It’s been such a long time since I’ve had a race report to write that I’ve really forgotten how to do this. But, fortunately, I’m in luck with two race recaps to practice on (I apologize in advance that this will be an epically long amalgamation of two race reports).
Anyway, I’m a huge fan of racing discounts. So, when I can pay for a weekend bundle of races for a discounted price, I’m all in, especially when they are “training” races. I registered for the Tall Pines Olympic Tri (Saturday) and Tall Pines Sprint Tri (Sunday) knowing they were 3 weeks out from Raleigh 70.3 and would be great speed and transition tuneups before my first 2015 A race.
I did not anticipate, however, that I would be racing these races with just 4-ish good weeks of training under my belt. But, that was the situation I found myself in. I stepped up to the starting line on Saturday having completed just one t-run in the last 13months and having done approximately zero running speed work. To be honest, my expectations were so low as to be nonexistent.
May 9th: Tall Pines Olympic Triathlon
I woke up to a beautiful but windy morning.
Swim: 1500m, 27:51, 1:52/m
The swim was described by multiple different people as “extremely rough” and “like an ocean swim.” When you see white caps on a lake at 8am, you know you are in for a rough ride. Fortunately for me, I have never had race OWS anxiety (just practice OWS anxiety about alligators in the river). Because of the chop and wake, it was difficult to get a good long stroke, but I just tried to stretch out and get as much length as I could. This was a little slower than I had hoped, but I ended up come out of the water as the 2nd female. But Sandra passed me in T1.
Bike: 25mi, 1:18:58, 19mph
I really wasn’t sure what to expect speed wise on the bike, but I was pretty sure that I would average at least 20 mph. Eh. Guess not. The course was changed at the last minute because a bridge was out on the normal course, and of course, as always, a changed course adds more hills (right? It never gets flatter…) Mostly, I just relaxed, tried not to lose too much time to Sandra, and to move into second place. As I came off the bike, I saw that Sandra had a good mile into the run on me but couldn’t see where the third place woman was.
Run: 6.2mi, 48:20, 7:46/mi (or at least that’s what the pace would be if the run hadn’t been .5mi short)
The forecast predicted that temperatures would reach the 90s in the afternoon, so I had already prepared myself to be melty on the run. And, I am notoriously bad in the heat and I regularly mentally implode. I had two goals: be mentally strong and average 9 minute miles. I blew both of those goals away. This is a hilly run (up down up down up down, turn around back to the beginning, do it again) and the hills hurt. But, I took it one short bit at a time and the run passed by quickly and without too much melting. Before long, I was running down the chute to finish.
Total: 2:37:41, 2nd female OA. And good enough for an Olympic PR and second place to Sandra!
May 10: Tall Pines Sprint Triathlon
Day 2 worried me a little bit more for two reasons: my legs were going to be tired and short stuff hurts. But, a lot of the racers had competed the day before too, so I felt comfortable knowing that we were all going to be really uncomfortable together.
Swim: 500m, 8:51, 1:46/100m
I figured that the quiet little lake couldn’t be choppier than it was the day before, but oh it was. Again, took advantage of the fact that I never have OWS anxiety in races and just allowed my body to go with the waves. It was a slowish swim, but I came out of the water as the second female (second to the same woman as in the Oly) and was passed, AGAIN, by Sandra in T1.
Bike: 10mi, 32:12, (technically, for 10mi) 18.33mph
As I got on the bike, my legs did not feel great at all, so I shifted down and spun them out a bit. The course was 10 miles of rollers and I couldn’t really get into a groove (but I was def faster than 18.33mph…the course was long). But, finally with a mile or two to go, I felt my legs start to come around. And, as I pulled in to T2, I saw that Sandra was ahead of me by about the same amount as yesterday.
Run: 5K, 23:02, 7:25/mi
I actually felt good on the run and was pleasantly surprised with my 7:25s since I’ve mostly been running 9+min/mi since last year. Same goals as yesterday: mentally stay in the run game and have a solid run. Check and Check.
Total: 1:06:08, 2nd female to Sandra again. ;)
This was a fun weekend of knocking off the cobwebs and chasing Sandra around Appling. I’m excited to race again in Raleigh (although I still feel wholly unprepared) and loved having races where I kept my head in the game. I had a few major takeaways from the races:
- Learn how to do better transitions. Stop getting passed in transition.
- Things only hurt for a little bit. Or rather, the hurt waxes and wanes. Breathe through it and stick it out.
- My swimming is shockingly coming around.
One thing final that I gleaned from the pictures is that I’m still pretty far from racing weight despite my fitness gains over the last few weeks. There is really very little I can do in the short time period though, so, no stress for Raleigh. It is what it is. I am where I am.