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Race Recap: Toyota U.S. Open Triathlon

by Christa on November 4, 2011

in Race Recaps,TNT,Weekend Recap

This race recap is long overdue (like a month), but cut me some slack, I’ve been working on my super fun new blog that’s gonna be allllll about races and TNT and my quest to maybe one day be faster and not fall smack in the middle of my division all the time. Or, if it’s this particular race – at the bottom of my division.

Anyslow, let’s talk about the Toyota US Open Tri.  It was in my hometown of ROCKWALL, TX!  It was pretty strange because the high school dance team I was on(the Stingerettes) was volunteering – all of the girls looked so young, and I swear I did not feel that young – or even feel like I looked that young – back then.  It’s strange to think I’m 8-10 years older than all of them; sometimes it feels like yesterday.

They were tickled when I told them I was a former ‘rette.  One of them even recognized my name because, “Your sister was a senior when my older sister was a new girl!” Great, that doesn’t make me feel old at all.  So my sister, who is 4 years younger than I am, was a senior when your OLDER sister was a sophomore.  Super.

I digress again.  Let’s race.

Pre-race – This was the first time I haven’t had to drive over half an hour to get to a race!  It was only a few miles from my parents’ house, at the gorgeous Rockwall Harbor. Thank goodness I got to leave a little later, because this was also the first race for which I did not get good sleep the night before.  It felt like I woke up every half hour and looked at the clock.  My stomach was also in knots, so I only ate half of a Clif bar for breakfast (mistake).  I got to transition to set up my stuff, and chatted with TNT gals Jessica and Jordann – I was really glad I knew a couple of people there because it helps to chit-chat and be distracted before the race.  This was the last race of the Toyota series, and while there were quite a few pros present, there were only 19 in our division (female age 25-29).  We were in the 5th wave, and before I knew it – we were off!

Swim (36:59) – If you’ll remember, the 1.5k (almost a mile) swim was cancelled at Nation’s Tri, due to the Potomac being a dirty post-hurricane mess.  So while I had swum the Olympic distance quite a few times in practice, this was the first time in a race!  There were boats out on Lake Ray Hubbard and the chop was pretty bad.  Almost every time I went to take a breath, a wave gave me a mouthful of water.  I was feeling pretty bloated towards the end.  The lake is down so much from the drought that people were walking the last 100 yards.  That was hard.  I realized I was expending more energy trying to march through the mud – sucks.

I was allowing myself 45 minutes to finish the swim.  I knew a sprint swim took me between 13 and 14 minutes, so I just multiplied that by 3 (since the Olympic distance is 3x the distance of the sprints I had done) and gave myself a little padding.  Imagine my surprise to learn it only took me 37 minutes!

Super sexy photo of me in a wetsuit!  Hope you weren’t eating lunch.

T1 (4:13) – That’s actually a pretty slow transition.  Granted, I had to get out of my wetsuit.  I putzed around with my bike gear; why’d I do that?  Oh well.  Then Jordann got to the rack just as I was leaving with my bike (of course she passed me on the bike – I think most people do).

Bike (1:46:15) – The 40k (~24 mile) bike course kicked my ass.  It chewed me up and spit me out.  Immediately coming out of transition, there’s a steep hill to ride up to get on the course – everyone was falling.  I tried to get my bike going and of course fell, so I hung my head and walked my bike like several others were doing. Between the hills and the wind, I just could not pick up any speed.  This time is a full 15 minutes and then some longer than my bike time at Nation’s.  Some of the roads were rough – gravel and potholes, railroad tracks.  But it was the hills that got me.  I might have driven those roads every day in high school, but somehow you don’t notice the hills when you’re in a car. It didn’t help that on one stretch of the road, we rode downhill, U-turned, cranked up the hill and then had to loop around and do it again!  What were they thinking? That sucked.  I was spent.  My dad caught a picture of me coming back to transition and about to dismount.  I was DONE with the bike.  The last 5 miles I was just saying to myself, “Get me the hell off this course!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T2 (2:26) – Pretty fast transition – I was ready for this race to be over.

Run (1:13:43) – A slow run for me – at this point, I knew my times sucked so I was mostly concentrating on having fun and talking to the other racers. Of course, what’s the first thing you have to do?  Just like the bike – straight up a hill out of transition.  I had started to run but once I hit that hill, my legs were like…um, no.  My family was waiting at the top of the hill and I heard my sister saying, “Can you at least pretend to run?  We’re taking pictures.”

Before I hit the hill:

After:

Does that look like the face of someone who wants to run 6.2 miles? Luckily, I was enjoying the run/walk and talking to other people.  This one guy was hilarious.  He was decked out in his University of North Texas Tri Team gear and I caught up to him so he started running faster and pulled ahead.  Then he slowed to a walk.  Again, I caught up to him – and again, he took off.  I was thinking, “Wow, this guy REALLY doesn’t want to get chicked.”  I guess what he didn’t realize was that he was in a wave before me, so even if he was physically AHEAD of me, I was still AHEAD of him.  Finally he turned around and said, “Want to run the rest of the race together?” Sure!  So we jogged the last couple of miles together – here we are crossing the finish line.

Time – 3:43:38.  I finished 14 out of 16 finishers in my division.  2 DNF’ed (did not finish).  I don’t know what happened to #19.

Hmph.  Welp.  That sucks. But I still had a great time and I’d rather be DFL (dead….last) than not finish, any day!

This race was hard.  The bike really mentally got to me.  Yes, my legs were burning (definitely need more hill training) – but my mind was like WTF?! These hills suck!  This wind is blowing people off their bikes! DO NOT WANT.  At the end of the day though, it was fun, I repped TNT, and I got a taste of a tough course.  Huzzah!

So I better suck it up and have fun at Oilman this weekend, because I’m gonna be stuck on that bike for a loooong time.  Coming soon.

Post race shower, trip to Grandma’s house where I pretended I wasn’t so hungry that I was about to eat her furniture, then to SNUFFER’S to have some cheese fries and beer.  Delicious.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Triathlon in a nutshell, Part II: Swim
May 21, 2013 at 7:45 pm
Weekend recap: a shower and a triathlon!
October 8, 2013 at 7:14 am

{ 3 comments }

Mary November 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm

You’re still so far ahead of me physically that it’s comical, so I think your time is awesome! I’m looking forward to your new blog :)

Christa November 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Thanks, Mary! I’m having a blast – we should do a 1/2 together sometime!

terra November 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Just that you do these crazy things, at least they seem crazy to my non-biking, non-swimming self, is so crazy impressive. You’re a rock star.

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