Race Recap: Iron Girl Columbia Tri

I am an Iron Girl!

So this was my first year competing in Iron Girl – I’d heard great things about the race and was super excited for it. it was my A race this year – especially since I deferred Dewey Beach to next year. I’m REALLY hoping I can race it next year though i fear it may coincide with my big sisters wedding – regardless. I HIGHLY recommend – i had a blast on the course!

Expo & Racking

I was super impressed by the organization and ease of packet pick up, racking my bike and generally getting the gist of the race layout. I didn’t do much research about where swim start was ahead of time – major planning fail – but luckily on Sunday morning I just followed the crowds to head over.

Swim

I was really not looking forward to swimming in Centennial Lake – I mean…no body of water is perfect but I do have to say this was probably slightly better than the Potomac (at least this swim wasn’t cancelled). I felt unprepared in the open water, and the form I had worked on the past couple of months in the pool went to the crapper. Then my goggles fogged up. Multiple times. Not my strongest swim but certainly longer than I’d been swimming and I wasn’t last out of the water or last in my division so…success!

I actually think I did pretty well for T1 – the run up from the water was a ways, but getting pseudo-dried off, and since my bike was in the middle… on the end (I always get the crappiest transition spots) I consider 5 minutes not too shabby.

swim time: 34:29
T1: 5:07

Bike

irongirlbike

I was strongest on the bike. I felt really good. I got my clips fixed the other day before I racked my bike and they loosened them so they’re easier to get in and out of – win! Biggest flaw of my training? Lack of bike training. lack of hills. WHOOPS. That being said…I still did really well and didn’t have to walk my bike up any hills (remember when I had to do that on the Huffster back at Hopkins Vineyard Tri? Yeah. That sucked.). I made up a lot of time on the downhills – i need to work on my fear of speedy downhills and losing control because downhills can be fun. I suppose.

Bike Time: 1:09:55
avg speed: 13.7 mph

Run

irongirlfinish

T2 was super fast – it helped that I was closer to run out, and that I really only had to drop my helmet and get my sneaks on which only needed to be tied. I think i did really good at setting myself up for success in regards to the transitions here so I feel good about that.

But God that run sucked. There is no amount of words about how much that run sucked. So much. So many hills. Was not fueled well. Should have brought that extra Gu. My calves were super tight because of my ankles and hills do that to me. That being said, I think I did…okay. I finished strong. I walked up a lot of hills. Was slower than i had hoped but it was hot and my calves were aching. Room for improvement but that finish was pretty awesome.

T2: 2:18 (!!!)
Run: 43:47  (12:53 avg pace)

Total time: 2:35:37.9

Given that this is my first FULL tri post baby (swim got canceled last year at Nations), I’m pretty proud of these numbers. I’m never going to be a front of the pack-er. I’m a solid middle-back of the pack and as long as I’m having fun, and giving my races my all, then i’m a happy camper!

Stay tuned on the blog this week to find out what’s on deck for my fall race schedule and a discount code to join me at the Annapolis Running Classic in November!

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Maryland Sprint Duathlon Race Recap

Yesterday I completed my first *big* race of the season and my first duathlon – the Maryland Sprint Duathlon.

I think I can say that it’s official, I’m in love with endurance sports.

Saturday we went up to Western Regional Park out in Howard County to get my race packet and get a lay of the land. I had no idea what the course had in store for me, and no idea what to expect in regards to the race.  We got there shortly before the race chat, so I sat in on it which was incredibly helpful. While I’ve done a couple of triathlons before, I’ve never listened to the prerace talks so my familiarity with the USAT rules is minimal at best. I also found that listening to the course description gave me an idea what to expect – also helpful.

Sunday, we got up stupid early to head out. I was worried about race traffic since not anticipating race traffic has burned me before. Also i wanted to have time to get set up in transition and not be rushed. We got there around 6:15/6:20 – no traffic, no backups, not parking hassle. Incredible!

MD Sprint Du

Run 1 and T1

The first run was a bit downhill going through the park, onto a trail and then down a road with a short out and back turn around then up a hill back to transition. I picked up new sneaks from Charm City Run the other day and while I know you’re not supposed to run a race in new sneaks, it was really nice having only minimal calf pain and having a better understanding on what’s going on with my legs (it all makes sense to me now…consider my beloved Newton’s retired for the most part 🙁 More on that later!). The weather was perfect, and it was super nice having the chance for water/gatorade at 3 spots.

Saw hubs and little man as I ran into transition and grabbed another cup o’ gatorade.

My transitions are not fast, and I really need to work on them

Run time: 21:36
Transition 1: 3:30 (!!!!) 

Bike and T2

I’m still not super confident on my bike. That’s just a fact. Downhills make me anxious (i’m afraid of crashing) and I’m not at all used to clipping in and out yet. BUT! I am getting better.

I got my tires pumped up before I headed into transition (good thing since I was apparently flat!!) and had the bike dude check out my pedals –  I have a clip that’s bent because i got my cleats stuck when i was working out on the trainer earlier this spring. It should be an easy fix, but I need to bring them to a bike shop to get fixed but I can still get half clipped in and fully clipped in on the other foot. I need to get this fixed ASAP since I noticed I had some pain in my right foot that I think is related (as in did not have on the other foot that was properly clipped in).

The bike was awesome. A bit hilly but some awesome downhills. I passed a bunch of people and didn’t finish DFL so I felt really good about that. I only dropped my chain once, but I fixed it and it remedied this annoying clanking sound that I was having. I should have sipped more of my fuel but I kept forgetting and by mile 10 I was a little crampy likely from dehydration. Note to self: practice drinking while on the bike.

I should probably read up more on bikes and/or go to some clinics so I learn the basics… how to change a tire. How to know your tires are flat. You know…the basics.

Again, transition took me a couple of minutes – so I need to find a way to be more efficient – especially as I change my shoes.

Bike: 1:00:38
T2: 3:20

Run 2

The second run sucked. While the first run was largely downhill, when that course gets reversed that means a large part of the run is up hill. Thankfully – it was only two miles. A slow and hot 2 miles but only two miles so the suck time was only 2/3 of your average tri.

Run 2: 24:48

Chip time: 1:53:54.3

What I liked about this race

Beautiful location
Open course but no traffic so it felt closed
Not a crowded race
Awesome medal/race shirt
outstanding support – each time I stopped on the bike someone pulled up to ask if I was okay.

What I didn’t like about this race
Early race at 40 minutes away from me = earlier morning.
ALL OF THE HILLZ.

Would I race again? Abso-effing-lutely – Sign me up for 2016 for sure! Many thanks to the fine folks at Rip It Events for putting on an amazing well organized and overall fantastic event!

 

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