Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Rumpus in Bumpass 2016: Making it Hurt

When possible I like to start my season with a get the dust out and shake off the cobwebs sprint distance tri.  In 2015 my season started early with a 1/2 IM in April and IMTX in May - no time for a sprint with that schedule!  I knew 2016 was going to look different with a much longer lead up time to my goal race (IM MT) and wanted to get something short and fast on there to start the season with.  I originally thought I'd return to Around the Mount, which I had done in 2014, but when VTS announced the return of Rumpus in Bumpass I knew I wanted to do it.  Mostly the open water swim was calling me - I spent a lot of time at the pool this off season and was eager to get some open water race practice in before some of my bigger races this year.

This race was put on the schedule as a 'C' race - no tapering, heck no rest before.  Literally on the schedule for open water practice, transition practice and shaking off the cobwebs (and valid reason to use my new disc wheel).  Adam and I headed down to Lake Anna on Saturday morning and I was able to get in about 88 miles on the bike followed by a 35 minute transition run.  I felt great for Saturday's big workout and was fortunate to have a comfortable house to stay in at the lake to refuel and recover over night.  Saturday night was decently relaxing, except for attempting to put on my disc wheel and realizing it wasn't sitting correctly.  Adam tried a few things, but we didn't have the correct allen wrench, so eventually just decided to leave earlier in the AM and visit the mechanic.  If it didn't work out I'd just race on my training wheels.

Damn thats a hot bike!
We headed over to the race site plenty early and the rain actually seemed to let up as we pulled into the parking lot.  Once we were parked I immediately headed over to the mechanic.  He was quick to ask what was wrong and was confidently fixing the problem in no time.  Thankfully he was from a shop that is a Felt dealer and has experience working on the IA.  Once the wheel was spinning
smoothly I went ahead and racked the bike before heading back to the car.  No sense in carrying her over mud more times than necessary.  The short wait for the mechanic and the quick fix (off-set screws)  left Adam and I with more than enough time to set up transition and warm up.  The rain came and went multiple times pre-race which made me very thankful for the garbage bag that I used to cover my transition area.

THE SWIM - 14:54 (17th/136)
I used some open water start skills that I had worked on and got out fast before calming down into a good rhythm.  About 250-300 meters in my goggle started to fill with water and was making sighting difficult, I had to roll on to my back and quickly dump the water as I continued on and around the first turn buoy.  As I rounded that buoy I began catching men from the wave in front of me and was feeling strong.  I came to the last turn buoy, made my turn a bit too sharply and started to swim back toward the start and not the finish.  Thankfully some dude was resting on the buoy and yelled at me that I was going the wrong way so I quickly corrected and probably didn't actually get too far off course.  I swam strong into the finish and continued catching and passing people on my way.  I came out of the water with a small group of pink caps and was quickly into transition.

T1- 2:16 (2nd/136)
I ran into transition as I was pulling off my wetsuit.  As I was stepping out of the legs once at my bike, I started slipping and just sat my butt on the ground to get the thing off.  Once back on my feet I stepped into my shoes as I heard the announcer say 1st female was headed onto the bike course!  Huge confidence booster there, usually I'm hunting on the bike, now I knew right where the lead female was and she was only about 30 seconds ahead of me.  Helmet and sunglasses on and I was on my way to the mount line.

THE BIKE - 33:31 (1st/136)
The race plan going in was to make it hurt.  Unlike the half and full distance races that I love so much, there was no time to get comfortable.  Just load it on, pump the legs and make it hurt.  First race on the new bike and she flew!  The roads were soaked and I really didn't want to kiss the pavement so I took the corners very easily.  Adam and I drove the course the evening before and I was thankful to know about the sharp turn with a quick uphill in the first few miles.  I had to keep reminding myself to make it hurt as I wanted to slip into a more comfortable effort a few times.  I knew that I came out of transition as 4th female, passed 2 ladies at the mount line and made the pass for first withing the first 5 or so minutes. Making it hurt paid off with fastest bike split on the women's side and 6th fastest bike split of the day.  I tried not to think about the effect this effort level would have on my 5k as continued to blow my legs out for 33 minutes.

T2 - 1:31 (2nd/136)
I rolled into T2, did a quasi-nervous flying dismount as the roads were super slick and headed in to rack my bike.  Re-racked, helmet and sunglasses off, run shoes on and race belt + visor in hand I headed out to tackle the run course.

THE RUN - 22:45 (4th/136)
The run course starts out with a gentle uphill on grass/road and the dumps you on a path through the woods.  The path was covered in mud and was not easy to get good footing in some places.  Thankfully this portion of the course is quite short.  As I was exiting the wooded area and had to jump over the drainage ditch the mud sucked my left shoe right off my foot.  I noticed before I pulled my foot completely out and was able to get the shoe back on without much difficulty.   Once onto the paved road I kept reminding myself to make it hurt.   The road was a nice rolling and windy road for the out and back run.  I saw Adam crossing mile 2 as I was crossing the mile 1 marker.  With his 8 minute head start on me I knew we were close time-wise and thought wow if I can really push it on this run I might beat him!  I made it to the turn around and didn't see any other women until I was probably about 1.75 miles in, putting the closest ladies within about a half mile.  The men and ladies cheering for me as I headed back on the run course as 1st female were awesome and so supportive.  One more dash through the muddy and now more crowded wooded trail and then it was a down hill into the finish line.  Arms overhead, I crossed the line with an overall win to start off the 2016 season.

The biggest victory for me here was really the swim (yes, the OA win was nice too).  For me this race was all about getting comfortable in open water again and getting the confidence I've gained in the pool to carry over to the open water.  There is still plenty of work to be done on my swim, but it's nice to see gains.  At first thought I was a little disappointed with my bike and run splits - because I know I'm capable of faster...on rested and tapered legs.  This race served the exact purpose it was on the schedule for -- shaking out the cobwebs and riding the pain train.  The overall win was a good confidence booster as I enter some longer course racing and big goals for the season.  I'm looking forward to kicking off the long course season at Kinetic on May 14th among a group of strong women.

Thank you most of all goes out to Fuel Your Passion Coaching, best decision I ever made back in 2013! Also thank you to Beth of Sportfit Lab for consistent swim work and friend Shannon always willing to go to the pool and share tips and advice, and friend Erin for always willing to do my bike workout at HP. Thank you to my sponsors DC Tri Club, Snapple Triathlon, Team, District Taco, Xterra Wetsuits, Rudy Project Helmets, Louis Garneau, Pierce Footwear by Seven Dynamics, and Rose Physical Therapy Group for helping this season get off to an awesome start.  I can't wait to see how this season unfolds and I'm so thankful for all the love and support in my life.  I have some great people in my corner this year!

For those wondering Adam managed a fast enough 5k to get me by 23 seconds!  There may be a sprint distance rematch late season.