Results (based on chip time):
Swim 29m 08s (pace 1:46m/100y) GR 45/143
T1 1m 54s
Bike 1h 14m 51s (speed 19.9 mph) GR 54/143
T2 1m 52s
Run 59m 52s (pace 9:38 min/mile) GR 103/143
TOTAL 2h 47m 35s GR 68/143
GR= gender rank
The race location is around a 2 hour drive from our house, so we decided to stay in a hotel the night before the race. I lucked out and was able to get out of work early, so we avoided most of the traffic and were able to hit the package pickup in Clyde NC before checking in at the hotel in Waynesville. We got some dinner at the local Italian place and then took it easy for the rest of the night.
A ton of race participants stayed at the same place, so made breakfast available at 5am. We got the car packed up, had some breakfast and then hit the road for the 25 minute drive to Lake Logan. There are not a ton of hotels in the area.
We got to the race site at around 6am and got busy with the usual pre race rituals. By the time my transition was set up, I was body marked and had my timing chip it was probably 6.20am before I hit the porta potty line. And there I was for the next half hour. It was really quite frustrating.
After taking care of business, I then had only the business left of squeezing myself in my wetsuit. Oh boy, that wasn't pretty. I had it on up to my hips and then started to walk over to the swim start. One of my race team members zipped me up (Thanks, Heather... for zipping me up and also for the pics!) and all was left to do was waiting for the start.... And find Terry, which I lost an hour earlier. I finally found him minutes before his wave started.
Despite the gnarly weather forecast, we had perfect conditions for this race. It was in the 80s and overcast! After the sweatfest in the Upstate over the last couple of weeks, this really felt glorious.
|I am the one in the center, clutching my hands.|
Usually, I am fairly calm before a swim start... You know, swimming is kind of my thing. But I was nervous this time. My stomach has been all over the place again last week and having the wetsuit on that was pushing down on the heart rate monitor that was pushing down on my sternum and that made me queasy... And then I got all paranoid about my stomach acting up again. Anyways, eventually it was time for the neon green caps to take off.
I felt very uncomfortable until I hit the first turn buoy at probably 700 meters. I was warm in my wetsuit and I wasn't warmed up, so my arms felt like crap. Around the first buoy I finally warmed up and by the time I hit the second buoy to head back, we got into cooler water which felt better and I felt much stronger on the second half. Sighting was getting better as well.
I didn't use my Garmin for the swim, because this was my first race with a wetsuit and I didn't want to fiddle around with a wetsuit AND a Garmin.... The downside was, I had no clue what my time was for the swim.
After seeing the result, I am really really happy with the swim time. Especially, because the swim also included a good hike from the dock to the entrance of transition where the timing mat was.
Transition was pretty uneventful.... The only thing that sticks out in my mind were endless tries to get the tons of grass off my feet, before I stick my feet into my shoes.
The bike started just like the swim ended... with a hike. This time over a little bit of gravel and then grass again, before I was allowed to mount my bike and ride like the wind! ;-)
Once again, very happy with the bike. I think I pushed the whole time and only took it easy every now and then when I was stuck behind somebody in traffic. With an average hr of 160 bpm and a 80 cadence... Really happy with that effort and it showed in the speed. I got passed a ton, but I passed a ton myself.
The course was very pretty and mostly good surface. There are some good climbs in the beginning and at the end and otherwise it's a flat to rolling course. A lot of chances to be in aero. Sweet.
It's amazing, how fast 40k pass (btw, according to Mr. Garmin, the course was a little short) when you put your head down and stay focused.
On the last climb before dismount, I pushed it hard one more time and passed probably 3 or 4 people in a really short stretch and then just coasted to the dismount line.... And then hiked back to transition! ;-)
Second transition was also decent. Just got a little annoyed, that somebody parked their bike right over my running shoes, even though the whole rack section was empty. That threw me for a loop a little and took some time. Oh well, nothing to be done about it.
While on the bike, I thought about my current running slump and made a deal with myself: I will walk through the aid stations, but not otherwise. I am allowed to slow down, but no walking... Goal time under 1 hour.
With that in mind, I set out for the run. It was an out and back with a slight uphill on the way out and a slight down hill back in. I settled in a good rhythm right away and just followed my plan. Every now and then, I had a chance to cheer for my team mates, that were already on the way back and sometimes, I got also passed by some my team mates.
Hitting the turnaround felt great, because now we were at a gradual downhill and I tried to pick up some speed, or at least whatever was left in my legs.
The last couple of aid station didn't have water anymore and eventually they also ran out of Heed. Thank goodness it wasn't that hot yesterday, otherwise the run would have been really bad. I didn't take any water with me, because I saw on the website, that there would be aid stations every mile. The good thing about no more water at the aid stations? No more reason to walk and with that, I was actually able to stay under an hour for the 10k.
I grabbed a water and downed it in around 5 minutes and then waited for the hubs to come in. Then we got our things out of transition, chatted with friends and hit the road pretty fast. I didn't even take anything from the race food, because my stomach was not feeling it. I am glad I didn't eat, because I got motion sick in the car from all the switchbacks, even though I was the one driving.
10 minutes from home, we placed an order at Five Guys and I hobbled into the store to pick it up*. Racing for almost 3 hours and then sit in the car for 2 hours with almost no stretching is a really really bad idea.
*The reason, why I was driving and having to pick up the order: The hubs forgot his wallet and didn't have a driver's license or a credit card on him.... How convenient! Fortunately, they accepted his YMCA card as ID to pick up the race package.
This is a really nice race, with a good field size and crowd support. The bike course is challenging, but not too bad and the intersections were secured well.
Bad points: The porta potty lines were ridiculous and running out of water and Heed on an overcast day would have been miserable on a hot day.