MMMmmmm… That’s always a fun thing. That first race, especially when you’ve had countless changes including moving, a brand new coach, and approach, along with having very lofty goals. It’s always a good benchmark too, because that first race is never, at least for me, an A race. Here’s how shiz-nit went down:
So race season officially started last weekend! I’m racing all(but one) of the Tri The Parks series; all sprints with one oly thrown in for fun. They let you rank in the series if you race 4 of the 7 events, and you get prizes or money; idk. I wasn’t really paying attention. They also race the course I competed in this past weekend, John Tanner, twice. And that 2nd time is the regional sprint qualifier race… 😀 Yeah; didn’t know that until a few days ago. That should be fun considering how this race went… building anticipation… building…. build…ing….. OK! So This was the first race of the season; 6 weeks out from my first of 2 A races(Rev3 Quassy is number 1), so it was a C race. I wasn’t nervous, because training has been going really really well, but I was anxious to start the race. So; the night before I put on my new SHEEX ‘recovery’ sheets. Sounds like BS, I know; but my sleep is hit or (more of) miss since my wreck, so I’ve tried about everything. I’ve only slept before a few of my races, a common thing for us, but it was never good quality sleep. I slept like I was freakin’ dead that night. They’re awesome. That morning, 4am, coffee, pack, shave, lube the chain, check your gear again(you’ll still forget something), and my mom and I were off. It’s a 90 minute trip, so we got there around 645am. Here’s my race report to my coach, copy and pasted from TP, and written really soon after the race so it was fresh; ignore the grammar. “on race site, earphones in to tune out everyone, bathroom at least 3x because I made sure I was hydrated, and then a quick 2ish miles on the bike through all the gears, then after seting up for the bike and flyoing mount(sorta failed because I left it in the big ring), off for a 5-6 min run focused on turnover and smoothness. don the wetsuit, in the water for a quick ~150 before the start. started on back left, because I thought we were doing the swim cours clockwise, stayed on feet, sited decently w/ the alligator eyes trick, but dropped my hips some because i couldnt get any glimpse of the buoys from the fog. easy to the first bouy, gaining speed after. I actually swam into 2 of them, so at least i swam straight, and thats a huge improvement. like i said before, i didnt really kick until a bit before the last turn when i realized i wasnt. stayed pretty calm during the swim, sprinted after the last bouy, 2handfulls of sand, up and running. wetsuit came off easily thanks to trislide, and got caught for a sec on my watch but i pretty much just stepped out of it in t1. quick t1, ran out, tried for the flying mount, but the big ring screwed that up, so…after riding through the pine island and snapping to the little ring while pedaling on top of my shoes, i was off, and all had my shoes velcroed in. kept the cadnece up, had my mantra of verses i recite while i race, and the words ‘leave it all’, “focus” and “quick” in my head, as well as keeping just a very slight burn in my legs on the bike, but holding steady thinking ‘id rather blow up 1000x than miss that one time I didnt’, and I didnt. i kept it constant. cornered well, flew downhills, shifted very liberally to keep the cadence up, and kept it strong on the climbs. totoally focused on the bike. flying dismount PERFECT, run to rerack my bike, and quickly off to the run. couldnt feel my feet for the first part, then it was kinda uncomfortable, but i saw just a few people, and ecided to pick them off. focused until a friend for the atl tri club said hey right after the parking lot, asked if i was still in the club, i said no, asked if he was racing knoxville, then he answered and slowly pulled away as we both decided to pass another atc member ahead of us. thats when my focus wained a bit, but my head was still in the race because i was still focused on passing the next guy, and the next..ect… then I got passed by a couple guys(who placed oa masters), and i lost focus, and just started going through the motions because i was counting how many people were ahead of me. after getting passed the 14 yr old on team USA(who pretty much saved my race because I passed him on the bike…and hes 14…), i refocused, and kept him behind me after a quick surge. mouthful of h2o at every station, and the rest of the cup on my head(still running). found the climbs on the run slowed me down a lot, and that my downhill form was off a bit. saw the 1mile sign, pushed as hard as I could, saw katie…lost concentration…and at the bridge the 14yr old passed me. full sprint to the end, stride for stride with him, and the fact that his legs start where my ribs start, he beat me by like 1/3 of a stride. (no; I’m not at race weight. Shut it) that last ~75m sprint is what made me think that maybe i didnt leave it all out there, and that I didnt push hrd enough on the run…the only issue on the run was i felyt like i couldnt catch my breath, like i couldnt get or keep a deep breath, and the climbs. finished, layed down, you found me, and i drank an ultraget shake, bathroom, changed, sat and walked around until awards.” See how much of a concentration issue I have? I never came close to z4 for the run; maybe during the sprint(look at the pics). I lost focus when Todd said hey, and I never completely recovered. The 14 year old is on team USA, in my defense it still hasn’t been 2 years I’ve been racing. I have to remind myself that this is a building game, and that the magic pill is consistency. And Katie…Katie is this 18 year old local to Roswell who’s the two time nat du champ in her division… and that’s what my coach reminds my of every time I complain that she’s faster than me. She’s my rabbit; has been since I started racing. It’s a long story on how it all came to be. But I’m going to beat her this year. i don’t care how many titles she has. It’s happening… See how riled up I get about her? But back to the awards… So they gave them out in a really weird way, but after they FINALLY got to my AG in the tri (there was also an aquathon and du), I took 2nd AG! HARDWARE BABY!! That’s how I like to start my season. The kid who took first was on the U23 Team USA team. There were a lot of them there; I missed that boat(but I have a secret). Good race besides the concentration, and Katie beating me by 2:29(she won OA womens BTW; she’s kinda good). But I did use ALL of our awesome sponsors. FE PRERACE before and Ultragen left me with no soreness after after, TYR Huricane Cat5 ‘life jacket'(Sorry coach; stealing that one) that made the swim effortless(yeah; that’s more my fault), Cassia (my Kestrel), AVIA(honestly couldn’t ever run in another shoe now), custom TRAKKER Canari kits designed by Betty Designs (THEY ARE SICK! and fit like a second skin), SBR’s TRIGLIDE (My wetsuit melted off), and All3 (where i picked up my SPEEDFILL system). I have to say thanks to my coach too at Endurance Concepts; AG podium on a C race? We’re doing something right. I told myself I’d keep this short didn’t I…Sorry.. I get excited about tri.
I’m in Orlando right now for my level 1 USAT coaching cert, and wow. I’ve learned so much, from a athlete and coaching standpoint. I HIGHLY recommend you attend a clinic, even if you don’t want to coach. Getting one-on-one lectures(well one-on-30) from the likes of Bob Seebohar, Bobby McGee, and Sara McLarty for a few is worth the time and money. I’m working on that post now. But next weekend it’s REV3 KNOXVILLE!!! Not an A race, but still going to be lots of fun. I tend to miss my time when I post them, so I’ll keep my mouth shut for this race(I said 2:23 on the Facebook YAKIMA page. ACCORDING TO LAST YEAR that would be 3rd AG), so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.