Monday, October 2, 2017

White Lake 1/2 Race Report

I was pretty excited to be kicking off my tri season early and heading down to NC for a 1/2 Iron distance race.  Two years ago I kicked off with an early season half with a solid PR in SC so was hoping for something similar this go 'round.  Seasoned members (Mom and Gary) were making the trip down from Michigan and Pete and I would drive down from DC.  We had a nice house with some friends right on the lake and just a few hundred yards from transition.  Seemed like a perfect way to kick off tri season.

In the couple months leading up to race day I unfortunately had an increasingly worse rash breaking out on my neck.  I had been to the doctor and had an appointment scheduled with the dermatologist (a month down the road).  The doc prescribed an antibiotic 10 days out from race day - it was a 7 day course of meds.  Ok, great I thought, I'll be off the meds by race day (and hopefully this unsightful thing all over my neck will be gone).  Well spoil alert, the rash didn't go away at all.

We packed up and made the drive down on Thursday as it was a Saturday race.  The lake and house were beautiful and we spent a good amount of time enjoying the dock all weekend.  I went for a short
out and back ride on what would be the end of our bike course on Saturday.  A few miles out I hit construction :/ and a completely milled lane in the direction we would be biking on Saturday.  I optimistically thought oh maybe they'll close the road or shift traffic so we can bike on the smooth new stuff and the cars can drive on the horrible surface.

We had a relaxing day Friday which involved a lot of relaxing on the dock and a quick trip to packet pickup before getting everything ready for Saturday.  I was able to meet up with a fellow FYP athlete at packet pickup and chat for a bit.  After packet pickup it was back to the house to start getting all the things ready for race day.  It always seems daunting the first race of the season and easy breezy by the the end of the season.

Saturday Race Morning - PRE RACE
A quick walk over to transition and a close racking spot to bike out was perfect.  Didn't take long to get set up and take care of all the pre race needs.  I spotted Carrie again said hello and quick good luck wishes before heading over toward the water to get into my wetsuit.  The sunrise was absolutely gorgeous.  There was a small delay in the start time as we waited for emergency personnel to get in place and then it was time to go.

THE SWIM - 1.2 Miles - 41:46 ( OA 19/51)
I had been feeling good about my swim going into this race and was definitely feeling good about the wetsuit legal swim.  I tried to hop on feet at the gun but the lead group took off and then everyone else seemed to be randomly spaced out and going all over the place.  I felt good in the swim but upon exiting the water I was quite (unhappily) surprised by my time. Oh well, move on there's still a lot of racing left to do!

T1 - 2:30
Wetsuit off and and quick jump onto the bike.  Nothing exciting here, but that's how we like it.

THE BIKE - 56 Miles - 2:35:35 (OA 1/51)
I started out feeling great on the bike.  I figured I'm make up more than enough time to negate the subpar swim.  By the time I hit mile 30 I felt like I was working really hard - I didn't want to stay aero, I had to used a lot of self talk and dig in and I didn't want to eat my food.  This has never happened to me, not even in a full.  Usually at a half the bike goes by so fast I don't want it to be over.  I felt like I was riding in to a headwind with every turn we made - well we weren't, I just felt like crap.  Then I made the final turn on to what was supposed to be the newly paved road - well nope.  The cyclists were indeed riding on the milled pavement for a good portion of that segment.  Talk about a power suck.

T2 - 1:31
Off the bike, visor on and onto the run course.

THE RUN - 13.1 Miles - 2:04:27 (OA 15/51_
I was feeling decently confident in putting down a solid 1/2 marathon.  My body let me know early on that wouldn't be happening.  There was no energy, it felt like the closest thing to a death march I've ever done and it's the slower 1/2 marathon I've run since my first ever 70.3 race.  All I wanted were cold sponges, I couldn't find a cold sponge or ice until almost mile 7.  Overall the run course was a flat out and back mostly following the shoreline.  It was hot and it was sunny especially for an early season race.  I got myself back to the finish line and for maybe the first time ever, sat down and said "that wasn't even fun".

Results - 5:25:47 (OA 7/51, AG 2/5)

Well hindsight is 20/20 but looking back at it now my body was just depleted from the meds and whatever else it was fighting off since the meds clearly weren't working (didn't work).  Antibiotics wipe out your system and I'm pretty sure I started feeling the effects on the bike.  This was an early season race or me and I took a legit off season after a big year in 2016 so there was a lot of work to be done.  Good thing is this race lit a bit of a fire in my belly to get after it in all ways.

Overall it was a gorgeous venue and now that the paving is refinished on the bike route probably a super awesome course.  I could be convinced to go back again, not sure if I'll be back soon but I know I can do a helluva a lot better than the time I put down in this performance.

Huge thanks to the great sponsors that have been with me throughout 2017 including Cercacor, Osmo, DC Tri Club/District Taco Elite Team, Rose Physical Therapy Group, Ultragrain, Louis Garneau, Rudy Project, Honey Stinger, Base Performance, XX2i Optics, and Xterra Wetsuits.