected not only to have my tushy handed to me, but also to be a bit underwhelmed by my performance. I need to get over this self doubt thing. Even if I don't do "well" compared to others I train with, I still make gains every single race. 

Which is the best part of triathlon. 

There is always room for improvement. Always something that can get better. Always something to work on. A truly never ending project. 

So despite a lot of things going very wrong, I had a great race. 

And earned my *homemade* pizza for sure. 

I could however, have done without seeing Paranormal Activity for the first time. Even if scary movies are "fun."

So, two weeks until my next race weekend back in Seattle. Excited to see what I can put together there. Going to get after the run and bike. And because I still have to race Augusta, I need to get after some LONG rides followed by LONG runs. Wish me luck. 

At the airport now, ready to head out. Going to search for some food and maybe a beer, because you know that's what triathletes are actually all about. 

If it's in a meme it must be true. 

xoxo Sweat&Sparkle 

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