Last weekend we (Colin, myself and several friends) participated in the Jax Tri Series #3 triathlon. Three weeks before that, we raced in the second race of the series and you can read my
ridiculously long awesome recap here! I’ve had a hard time making myself sit down to write this recap because I’m just not thrilled about how the race went. My overall time was good (for me) but something just felt… off.
The alarms went off super early again, and up I got to take my bike down to transition. This time I waited to eat and drink my coffee when we got back up to the condo. I didn’t wake up with those typical pre-race nerves. No matter the distance I tend to wake up and feel nervous/excited for every race, but not this morning. This probably should have been my first sign as to how the day would go. After quickly racking my bike and claiming my transition territory, we headed back up to the condo to eat, get dressed, and everything else we needed to do! Transition closed at 7:15 so at about 6:40 we headed back down to finish laying out all of our gear. I was trying something new this time by wearing a Timex non GPS watch during the entire race. As my luck would have it, my watch broke and I was scared the face of the watch would fall out but my awesome friend Chris who represents Zoot, Timex and Fuel Belt helped me out by letting me borrow a watch for the day.
This is where Colin and I parted ways because he had a much longer walk down the beach to get to the start of his race, and he was scheduled to start 18 minutes before me. I waited on the beach for Matt and Kat and had a very awkward encounter. I must have been off in la la land because this guy walked up to me, said something, and then stuck his fist out for me to bump it. Once I finally realized he was talking to me I got out a mumbled ‘yeah you too’ (assuming he said something along the lines of have a good race… now that I think about it I really hope that is what he said!) and gave him a little bump. This time around I didn’t get in the water to do a warm up swim. I got in up to my knees, felt that water, then got back out. I did some dynamic stretches on the beach and tried to mentally get ready. My tactic for this time was to stay closer to the buoys and more in the middle of the pack. I felt like I swam too far last time trying to stay on the outside. This may have backfired because within the first 25 yards I got a swift kick to the nose and couldn’t find my rhythm. I felt like I pushed harder on the swim this time around but my overall time was still 5 seconds slower. It is an ocean swim so you are at the mercy of the current and this time I felt like there was no current to give you that extra boost. Going into the race I had said my goal was to just do as well as I did the last time. Yes, I wanted to beat my previous time but I would have been fine with being within in a few seconds, so 5 seconds off on the swim was no big deal. Up the beach and off to transition I went.
As soon as I got on my bike I knew this was not going to be a PR day for me. I just couldn’t get into it. I felt like I was putting out too much energy for the results I was getting. My nose was also throbbing at this point so I took on the, just get through this attitude. Not long after I decided I was okay with just finishing the race Colin came zooming up to me. The fact that I saw him worried me a bit because in the previous race the only time I saw him was when he got out of the water ahead of me and later in the day on the run, so the fact that he was behind me getting out of the swim was my first sign something was off. Granted, he did swim more than double the distance I did, but with the delayed start for me it puts us close together. Anyway, I told him about my whole just get through it mentality and he pretty much felt the same way. His stomach was cramping and he was having some hip pain. (The hip pain is something that has recently developed on the bike and we think he needs to have his fit adjusted. He can run pain free so more on that to come!) I tried to stay strong on the bike but when your legs aren’t responding the way your head wants them to, it can be tough. There were no super great moments on the bike, but I did almost run into a car when the traffic control told them to go when I was all of 5 feet away! I didn’t lose anything this time around so at least something went better. 🙂
Side story about these balloons. There was a couple getting married later that day!! They had signed up for the race before the even got engaged and then booked their venue without realizing it was the same day. They figured what the heck and still raced! She wore a white top and he had a tux trip top on and it was so cute. Plus she had a little veil for the run and he met her before the finish with a bouquet of red roses and the race even gave them a bottle of champagne at the finish! It was so cute and I love that they race on their wedding day! Anyway back to my run. So I got off the bike and my legs felt fine but by this point it was SOOO darn hot. I quickly (as quick as I could- my transitions need some work) slipped on my running shoes and took off. I had attached my Garmin to my race belt and decided not to even look at it, just run off of feel. I did still have on the Timex so I had a rough estimate of what my pace was when I hit the mile markers. I felt good but new I was running slower than the last race. The skys were perfectly clear this time so that meant no relief from the heat. I just kept pushing on and passed several people along the way, but did not see a single person in my age group which made me nervous. At the first mile marker I estimated the I was running around an 8:20 pace which I was okay with. I just kept pushing on and saw Colin when I had about a mile to go. I could tell he was not having his best race but he was going to push through until the end. I kept on pushing and told myself there was cold water and Gatorade waiting for me at the finish! I got water both times I passed the water station this race and the majority of it was dumped over my head. I think I picked the pace up for the second half of the run, but I really have no idea since I didn’t look at my Garmin. Looking at my overall time I knew I wasn’t going to match my first race, but that gave me a little extra push to try and come as close to my time as I could. When I saw that we were coming out of the park I was so relieved to be close to the finish. I crossed the finish line in 1:27:29 which is EXACTLY 2.5 minutes slower than my first race.
I’m okay with that. My run was about a minute and some change slower than the previous race and my bike made up the rest of the difference. For being mentally not all in I was happy with what I was able to accomplish. This pushed me a few spots back in my age group, but it just wasn’t my day. I still love this race and hope to be back next year! I don’t really have any profound thoughts about this race. Somedays you wake up and you’re just not all there and ready to race. The weather played a huge role in my race day, as it does for any race. Plus, I had such a great day in my previous race, it would have been hard to match that day. There is only one way to go from here!
What did you do the morning of your wedding?
Any race day injuries?