Swim: 8:38 (5th)
Bike: 38:21 (3rd)
Run: 20:45 (2nd)
Total Time: 1:10:54
Overall Placement: 2nd (249 total women)
The 2015 racing season hasn't quite gone according to plan, having missed a couple key races in preparation for Ironman Louisville due to my hip injury. So in an effort to enjoy a little competition and partake in a great race series, I decided to register for the Lake Davidson sprint. My workout the day before was a 4 hour bike and 4 mile run, which you might consider to be a bit long for a pre-race workout, but obviously the priority is Louisville in 4 weeks. My legs were definitely feeling the fatigue, but some time in my Normatec boots certainly helped. Race morning brought our first cool temperatures of fall and I was shivering before my warmup despite pants and a pullover.
Race morning brought the surprising news that the much cooler air temperatures had cooled the water temperature to 78 degrees. Not that I would wear a wetsuit for such a short swim, but I never even considered that it could be that cool. There were only eight of us in the elite wave for the in-water start, but despite that, it proved to be a very physical start. Not even two strokes in, I took and elbow to the face that gave me a bloody lip and a goggle full of water. After the first turn buoy I found clean water (thanks to the fact that most everyone else is a faster swimmer!) and had an uneventful remainder of the swim.
After a fairly lengthy run into transition, I was out onto the bike. It was a windy morning, but I never gave that much consideration until a gust of wind nearly caused me to crash on an early downhill. After that I was a bit nervous and rode more conservatively the remainder of the course. Looking at my data between this race and the sprint last month, my normalized power was 10W less and heart rate 15 beats lower, so I definitely could have pushed harder. Leg fatigue played into that, especially on the hills, but more conservative riding definitely hurt the most.
I still haven't gotten to the point that I'm confident with my hip when it comes time to run. My IT band was sore from the start, but fortunately seemed to settle down by the one mile mark. Cooler temperatures and a flat to rolling terrain made for a rather quick run, with mile splits of 6:42, 6:46, and 6:59.
After finishing and watching friends finish, priority number one was warm dry clothes. Then, we all hung around chatting about our upcoming 140.6 mile swim, bike, and run, and eventually gathered our awards for overall placements. It's was a great day for all of my speedy triathlete friends!
Big thanks to the Jimmie Johnson Wellness Foundation for putting one two excellent races that are well run and organized, staffed with tons of volunteers, and offer great prizes. And because I can't live in Charlotte and not be educated in the culture of NASCAR, congrats to Jimmie for a top-10 finish in Richmond on Saturday night followed by an age-group triathlon win on a few hours sleep!
Last, but not least, there are just 2 weeks left in my fundraising challenge for the Ironman Foundation! Every dollar counts, and I'd love if you'd consider making a small donation. It's 100% tax-deductible and goes directly into the Louisville community to support non-profit initiatives. I'm just a few hundred dollar short of $3000, but there are some pretty incredible benefits if I can reach $5000. Here's the link to make a much appreciated donation: