My second go at the Rebelman Triathlon is in the books. This time I was 27 minutes faster and I placed third in my age group. I didn’t worry as much – though I always worry about something. I executed a nutrition plan that helped keep me going through the race too.
I arrived right as the transition area opened and choose a spot near the bike out and run out. That means I had to run farther from the pool, but it had me closer to where I needed to be for exits to the other legs. I set up my area before many people arrived and took my extra things back to the car (like my tri bag). I was glad I left my jacket for later because I did need it for the bike.
I looked at some of the people behind me and realized I had overestimated my time but I was not terribly nervous about it. I was number 161 so I had to wait quite a while to get in the pool. I took the time to mark areas so I could tell where I was. The Ole Miss symbol was about one third of the pool length and the Ole Miss sign was another third. That really helped as I swam. I was finally to the front but did not look at the clock before I got in. I had also decided to just let the chip time me and not wear my watch. This is unusual for me but I think it helped me remain calmer. I was immediately passed by the high school girl behind me but we had been talking and I had told her to just go around me and I would stay to the side. I had thought through the things Sam has told me over the past three years and I swam as he has been having me practice with a catch-up as we continue to work on my stroke. My googles filled up with water about half way down the lane. I’m not sure what was going on but that slowed me down a little bit. I also had some trouble at the walls. I had practiced on Friday but hadn’t practiced going under lane lines enough. Since most of my races are open water, lane lines are not an issue. That probably cost me about 2 minutes over all though. The very good things were that a) I did not freak out in the pool, and b) I did freestyle the whole way for the first time. There were people passing me but I expected that. I passed some of them in later lanes as they did breast stroke and back stroke. I just kept going, one lane at a time. The other good thing was that I could get out of the pool without the ladder this time so I didn’t lose the time going back to the ladder to get out.
I don’t have my transition times yet. They were a bit slower than I would have liked, but faster than other races. Combined they were around 6 minutes so faster than the last time, and maybe most of my races so far. I did have to put on my jacket because it was colder than anticipated and the wind was fairly brisk. I figured with a wet top that the jacket would help and I was very glad I had it. I had everything set up to get into pretty quickly. The slowest item is my gloves. I need to get those on faster but I just bought a new pair that are actually tight like they are supposed to be.
We rode the route yesterday and it had been really windy and there was lots to traffic. Today was better. There was not much traffic and the wind was not as bad, though there was a strong head wind returning. As I expected, I did better today because I was able to get on my aero bars and go. I had a few issues trying to get past some beginners; however, I passed a lot of people who had been ahead of me in the pool. My max speed was 27.2 miles per hour – I did have my bike computer. Coming back there is a residential area and it was a bit congested with traffic. The bike lane ends right before you have to turn onto Jackson Ave and go back into campus up a hill. It’s a bit hard going but I made it through. The hardest hill again was Sorority Row. I think it is because it is so close to the end. It is not very long but it seems steeper than it probably is in reality. I made it back to the Turner Center, dismounted at the bike line, did not fall off my bike as I did the first time, and went on to T2.
I really just had to put on shoes and socks. When I arrived at my bike spot someone had their bike in my spot. Since she was standing there, I just asked her to move her bike over and she did. I left my jacket on and probably should have left it there but I did not want to take the time to take it off. It was still a bit chilly. I proceeded to the run out and was on my way.
Ole Miss is hilly. The run out goes right up a gradual hill and I ran up the whole thing. I was feeling a little slow at the beginning. My legs had really been burning during the hills on the bike this morning. There were lots of students out working the event who cheered at every turn and that really helped me keep going. I even ran up Rebel Drive. After the second water stop, my speed picked up. I still didn’t have my watch but I could feel myself picking up momentum. My run has been slower the past few weeks but I have started heading back to lower times. Once I reached the Grove I knew that I didn’t have far to go and that there were not anymore brutal hills. I finished the race in 1:59:59, good enough for 3rd in my age group.
This is the first race that I really executed a written nutrition plan, thanks to Krista Schultz’s help. I think it really helped. I still need to figure out what to eat on the bike and how to get it. I had a protein shake and yogurt for breakfast and then started drinking Heed while I set up. Before the swim I had some shot blocks. On the bike I had Osmo and while I ran I had some more shot blocks and water at the water stations. I had planned on eating the shot blocks on the bike but I only drank on the bike.
I’m fairly happy with the results of this race. I really thought about it as another training day because my big race is coming up in June. I would have liked to be a bit faster in the pool and on the bike but those are goals to continue working towards. I was much calmer than I think I have been for most of my races to date. I went out to have a good workout and to have fun this morning. It was great fun to stay with my friend Carol and to hang out with and race with Ashley. After the race I went to Square Books to meet John Pendergrass, a 6 time Ironman who started racing Ironman at age 60. I bought his book and talked to him for a while. His story is inspirational and I am looking forward to reading his book.
Next up for triathlon is the Capitol of Dreams Olympic Distance in Montgomery. The swim is open water and wetsuit legal. It should be an interesting challenge and I will work the next few weeks to prepare for all three legs and the transitions.
Swim 16:57 (3:05 faster)
Bike 51:45 (17:20 faster)
Run 43: 51 (2:07 faster)