Always Learning…A Race Report

Yesterday I my first Olympic Triathlon since TriRock last November.  I have been looking forward to this race for months because my training has been excellent all year.  I’ll get the good out of the way because there was some good here.  First of all, Melanie came up and was my cheering squad.  Its always great to have someone cheering you on and even better in this race for a few reasons, one of which being that it was a quiet crowd and the other that I had a really rough day.  The course was also one of the nicest I’ve ever raced on for any type of race, running or triathlon.  Very shady the whole time.  Very scenic.  I also lucked out with the swim being as good as you could hope for in the ocean.  Very flat and comfortable water water.

Obviously though, there was some bad here.  They say you either have a perfect race or you learn something.  I’m hoping I take the right lesson out of this.  I made a few mistakes on race day.  The morning of the race I didn’t really eat correctly before the race.  I had a donut and a few sips of coffee.  I should have had a bagel and all of the coffee.  That donut just didn’t sit right with me.  That was mistake #1.

Mistake #2 was that I took a single bottle of water with me for the bike.  The race temperatures by the time I got off the bike were mid-80s with fairly high humidity and I went through my sports drink by mile 17.  I averaged 18mph on the bike which isn’t terrible but I was hoping for 18.5 – 19.  There was a light crosswind the whole ride so I didn’t really have much in the way of head or tailwind.  I never really felt like I had much kick in my legs on the bike but after I ran out of water it just started to fall apart.  Of course that meant that when I started the run I was in worse shape than usual.

Mistake #3 was no nutrition on the bike or waiting at transition.  I think if I’d had a couple Gus out there, I might have been ok for the run.  But I didn’t have them.  Compounding that mistake was the fact that the race (in my opinion) blew it on the run aid stations.  There was water at miles 1, 3, and 5.  No sports drink and the water was warm.  With temperatures in the mid to upper 80s, even with the shade, warm water did almost nothing for bring my body temperature down.

I don’t blame the RD for my performance but that warm water finished me.  I never have been so close to DNFing a race.  I took 1:22 to finish the 10k run.  I can normally do this in 54-56 minutes.  It was all I could do to finish the race and I have to say that there is nothing harder than finishing a race that you feel has beaten you.  I’ve never done so poorly in a race I was fully prepared for.  It was a frustrating experience but because the race was run so well I can still say it was a good experience.  Just have to take my lessons from this one to the next one.

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