DC Triathlon Race Report
|June 20, 2011||Posted by Emily under Uncategorized|
The DC Triathlon got off to a very exciting start when The Rocketship and I were not able to catch a cab at 5:30 in the morning. For some reason unbeknownst to me, the cab company would not let us call ahead for one the night before so we decided to try our luck on the street in the dead of the early morning hours, turns out that was a horrible plan.
Luckily, we managed to finally wave one down, but we were definitely playing it fast and loose with getting to the race site before the transition area close. There’s nothing like pulling up and hearing the voice over the megaphone boom “three more minutes until transition closes! THREE more minutes.”
Somehow, I dug deep and found a little sprint in my legs that survived Saturday’s triple brick workout to carry me to the transition area and get set up just in the nick of time.
Once I got my gear set up and cleared the transition area, The Rocketship and I headed over to where the waves were lining up for the swim start. The race organizers decided to try a new swim start this year and instead of having age groups start in the water together in groups of 100-150 all at once, they had groups of 10 athletes at a time (still sorted by age and gender) jump off the dock and into the water at 10 second intervals.
Other than the fact that this style of start did not allow me to indulge in my final pre-race in-water pee, I really liked it. You wouldn’t think 10 seconds of space between groups would do a whole lot to minimize the wrestling match that defines triathlon swim starts, but it really did.
I wanted the swim to be a warmup for the rest of the race. I tried to kick as little as possible to preserve the small amount of strength left in my legs for the rest of the race and just work into a steady pace. Outside of some sighting issues (note to self: buy new goggles I can actually see through) and the disgustingness that is the Potomac River, the swim was easy and gave me the warm up I wanted.
Swim: 27:35 (1:41 pace)
The first transition, as all Sweaty Emily transitions, was pretty brutal. I need to start racing in triathlon gear instead of insisting on wearing a bathing suit for the swim and then throwing trishorts/a lulu tank on over it for the rest of the race. (most triathletes swim/bike/run in the same outfit to save time, for some unknown reason, I don’t…I should probably change that in the very near future.)
As soon as I got on the bike, I could feel the very severe aftermath of the triple brick workout.
I looked helplessly at my bike computer and tried to will the numbers to go higher, I watched desperately as some girl using toe cages on her pedals passed me on the left, and I pleaded with the gods of sweat to grant me just a little bit of power so I could avoid total suckage on the bike leg.
And then I thought about a tweet that this guy sent me as good luck before the race.
“Racing on tired legs will help you at #IMLP"
I knew a PR was out of the question as soon as I straddled Big Red, I knew I wasn’t going to be racing my way to any podium finish, but I didn’t know what I wanted to achieve out of the day. Did it really matter if I continued to feel like shit on the bike and finish with my slowest triathlon time ever? What was the difference between a 3hr finish and a 2:40 finish? But thinking about how this race would help me in Lake Placid really lit the fire I needed under my very sore tush.
I pushed harder than I thought I could push and started clocking speed I thought was totally out of the question for the day. While I was still far from a PR bike split or riding what I’m really capable of, I negative split the double loop course and finished with a smile on my face and pumped to head into my favorite leg of the triathlon.
Bike: 1:22.35 (18.0 mph pace)
Transition 2 was as much of a shit show as T1. I purchased speed laces a long time ago (shoelaces that don’t require tying/knotting/lacing etc for a speedy slip on) but I haven’t put them on my sneakers yet…don’t ask.
I didn’t even bother putting my Garmin on for the run and I forgot to start my watch at the beginning of the race, so I really had no idea what my pace was or what my final finish time would be.
I ran solely based on feel, which I actually really like and am tempted to do for the rest of my triathlon races. It was refreshing to not be obsessively checking my Garmin for pace and slowing down or speeding up based on what the watch says instead of what my body says.
I was surprised by how good I felt running off the bike. Perhaps “good” is a poor word choice as nothing about my lower limbs really felt “good” yesterday, but I did not feel inclined to walk or curl up in the fetal position as I half-expected to feel.
The run is by far my favorite leg of the triathlon. After watching countless people zoom past me on the bike, the run is my time to get those effers back. I mean, run my own race, not be competitive and not care how many people I pass. Riiigghhhtt.
The last mile of the race was the cruelest of all. Uturn after Uturn that would force you to lose your momentum and drag on the course. And worst of all: when the finish line was in sight, there was one more (uphill) out and back before you could actually cross the finish. Cruel, dc tri, cruel.
Finally, 18 turns later, I crossed the finish line.
Run: 45:24 (7:20 pace)
Final Time: 2:40.49
My finish time was about 6 minutes off my PR (in the slower than direction) and I really couldn’t be happier with me race. I had a killer weekend of workouts and my Olympic Race efforts the day after biking 100 miles and running 10 miles will definitely help me power through the day at Lake Placid.
My coach called me after the race, thrilled with my results, and reassured me that if I will be able to race a fast Olympic after Lake Placid. When I told him that I desperately want to go sub 2:30 he said that “was not a problem.” Clearly he knows just the things to say to me in the wake of a tough training weekend.
Special shoutout goes to My Rocketship who, like always, was the best cheerleader, race photographer and sherpa ever.
I thanked him for being boyfriend of the year by treating him to a killer brunch and bottomless mimosas after the race.
You might think that after a weekend of massive training and a 3:30am wake up call, we would be too tired to indulge in bottomless mimosas and lychee bellinis.
But you would be very, very wrong.
I’ve been off of my GoogleReader all weekend but I hope everyone had a sweatastic weekend of training and racing. I can’t wait to catch up on everyone’s sweaty recaps!