Saturday, August 31, 2013

Race Report: IronGirl Columbia

This race report is well overdue, but oh well =) I'm still going to write a race report!

I was kinda on my own in training for this triathlon because I didn't go home for the summer...Actually, the training ended up being more or less non-existent. Haha =) Because I was still trying to gain some weight after struggling with all the stomach issues I had in the winter/spring and trying to prevent another major flare of symptoms, I had been keeping my workouts about 1 hour total. That definitely limited the long bike rides/runs I did in preparation...so it was a good thing this was only a sprint!

The day before the race Mom and I drove up to Columbia, MD for packet pick-up and to rack our bikes. One *minor* detail that was causing a bit of angst was the water temperature...the weather had been atypically cool so it was actually borderline the day before. Thankfully it ended up being 79 on race day, so no wetsuit needed!

Race morning went super smooth since we had to rack the bikes the night before. It was kinda chilly and started raining as we drove over. I had already decided I was just going to have fun and not go all out because I tend to have issues when I try to push myself and didn't want that to be the case. The rain didn't really bother me, but I was nervous about getting too cold. It ended up not being a problem because I warmed up about 5 minutes into the swim.

Swim - 24:10

The swim was fantastic! Once I got warmed up, I felt really good. It ended up being slower than I had hope, but I didn't care too much. There was a pretty long run from the lake to transition so that may have been part of it. Anyway, I actually discovered that I really enjoy being in the midst of the pack and getting hit and bumped. It makes it seem more like a sport I guess, haha =P I found myself looking for the groups of people and swimming in the middle so I could not only draft, but be in the mix of the kicking and such. Makes me miss that when I'm training on my own in the pool...I finished in the middle of the pack which I was happy with.

T1 - 4:02

Okay, let's not talk about my transitions...yes, it is 4 MINUTES and 2 seconds...in my defense, the transition area was pretty big and I almost missed my bike...not really an excuse but oh well. Nothing much to say about T1 except that yes it was that slow, and no I don't care!

Bike - 1 hr 3 min

The bike was surprisingly good! I wasn't really sure what to expect on the bike due to my lack of outdoor riding...I think I went twice in July...but that was it. I had decided I was just going to have fun with it and not destroy myself for the run since I expected that to be my best leg. I surprised myself! I ended up averaging 15 mph which was better than I had done on the same course in July when Mom and I rode the course for practice. I felt good and was passing a ton of people! I was in the 3rd wave, so when started passing people in the 2nd wave, I felt pretty good =) I was 554 out of over 1500 racers, so for me on the bike, that's solid!

T2 - 1:52

So better than T1, but still slower than previous races. I'm chalking that up to the large transition area...and the fact that the racks were packed so tightly that bikes were falling as we (me + a couple other girls in my wave who finished with me) tried to re-rack the bikes so we had to take a few extra minutes to pick them up.

Run -  25:10

The run was 3.4 miles, so a weird distance. It was definitely much slower than I had hoped (7:20 pace) but I'm going to credit that to the crazy hills! Seriously, it was practically running the entire Rocky Mountains in 3.4 miles. I was passing people like crazy, which is always fun! Because this race had done the waves based on age group, I knew that everyone I passed in the 20-24 AG I was ahead of =) I was feeling tired but strong for the most part, but definitely starting to struggle a bit around mile 2ish.

So, I had properly planned out my nutrition/hydration/asthma/etc. BEFORE the race started. I had my inhaler and other stuff in my box on the bike so it was ready to go when I got out of the water. The plan was to quickly grab my inhaler prior to the run so I had it with me. It was pretty humid so I wanted to be sure I had it.  The plan was perfect except for the part where I didn't take into account the bikes falling over...that distracted me and guess what I ran out of transition without??? Yeah, poor life decision =P It was about mile 2ish (see the pattern) when I realized I didn't have my inhaler...

Long story short, I ended up in the medical tent getting a nebulizer treatment because I was wheezing and coughing after I finished. I think it was the mugginess combined with the effort. Even though I planned to take it easy and just have fun, I still get caught up in the competition and want to push myself at least a bit.

Overall, I did hit my goals of having a good time and not pushing myself too far. Yes, I did have some issues with my asthma, but that was a mistake that can easily be corrected. These last few races have been really good because I'm learning to listen to my body. I think by taking the pressure off myself to perform, I'm able to relax and not stress over my time and finish place. Instead, I'm able to relax and enjoy being able to compete and be active because only a few months ago, even that was a challenge. That being said, I'm feeling a bit raced out, so I'm not looking for any more races at the moment. I'm running the Akron Half at the end of September but will probably take some time off after that aside from a Turkey Trot or other fun race.



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