If I’m honest, I’ve sat down to write this race recap a few times since last Saturday. Im usually stoked or annoyed at races so it’s easy to write. This one is a little more grey! I guess we will start at the beginning and see how it goes.
We decided to make a trip of the whole thing. Starting with visiting family and friends in MD. Then traveling down to Williamsburg for a weekend of triathlon fun.
We arrived on Friday and partook in packet pickup and some grocery shopping. Jon was racing the sprint on Saturday and we had plans to cheer, rack bikes, and a practice swim.
Lots of hanging with friends I haven’t seen in a while and cheering for sprinters! Jon was not a fan of the race. We did decide to take advantage of the practice swim the day before. It really did help with the pre-race jitters knowing what the water was going to be like.
Race day was rough! My jitters really got to me. I didn’t sleep much the night before and I couldn’t keep any food down. Which made it difficult to figure out my pre-race nutrition.
I got into transition and got everything setup. I have to say I love the preassigned spots. It means you just drop your bike and go. There is no worrying about your stuff getting moved or anything like that!
Kristen and I decided to go into the water together. The race had a time-trial start which I had never done before. However, I wouldn’t get to find out until after a 90 minute delay. We learned that the water was kinda rough and that the half athletes had had issues. So, once we finally got started my nutrition was gone anyways.
I had decided to sit on the doc instead of jumping in. I’m not a jumper. Thankfully, it was high tide and the dock was underwater. So, I just sat down and started swimming! There way a bit of current assist but the surface chop made it seriously difficult. I stopped at a paddleboard once because I took a wave to the face and got a whole choking mouthful. However, I completed the swim! Done! This was the part that I had failed 5 years ago!
Swim – 36:18 (I was hoping for under 45 so this was great)
Transition 1 – 6:02 – Since the swim was switched from last year to try and go with the current we received a super fun .25 mile run to transition. I also really had to go to the bathroom. So a quick port-a-potty stop, some chugging a bunch of tailwind, and I was off on the bike!
Bike – ok so here’s where things get hairy! I’ve looked at this race in the past. I knew a whole bunch of people who have/were racing that weekend. They described it as super fast! I apparently took this to mean fast and flat. This race was anything but fast and flat. Actually, there were lots of hills! If I’m honest, this bike course was everything I hate about biking. There was a bridge, as soon as you left transition. The course was open to traffic and there was no shoulder. There were lots of potholes, a camber in the road, chip paving, and hills. Now, I know that courses aren’t typically closed to traffic but there is usually a cone lane or shoulder. This race had none of that. It was simply you and a prayer!
I am thankful that I made the decision to bring my Synapse instead of the BMC. I would have HATED being on my TT bike if I had brought it. I love my Cannondale and it got me through this race unscathed! I was hoping to maintain a 14 – 15mph pace for the race. Then I started climbing and apparently this wasn’t happening.
Bike finish – 2:01:17 – 13.3mph.
Transition 2 – pretty normal! 2:56
Ugh, just ugh! After the bike I had no legs left and I knew there were going to be hills on the run. I walked up the bridge and off into the run course. I had set my watch for a 1m run 45 sec walk. I switched that up. I ran 45 and walked 1. I figured I had to at least keep moving if I wanted to officially finish. I was just thirsty the whole time. I also realized that my nutrition issues from the morning were catching up to me. I was thankful that they had sponges on the run and I even took a cup of soda at one stop. I was super excited to get to the turnaround at mile 2.5 because it meant I was on my way back. The course had very little shade and it was 11:30am, whew!
Run time – 1:37:16. 15:54mm. Slower than I wanted.
Finish time – 4:23:50
I’m super proud to have finished my first Olympic distance triathlon. I was however disappointed with my performance. I know that is strange to say but I had wanted my race to reflect all the hard work I had put in. I know there were elements I hadn’t anticipated but that’s how it was. I really wasn’t a fan of this race. They cut a lot of small elements that I think used to make this race great. It felt like an enhanced local race instead of national race brand.
It did however help me realize what goals I wanted. Distance doesn’t motivate me but speed does. I want to get faster and better. That’s what my coach and I will be working on now. Getting faster and improving my times and abilities.
Here’s to fall facing!