|Pre-race Selfie. That is all.|
Last year I was able to do Colonial Beach and enjoyed the area. It is a pretty cool little town where the main mode of transportation is golf carts. The town is apparently a golf cart community where they have a golf cart rental store as well as another store that sells customized golf carts. This year, Jessie and I both signed up for races and headed down for an extra day to enjoy the area.
My mindset was to use this race as a test of how my later races will go when I do two races back to back. I went and did a speed workout on the bike the day before followed by a run. My new watch told me after my run that I should allow 36 hours before I workout that hard again......I was racing in less than 24.
|If you look right behind my bike you can see the hotel we stayed at. It was extremely close and easy.|
Luckily, we got a hotel literally right next to transition. I got to wake up at 5am and head to transition after 5:30. My spot was set up before 6:00 and I did a few warm-ups to get myself ready for a 6:50am start. As I was waiting in the water the race director mentioned the bike was a two lap course which meant I did not know the course as I was assuming it was the same as last year. I did take a look at the sprint course from the day before and also heard some racers discussing it so that helped me out later.
At this point I want to point out the situation I had heading into the swim. Currently, the East coast has been having a large amount of shark attacks relative to usual. I am not a fan of the idea of swimming with sharks. The year before, they caught a bull shark in the same area that I am swimming at as well. To make things better, one of my teammates from the day before said she definitely saw something in the water during her race. I was SO excited to be swimming in the morning!
When the gun went off I got pretty easily settled in the group. There wasn't too much contact as we made our way out to the first buoy and turned for the nice long swim out with the current. The water was smooth and I could see very easily. Suddenly, after about 300 meters, I looked up and it seemed as though everybody had distanced themselves by at least 25 meters. I had no idea how this happened but kept up my pace and stayed calm. When we made the turn to head back in I started to get bored of swimming and wishing the finish would be coming up. The way back lacked the current so it seemed as though I was going no where. I made my way out of the water with a higher swim time than expected but it seems as though most swim times were a little slower than the average.
|Pretty sure I was 'wooing' at this point and having a great time.|
I got up on my feet and headed to transition and blasted through that pretty quick. While I was swapping stuff I thought to myself, "You are going pretty smooth, maybe you can get the fastest T1 time of the day?" I was able to pull that off since I usually get slowed down by taking off a wetsuit that didn't happen. I quickly got out on the road for a smooth bike mount and out onto the long bike.
The bike was a two loop bike which added up to 27 miles. There wasn't any hills so it should be pretty smooth riding. I got into a pretty smooth pace and figured I should not try to push the first lap and for once keep myself contained. I got settled into a small group on lap one which slowly broke down to myself and another rider in my age group. He seemed determined to not let me have the lead so I let him do all the pace work and happily sat behind him and kept a simple pace. Lap one went by easy and I noticed how good I was feeling as I saw the other rider start slapping his hamstrings due to them cramping as well as grabbing his side due to aches. I was having a great old time and felt no need to really do too much. We added another rider for about the last seven miles and the two of them had an ego fest as they didn't want the other to lead. As we made the final few miles I actually let them push ahead knowing that I could run them down.
Making my way into transition I was feeling pretty good. My heart rate was still calm and I didn't expend too much energy on the bike. Jessie told me I was 13th off the bike (which later turned out to not be true) so I was really excited for the run. I exited transition and saw about six or seven guys all within about a quarter mile.
The run course is flat but it can wear you down as there isn't much shade and the sun beats down on you in the last few miles. I held back my adrenaline that wanted to push sub 6:00 on the first mile. I slowly started picking off the pack and within a mile I was assuming I was in the top 10. I continued to work up the group until the turn around where I figured I was at this point in sixth. When I saw the runners coming back the other way I was actually in 13th place at this point. I got going the other way and worked my way past a few more guys. The wear of the day before started to settle in as my mind wanted to go but my legs just didn't have another gear anymore. The final few miles were more sluggish than the first as I feared I may get caught but turning back I saw there was nobody behind me. I came across the line feeling pretty happy with my day.
|Finishing up the run and looking a little wet.|
I finished the day in 13th place due to the wave behind me and 3rd in my age group. My swim was a little slow but both the run and bike were solid especially after the day before. It was nice to be able to have a clean race after the aftermath of my previous race. For now, I am on my way back to Iowa for the wonderful week of RAGBRAI with Team Shark Week!
|The sign says, "Run faster or I'll hug you" which he is lucky I didn't see him because I would have been that guy to hug him.|
|I won a bag this time!|