Saturday, May 24, 2014

Race Report: Pelicanfest Sprint Tri

Let's start at the end because I know there are those of you who like to compare times, speeds, etc. (Information taken from my Garmin since the official results are not online as of this writing).

I came in 2nd in the F45-49 AG.
Swim: 17:35, pace 1:28, 1200yd
T1: 1:40
Bike: 30:49, 19.5mph
T2: :48
Run: 31:02, 9:48 pace

Some quick notes about this race.
1.) There was sort of a last minute bike route change.
2.) The night before the email that went out stated the wrong time for starting. They sent out a correction email.
3.) The RD said the water temp was 64, but it was closer to 57ish in my estimation. I do a lot of chillier swims. I know temps.
4.) You know that saying, "Don't try anything new on race day?" Yeah. My bad.

I saw the correction email, but I didn't adjust my alarm clock. When I woke up and saw the time, I knew that I was going to have to haul ass. What this meant was that I didn't quite get my morning breakfast in. However, I keep a stash of Frontier Bites in my car. I usually have them AFTER a long swim or AFTER some other kind of workout. But, I was desperate. I needed something to eat. I munched on them on the way up to the race.

For me, a colder swim is a good thing. Cold doesn't bother me. In fact, I tend to overheat on the swim. While everyone is shivering and talking about how cold they are, I don't even notice it. I pulled out my NEW sleeveless wetsuit.

I was in the last wave. It's a beach start, which I (normally) love. I know my swim is pretty solid. Still, I have no idea what I'm going to be able to do today. I'm not 100%. My goal was to go hard. I thought if I could do a 2:00 per 100, I'd take it. I know. I know. Sandbagger, right?

Beach start. I'm checking out all the women, trying to figure out who I would be able to draft off of when out of seemingly no where.....they say, "15 seconds to start."

Well, F*ck that plan. IT'S GO TIME. We start running. I'm not even in two steps, and I take a colossal face plant. There was a big slippery rock. I hit it just right and DOWN GOES TEA. front of everyone. No big deal. I'm sure they all thought I decided to dive in early. I start swimming, and I'm laughing thinking, "Oh, that's just classic."

The faceplant cost me, and I realized that I was right in the middle of the pack. My goal was to take it easy for a couple of minutes then go hard. I thought at the first buoy, that's when I'll hit it.

I'm navigating through....back strokers (come on. Really? We're not even 100m in). Some guy zigzagging.....there's ALWAYS a zigzagging old guy that I seem to get wrapped up in.

In other words, THIS

wasn't my fault. Ok. fine. Totally my fault. I should have been aggressive and held my ground.

I'm in the midst of a ton of people. WE hit the first buoy. I start picking up the pace. I start catching and passing people with my swim cap color. I notice that the swim caps are getting fewer and far between, but at this point, I'm focused on the 2nd buoy. I have NO IDEA where I am in the pack.

Halfway between the first and 2nd buoys, I catch the slowest swimmers in the previous waves. Being the last wave has some challenges, and that is getting around other swimmers.

All of a sudden I hit the next buoy and realize that I am not going hard enough. CRAP. How long have I been out here? It doesn't feel like a long time, but I'm clearly not going hard.

I think, "I must be close to the back of the pack. That's ok. No big deal."

When I got to shore, I glanced at my watch: 1:30ish pace.

That's not possible. I couldn't have swam that fast. I felt like I was going so slow. I was thinking 2:00.

I get out and run up to T1. Being as I'm in a new hadn't practiced in it and got a little stuck. Once I got unstuck, I flung that sucker off so fast and jumped on the bike. I blew past the woman who beat out of the water....I just didn't know it at the time. She beat me on the swim by :02 seconds or something ridiculous. In turn, I beat her through transitions.

T1: 1:40

Last minute course changes. This course is about 4-5 miles up hill. The 2nd half is rolling hills with some tight turns. Unfortunately, those tight turns all seemed to happen at the bottom of a hill. We couldn't really use momentum to get up the next roller.

This isn't a big deal. I knew this going into it. I just wanted to go hard on the bike.

The bigger issue was the course change. We veered off the road and onto a REAL bike path. YES....a bike path that is also used by casual walkers and families enjoying the Memorial day weekend. Sharp turns, flat with families walking by and in front.

I started thinking that I have no idea where I am in regards to my AG. I haven't seen another woman. I've passed people in previous waves....where are my girls?

Granted, I'm going fairly hard. If there is someone ahead of me, she really has to be moving for me to not catch her. That leads me to think....they're behind me.

F*CKING A, I can podium today. I just have to hold my shit together on the run.

Anyway, the ride was a little more treacherous than I'd like, but I'd been riding a bike path recently that had many similar turns. When it was clear, I was able to hit the turns pretty hard.

As I'm nearing the end, it occurs to me that I haven't seen anyone in awhile, not even guys. All of a sudden, I have no idea where I'm supposed to go to. There is a volunteeer standing there....not doing anything....granted, she's a volunteer....and very old.....I had to ask her 3 times "Which way do I go?"

Now....hang on....I's MY responsibility to know the course. I would like to point out that the map was not detailed and an entire team was DQ'ed because they went the wrong way.

I'm on the right track. A little further, and I'm at the dismount line with a long run to transition.

I'm in and out of T2 in :48


While I was on the bike, I lost my bottle with my drink in it. Although, I'm not thirsty. I know I need to stop at the very first aid station and have my emergency gel that I carried with me.

I start running. I'm checking out everyone running toward me. Not my AG. Not my AG. What the hell? Where is everyone?

All of a sudden, I see a woman who could possibly be my AG. She is running in the opposite direction.

I didn't find out until we finished that we had almost identical pace the entire time. She just ran faster than me.

But not faster than I'm capable of running.

For whatever reason, I was running and I thought, "GOD I LOVE TRIATHLON."

I can't even tell you how significant that was. Here I was running. The thing that caused me to start to dislike tri' much so that I had considered taking the year off. Here I was running, and thinking about what a good time I was having.

I wasn't going to PR. I don't really care about getting 2nd place.


Maybe I didn't run as hard as I could. I know that's the truth. In a way, I was still in my old mindset where I start to crash on the run. But, I wasn't crashing today. I figured out my fueling. I was running and having fun doing it. 

I could have swam faster.

Maybe I could have biked faster.

I didn't care. The entire day was fun. I wasn't frustrated. I didn't drop any F bombs (other than the very start). I just got out there and had fun.

I think this was an emotional hurdle that I had to get over before I could start to go really fast. I could have ran faster. I just didn't because I was in my old mindset of "my run always falls apart. I suck at running."

I never once thought "I suck at running" today. Not once. It never even crossed my mind.

But I needed to feel good running....feel good mentally and physically.

I needed to know that I could have fun racing.

Going fast but not having fun....isn'

I hit the turnaround, and it took about 5 minutes before I started seeing the women in my AG coming.

This has never happened before. I've always had to count on my bike and swim in order to podium. TODAY, I came in 2nd on both, and I still came in 2nd.

THAT is a HUGE accomplishment.

I've gotten the nerves of my first race out of the way.

I checked my emotional baggage at the start, and I never went back to pick it up.

I'm ready to gun for a PR at my A race next month.

P.S.-Remember the face plant that no one saw? A guy I know was there cheering for his son. He came up to me after the race and said, "That face plant was AWESOME."

There ya go.