No really—I wanted to swim! As shocking as that sounds coming from me, I was incredibly bummed when I found out the swim portion of the Nations Tri this past Sunday would be cancelled. Due to the hurricane, the second hurricane that kept the aforementioned hurricane stuck on land pounding DC, and the earthquake, the Potomac River was a mess of debris and runoff. I have been working weekly with my swim coach though, and wanted to see what kind of changes this may have on my stroke.
I was so bummed, I almost backed out of this race and thought about heading down to Williamsburg to race the Patriots Half Ironman. However, I would have had to figure out how to get my bike there, how to get it back, all the other travel arrangements, but the biggest reason I didn’t was that the Half Ironman was on Saturday not Sunday and I just didn’t have time to work everything out.
But I’m really glad I stuck with the Nations Tri, and Olympic distance race—it was a blast. Over 3,900 people were in the race and the entire event was huge. The format was done in the same way as the swim waves would start—every 15 seconds letting about 15 people run into transition based on your age group. It was a mess of corrals, but when my group went off, we sprinted into transition, grabbed our bikes and gear, and headed out. My new tri shoes and pedals from Exustar are awesome and made a huge difference in my transition time!
The bike was pretty fast with some rolling hills and was very crowded due to the starting format. It made the course much like an Ironman race where there are just so many people. I wouldn’t say that there was any drafting, but definitely a lot passing and riding near people. I felt like the entire “out” portion of the course was downhill and was nervous that the entire return would be uphill… but I guess I was mistaken since coming back was just as fast if not better! My overall bike split for the 40k was 1:06:17, which was over 22 mph. I was really pleased with this—love that Felt!
**Scary side note—proceed reading with discretion: On the way back on the bike, there was an ambulance on the side of the road. I look over and saw the EMTs performing CPR on a guy laying on the ground. I’ve never felt so sick as I did then and it was all I could think about for the rest of the bike. Most of the time spent riding after that was praying for this guy hoping he would be ok. Unfortunately, I found out the next day that man actually died. So please say a prayer for him.
I can’t tell you how motivating it was to see my mom and dad cheering for me as I left T2 and headed out on the run. They don’t get to make it to a lot of races, so to get up at 4:45 to drive me to the course means so much to me. Ha, apparently my dad wasn’t too pleased that I “couldn’t even smile at them” when I ran by, but sorry pops, I don’t smile at all on the course. It’s business. But my dad is such an awesome guy- He wanted "sun protection" and snagged this hat from another family. Yes... we recycled a hat from the Dollar Store...
The run was a fun one and was relatively flat except for a long hill at the beginning.. Or I think that was the only hill… I dunno, I just kind of get in my zone as run. I’m always cognizant of everything and am very focused on how hard I’m pushing and I always remember how much it hurt. However, if you asked me to recall the whole course, I wouldn’t be able to do it… although I could probably remember all the funny things I thought while running. I spent most of time passing people and had no real issues at all. I felt good and just get repeating my mantra to myself that I always using during races: “Speed, Strength, Fluidity”. This helps me keep focused on the most important aspects of the run. Coming down the home stretch, I saw my mom screaming and just turned on the afterburners and passed a few more people as I broke the finish line.
My run time was a 38:46, although I “think” the course may have been a bit short—however, as a sanctioned race, it should officially be the required 10k, so I’ll have to believe the Race Directors. This was a pace of 6:15 minutes/mile. But if it were a bit short, it may have been close to 6:20. I was happy with this regardless!!
Overall, I finished 34th of 362 in my age group (top 9.4%), and 265th of 3884 overall (top 6.8%) and my final time was 1:49:38, sans the swim. Overall this was a great race and could definitely see myself doing it again next year. It was so incredible.
Then I went home, ate, changed, and was back on a plane for Tampa by 5:00. Nothing like meetings at work to cut a trip short.
From here on out I’m basically racing every weekend: THIS WEEK!! 9/25 Ironman 70.3 Augusta (half Ironman), 10/1 Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon, 10/09 Rev3 South Carolina (Half Ironman), 10/15 Men’s Health Chicago Urbanathlon! It’s gonna be a blast!
Then ITU Worlds on 11/05 to end the triathlon year. However, I would like to do a marathon if there is a convenient one by the end of the year. I also want to do the Tough Mudder in Tampa! A hella-crazy 12-mile adventure race on 12/03.
If anyone is doing any of these races, let me know and lets meet up! Or if you live between Tampa and South Carolina/Georgia and can house me for a night, lol, let me know!
Yo check out my new kicks
And to do fuel this, I’ve tried out a few new spur of the moment recipes this past week! Also, I tried to focus my nutrition very well in the days leading up to this race: check out my pre-race day lunch:
Here is what I should have had for my pre-race breakfast...
Earlier his week I made Blackberry jam and goat cheese stuffed chicken breast. I coated a breast in some coconut flour, then filled it and just baked it. Very good! But don't overcook the chicken:
Later this week there are definitely a few topics I want to talk about mostly. Mostly about living what I say, "racing weight", and self-sabotage which I am becoming very guilty of. I think I could have even better results if I treated my body and mind better. Goals? I think so.
I know this comes over a week after it all happened and a lot has gone in between, but I figured I would pare it down and keep it basic so this doesn’t turn into a novel. More to come soon!
- What was the best part of your weekend?
- What do you have planned between now and the end of the year that you are excited about? (Anything!)