Sunday, September 14, 2014

Race Report: Belews Lake Sprint Tri

When I was in Colorado visiting Sharon she told me that she was going to be in Greensboro in September for work and that there happened to be a triathlon that weekend.  She said she was going to sign up and suggested I make the trip and race w/ her.  Given that the tri was taking place where I used to live, in a lake that I used to swim, and on roads that I used to bike, it didn't take much convincing for me to sign up.  Since then I've been pretty excited for this race, though my training has continued to be run-focused [understatement] for Savannah.

Week          Run            Swim             Bike
8/11            51 mi          1000 yds        0 mi   [at altitude]
8/18            60 mi          1000 yds       20 mi
8/25            65 mi          0 yds             31 mi
9/1              65 mi          1300 yds        0 mi
I got to Greensboro on Friday and found out that Sharon is still having IT band issues and wasn't going to be racing.  But she was more than happy to sherpa for me on her mountain bike.  We went to the Battleground Greenway and I did a little 5-mile trot to loosen up my legs from the drive.  It was really fun running there again and as I retraced thousands of old steps, my mind was flooded with all the crazy workouts I'd previously done on that trail.  We went to packet pickup at Off 'N Running and I was very pleased w/ the bag 'o swag I got:  very nice super soft brushed cotton race design t-shirt, pair of tech socks, water bottle, sport beans, gel, and the usual coupons/flyers.  This was my very first impression of my very first Jones Racing Company experience and it was a very good one that made me even more excited for the race.  That night we ate dinner at my all-time favorite restaurant, Boba House, then called it an early evening.

When I woke up on race morning it was raining.  I had been envisioning a warm & sunny day, but the rain didn't dampen my excitement for the race!  We got to the race site and ran straight into TriGuy!  He was working the race and also came through for me, letting me borrow a race belt, which I had forgotten to pack (hey I haven't done this in a while!)  He was busy but we still had time to compare guns.

I set up transition, tested out the gears on my bike, used the porta potty about 5 times, and lined up at swim start.  I don't know why, but I felt nervous!

The Swim (750 m) - 13:46 [1:41/100 yds]
The swim was a TT start, which was fine w/ me.  I was happy to avoid the mass chaos of a group start since I haven't been swimming much.  It was pretty chilly standing in line waiting to get in the water and when I put my toes in the 80+ degrees water it felt like an inviting bathtub.  The horn went off and I was off!  My goal was to swim the course as straight as possible to minimize swimming any additional yardage.  Thanks to my very first triathlon coach ever, Karen Buxton, I think I did a good job of accomplishing this.  I caught up with her right before the swim started and she pointed out how wide people were swimming from the buoys, and that the fastest route to the turnaround buoy was to split the first two sighting buoys.  Thanks Karen!  That strategy worked out really well!  Nothing eventful happened on the swim.  I got to the level of an aerobic effort and held that the entire time.  My arms got tired half way through, but that was to be expected.

T1 - 1:16
T1 was smooth.  I got out of the water, ran up the hill into transition where I had counted the number of racks to my bike, and found it waiting for me in the easiest gear.  Perfect.

The Bike (14.5 mi) - 43:05 [20.2 mph]
I'll admit I was a little tentative the first few minutes of the bike.  The roads were wet and I still have memories of crashing in the rain at Knoxville a couple years ago.  BUT, I also have memories of coming back and crushing Over The Mountain in the rain a few races later.  I mentally made the decision that the rain & wet roads were going to be a non-issue for me and got into a good rhythm on the bike.  I rode my Felt F series road bike and it handled great.  I thoroughly enjoyed the bike portion and for whatever reason the course didn't even seem that hilly to me!  There were a few times when I got slowed down by cars.  Theoretically this would have been a good chance to draft off of them, but they were going so slow that I was forced to pass them on the left (sshh don't tell anyone I did that).  I passed quite a few people during this portion of the race which was a fun confidence booster.  By the end my legs were feeling fatigued and I was starting to think about the hilly 5k coming up.

T2 - 1:19
I definitely lost time here.  The night before the race I had debated putting Yankz into my shoes and I totally should have.  It felt like it took forever to tie my shoe laces!

The Run (5k) - 20:18 [6:31/mi]
I have run this 5k before and I would not say that it's easy.  It starts with a long climb, which persists for about 1/2 mile out of transition.  From there the course undulates through some neighborhoods until you hit the turnaround.  I didn't feel so hot climbing up that initial hill.  Legs were tired.  I figured I'd make it up that hill without completely burning up and then see what I could do from there.  I felt better and better as the run went on and I passed a lot more people.  It was cool seeing all the collegiates out there!  The last 1/2 mile of the run was a blast b/c you can fly down that final hill; I glanced at my watch once and was cruising at 5:45 pace.  Overall I was expecting my run to be faster since I've been running so much ... maybe I should have pushed harder ... maybe I was just tired from swimming & biking beforehand?!

Total Time - 1:19:42 (1st AG, 8th OA)
The finish line was set up like a little party - music, food, & all the college teams hanging out.  I was surprised to find out that I finished 1st in my age group and 8th overall!  I got a sweet coffee mug that I am drinking out of as I type this report :)  I really had fun at this race and was impressed with the event that JRC put on.  Chances of me doing another one are high.

1 comment:

  1. Great race Tara. You always are on top of the podium and a coffee mug is a super prize. We all have way too many race medals!