Saturday, October 1, 2016

Race Report: Santa Rosa Island (SRI) Triathlon 2016

I've done 2 races and a moderate amount of training since my last blog.  I'll do a super sprint update on these 3 things then update you on the race I did today SRI Tri and the drama that went down... (if you want to skip straight to the drama scroll down to the third to last paragraph).

1.  2016 Pensacola Beach Triathlon (300 yd swim, 10 mi bike, 3.1 mi run).  This race went really well - my parents were in town and I was the first overall female finisher!  :)

Swim - 4:07 (1:22/100 yds)
T1 - 1:35
Bike - 27:21 (21.9 mph)
T2 - 0:39
Run - 20:04 (6:42/mi)
Total Time - 53:46

2.  Ironman Raleigh 70.3 (1.2 mi swim, 56 mi bike, 13.1 mi run).  This race was also a lot of fun, but I rode on my 2003 Bianchi road bike, the first skinny tire bike I ever owned.  It was good to me, but not as speedy as the IA.  It was hot n' hilly!

Swim - 39:13 (1:51/100 yds)
T1 - 2:19
Bike - 2:52:26 (19.49 mph)
T2 - 2:34
Run - 1:40:02 (7:38/mi)
Total Time - 5:16:34 (9th AG)

3.  My training the last 5 months has been very sporadic.  I'll have a week where things go well and I do 15 hours and then a week at 6 hours, then one at 10, and so on.  I have been struggling to maintain motivation to train which is really unusual for me.  I think it has been due to stress, lack of sleep, & fatigue.  My coach forced me to take 3 days off in a row to help regain the desire to train.  It somewhat helped.  I feel like I've turned a corner, albeit probably too late.  I only have about 2 months left to IM Cozumel and I feel like I was in WAY better shape last year when I was 2 months out of Chattanooga.  All I can do stick to the training plan from here on out...and I think I feel motivated to do that, perhaps motivated by fear of what it will feel like to race 140.6 miles if I don't start training more!

On to the good news - SRI Tri!  This is one of the biggest local races in Pensacola, sponsored by Gulf Coast Cycle & Tri.  I was on the fence about racing it d/t #3 above and the fact that when I have been training I have not been doing the type of training required to do well in a sprint.

Swim (600 yds) - 10:22 (1:44/100 yds) race time [9:11 as per my Garmin (1:23/100 yds)]
The swim was a TT start, with athletes running into the Gulf two by two every 5 seconds.  I was number 482, so there were 481 swimmers in the water ahead of me, which meant total chaos especially around the buoys.  Despite this, I managed to navigate the crazy pretty well.  I felt strong and was able to sight the buoys easily.  I saw a jellyfish as big as my head after I turned the first buoy and that freaked me out a little.  Did some dolphin diving in/out of the water (thanks Courtney for the idea!) and I could tell I was ahead of most women when I exited the water and started running up the beach to T2.

T2 - 0:55 [2:18 as per Garmin since I pressed the button before going over timing mat]
Bike shoes, helmet, sunglasses, go.

Bike (18 miles) - 48:59 (22 mph) race time [Garmin recorded 18.5 miles and 22.7 avg]
18 miles is a long bike for a sprint!  I was worried the longer distance would cost me because I have been losing time to stronger cyclists in recent races.  But, my legs felt great and I was riding strong into the headwind on the outbound leg of the course.  There were TONS of people on the course so had to weave in and out of them before it cleared up on the way back.  Ohhh the way back - we had a slight tail/cross wind and I was passing people, including guys!!!  This hardly ever happens!  It was pretty exciting and no women had passed me (I passed a few of them).  I felt like I was doing well and enjoyed seeing 24-25 mph when I looked down at my Garmin.  I only broke aero at the turnaround and over a section of cobblestone driveway.  My Felt IA was doing it's thang.

T2 - 0:48 [same on the Garmin]
Running shoes, race belt, visor, go.

Run (3.1 mi) - 19:37 (6:20/mi) [same on the Garmin].
I popped off the bike and got into a good rhythm early on the run. I held steady 6:20's the entire way and felt pretty good.  Was pleasantly surprised.  I saw the two women who registered as Elites ahead of me and who had started at the very beginning of the swim line, but that was it so I figured I was probably in the lead for amateurs!

Total Time - 1:20:38 (1st Female Finisher, 10th overall finisher)
Turns out I beat the two women who registered as elites and came in first!  I was pretty psyched, especially because there was a $1000 prize for 1st overall female.  My teammates and I were sitting under the tent and talking about if I would win the money or not since I had placed first overall.  The woman pro who finished about 10 sec behind me piped up and said "Well since the prize purse is less than $5000 the money is open to anyone, but I won."  My teammate said to her, "Did you check the results?"  She admitted that she had not and then crankily said, "Well I finished in 1 hour 20 minutes."  I said, "Well so did I!"  She then started changing her tune and said that in fact only she and the other woman in the Elite wave were eligible for the money.  A referee came over and we asked him about it.  He said that because the prize purse was under $5000, anyone was eligible for the money.  The "elite" wave was just another category, like any other category in the race, e.g. athena, clydesdale, 30-34 female.  The pro got mad and walked away.  When they did awards, the race director awarded her the $1000; and awarded the other "elite" $350 who I had beat by 4+ minutes.  They didn't award the $150 for third to anyone (nor did they award any money on the men's side).  I asked the RD afterward if that had in fact been a mistake.  (Not to mention that the owner of the shop I race for, GCCT had gone up to the RD the morning of the race and asked if I could be moved into the Elite wave (as simple as a few clicks on a computer mouse).  The RD said no, that I would have had to have won some big races...I guess B2B half and Savannah marathon and 3rd place AG in IM Chattanooga last year aren't good enough.  The Race Director told me that ultimately the decision was his and in his race he only gives out money to those racing in the elite wave and in order to race in the elite wave you have to have a pro license or be approved by him.  I posted a query about this on Slowtwitch (because of course that's where you find the answers to all triathlon questions) and the consensus seems to be that if prize purse is <$5K, then it's at the RD's discretion.  Needless to say it was kind of a bummer and my mind had already gone to thinking about using the money to buy a ticket to NC to cheer on all the people I know racing at Ironman North Carolina in a few weeks!

Ok, that was me ranting for a minute and I'm not going to dwell on that anymore.  Overall, it was a great day!  I had an awesome race, which felt good because it gives me a few shreds of confidence going into Ironman Cozumel.  It was great to see everyone out there, especially my GCCT teammates - congrats to everyone on a great race!  I also walked away with a really cool prize.  It's a 3-foot tall hand-carved wooden totem!  I mean, how sweet is this?!?!:

Lastly, a huge shout out and thank you to Beet Performer!  I drank a can of BeetPerformer beet juice every day this week and 1 can about an hour prior to race start.  I think it was a big reason why I was able to perform well today!  To save 15% on your order of BeetPerformer through Amazon, use code "Martine6."

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