A few weeks before this race, Keith & I thought we should probably do an ocean swim to prepare us for Lobsterman and this sprint. We wanted to make it a brick workout so I suggested we come down to this course, do our ocean swim and then bike the course. I figured we'd get our workout in and see the course. This excursion definitely did not go as planned and ended up being pretty comical. First, we got slightly lost while trying to find the park. Note to anyone who writes directions: use directions like left and right not north and south especially if the street just has a name and no route number. Wouldn't it just be easier to say take a left at blank road instead of head north on blank road?
We finally found the park and soon realized why the Max website tells you to swim during high tide. The water was so shallow (knee deep) and the beach was incredibly rocky. I thought there was no way we'd be able to swim in this and I didn't want stepping on the rocks to add to the pain / numbness I usually get in my foot. Keith decided to give it a try. First he tried to swim in the knee deep water...he soon realized this doesn't work when you're 6'2”. Further out, there was a sandbar and then there was more water so he decided to try out there. With Keith walking out so far he looked like a little spec, he finally dove in and started swimming. It was doable but not ideal and he didn't last very long. I was happy he cut it short since the guy hanging out further down the shore from me was creeping me out a bit and I kept looking for ways I could escape the beach area if needed.
Our bike ride didn't go much better. We got lost due to the fact that 5 different streets will have 1 name or 1 street will have 5 names down there. This was honestly a mess of a trip but we were able to see that the bike ride was extremely flat and windy.
Come race day, we picked Carrie up and headed down to the race. After getting our stuff set up, we did our warm up run & stretching. One of the great things about this race was that we knew a bunch of people doing it or coming to watch us. Keith, Carrie and I decided to do a warm up swim right before the race. The swim was a point to point swim so we headed to the swim start for our warm up. We should have known something was up when no racers were down there and they were all at the finish area of the beach warming up. After way too long of trying to navigate through the rocks, we finally reach water that is deep enough to actually swim in (although this was still probably less than 5 feet deep). Coming out of the water on the rocks was definitely a challenge that garnered some laughs from other racers standing on the shores.
Once it was my swim wave's turn to start, I made the horrible trek across the rocks again. To my (and Carrie's) surprise, the other girls walked across the rocks like it was nothing...impressive. The swim was really weird with a buoy to turn at probably 100 yards into the swim. I tried to seat myself towards the front of the swim pack to try to get myself to go a bit faster (using my dislike of being swam over in an effort to push me harder). I never really got in a good rhythm and it definitely felt choppy the whole way. Luckily it was only a 1/3 mile swim.
T1 went well and I was off on my bike. My game plan for the bike was simple – hammer the whole way and try to beat my other paces. I figured since this race was only a 14.7 mile flat ride vs. a 56 mile (Timberman) or 24.7 mile (Lobsterman) hilly ride I should be able to do that. Again it seemed some people like to hog the road but most of them had mountain bikes and were probably new so I won't harp on them. One guy annoyed me pretty bad with this though as he was actually just cruising along right next to the yellow line for a while and there wasn't even anyone to pass (and he had a tri bike so I'm guessing he knew what he was doing)! He probably just didn't want to get passed by a girl. I realized about 2 miles into the bike ride that the route did not look familiar and I came to the conclusion Keith and I did not ride any of the course when we attempted to ride the course a few weeks prior to the race. We laughed about this after the race and how we were way off. My final bike pace according to my computer said I averaged 20.9 mph although my final results have it at 20.5 mph. Keith had the same issue and we're pretty sure the distance was a little off (more like 15 miles) at least according to our computers.
T2 did not go as planned and I lost some time because I couldn't get my bike on the rack. I know Max promotes their racks as being better than other races but I'm really not a fan as it seems my smaller than normal wheels don't fit in the grooves. Finally a race volunteer took pity on me and said to leave it and she'd rack it. A girl had come into the row on the other side right after me and sprinted out of transition before me due to this racking issue and to make matters worse, she was in my age group. The run course was along the bike course and coming into transition, I didn't see any girls ahead of me so I figured I might be able to come in 1st in my AG if I could pass this one girl who beat me out of transition.
Onto the run, I was making sure to keep this girl in my age group within passing distance. The run was an out and back with a pretty good hill out of the park. About a mile into the run, I passed Keith as he was heading in for his last mile. He yelled, “The 1st place girl is right there” and pointed to the girl in my AG that was slightly in front of me. This was when I thought I could maybe actually place in the overall female category and I decided it was time for me to get a move on. I debated waiting another mile or so to pass the girl in 1st. I didn't want to run out of steam at the end and have the girl pass me back. She was going a pace I could definitely keep up with and still have something left in the tank to pass her at the end but I wanted to push my run pace to its limit instead. I made my move right after seeing Keith and hoped for the best. At the turn around, I was satisfied to see she hadn't picked up the pace to try to catch me and figured I just needed to hold this pace. Towards the finish, I started getting really excited that I was going to be the 1st female to cross the finish line and this might be the only time that happens.
I crossed the line shortly before the other girl en route to yet another PR this year! While I realized I might not have actually been 1st (the older female swim wave started after mine), I relished the fact that I had A. been the 1st female to finish the race and B. I came in at least 1st in my AG! After scanning the results, I realized that my suspicions were correct and I didn't come in 1st overall but I did come in 3rd overall which felt pretty rewarding! It seemed so weird competing in a race this short (after doing several Olympics and a ½ IM this year) and it felt like I should do a workout after the race.
It was a great day of racing all around as Keith came in 1st in his AG and set a PR and Carrie came in 3rd in her AG and also set a PR! We came home with a lot of glassware needless to say (Max gives out pint glasses as the award for placing) and only got slightly lost on the drive home!
|3rd Overall Female - 1st in AG|
|1st in AG|
|3rd in AG|
|Lots of glassware!|
Swim: 11:10 (my fastest swim pace of the season)
Bike: 42:53 (20.5 mph)
Run: 22:05 (7:06 min/mile)
Overall time: 1:18:24 (3rd overall female and 1st in AG)
"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." ~Seneca