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2022 Lake Norman Sprint Distance Race Report

 


Pre-Race

I was excited that this race is fairly close to my BFF's house in Charlotte!!  I drove to her house first and picked her up before heading to the race site to check in, bike the run course, and swim a bit in my new wetsuit in the lake.  She got to do a little trail walking while I did my routines.  Since last week, Charlie at Two-Wheeler Dealer took a look at my wheels and taught me a few things about changing my tire (just in case) and mostly gave me the confidence that I was not set up for another two flat race...  Turns out that last week was totally user error and I had caused my own heartache!

We left that race site and she had scoped out a place near her house that served breakfast all day, so I was able to have my pancake dinner.  Not super necessary for a sprint distance, but I love my routines!  

My alarm was set for 4:15 allowing me time for coffee and breakfast, but I woke up at 3:30 and could not get back to sleep.  Race morning is like Christmas morning for me.  I was too excited to sleep!  We arrived at transition at 6:30 am with plenty of time to get set-up and relax.  I know I get there too early, but I like to have time without feeling stressed!  

As has become a new habit, I met a few fellow Team Zoot teammates before I sat down to write my morning goal post.



Swim: 400m (supposed to be 750m) /15:44.07  8th of 45 Female


Other than the course being super short, there is not a lot to report for this swim.  The lake is beautiful, the temperature was perfect, and I am getting used to being back to wave starts.  As I exited the swim, Denise was there telling me my position in the green caps which was super motivating to keep pushing hard!


Transition 1: 2:47.6 1st of 45 Female

The transition includes a pretty long uphill run to the transition area.  I did run it and I don't wear socks on the bike, so I think those two things helped me be 1st in all age group women in this transition!

Bike: 18 miles/56:47.1  2nd of 45 Female

If you have read any of my other race reports, you know the bike is my happy place.  This course was long for a sprint distance and had a couple of pretty solid climbs... and I loved every minute of it.  I did have to brake on one of the downhills, which I hated doing, but there wasn't anyone in front of me and I didn't know what to expect in terms of road conditions and traffic at the bottom of the descent, so I hit the brakes to feel like I was at least a little in control of the situation.  My max speed was 31mph even while braking!!    

This course (both bike and run) hits you with a significant climb right out of transition!

Transition 2: 1:03.6 12th of 45 Female

Once again, my T2 is slower than I'd like, but I did improve by 25 seconds over last week.  I wish I didn't need socks to run, but the giant blister on my heel proves that I do.  AND... the 15-20 seconds I lost to those faster in T2 isn't that big of a deal in the overall time.

Run: 3.1 miles/28.18.5  17th of 45 Female


As I was heading up the big first climb out of transition, Denise was telling me that I was currently in 5th of all females (including the advanced/elite division).  I had no idea how many were in the elite group and I knew the speedy runners in my own age group would start closing the gap soon, so I worked hard (even on the uphills) to keep myself in the running for an age group podium.  I did get passed by two women on the run, but there were 2 women in the elite division, so I ended up 5th overall female... crazy!


This run course is beautiful and mostly shaded... but very challenging.  I can usually use my long legs to make up time in a downhill section and thankfully the downhill sections were long enough to let me get a rhythm going, but those uphills are my kryptonite.  I did walk more than I wanted to on the uphills and I know that hill running is the lowest hanging fruit in my quest for improvement.  I am extremely happy with my pace and time.  The run course was a tiny bit short which helped me fend off those speedy runners that were closing that gap.  

The course ends with a long (like half-mile) downhill to the beach and the finish line is in the sand.  Denise was there to meet me and celebrate with me!  What an awesome day!




Overall: 1:37:01.8  1st of 8 F 45-49, 5/45 Female 64/171 Overall

The internet by the lake was spotty at best so Set UpEvents was not able to post results to the website.  They did post a list of finishing times, but there was no age gender included on that list, so we would have to wait until awards to find out podium placements.  I had done a little stalking of previous years' results and the other ladies in my age group and thought that I would have to really push to get on the podium at all.  Based on Denise's recon during the race, I did think I would be on the podium, but was so proud and shocked that I was able to win my age group.


This course is definitely set up for strong cyclists!  With a shorter bike or a longer run, I am sure those speedy runners would have caught me.  

As always, I loved hanging out after the race with new Team Zoot friends and was super proud to have had a strong showing with Denise there to watch!  This was race weekend #6 in a row and I am loving every minute of this season so far!  4 more NC races in the next three weekends and then it is 1 weekend off before 70.3VBR.  Another huge shout out for Coach Sami for coaching me through this season of racing and training!!  

Next up: White Lake Olympic Distance with a TON of Cape Fear Tri Club and Team Zoot friends!!




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