Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The 2010 Nation's Triathlon: Part 2

Day 4
Race Day Finally! Morning came early at about 5:00!  I ate my usual obnoxious amount of Special K Red Berries and added my rain jacket to the needed equipment for the day.  It was pouring rain!  Ryan and I set out per our plan to walk to the transition area.  We got maybe ¼ the mile into our walk and decided it would just be better to hail a cab.  2 young women in a minivan cab were nice enough to have the cab pullover and let us join them.  By the time we got to the transition area it was already pretty crazy.  I set up my area – realizing I forgot a trash bag to keep my bike shoes and running shoes and socks dry.  Oh well, I guess I’d be soaking wet anyways.  I got my ties topped off with air, made sure both water bottles were full and was out of transition by 7.  We all stood for the National Anthem before the elites started off the race, only another 2.5 hours or so until my swim wave time!  24 and younger females – the very last wave to start the race.  I cheered on my brother through T1 before heading over to start corralling ourselves toward the water.  The excitement and vibe come from everyone was great.  The sun was coming out it was looking to be a nice day and the final swim wave was getting ready to go!

The swim was the longest and most crowded swim I had ever been a part of.  I knew I wouldn’t be one of the fasted swimmers so I started in the 2nd row of people, I don’t think I’ll do that ever again.  When everyone in front of us turned horizontal to start they kicked us like wow!  My swim was going very well until about 1100m in when I started following feet in front of me a little off course.  Luckily I caught this and didn’t get to far wide of the course!  1500m didn’t seem to hard and I was able to run out of the of water and into T1 – passing some people on my way.  I finished in the middle of the swim pack with a time of 33:52.

Transition went well.  I dumped my baby powder on my feet and pulled on my socks and shoes before securing my helmet and loading my pockets with PowerGel.  I ran through transition in my bike shoes until the mount line.  I am not yet cool enough to have the bike shoes already attached to the bike – seems disastrous to me, I’d rather not fall over during the first mile of the ride trying to put my feet in my shoes.  I was in and out of T1 in 4:20.      

The bike was great.  I loved every second of it!  I felt strong, I was passing people and gaining energy as it went on.  I had a plan to take a PowerGel at the beginning of the bike and about 17 miles into the bike.  Well that plan became more of a guessing game since there were no mile markers on the course and at the time I didn’t have a computer on my bike.  I took the 2nd gel a little early but it didn’t hurt and I could always get more during T2 or at aide stations on the run.  The Nation’s Tri has already said they will have some kind of mile marker signs up for this years race!  I was on and off the bike in 1:19:13.    

Transition once again went well.  I re-racked my bike, re-stocked my PowerGel supply and changed out my shoes before getting on the course.  T2 was pretty bare by the time I had gotten there, being in the last wave has it's pro's and con's such as not a whole lot of people around you and in your way in the transition area but there were also people lining up and coming into the transition area to get there equipment as they had finished the race and were trying to pack up.  I didn't have an issue with these people - only mentally knowing they were completely done and I was just starting 10k!  I was in and out of T2 in 2:29.

I started the running course out with a big grin on my face – I still felt strong and I knew I was going to be able to do this!  The course was a nice run past the Washington Monument and then around Hains Point.  Aide stations were at every mile with water and Powerade which was great.  I took one water to dump over myself and then either water or Powerade to drink.  I had one more gel 3 miles into the run.  I think I would have benefitted from the gel more had I taken it at mile 1 or 2.  I was very familiar with the course which helped me.  As I was coming around Jefferson Monument more and more supporters were gathered cheering on the finishers.  I started to see and hear my classmates cheering for me and got a nice kick of energy to sprint into the finish line!  It was great being greeted by classmates and given my medal by them at the finish!  I was out and back on the run in  53:18.     

The finish line festival was pretty fun.  Music, massages, food, awards, instant results.  We hung out for a long while before gathering out things and walking back home.   My finals results were as follows:

TOTAL TIME: 2:53:10
Division Place: 28th ( F 24-)
My Brother and I after The Nation's Tri 2010
I can’t wait until Sept. 11, 2011 for The Nation’s Triathlon again!  Last year was my first Olympic Distance Race but I’ll get a few more under my belt before this year’s race for preparation.  The atmosphere was awesome and the race was spectacularly organized.  This is definitely a must do triathlon at least once in your life!

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