Saturday, August 27, 2011

Luray Sprint Triathlon Recap

Luray, VA got pummeled with rain on Saturday evening.  Rory and I had luckily just finished securing the rain fly, throwing ours bags in the car and covering the bikes before the rain hit.  We headed down to the town of Luray for packet pickup before dinner.  The rain started pouring down just after we left the campsite.  When we got to packet pickup we got drenched just running from the car to the store.  We then had to wait in line in the store to go back outside to actually get out packets.  Luckily they had a couple tents set up for packet pickup so you just had to take a couple leaps through the rain and dodge the puddles.

With packet pickup behind us we set out for dinner.  We chose Uncle Buck's for convenience and style, it was right next door to packet pickup and it was definitely and locally owned and operated establishment.  We were not disappointed at all.  It was a hoppin' place but we were able to be seated right away and the service was good.  We were enjoyed our dinner and got out to see a line out the door to wait to be seated!  We walked up and down the main drag of Luray exploring the quaint town's uniqueness.  We found an underground bowling alley, extravagant murals, small boutiques and local bakeries and eateries.  After our post-dinner walk we jumped back in the car and drove up the road to check out the Luray Caverns parking lot and bell tower.  We didn't actually want to go in the caverns and they were closed.

We headed back to camp and found we had a few new neighbors at our campsite area.  We took some reading material and H2O under the pavilion with us since it was still early in the evening.  We had a relaxing evening and prepared for the next morning before hitting the sack. Luckily everything in the tent had stayed completely dry!  We attempted to go to bed quite early – but some of our entertaining neighbors were the stereotypical couple on a camping trip!  Bickering, bossing around, the whole 9 yards.  Eventually we were able to get some great shut eye.

We awoke a bit earlier than planned on Sunday morning due to the events company setting up for everyone and others around us who had gotten up.  I ate the breakfast of champions (Special K Red Berried, Milk, Banana) in my car.  The rain had let up and we were able to easily prepare everything for the race.  We got our bikes ready, which had managed to stay completely dry, got body marked, and set up transition.  We were quite pleased that we indeed had one of the best transition spots in the entire area - transition was set up alphabetically so Rory and I were of course right next to each other.  Before heading our of transition we both donned or black "DAD" armband.  We then set out to check out the swim course and get a warm-up swim in.  The water temperature had dropped just enough to make the race wetsuit legal, but we both decided to forego the wetsuit option.

THE SWIM – 750m – 16:18
Not my best swim, not my worst.  The swim start was more brutal than the day before among all women <34.  I was repeatedly kicked, slapped, swam over, etc.  I was able to keep my cool and try to swim “my race” the best I could.  Before the start of the race I ran into some DC Tri folk which was nice and calmed the nerves a bit.  The water right before the swim exit seemed much darker than the day before.  It was black, you could not see a thing!

T1 – 1:59
A few lessons learned from the day before and a prime transition spot help me cut a solid 12 seconds off this time.

THE BIKE -  16.5miles – 58:18
Not quite as good as the day before.  My legs started to really feel it toward the end of the bike.  The massive hill at the end of the course was lined with spectators with cow bells, fog horns, and the like which was probably the only thing that got me up said hill.  Would like to have seen some faster splits but with the tough course and 2 days in a row I wasn’t disappointed with the performance.

T2 – 1:03
Another 12 seconds faster than the previous days transition.  I’m convinced it was the prime transition location.

THE RUN – 5k – 24:24
I knew the course well and was determined to push it up and down the hills.  A bit faster of a split time than the previous day so I was happy with my effort.  The legs were feeling the previous days effort during the run but I was able to block out any discomfort and push to the finish line.  I didn’t have an age group competitor near me to directly compete with but there was a younger athlete that I used to push myself for my final kick to the finish line.  I love passing people during the last 800m.

RESULT – 3rd Place 20-24 Female – 1:41:58
Not much of a close race.  The 1st and 2nd place finisher had more than a few minutes on me, though they didn’t compete in the international race the day before.  A good result considering I had done the double.
Once again we enjoyed ice baths and peanut butter and jelly post race – with our own chocolate milk of course.  After refueling and taking some pictures we cheered on some of the final finishers before the awards ceremony.  Rory checked his finish time – he improved by 14:00 over his last sprint distance tri!  The awards ceremony last forever but I complete my wine set – another stemless wine glass for 3rd place and a goblet for completing the double!

An awesome weekend with my brother out in the woods.  It was good for the soul and mind.  I am so glad we camped, it was free convenient and awesome.  I didn’t feel sleep deprived either night and transition was literally across the street from us.  

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