Since Wake Forest is more than 2 hours from home, I traveled to the race site on Friday. I had a 2-mile shake-out run and short swim on my training plan for the day, so I ran a mile out on the out and back run course, covering the first and last mile of the race. I was able to find some pace on the last mile, which was a big confidence boost to store away for the race. My swim was SUPER short, because the reservoir was super murky...
I found my hotel (20 minutes away) and went to waffle house for a waffle dinner.
My alarm was set for 4:00 allowing me time for coffee and breakfast. I arrived at transition right as it opened at 6:30 am. My race didn't start until after 8, but I always prefer to be one of the first to transition. On this day it paid off with a super sweet parking spot right by transition!
I met a few fellow Team Zoot teammates and sat to write my morning goal post. I do like to have this extra time, even when it means a super early wake-up time!
Swim: 750m /15:44.07 12th of 29 Female
Other than the super murky water, this swim was uneventful. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw my pace as it felt like I was swimming through mud. I think I have just adapted to swimming in salt water and fresh water just feels different.
Transition 1: 2:42:48 11th of 29 Female
I normally wouldn't share the Garmin pic on a transition, but this Garmin time included the run from the reservoir uphill to transition, my actual transition time, AND the repair time of my first flat tire of the day. As I was leaving transition, I heard a "pop" noise, and after I thought "oh that was bad", I realized it was my back tire that made the noise. I was not even on my bike yet... So, I got out of the way of the other athletes and removed the back wheel from my bike. As I got ready to change the tube, I realized the tube was fully inflated, but the tire had blown out of the wheel.... so, I let the air out, reset the tire, then used my only CO2 cartridge to refill the tube. Air seemed to hold, so I put the wheel back on and went on my way. I did not hit my lap button until I was rolling, so I know I lost 3 minutes and 17 seconds to this first "repair."
Bike: 14.5 miles/56:05.13 24th of 29 Female
I got my tire changed and got back on the road. I felt pretty sure I would not hit my preset goals, but I have some big races coming up and the hills on this course are great training, no matter what my overall time is. So I rode the rest of the bike course as if nothing had happened.
The course is beautiful and FUN!! There was a bit more vehicle traffic for one of the stretches than I am comfortable with, but it was a short stretch. Overall, I loved this bike course, even with 2 flats!
My Garmin uses autopause, so the difference between the official time and the Garmin time of 11 minutes and 29 seconds is how long it took me to change the rear tube and go. Not as quick as I originally thought, but I am still pretty proud that I can handle a flat on the course on my own! My moving speed average and power average over this hilly course as caught on my Garmin also make me proud!
Transition 2: 1:32 23rd of 29 in Female
2 races in a row where my T2 time is bottom of the pack. I don't sit down. I use lock laces (although one did break on this day, so I had to tie that one.) I put my race number and headband on while I am moving. I do put on socks in T2 instead of T1, but other than that I cannot figure out what is going on here. This is an area I will continue to look for some improvement. It would only be a few seconds though and I know I have more room to improve in the run (and in not getting flats...)
Run: 3.1 miles/31:19.11 18th of 29 Female
This is an out and back course in the park on park roads. The first mile of this course is generally uphill, leading into a big downhill and "rollers" into the turnaround. That big downhill returns as a big uphill at about mile 2. Once you find the top of that hill, the remaining "almost" mile back is generally downhill. I knew from my run the day before that I could kick it in for this final mile. Even though I knew that I had missed my time goals, I still pushed my running in that last mile knowing that I was depositing coins in the bank for my upcoming races. The Olympic distance race shares this run course, doing it twice. I really like a busier run course like that. Everyone is so encouraging and I feed off of the energy of others.
Overall: 1:47:23 2nd of 2 F 45-49, 20/29 Female 59/89 Overall
I know from my watch times that I lost a total of 14 minutes and 41 seconds to the two flat repairs. That does not include the loss in momentum that could have been used going up the hill that I started on after my 2nd flat. That means my overall time would have been 1:32:42 - beating my Super Happy Goal and almost hitting my rockstar goal. It would have changed my age group placement AND it would not have changed the fun I had on this course. I gained some confidence in my ability to handle stress on the course and in my ability to change my tube should I ever need to again. I am not mad or sad about the flat tires - it was still a GREAT day!