Pre Race: It seemed that I had very little stress leading up to the race as I was using the race as a training brick to a 70.3 later in the season; however, I still didn’t sleep much. Therefore, I got an early start and was there just past 0530. The time before the race was much different due to the rain, the pouring rain. I did not set up transition until the last minute hoping the rain would subside. I was a little disorganized and at the last minute found myself looking for a tire pump and someone to fix my helmet that broke as I was getting it out of the bag. I spent good portion of the pre-race time in the POP line (4 visits). I choose to do a short warm up. I was very nervous about biking in the rain and almost bagged the race. The rain let up a little and the radar showed a break between rain bands, so I decided to race but do so very cautiously and very slowly. I was not anticipating a PR anyway. This would be the first time I have biked in the rain in 30 + years and my nerves were working overtime. Nutrition: I had a Banana, oatmeal, and part of a sports wafer/cookie race morning. The night before I had a slightly larger dinner than usual. I also put an electrolyte bottle next to the bed and would drink during the night when I awoke. I stopped liquids 2 hours before the race.
27:05 (10:01 min/miles)
Swim (or lack of): When the announcement came for the swim cancellation, I was part of a collective groan. I was very disappointed as it is my stronger leg. I have never done a RBR brick and wish I had come on a few Wednesdays to practice duathlon bricks. Therefore, I did not want to push too hard on the first run. I eased up after the turn around to decrease my heart rate which was camped out in the high 150’s. When I made the turn, I was dead last (except a handicapped woman). This was hard psychologically. Who wants the lag car following them? A 10 min/mile is dead last, are you kidding me, I say? I did not take in nutrition on this leg.
Usually I am quicker, but I found that my “not so nice” rack neighbor had strewn my helmet, glasses, and shoes about and had racked her bike the same way as mine. It was very close to mine causing the brakes to overlap. She was still fixing her hair or some other ridiculous thing when I arrived. I gathered my stuff and put my running shoes in a bag, as they were still fairly dry. I had some difficulty getting my bike out around hers. The time was not bad considering…. And, I was no longer last as there were still 20 or so people in transition, YEA!
I was a little surprised as I thought I was 5-10 minutes quicker. I passed 15-20 women, several on the downhill turn. Several bikers had just crashed; EMS was there and several women were walking their bikes down the hill when I rode upon the turn. My brakes were not working too well, and I couldn’t slow down anymore without risk of wiping out. I unclipped one foot and went around most of the chaos without incident. PHEW. There were several hills where my speed exceeded my brake’s ability to control my speed, and I am so blessed not to have crashed. One time I went off the road into the grass, but I managed to navigate back to the road with a subsequent overwhelming sense of relief. At times, I had a hard time keeping my eyes open due to the pelting rain. Often, the entire road was filled with water. If I were to describe my feelings on the course, scary would be an understatement. My heart rate was high the first few miles but settled into the lower 140’s. Nutrition: Power bar cut into quarters (took 3 of the 4), 6 electrolyte tabs as I was flirting off and on with a right calf cramp, 1 aero bottle of water, and one bottle of cerasport (20 0z).
After starting leave, I went back to drop my hat off, so I was little slower than other races. When I was coming into transition, other athletes that had finished were leaving. This was a little disheartening. Normally, the bike is shorter and the run is longer, so this doesn’t happen. But, I came out of transition ahead of a few more athletes which lifted my attitude.
Run: 51:18 (10:16 min/miles)
My heart rate did well mostly due to the cool temperatures. I saw several of the other midmarylanders on their way back looking strong. It was a shot in the arm when I heard them say “go mid Maryland” as they went by. I was pleased with my time because of the difficult bike course and the first run. I crossed the line at 3:07:30, but wondered if it was 3:05:30. This was my second best Olympic time, but it is hard to compare to other races because of the swim cancellation.
I had just enough left to go back down the course and run with/cheer for Teresa as she ran in looking strong finishing her first Olympic distance course. I enjoyed the great folks at the tent, the food, and the dry spot the tent offered. I ended up 18/26 for age group and 98/128 for gender and 335/377 overall and have my skin intact!