Saturday, March 9, 2013

Race Report: Azalea Sprint Tri 2013

Saturday was my first race of the season - the Azalea Sprint Tri held at the campus of UNC-Wilmington. For some reason I thought that this race was going to be warm. It didn't register that even though the high was going to be mid-60's, I'd be racing at 8 am when it was high-30's/low 40's. It was sooo cold the morning of the race, reminiscent of Beach2Battleship weather. Here's how it all went down:

Swim (300 yds) - 4:16
This swim was in the UNCW pool, which I always enjoy swimming in. Participants are sent off 15 seconds apart and snake up and down the lanes. It's a little tricky because at one end of the pool you have to flip-turn underneath the lane ropes. I entered a seed time of 1:17 and was the 14th person to go (which, on a side note was a good omen b/c 14 was my soccer number at W&M). My swim coach, Matt Clancy of E3 Elite Human Performance, told me "not to win it in the first 25" and I took this advice to heart and it worked out really well. Instead of starting out too hard on the swim and paying for it towards the end, I maintained a good pace throughout and was able to pick it up for the last few laps. I even passed 2 people in front of me! I had my brother time me since the timing mat for the swim finish is not until you exit the pool, run down a flight of stairs, and run outside. My actual swim time was 3:50 (1:16/100 yds), pretty darn close to my seed time and 15 seconds faster than I went 2 years ago at this race. I didn't know it at this point, but the swim was going to be the most enjoyable leg of the race...

T1 - 1:44
Running from inside the warm pool area to the freezing cold outdoor air was absolutely horrible. My body kept moving forward, against the wishes of my brain to turn around! The run into transition was pretty far and during this time I started thinking that I wanted to put on my wind vest and gloves. But, then I got to T1 and I saw another woman run in, grab her bike, and go, so I decided to scrap the vest/gloves idea and just get out on the course. 

Bike (10 mi) - 24:20
The bike was pretty unpleasant because it was so damn cold. It was also windy, which prevented me from riding in my aero bars for a lot of it. I also just got the bearings on my bike replaced and the handling is so much more sensitive now than it used to be, and I'm still getting used to this. The course was completely flat with a bunch of turns and it went by fast. I didn't pay attention to my speed, just tried to make sure I was working hard. I caught myself thinking about something else one time during the bike, but quickly got my mind back into the right gear. I ended up catching one woman on the bike and no women passed me, which I was pretty psyched about!

T2 - 1:23
Coming into T2, I was totally frozen. It took me forever to undo the strap on my helmet, take off my bike shoes, and put on my running shoes because my fingers were so numb. This resulted in a painfully slow T2 and the girl I caught on the bike passed me. 

Run (5K) - 19:36
Heading out onto the run I could see the girl who had passed me and was able to pass her pretty early on. I knew there was another girl ahead of me who had started a couple minutes ahead of me on the swim and I knew there was one behind me that I had to stave off by at least 45 seconds. I felt pretty bad on the run, especially on the first 1-1.5 miles. It was like I was so cold that I was almost hyperventilating and couldn't take big full breaths; they were more like short shallow breaths. This improved a little bit as I warmed up some during the run, but I never felt great like I thought I would and my pace wasn't what I was expecting it to be. Regardless, I ended up reeling in the woman in front of me and passing her in the last mile. When I was rounding one of the final turns near the natatorium, a spectator was walking across my path. I yelled out "excuse me" but it was too late - I ran right into him at full speed and I'm not sure, but I think he might have fallen down. I felt bad about this, but was so close to the finish and the win that I didn't stop. I sprinted down the finish chute and across the final timing mat. I waited 45 seconds and then realized I had won! At the same time I felt sick. I was kind of dizzy and shaky. I got checked out by the medic and vitals were normal, but it took me a long time to stop shivering and to start feeling better. It was a really weird feeling. I'm chalking it up to being really cold, not having done much high intensity training, and not being used to "red-lining" for that long. 

Total - 51:16 (1st OA female) 
So, I ended up winning the race, which was a great way to kick of the 2013 season! Gotta say I'm pretty happy with this start!

Here are some other things that made this weekend and race super awesome:
  • Kurt & TriGuy also competed in the race, their first gladiator show down of the year. It was a nail-biter, but TriGuy edged it out on the run. Next face off will be Rev3 Williamsburg!
  • I got to see my Rev3 teammate Rachel Stephenson, AKA "Glenda the Good Witch of the North," crush her first triathlon ever! Way to go @GtGWotN!
  • My whole family came out to cheer everyone on! Thanks mom, dad, Jester & Claire!
  • I got to witness TriGuy pull the ace of spaces twice in a row in two consecutive games of High Card against my dad, brother, & Kurt, resulting in him having to drink 2 shots of whiskey!
  • We all went to a neighbor's fish fry party where the cinnamon moonshine was plentiful
  • Kurt &I rode 60 miles on Sunday and got a slight sunburn - YES!!!! Summer is coming!!!

Last but not least, the I Heart Swimming Blog Raffle Results! Congrats to Andrew Corbin winner of an SBR Sports prize pack containing TriSwim shampoo, TriSwim conditioner, TriSwim body wash, TriSwim lotion, TriSlide, & Foggle! And the winner of the funniest Chuck Norris joke is Teddy Kelsay with "There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures that Chuck Norris has allowed to live." He will receive a box of PowerBar's brand new Performance Energy Blends made from real fruit! Thanks to everyone who entered and for those who didn't, you have to play to win ;)

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