Event: Classic Rock Rotary Sprint
Location: Rockwall, TX
Class (yours): F 30-34
Results: 1st AG
Local Knowledge and Conditions: I had never raced this one before….that seems crazy since I live in Rockwall! :) The first year we lived here, I was just getting back into triathlons and raced one the weekend before, so I wasn’t sure I was ready to race two in a row, so I just went and watched Barry race. The next year I was pregnant (watched Barry race), the following year I was out there with a newborn (watched Barry race), and then last year I was racing the weekend before again and gearing back up (watched Barry race)…so this was the first year in quite awhile that I could actually race and feel good about it (no Barry watching this time!) :) Since I train in Rockwall, I knew the course would be hilly and was glad I was used to those conditions. I had seen Barry race this course several years in a row, so I knew the run would be a little tricky on the off road portions…so I geared up mentally for some cross country portions.
Pre-Race Strategy & Warm Up: I like to make sure I get a decent breakfast on race mornings since you typically wake up super early, arrive at transition early to get everything squared away, and then play the lovely waiting game until the start of the race. I typically eat a waffle with peanut butter and honey…this tends to stick longer than most other breakfast items and is quite tasty! I focused on getting my transition area set up in an efficient manner and made sure my bike was racked in a stable position with bike shoes clipped in for the infamous flying mount that was learned at our transition clinic…thanks Dawdy! Then I spent the rest of the pre-race time just enjoying the atmosphere and trying to keep myself calm and focused on the race ahead. I also had a great time talking to other team members and cheering them on when they started sooner than me.
Psychology: I am usually feeling pretty nervous before a race…since the swimming portion is the most difficult part for me, I spend the time before the race thinking about the swim and how I can just take nice and easy strokes and long deep breaths to stay calm and not too anxious.
Lessons Learned (Or Re-Learned): I learned that the flying mount and dismount takes a TON of time off my race total…I saved at least a minute and a half just by doing both of those mounts during the race. I used to fiddle with my bike shoes forever in T1 and then I would run really slow with my bike because it was so difficult with shoes on….also, I would spend a lot of time in T2 trying to get my bike shoes off and I was always frustrated with my slow transitions. This time, I had the fastest transition times for T1 AND T2 in my age group…woo hoo!
Future Goals (include skills executed well and skills needing improvement): I plan to continue the flying mount and dismount….how awesome to be immediately faster without having to swim, bike, or run any harder. One thing I need to work on is pushing harder on the uphills in a race…anyone can fly on the downhills, but it’s the uphills where I can push and really gain time. I also need to push a little harder on the first half mile of the run…I tend to feel overly tired and slow down my pace until I finally hit my “groove” a half mile in and can pick it back up…time to run hard off the bike!
Fitness (endurance, nutrition, hydration): I tend to take a gel 15 minutes before race start and then one on the bike to help with the run….I’m so glad our new jerseys have a pocket in the back…I used to stuff the gel in the back of my shorts only to feel a scratchy gel pack and sticky gu on my backside during the run…NO FUN! :)
Something funny that happened: The only semi-funny part was when I dismounted off the bike…I got so excited at how well it had worked and starting running so fast toward my transition area that I caught myself in full sprint running right by my rack and had to quickly swing myself and the bike around to rack it and get out on the run. Note to self….don’t celebrate so much on the dismount next time! :)