Monday, April 22, 2013

I Beat the Chicken

The 2013 Tri Season has now officially begun.  Adam and I headed down to Richmond (Tuckahoe to be exact) for the 2013 Richmond Multisport Triathlon season opener - the Chasing Chicken Sprint Triathlon.  With some longer races (1/2 Iron distance right around the corner in May) we wanted to get in some racing, shake out some cobwebs, and have some fun going short, fast, and hard before a season of long days of training and racing picks up.


The only downfall (if considered that) of this race is that they require Saturday packet pick-up between the hours of 11-3.  I was frustrated that after an early morning of putting on the DC Tri Club Duathlon we weren't able to get in a mid-long distance ride of our own.  By the time we got to Richmond we went straight to packet pickup at 3Sports and picked up some clearance items.  The 2 new pairs of Zoot running shoes I
snagged will hopefully be worth missing a ride.  We were able to steal away for about an hour and do some course recon/discovery of the bike course.  I'm very glad we were able to do this as the course had a little bit of an interesting transition to the mount line as well as a couple turns to get out to the 2 main roads most of the course took place on.


If you've ever traveled to a race with me you know I'm pretty gung ho about my pre race meal.  On occasion I make my own dinner, pack it up in tupperware, and voila have my trusty pasta, marinara, zuchinni, squash and onion.  If that's not really an option I go to Olive Garden - and get the same thing every time.  I've learned that on a Saturday night you can sit, order, and eat at the Bar in Olive Garden in about 40 minutes, the same amount of time you might wait for a table.  Our hotel was nicely located down the road from an OG - but not so fast.  Adam (the man with friends everywhere) has an old friend in Richmond who was nice enough to have us over for dinner.  Apps, drinks, homemade bread, and pasta with homemade pesto - it was definitely not my usual but it was tasty and carb loading perfection.

Post dinner consisted of readying the bikes - bike frame #, helmet #, and bib # all set and ready to go.  Transition bag packed, race clothes out for the AM, and breakfast items out and ready.


Breakfast was the old standby with a slight twist - Special K Chocolatey Red Berries, banana, and almond milk.  Peanut butter will no longer be making an appearance on race day or any other day really as I've started having pretty bad cramping every time I consume peanut butter (this really is a story for another day).  Getting out of the hotel and on the road to the race site was smooth.  We arrived at the race site with plenty of time to set up transition, get timing chips and take Mr (that's my bike) to the mechanic for a check in and get in a warm up swim.  After our ride the day before I noticed the shifting was off and some gears had a
sluggish feel to them.  The mechanic made some real derailleur adjustment but just couldn't get it right - he asked me about the chain which I recently had replaced and after a few more adjustments asked me about the cassette...oi.  I had no idea, I bought the wheel used a year ago, they came with the cassette and for all I know that cassette could have been on them since 2009.  He did the best he could - which was a big improvement compared to what it felt like the day before and I promptly ordered a new cassette once I had access to Amazon.

THE SWIM - 300m Pool Swim - 6:06

This time does include a few seconds of transition time to get in and out of the pool and such but I'm still not thrilled with my splits for a pool swim and considering the lessons I've been doing this year.  On a good note I felt strong and much more efficient than an probably almost any race before.  It was a time trial start and apparently the women around me had pretty accurate predicted swim times - I didn't pass anyone and no one passed me either.  I'll be working hard to get improve this time over the season - especially in the open water.

T1 - 2:40

Once pulling myself out of the pool I had to run through two sets of double doors, up some stars, up the drive way to the soccer field where transition was located and finally to my transition area.  Once there I pulled on my Gore cycling jacket, helmet, sunglasses, shoes, and gloves before heading out to the road with Mr.  Forgoing the jacket and gloves would have made for a much faster transition but a much less comfortable and more frozen bike ride.

THE BIKE - 13 Miles - 37:54 - 20.58mph

The bike was fun - but frustrating at times.  I was passed by 2 guys on the bike course - not super happy - but passed a whole lot of women.  While checking out the course the day before when we got out to the long stretch back to the YMCA on the back side of the loop we had a slight tail wind and we were sailing back in.  Making us excited for the last 1/2 of the bike segment for the race.  It was a whole different story on race day - hello headwing and crosswind!! Oi, at least everyone had the same conditions to deal with.

I took 1 PowerGel on the bike, about 9 miles in.  More to help me mentally and for the run than anything else.  I also rode with water/Ironman perform in my aerobottle.  Ironman perform still sits heavy just like it did last year - I don't know if I'll ever be able to dilute that stuff enough.  The bike is usually by far my favorite part of the race - and I definitely enjoyed this bike course but could have used a few more miles to catch and put some time into my main competition!  I'm all for short swims and long bikes :)

T2 - 1:25

I dismounted old school style and ran into T2 in my bike shoes.  I haven't been out to practice my flying dismounts and I wasn't about to try it on a slight uphill with another cyclist coming in right behind me.  It would have saved me a few seconds but no big deal.  I ditched the helmet, jacket, and gloves.  Donned my visor, Kinvara's, and grabbed my race belt and another gel for insurance before heading out for the run.

THE RUN - 5k - 23:07

I was clueless as to my position in the field, my pace, where Adam was, basically everything.  I was happy to be out of the headwind, my legs were warming up on the run, and the sun was out - though there was still a chill in the air!  I picked a comfortable pace and got to it, picking off people as I could.  I was passed by a collegiate female about 1.5 miles in but noticed her age group was different and her bib was much lower than mine - which meant I'd already made up a few minutes on her on the bike - it wasn't worth chasing her down - it wouldn't effect my AG place.  The run was a lollipop shape so I was hoping to see Adam on the out and back section - but no such luck - and I never saw the Chicken!  Oi!  Where is this guy?  Once I hit mile 2 I picked up my pace and picked off a few more women and a couple guys.  I noticed at bib 117 I seemed to be running with and passing a lot of people with bibs in the 50s and 60s.  What happened to everyone that started near me (we TT started in numerical order).  At this point I started to think that I might be doing fairly well.  As I ran it in to the finish line the chicken was handing out high 5's at the final turn to the home stretch!  Oi, I guess the chicken was donezo and I never saw him, he must have kicked my butt.  As I crossed the finish I didn't hear Adam or see him.  Unusual....

FINISH 1:11:11

I hung out near the finish line for another minute pondering where Adam might be - not long after I noticed him walking towards me.  I was greeted with a, "What are you doing here already?"  Um, I finished the race - are you just finishing?  Yes, the answer was Yes...I beat him across the finish line (which we made a bet based on this as well as finish time).  I will enjoy my glory for the day as it may not happen again anytime soon as I almost always start in a wave (or 20) behind him.  We took a nice cool down together and then headed back to get some warm clothes, pick up transitions, and get some grub and get stretched out.

We had to hang out for awhile for the awards to start.  While I was getting stretched out Adam peaked at the results and broke the news to me.  Apparently I did well, really well.  Hmmm....did I win my Age group?  No, ok then what did I do?  2nd Age group....2nd Overall Female! Woo that was good news for the first tri of the season.  We went back and checked the awards to see if we beat the chicken...and yes we both did...easily.  Adam also podiumed with an AG award - we need ideas for barbecue sauce...2 full jars of it. Adam finished with a 1:07:02 and the Chicken finished in 1:14:55...I guess that's fast for a chicken.

Finally awards started - we collected our hardware/barbecue sauce and attempted to wait to see if those that beat the chicken would take home anything else.  But time was ticking away and we were eager to get back to DC so we snuck out during the collegiate


This was great early season tune up race.  It was fun, low pressure, and at least the swim was warm.  If it fits I'd do it again.  Definitely was reminded of some things to practice before the bigger races during race set up and the race itself.  And as I've insisted before - I'm a better runner off the bike than in a stand alone running race.


  1. HA!! The title of your post made me laugh

    Congrats on taking 2nd overall

  2. Running around like a chicken with your head cut off :) Great job, Finn!

  3. Awesome girl,,love you! Congrats to you and Adam!