750 meter swim, 20k bike, 5k run
May 11, 2013
A Quick Recap:
Swim: 12:42 (2/67)
Bike: 36:16 (4/67)
Run: 21:49 (3/67)
Finish Time: 1:13:06
Finish Place: 4th OA
The past two weeks leading up to my first race of the season have been anything but ideal. Fortunately, or unfortunately, however, I'm starting to adjust to racing with less than consistent training. May brought the start of a two month stint on trauma, which translates to morning workouts being replaced by rounding at 4:30am and evening workouts being cut short or not happening at all depending on the length of the workday. It's frustrating and definitely puts a major damper on my attitude. Ultimately, I'd love to combine a part-time job with full-time training and just see where it took me over a few years. That's a whole separate post though, and requires that I win the lottery and pay off my student loan debt.
By the time Friday arrived I was so tired and craving a morning to sleep in, that I was contemplating not racing at all. However, I rallied, put a smile on my face, and went through my usual pre-race prep and packing. Once again, I'm proud to represent The Sport Factory for the 2013 season!
The race was held at Jetton Park, along the banks of Lake Norman, just north of Uptown Charlotte. After weeks of colder-than-average temperatures, the tail end of the week finally brought some sunshine and warmth. It was still a cool morning though for May, mid 60s and windy.
SWIM - 12:42 (1:41 / 100m) 2nd/67
Water temperature was recorded to be 69 degrees on race morning, and thus I opted for my wetsuit. Contrary to the pictures, (taken in a sheltered cove) the lake had a decent chop due to the winds. Second to St. Anthony's, it was one of the rougher race swims I've done. I was in the third wave and positioned at the front with a straight path to the first turn buoy. I found open water nearly immediately, but was surprised by how much I was jostled around by the waves. At the first turn we paralleled shore, and the waves were crashing into my face each time I breathed to the right. Fortunately, that was the shortest of the legs and we soon made the turn back towards shore. Based on the fact that I was second out of the water (and only beat by 20 of the more than 250 guys!), I really think all of the swimming I have been doing is finally translating into improved race performances. It will be interesting to see my times in more ideal water conditions.
T1 1:28 4th/67
A 200 meter run brought us from the water and into transition. Thanks to a copious coating of body glide, my wetsuit came off without difficulty. A wave of nausea hit me as I attempted to regain my land legs after a bumpy swim. One of my goals for this season is to learn flying mounts so that I can stop spending the extra seconds in T1 putting on cycling shoes.
BIKE 36:16 (21mph) 4th/67
I've never done an ITU event, but if I had to guess, this bike experience would be very much an ITU-style. The combination of a short distance, narrow and curvy neighborhood roads, several turn-arounds, and two waves of men that had gone off before I did, made for a very busy bike. There were very few moments of sustained time in the aerobars. Based on heart rate data, I averaged high zone 4 throughtout the 13 miles. I was passed by one woman within the first few miles, and than frustratingly, by one other within two miles of the finish.
T2 0:52 2nd/67
Nothing too remarkable here - in and out without incident.
RUN 21:49 (7:02/mile) 3rd/67
The run course was largely on the narrow sidewalks that curved through the woods in the park. One of the volunteers shouted that I was 3rd woman as I exited transition, yet at the two mile point, I would later be told I was in the dreaded 4th position. I've struggled with tendonitis in my knee for a few months, and over the past month have run only a handful of times. As expected, it hurt as soon as I stepped off the bike. Five kilometers is a very short distance though, so I did my best to find speed in my legs and gain time on those in front of me. I did manage to negative split the run (7:10, 7:14, 6:48) and came within sight of 3rd place, but in the end, crossed the finish line a frustrating fourteen seconds out of 3rd.
After the all-important post-race shower, I recovered with a protein packed kale and raspberry smoothie (hence the ugly brown-green color!). This morning I took some time to reflect on my results and plan for my next race at Tri Latta in four weeks. Between now and then stands three weeks of living as a ortho vampire on night float, which is sure to be anything but conducive to quality training. On that note, I think I'll buy a lottery ticket today and hope for the best!