I'm too lazy to write a blog-specific race report, so I've posted the e-mail I sent my coach after the race. First triathlon of the season!! And a good start overall.
Overall I am happy with the race and the results. I tried to get some extra sleep in the nights leading up to the race, and I had no problem waking up at 4:45am to drive to the race site. When we arrived at 8am, it was SUPER windy - the kayaker trying to bring the inflatable buoys out provided much fodder for us as we waited in line to pick up our race packets. It took him about 20 minutes to go 30 feet. Awesome. Fortunately, the race had a late morning start (10am) and the wind and chop had died down significantly by that time. And the sun came out. And it got pleasantly warm.
I opted for the sleeveless wetsuit - I brought both with me, thinking that I would wear the full sleeve, but the water didn't feel that bad (the race site is on the nuclear reactor side of Lake Anna - sounds worse than it is, nobody was glowing by the end of the race, just the water on that side of the lake is used to cool the reactor so this side of the lake is about 4 degrees warmer than the rest of the lake - a toasty 66 degrees). And I was really glad I went with the sleeveless, it was perfect. It was an in-water start, my wave was pretty small (waves were going off 4 minutes apart). We were to keep the buoys on our right, so I opted to go towards the middle of the pack to a bit to the left so I could avoid the initial washing machine. We spread out quickly and I was actually swimming on my own for much of the swim, but I kept a good line and didn't find myself off track at all. The water was choppy and I defintely drank my fair share of the lake, but it really wasn't bad. I felt like my stroke was strong, I was sighting every 5 strokes or so, and I think we swam a bit against the current, but I never felt like I was struggling or not making progress. It was a good swim, I was really pleased with it. Other people on my team said they thought it was a super hard swim, with the conditions and all, but I like the chop and the waves, it makes it fun. I was also just a few meters away from the finish and I was thinking to myself "wow, I didn't see any caps from the wave behind me pass me - that is a FIRST!" No sooner did I have that thought and then a purple cap from the next wave blew by me. Oh well, I was close.
1500m swim, 28:57, 36th fastest female swim time out of 142 (12 out of 31 in my AG).
T1: 2:23. I don't know what I was doing, probably having brunch.
I had a goal of doing under 1:20 for the bike - most of my past bike times for the Oly distance have been in the 1:24-1:26 range, usually in the 17mph category. Okay, but not spectacular. I usually made myself feel better about my poor biking skills with the fact that I was a runner, not an uber-biker. I felt good on race day though and thought that a sub-1:20 was a possibility. The bike was two loops, and as you rode out of transition, there was a nice hill to greet you as you clipped in at the bottom. But I didn't fall - the bike was off to a successful start! The first few miles of the bike felt slow, slow, slow. I wasn't sure exactly why. It was hard to get into a comfortable rhythm and it was rather windy. But after a few miles, my pace picked up, my mph crept up, and things felt pretty easy. It was a rolling course, some of the pavement was rough, and some was really nice. There were some sections on smooth pavement that were a slight downhill and it was fun to just open up and go. At one point, towards the end of the first loop, my average speed was 20.2mph - my average speed is NEVER over 20mph in a race, so I was pretty happy. I ate one gel on the first loop (110 calories, watermelon carb boom) and I was sipping on a few servings of the CarboPro 1200 that was mixed with a bit of water. I felt like I did fine with my nutrition, didn't feel fatigued or depleted of necessary calories, stomach felt fine, no bloating either. My HR was in high Z2/low Z3 for the whole ride, with a few spikes. I knew what to expect on the second loop, so I wasn't surprised that the first few miles felt harder than the rest (I think there was a false flat and some headwind). As I was looking at my average speed and my time, I realized during the second loop that the 1:20 goal would definitely be met, barring any mechanicals. I then decided I wanted to have my average overall speed be at least 20mph - the best I have ever done in a race was 19mph and that was a ridiculously short 8 mile sprint. I've never done better than 17.7 in an Oly. So, I went hard on the bike, made sure to keep taking in my nutrition, and I had the 20mph speed showing on my Garmin until they made me slow down as we entered into transition. When I clicked the Garmin off, it showed 19.9, not 20, but still very satisfying. And I was only passed by 2 girls. I caught up to many of the girls who were stronger swimmers than me.
24 mile bike, 1:12:40, 24th fastest female bike time out of 142 (4th out of 31 in my AG)
T2: 2:14, again, I must've gone out for a meal or something. Or taken a nap.
Well, I hadn't given the run much thought on the bike, except towards the end when I thought, "I'm not really in the mood to run." I guess that's not a great attitude to have, and my head wasn't really in the run, and I was just so pleased with how the bike turned out, I guess I almost didn't care how the run went because I knew I could run 6.2 miles, even if it wasn't fun or pretty. And it wasn't pretty (the run course was pretty, I was not pretty). I've never had allergies, but I think I may have developed some on the run course. Right from the start (Warning, this is kind of gross), I had so much mucus in my throat and mouth, it was hard to catch my breath. I was spitting every few minutes (I'll spare you the gory details) and at one point on the second loop, I made a valiant attempt to get rid of some of this crap that was in my throat, ended up gurgling and gagging, almost throwing up, until I hocked a loogie the size of Iowa up onto the pavement. And felt much better for about 5 minutes until I started spitting again and had more buildup. My legs felt fine, my stomach felt fine, I didn't feel depleted of energy, but the whole mucus-buildup was really wrecking my run goal. I also felt like I had a huge air bubble just sitting on my chest - I've had that happen in a few races and I think it's from taking in too much air when drinking water. I'm also incapable of burping on command, so the air bubble just sat there. Blah. Either way, I survived the run. The course was rolling with some nice uphills and downhills. It was out in farm country, lots of pollen and dust in the air. I didn't eat or drink anything on the run, I just didn't feel like it. I didn't kick it in the end, I was just feeling so crappy with the air bubble and mucus.
6.2 miles, 50:49, 22nd fastest female run time out of 142 (8th in AG out of 31). I am disappointed in my run time, I've never had a 10K over 50 minutes, but I guess there's a first for everything.
Overall: 2:37:02, 22nd overall out of 142 (8th in AG out of 31). A good start to the season. And I'm especially happy with my bike - I placed better on the bike than on the run in my AG! I think all of the biking and biking drills you have me doing have helped SO MUCH! 19.9mph was not a struggle AT ALL!