I had one main reason to return to Capital of Dreams this year – to jump off the boat. Initially I was going back to Raleigh this weekend but when I cancelled that race because I was sick all winter, I decided to give Capital of Dreams another shot. My plan was to do the Intermediate distance but this week determined that the Sprint distance was all my knees were up to.
Last year this boat got me. The swim begins by jumping off the side of the boat into the river. Last year it looked like 10 feet to me, even though it might be about 3 feet. Since then I have been in the open water more and this spring starting practicing jumping in water. Even a few weeks ago I didn’t think I could jump in but this morning it was really no big deal. I felt fairly calm about the swim, though I always remain a bit tentative about the open water. My number was near the back since I had switched races. It would have been near the back anyway.
Even at the end of May the river is wetsuit legal at 74 degrees. So I got into the wetsuit though many people didn’t have them or did not bother. Mine is long sleeved so I was fairly warm in it. My number was called, I jumped in, sank down some into the murky river, but was able to get back to the surface and start swimming without any issues. About 100 yards in I was feeling a bit out of breath so I stopped to regroup before I went on. We were swimming towards the dock and I was having a little bit of a hard time seeing that far but realized I really just to head in that direction and I would be able to see the ladder once I was closer. My swim time was the best time I have had for this distance in a race to date – 11:32. That is about 4 minutes faster than my previous best time. Needless to say, I was thrilled with this but also still know I can swim faster.
My transition time was not great. I had to get out of my wetsuit, though there were a wetsuit stripper to help – yay! – and then make my way from the river to the train shed (up a ramp, two sets of steps, through a tunnel). Getting on the bike went well. It was getting there that slowed me down.
The bike course is fairly flat, other than a gradual hill at the beginning that goes over the interstate. I was slower on that hill than I would have liked but once I made it, I was able to catch and pass at least 7 people. I had some pretty good mile times on the flats and the road is fairly smooth. I found it a little unnerving to be close to traffic a couple of times on the way back in but nothing too awful. My top speed was 29.5 mph and I had several 15-19 mph miles. I need to have more though.
T2 was not bad compared to other races either but still needs improvement. Getting socks on is still not my forte. I think I have just not found the right socks yet. I keep trying different brands that might go on easier. I have determined that I can’t run without them.
The run was more like a forced march. I was just determined to get through it any way possible today. I managed to be faster each mile but that is not saying a lot. My run is my most inconsistent portion of the race and of my training. I have missed some runs recently and I am determined not to do so in the future. I am glad that I had started running outside again and at least had completed some runs outside before today in the humid weather.
I have eight weeks until Barb’s Race. There are a few events between now and then and a lot of training. I am committed to follow my training plan and get the work done so I can have a great day in Sonoma. Today showed me where the work needs to be done and I can do it.