Monday, December 11, 2017

Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

A classic - everything about it.  Classic Eagleman temps, winds, humidity, etc.  My training came along well after White Lake and I was feeling pretty good going into Eagleman.

Pre-Race - Friday
Heather and I headed out to Cambridge Friday afternoon and took care of all the pre-race jazz.  We opted to book a local hotel rather than stick to our original plan of camping, which I'm super glad that we did.  I think everyone involved was much more comfortable in the hotel rather than the alternative.  We hit up a local hot spot, Jimmy and Sooks, for dinner before calling it a night.

Pre-Race Saturday
A short ride/run with Heather on the course and BIG breakfast at Cambridge Diner were really the highlights here.  More pre-race shenanigans - like Heather fashioning the longest straw I've ever seen out of some rubber hose she got at the expo and a sing along party.  Super Sherpa, Pete, had arrived Friday night and was along for much of the fun Saturday.  Once bikes were racked and we were settled in we ate dinner in the hotel room and fell asleep to Titanic.  The laughs and fun I had with these 2 kept the feeling light and the stress at bay, which was so nice!

The Swim - 37:42 - 1.2 Miles
Wetsuit legal and I felt pretty good about my swimming going into this.  I knew I didn't need a fantastic swim just a decent swim.  I got into a rhythm rather quickly and was sighting well.  On the
2nd leg of the swim (After the first turn buoy) we were swimming directly into the sun.  It wasn't too bad, except you couldn't really tell what colors the buoys were until you were right at them.  I kid you not, more than 1/2 the field turned a buoy early on this leg.  I continued swimming to the proper turn buoy in hopes the course cutters would be sent back (which it doesn't seem they were).  I came out of the water with Ellen and zipped into T1.

T1 - 3:21
Nothing special here - wetsuit off, helmet/sunglasses and shoes on.  Go time.

The Bike - 2:30:16 - 56 Miles
Felt really good and temps were fair for the first 90 minutes.  Got into a strong rhythm and was loving riding one of my favorite courses.  Being a younger female the heat can hit us hard on the bike since we are one of the last waves to start the swim.  And oh did the heat hit us hard.  A bit past the 1/2 point I started to tell that I was cooking but went with my gut and kept my effort steady and strong.  I made quite a few passes and knew that I was on pace to go sub 2:30.  Well, not when there's a no passing zone and messy bike traffic a few miles from transition.  I had to let sub 2:30 go in order to not burn anymore matches.

T2 - 3:03
Quickly in and out.

The Run - 1:56:50
Felt good heading out to run.  Was told I was in 1st off the bike - my reaction a laugh and ha let's see if I can hold it.  I've never raced exceptionally well in the heat, 60s and rainy tends to be more my jam.  I kept the fluids coming in and stuck to my nutrition plan.  The inevitable started happening on
mile 3 - ladies seemingly flying past me from my AG.  The heat was melting me and all I could do was hold on the best I could.  I tried to get the pace back and it took until about mile 11 to bring it down again.  I ran a bit with another woman headed to Kona and she fired me up to finish strong.  I was able to get to the line just in time to hold onto a podium finish.

I have a love-hate relationship with this course.  I love the town, I love the course itself and that I can train on it but it's oh so much better when the temps are at least bearable.  It's pretty much a home-town race for DC Tri and there is tons of support in the crowds and amongst fellow racers, which you don't get at many other M-dot events.  The swim here is never fast, but it's not fast for anyone so it's fine.  I'll probably find myself at this race again at some point...not sure how soon.  It's hard to subject yourself to conditions you know your body doesn't thrive in year after year.

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