I signed up for this race as it started to fill up in preparation for Columbia. I was hoping this race would help pinpoint specifics areas to focus on over the next month. I also wanted to make sure anything I forgot in the off-season impacted this race and not my early-season “A” race!!
The race was an adventure to say the least! I always have several layers of goals for each race. With the cold water reports throughout the week, an unexpected goal of this race became to simply finish the swim. Lisa, Jen and I drove down to Lake Anna Sunday morning. Without traffic we were able to get there nice and early - it was beautiful and sooo peaceful and calming. A great start to the day! Then came the race...
Just before the start of the race, I got in the water to see just how bad it was and just how long I was going to be hyperventilating. The water was freezing, but to my surprise, no hyperventilating. As long as I kept it very slow and steady, I seemed to be ok. A little confidence boost before the race is always a good thing! As my wave went off, I stuck with my plan and kept my stroke and breathing slow and steady. Staying on course seemed more difficult than usual – no explanation for that one. About the halfway point is where things started to get ugly! I became extremely dizzy and disoriented to the point that I had to keep my head up and tread water for a while to make things stop spinning. I assumed it was the cold water since my face never warmed up, but Monday morning it dawned on me that the allergies and sinus infection I am fighting were probably messing with my equilibrium as well. Treading seemed to slow the spinning, but I had to seriously consider whether or not I could continue. For some reason, I decided to make one last ditch attempt and try swimming with my eyes closed. That was actually a little better, but imagine what that does for sighting!! With my eyes closed, I was able to finish the second half of the swim - absolutely exhausted, but finished!
(Swim 14:45 101/166)
Transitions were ridiculously slow - T1, everything was still moving on me; T2, I couldn't get my shoes on with the dumb lace locks that I have been fighting with!!
(T1 2:44 61/166)
(T2 1:49 110/166)
The balance was still off as I got on the bike and I already felt exhausted. I wanted to do nothing more than collapse on the beach! Instead, I gave myself a swift kick in the butt, and tried to be very aggressive on the bike. It is definitely harder to race a course that you are unfamiliar with, but I feel that I gave it everything I had. I messed up my nutrition plan, but thankfully a sprint is fairly forgiving with that. I ended up averaging over 19mph for the bike, so I was pleasantly surprised with my performance.
(Bike 54:05 31/166)
The run started out pretty ugly as well. There was immediately a water stop where I decided to get some water, walk a minute and settle myself down. After that I kept a slow, steady pace. I had absolutely no idea what my run time or pace was - didn't really care either! It was a downhill finish, so I was able to kick it in at the end and finally, with much relief, crossed the finish line. The bike must have been fantastic because, despite the swim and painfully slow transition times, I came in first in my division (Athena).
(Run 28:01 63/166)
The Kinetic Sprint is a great race held at a beautiful venue. This race has given me plenty to work on for Columbia, but I am pleased with my performance overall. I did a ton of mental training on this one - determining whether or not I could honestly finish the swim was the hardest! I gave this race everything I had and that is always my goal, first and foremost!!