My first official "Pro-Season" is set to kick off in a mere 3 weeks! Wow, time sure does fly. One of the things I like to do to get ready for the season and sort-of run through the motions, is find a fun little sprint to test the waters. Its good to remind your body what it feels like race morning, what it feels like to have anxiety, and how to deal with it. Practice T1 and T2 (every second counts!) and get any kinks out that may happen in a race. I have alot of contacts from when I used to be the Collegiate Commissioner and quiet a few friends who live in Louisiana so I decided to sign up for the Warhawk Triathlon. The race actually had prize money on the line, so I called up my girlfriend Kelly and got her signed up, knowing that we could go 1-2. Plus, who doesnt like a little girl time, and for those of you who dont know, Kelly means, Banana bread. (Always good pre-race food :D)
We traveled to Louisiana friday afternoon and stayed with friend Bell Hall, who eventually became the male overall winner. His family was nice enough to through a pasta party for the Tech Triathlon team and it was actually a ton of fun hanging out with the team. Being the collegiate commissioner for 2 years prior was one of the coolest things I got to do while in College. The people I met and the experiences I shared with them really made it special. So being able to hang out with the student athletes again was super fun! Some of the athletes were even competing in their first Triathlons!
Early to bed and actually late to rise. The race didnt start until 8:30am! We had plenty of time to spare.
A 400m pool swim, 11 mile bike, and 3m run. Get in, go fast, run through the motions, and more importantly feel race pain--Zone 4! I got all my gear ready in transition, did a run warm up, and then jumped in the pool. I swam about 1k and did a couple quick intervals to really get going. The nice thing about pool swims is the availability for a swim warmup (SO important, esp in shorter races). The bad thing about pools swim, is they are chaotic and you cant really get up to speed before you get attacked at the wall. Usually in pool swims, they line you up by your estimated time. The race director let us line as we wished because she knew that NO ONE knows how to estimate their times, and the times were supposed to be in meters, not yards. I jumped in the water 5th and swam my little heart out. First turn I rotated my body and totally missed the wall to push off. Good one. Second turn, I did a normal flip turn but didnt know which way to push off. Ok, Now I am just touching the wall and going under. A mere 6 minutes later I was out of the water and off to transition.
One of the things I really wanted to focus on in this race was nailing my Mounts and Dismounts. I practiced the day before until I could basically do it with my eyes closed. T1: 31 seconds, T2: 29 seconds. The transitions didnt go as I had hoped, but they were still fast. Sometimes I feel like we think we are going slow because we are trying to go so fast. Does that make sense? I swear I flubbed getting my running shoes on, but my T2 was actually pretty fast. Anyways, the bike was a windy 11 miles through some neighborhoods. The turns and wind made it actually quiet challenging. My heart rate was immediately high and I kept talking to myself to calm down and get comfortable. Finally about 5-6 miles in, I was steady and feeling good. I have to remember its going to hurt--Its a race!! But you can get comfortable. My bike time was 29:45, or 22.2 mph. I thought this was pretty good considering all the turns and wind.
Finally, I was off on the run and each mile I was progressively getting faster. I was running away with the win. I thought to myself well this is good since an olympic distance is longer. As long as I can keep the pace (or faster!), I should be golden. I ran into the finishing shoot first overall female, and a 6:13 avg run pace. I found out I ended up breaking the course record by 4 minutes, so that was bone-crushing! Kelly was not far behind, second overall female and we were officially "In-Da-Money!$$".
Money is always nice, but Louisiana races are always about culture. We got "pink" duck call whistles on our medals and some nice big bowls of gumbo! It was a fun weekend to start both of out triathlon seasons!