This race was a breakthrough for me. I dominated in the swim (3/22 in AG, only ~9s behind the leader), had a PR on the bike in terms of wattage and speed (although it was a flat course), and had my fastest run of any race, including the Splash and Dashes.
The weirdest part about all of it was that, franky, I felt like crap the night before and even the morning of—pretty sure this was the lingering cold I’ve had for a week. Not only that, but my right hip was super stiff. The night before when I went out for a quick grocery run, I was literally walking with a limp. Not good, I thought…
I had redfish and some veggies at around 6:30pm the night before. Prepped my transition bags, and finally got to sleep at around 10ish, a little later than I’d wanted to. I was also pretty stressed out. A big work thing is going awry and I was away from Rachel and Gideon, so that was tough mentally. Went to bed feeling really depressed and not feeling great. Popped two tylenols before falling asleep in an attempt to dull the pain.
I set the alarm for 5am and got right out of bed. Still felt sick and pretty yucky, so decided to take another two tylenol. I could only take 2-3 bites of the yogurt. Banana, nuts, and honey went down easily though. I then took a water bottle and drove to T2 to drop off the run bag and took the shuttle back to T1 at around 5:30. Dawdled a bit and got my bike setup after I got there, prepped a towel, got my shoes set up, etc. At ~6:30 I was starting to feel like I could eat a little more so I ate a clif bar pre-race oatmeal bar that I’d brought along just for kicks. I’d never had one before but I was so hungry and had nothing else, so I decided to risk it. It really didn’t go down easily. I was worried I'd get sick but I pretty much force fed it to myself, reminding myself of what happened at Jack’s Generic Tri in August.
My right hip was still really hurting, so I stretched for about 15 minutes. Still no good. I then massaged the muscle constantly up until literally right before the race started. I was super anxious and worried about the bike. At about 7:15 I had a honey stinger to eliminate any potential energy lapse. I'd rather overeat than under.
It was a TT start for the swim and my AG was the first to go. I was about the 6th person in the water. Right after I jumped in I just got into a flow. I felt fast and just kept pushing. Water was cool and I sighted well. I passed one two people too, which was crazy given how early I was in the water.
Stepping out of the water was right when I knew things were going to go well. I wasn’t tired at all.
It only got better. There was a huge hill to get into T1, and I was worried the day before about how rough that would be. But nope, ran like mad all the way to the top and still felt fresh and full of energy. Then I knew for sure I was going to rock it. Used a towel to wipe grass and dirt off my foot and then got going on the bike.
Before the race, I was thinking I’d be ecstatic if I hit 170W+ on the bike? Well…I don’t know how it happened but I blasted through that goal. 185W normalized for the full duration. I lost a little steam during the last 2 miles which brought my average down, but even for that period I was cruising at 176W. There was another guy who kept trading places with me. In the end, he won out, but the back and forth was great. Pushed myself much harder because of it. Shows you the power of competition I guess. :)
I got of the bike, ran to my run bag, swapped the shoes, and got going. The run course was flat and easy, so it friendly to a new runner like me. Like every other time, I think that I could have gone faster. Then again I had my fastest run ever at a 9:10 / mile pace, so whatever I did worked. My splits reflect my attitude…first kilometer I cruise, then the middle three I take too easy, and the last km I speed up again. If I can cruise longer and then pick of the final pace earlier, that alone I think could bring me to a sub 9” pace. Getting there!
In the end, I really do have no idea where today’s burst of energy and power came from. I’ve been sick all week (and still feel sick!), had a limp hip, and have been super tired…but it all worked out in the end. Also happy I skipped the Splash and Dash earlier this week. I guess my body needed the rest.