Monday, July 15, 2013

Ramblin' Rose Rock Hill

July 14th, 2013
Rock Hill, SC

225 yard swim, 8 mile bike, 2 mile run

Swim: 3:31 (1:33/100 yards)
T1: 0:53
Bike: 24:06 (20mph)
T2: 0:42
Run: 12:56 (6:28 / mile)

Finish: 42:05
1st Overall Female 

Pre-race: The Ramblin' Rose Rock Hill Triathlon is the shortest distance I have ever raced, and for that reason I was a bit more relaxed in the preceding days.  (Not that I would ever be considered to be hard-headed about my usual pre-race, highly structured routine.)  Workouts proceeded as usual this week, with the exception of a rest day on Thursday.   Saturday I did my usual pre-race 40 minute bike + 2 mile run brick.  Bailey and Mom joined me for the weekend, and so it was a nice treat to have supporters on race morning.  Sunday my warm-up consisted of a short spin and run and 500 yards in the pool just prior to the start.

Swim:  The pool swim was a first for me in a race-setting.  The format was a time-trial start, and I was fourth into the water based on projected swim time.  The short-course style meant we swam a total of 9 lengths, flipping under the lane ropes.  I still have never bothered to perfect flip-turns and so I have no doubt that the walls cost me some time.  It's hard to judge performance in such a very short swim, but I suppose it went okay.  9th out of 292.

T1:  Back outside, it was a short run into transition and then straight to the bike exit.

Bike: The course was two laps on a four mile loop.  There were three other women who exited transition just ahead of me, but prior to making the turn onto the main road, I had passed them all and moved into first.  The downside to being the lead rider, I would learn, is that the volunteers and cops directing traffic have no idea that you are about to approach their intersection.  As a result, I neared each turn (9 of them on each loop!) yelling as loud as I could to get their attention to wave me in the correct direction.  Aside from a few very close run-ins with cars, a light rain, and pot-hole filled roads, it was an uneventful bike.  As you might imagine, it's darn near impossible to settle in to any rhythm with all of the turns and potential hazards.  I pretty much hammered as hard as I could on the course, and definitely felt the lactic acid building in my legs as I approached T2.  1st out of 292.

T2: As a beginner friendly event, transition was crowded and required some unique navigational skills.

Run:  My legs always feel like trash leaving transition and starting the run, and today was no different.  I thought I would feel fresher given the short distance, but evidently the intense effort of a super sprint still has the same lead-leg inducing effect.  I could have sworn I was running 8+ minute miles, but focused on maintaining form and leg turnover.  After the turn-around, it seemed to be several minutes before I crossed paths with the second place woman.  At that point, I felt fairly confident that I had secured the win, yet without my Garmin (accidentally still on my bike) I took no chances in slowing my pace.

I rounded the final turn and into the finishing shoot with the crowds cheering loudly.  This was my first overall race win and it was really exciting to know that there was such crowd support and enthusiasm for my finish.  1st out of 292.

Don't let anyone tell you that short races are easy.  The high intensity sprint, even for just 42 minutes, hurts!

Post-race:  It's always exciting to have a successful race, yet the true fun for me came with watching all of the other women cross the finish line as triathletes.  Daughters, Mothers, and Grandmothers of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds enthusiastically completed the race.  For many, this is quite possibly the greatest athletic or life accomplishment they have ever achieved.  Ramblin' Rose prides themselves on empowering women to accomplish the challenge of a triathlon, and I couldn't be happier to support such a worth cause.  Congrats to all of the finishers!

If you live in the Carolinas and wish to cross the finish line of a Ramblin' Rose Triathlon, check out the upcoming events in Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Chapel Hill in the coming months.

Next up, I'll be racing Tomahawk Tri in Waxhaw on July 27th.  Time to buckle down and do some mid-season hard work!

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