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Race Result

Racer: Nicole Thomas
Race: Columbia Triathlon
Date: Sunday, May 20, 2012
Location: Columbia, MD
Race Type: Triathlon - International Distance
Age Group: Female 50 - 54
Time: 3:05:20
Overall Place: 997 / 1684
Age Group Place: 23 / 58
Comment: To run Columbia is to SUFFER

Race Report:

I felt great coming into this race, my 2nd Columbia Triathlon. The day before the Brick-n-Pic I had my best ever OWS and at the BnP I set new PR's for the Columbia bike and run courses. From these I had clear race time goals.

My usual swim goal has been "Survive"; this year my goal was "Strong".
Seeded myself pretty much in the middle of the middle. Experienced the typical contact early, and contact throughout the entire swim. The first part of the swim, into the sun, is always hard, but even when I couldn't sight a buoy I knew to just follow the pack. Between the 1st and 2nd turn buoys I was too far right but bumped the woman next to me every time I tried to move left; couldn't force her to change course. Tried to cut inside her at the turn and got kicked in the goggles by someone; lost some time and place setting myself right. From here, it was a straight shot in along the easily-sighted buoys. Swam into shore until my hands in bottom twice, and then I was up and running to transition. Always great to see Bob Bartolo's smiling face at the end of the swim!

2011: 32:55
Goal: 29:49
2012: 29:34 20/58 AG
First race swim under 2:00/100m!

Transition continues to be my strength; too bad it doesn't count for more of the total.

2011: 2:56
Goal: 2:15
2012: 2:03 1/58 AG Yeah, Baby!

I've been starting with my shoes on the bike but this time the left heel folded in under my foot and I was slow getting in and getting moving. I attacked the course and the hills, but coasted more of the downhills than I had been doing in training. I had passing-the-school reference times taped to my stem so I could see how I was doing against my last course ride: I was 1.5-2 minutes behind at each, but finished just 10 seconds off the total bike time. Not sure I drank enough, seeing that I drank only about 3/4 of one bottle.

2011: 1:32:26
Goal: 1:29:28
2012: 1:29:37 26/58 AG

2011: 1:32
Goal: 1:15
2012: 1:15 6/58 AG

And then the wheels fell off!
My plan was to take it easy through the switchback climb and then go at a nice, sustainable pace until the neighborhood, survive until I was back into the park, and then pick it up until the finish line. Through the park I was behind my BnP pace but doing ok. Once into the neighborhood, the climbs killed me and I ended up walking the two big climbs. I started running again with purpose as soon as I was back onto Old Annapolis but Gatorade Hill had me walking again. Once into the downhill I ran it in with all I had left. Oh, the pain of running Columbia, oh, the pain of walking a race run!

2011: 1:02:13
Goal: 58:08
2012: 1:02:54 31/58 AG

Finish Time
2011: 3:12:13 1122/1640 OA, 17/41 AG
Goal: 3:00:55
2012: 3:05:20 997/1684 OA, 23/58 AG

Took 7 minutes off of last year's time! Really pleased with that, but wishing I could have had a better run. Need to remind myself that this was only my second run over 5.5 miles this year and that I haven't done any hill work or speed work. Darn hip problem really set me back!