Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tri Latta 2013

June 15, 2013
Charlotte, NC

750m swim, 17 mile bike, 5k run

Swim: 14:29  (1:55/100m)
T1: 2:10
Bike: 48:59 (20.8mph)
T2: 1:51
Run: 21:49 (7:02/mi)

Finish: 1:29:17
6th OA Female (194) and 1st AG 25-29 (20)

PRE-RACE: Training has not exactly gone according to plan over the last week due to work and inclement weather.  Prior to race day, I had only managed 3 hours of workouts during the previous five days.  Usually my race week is swim heavy, but severe afternoon thunderstorms two different nights forced the closure of the pool - and thus not a single swim for more than a week.  Friday night I picked up a salad from Earth Fare on the way home and enjoyed it on the deck watching the sunset.

Saturday came far too early with a rather harsh alarm clock.  A 6:30am race start and 30 minute drive translated to a 4:15am rise and shine.  I have always enjoyed Set Up Events' races due to their extreme organization and detailed race day logistics.  However, they really missed the boat on one particular detail this year.  How many port-a-johns are necessary for 533 racers?  Does five sound about right?  I think not!  So, after spending far too long in the bathroom line, I made a very quick dash to get body marked and set up transition before making my way to the water.

SWIM: I fully intended to race the open category this year, yet somehow during the registration process I missed that option and found myself registered age-group.  I started in wave five, sixteen minutes after the first group.  Evidently the swim buoys weren't anchored, because they were rapidly drifting and what was supposed to be a rectangle turned into a random zig-zag of floats when my wave started.  There's no telling how far we swam (I'm guessing a a tad long given my slow time).  I'm consistently getting better about sprinting at the start and succeeded in finding clear water within the first 100m.  On the turn back towards shore I spent time trying to swim over and around the men from the earlier wave, so that slowed me down.  Otherwise, it was a decent swim.
12th / 194 Overall
2nd / 20 Age-Group

BIKE:  As I mentioned last year, the tough part of this course is the two miles on poorly paved and speed-bump ridden roads exiting and returning to the Latta Plantation.  Aside from that it's gently rolling hills without any major climbs.  Nothing too remarkable to mention about this leg aside from how smoothly my bike raced thanks to a little love from Curtis at Cannon Cyclery last week.
11th / 194 Overall
1st / 20 Age-Group

RUN: The 5k run is on a gravel packed trail that is littered with tree roots and lots of quick ascents and descents.  To add a little extra fun, there are three switch backs that are awkwardly placed in downhill sections.  The benefit to that design, however, is that you can monitor the proximity of your competition.  That drive allowed me to pass two women over the first two miles and run as hard as possible to prevent being passed from a surging woman from behind.  I had no idea where I was with respect to the open women since they had a sixteen minute earlier start, so I tried to lay it all on the line during the last mile in hopes of working my way up overall results.  My mile splits were consistent in the 7:0x range and heart rate steady in the upper 170s and maxing out at 182.
6th / 194 Overall
1st / 20 Age Group

POST-RACE:  After walking around for a bit to cool-down and stretch, I wandered through the food and drink.  While many people went straight for the beer tent, I opted for some orange slices from Earth Fare and bread from Great Harvest.

Results were scrolling on a computer screen and I was pleased with my overall finish.  Had I raced open, I would have been 3rd.  I can't help but wonder how much faster I may have been by starting with the fastest women and racing to stay in their sights the whole race.

Post-race I recovered with a masala chai latte from Not Just Coffee's newest location in Atherton Mill.  SO GOOD!

The remainder of the weekend featured cleaning house, our program's chief roast party, working, studying, a recovery swim, soaking up some sun, and then making a nice Sunday dinner (finally a meal that took some effort and more than five minutes!).  

Oh, and because it's now Sunday - HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DAD!!  I can't imagine my life without your loving support and enthusiasm for your "favorite daughter."

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