Racing into Shape Part II: Attack of the Calves

Going into my first triathlon of the year, I had one main concern, which was the swim.  I have been travelling a whole lot this year (yay for me, I am now have gold elite status at the Holiday Inn chains), so my swim training volume and consistency has been horrible.  I think I was out of town for 10 of the 14 days before the race, so pool time has been at a minimum, which always worries me about leg cramping.  If I’m going to cramp, I want to be on solid ground.

So, my calves were tight for the several days before the race…great.  I like the time trial swim start of this race, it’s nice not to have to chance being kicked or hit during the mass starts.  I basically did my own thing for the swim, not trying to catch up to anybody or attempt to keep up with the people who passed me.  About 1000 meters into the swim, my tight calves started to feel funny.  From past experiences, this means one or both will cramp at some point in the future.  So I slowed my pace down and just hoped they would hold off from cramping for another 500 meters.  This time, everything was good and my calves did not cramp.

I should go back and re-read my old race reports.  Since it was a bit chilly, I put on arm warmers, which are unbelievably hard to put on when wet.  If I would have re-read my old race reports, I would have already known this.  My transition time was ridiculously long.  Should have put them on for the swim or just not bothered with them.  I had a skull cap on underneath the helmet which caused issues with me not getting my sunglasses on.  So ½ mile down the road I had to stop and get the helmet, sunglasses, and skull cap adjusted.  For the first loop of the bike, I felt like my legs were not working, but they felt normal on the second loop.  I wouldn’t be surprised if my second loop split was several minutes faster than the first loop.

I had dead leg syndrome on the run.  They were tired from the bike leg.  My first mile came in around 6:30 pace, but I would steadily drop ~10 seconds per mile each mile.  My brain was telling my legs to go faster but my body said it was going fast enough for today.   Even though I was slower than normal, it was good to get out and race.

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Lindsey McIver

About Lindsey McIver

I'm originally from Chesapeake, VA and I've lived in NC since 2007. I swam competitively until college and decided swimming was no longer fun for me. I started running in 2009 after spectating a half marathon and I was incredibly motivated watching everyone finish the race. Around that time, I rediscovered my love for swimming in an effort to cross train. In 2010, I purchased a road bike and signed up for my first sprint triathlon. Since then, I've worked my way up to a few Ironman races. I've taken time off from triathlon to have two wonderful daughters along the way. My goals for 2019 are Age Group Nationals, NC 70.3, and Challenge Daytona.