Monday, April 23, 2012

Race Report: TRY Charleston Half

1.2 mile lake swim - 56 mile bike - 13.1 mile run

Results (based on chip time):

Swim 36m 36s (1:44 min/ 100 yards) GR 21/83 AG 3/13
T1 1m 44s
Bike 2h 53m 11s (speed  19.4 mph) GR 40/83 AG 9/13
T2 2m 28s
Run 2h 11m 05s (pace 10:00 min/mile) GR 41/83 AG 9/13

TOTAL 5h 45m 03s GR 34/83 AG 7/13
GR= gender rank AG= age group


We both had Friday off, so after (sort of) sleeping in, we packed up the car, had a last minute chiropractor appointment, had breakfast and then hit the road.

We got to Charleston an hour before packet pickup opened, so by the time we had lunch, it was time to hit up packet pickup. From there, we went straight to the KOA Campgrounds where T1 was going to be. The race organizers strongly recommended checking in the bike on Friday and that's what we did.

Getting the bike ready for check in.

After taking the bikes out for a quick spin, to test the gearing one more time, we dropped them off and then headed to the hotel.

Since I was sitting on my butt most of the day so far, I headed out for a quick run to shake out the legs. The rest of the night was spend with elevated legs in compression socks, watching TV. Lights were out by 9pm.

After a fairly good night of rest, the alarm went off at 4.30am. We brought banana walnut muffins, bananas and almond butter along for the trip and just had breakfast in the hotel room. We also took care of the body markings before we headed out... One thing less to do at the race site.

We then drove to T2 to set up transition there, then shuttled to T1 to finish setting up transition there. Picking a point to point course for our first half was completely unintentional and a lot more logistics then I thought it would be... But hey, we like a challenge around here. ;-)

Round about one hour before race start, my transition was set and all that was left to do was stand around and wait, hit the porta potties (again) and pass the time talking to my team mates. Since the Malone Coaching girls won first place female team at the SC series last year, we are all at the same rack in a prime location for this season. SWEET.

Finally, it was time to wiggle myself into the wetsuit and head down to the swim start.


The swim was a double loop around the lake at the KOA Campgrounds in Mt Pleasant and I was not a fan. The complete swim just felt crowded from start to finish. It didn't feel like a washing machine, but I hardly ever had longer stretches was good rhythm. I also got one good kick into my side, that's always fun. With the double loop format, things just never stretched out properly and when the participants from the sprint distance also got into the lake... As I said... Crowded, crowded and more crowded.

Other than that, I felt like I had a good swim. Not an all out, air sucking type, but more the "I can keep doing this for a while" sort of swim.

The swim exit was also a bottle neck and a little backed up, but eventually, I had solid ground under my feet again and started running. Next stop were the wetsuit strippers and thank goodness for these guys. The suit was off in no time and I picked up my stuff and ran into transition.


I am fairly pleased with my T1 time. It felt like I was in there forever, but it really wasn't all that bad. The biggest task in transition was not leaving anything behind and pack everything up in a plastic bag due to it being a point to point course. Fortunately, right before the swim start, Melinda told us to just roll up the wetsuit instead of trying to stuff it in and with that advice, I was able to pack up pretty fast.


The bike is one open loop and it's super flat. I heard that the winds can get really nasty on this course, but we lucked out on race day!

First order of business on the bike was getting something in my stomach, so I had my one and only gel for this race. Even though I had several gels stored on the bike and stuffed into my race vest for the run. But for whatever reason, I felt more comfortable eating my Fig Newtons and Sunrise bars.

I also started drinking water like crazy even though it was pretty foggy still at that point and not very warm. I really think I over hydrated the first half of the bike, because I had to take a potty break at the second aid station right around mile 30.

To be honest, I was a little worried, about the bike and how long it's going to feel, but once again a lot of worries for nothing. The bike really flew by and I was happy with my five mile splits popping up on the Garmion. I never felt like I was working super hard, just kept a really steady pace.

The biggest problem on the bike was super tight hip flexors on both sides. I tried to stand up every once in a while and also sat upright every now and then. So I used the potty break to also to stretch out those hip flexors for a couple of seconds and felt a little better after that. The other problem was my stomach... I was just a little crampy off and on, but fortunately, I had some TUMS on board to help with that.

Back in March, when we rode the course one weekend, we were whining about this one stretch of really rough road... Well, they cut that piece of the course out... I was one happy camper! This way, the bike course was on smooth road 95% of the time.

I am very very happy with my bike split, but at the same time, I am a little surprised that I didn't have a better split compared to the rest of the field. I guess there were some strong chicks on bike on the course on Saturday.

By the time we approached transition, I was ready to get off the bike and stretch out my legs a little.


It took me a second to locate my rack in T2 and I really didn't rush all that much. I even sat down for a second to wipe of my feet and put on socks and shoes. I still had the grass and sand on my feet from T1 and while that doesn't bother me on the bike, I sure won't be running a half marathon like that.


The run is a double out and back and is also super flat. There is not a ton of tree coverage on the course, so I guess this run can get really miserable on a hot and sunny day. Fortunately, we got so lucky with the weather yesterday and the sun only made an appearance every now and then. It even started drizzling for a minute once. While I put on sun screen in the morning, I still have a couple of burned spots and I don't even want to imagine, how I would look if the race was on a sunny day.

Getting off the bike, my stomach felt a little funky, but not all bad. I didn't feel tired yet and just started plucking along. First I put the Garmin on, but then decided to stuff it in one of the pockets on the race vest and just run by feel and don't worry about my time, just find a sustainable pace and keep it up.

Terry passed me at around mile 3 on the run and just flew by, looking so strong. While I didn't care too much for the double out and back, I did enjoy seeing my team mates all over the course and being able to cheer for each other. What I absolutely hated about the out and back was passing the finish and having to head out again.

Starting at the first turn around, I picked up a cold towel at each aid station and there was one about every mile. Cold towels are awesome and really helped to keep the core temp down.

My stomach never settled down completely, but never got really bad either. I am glad that I carried my own water, because I was told that the water tasted like chlorine and I know that stuff like that screws me up.

While I was never super speedy, I was very steady during this run and that makes me very happy. I felt mostly good (besides the stomach stuff) and only walk once at mile 11. For whatever reason, I thought mile 12 was coming up and seeing the mile 11 mile marker just deflated me for a second, so I took a short walking break through the aid station. I also started to feel hungry, so I had a pack of SportBeans at mile 11 as well and I should have probably had something to eat much sooner, but I was just to afraid to put anything in my stomach.

Eventually, I figure out, that I will be doing this thing in under six hours and that gave me a second wind to just bring it home.

All that was left to do was smile big and cross that finish line!!

Thanks to Nicole for capturing my approach to the finish line.
Post Race:

Terry waited for me at the finish line. Turns out, he beat me with five minutes!

After walking around a little bit, we headed back to transition and then to the car to take a baby wipe shower and change into dry clothes. Then we hit up the post race buffet and talked with our team mates.

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at an ice cream shop.

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and with eating! ;-)

1 comment:

  1. congrats! other than the crowded swim it doesn't sound too bad. well and the slight stomach troubles but at least it stayed under control.