Fun in the Sun at Beaverdam

After a disappointing swim cancelation at Collegiate Nationals, I was eager to do a triathlon that was, well, an actual triathlon. And so I was excited to find that Beaverdam was only two weeks later, and would indeed feature all 3 legs – what a concept!

A convenient local venue meant I got to sleep in my own bed the night before, which is always a plus. On race morning, after rushing around to set up transition despite the fact that I arrived early with “plenty of time to get ready,” I lined up for the start. Funnily enough, despite the face that I had signed up for this race primarily because of the swim, suddenly facing the 1500m course I wasn’t so excited to plunge into the water and get racing. Despite my qualms, the gun went off and the race was underway.

I ended up being quite comfortable in the water; the lake was pretty calm and a nice temperature for a wetsuit legal race. I drafted off a couple different fellow teammates early on before splitting off and navigating the rest of my way solo, doing my best to sight the far-away buoys as we headed straight into the sun.

Out of the water and onto the bike, I was the third female out of transition. The course was a rolling out and back that started and ended in the park; I’d speak to the scenery but to be honest I was a little more focused on my bike computer and the athletes ahead of me I was trying to chase down. I maintained a steady power output for most of the ride, until the end when I got to do a bit of freewheeling as we hit some vehicular traffic coming back into the park.

I had been nervous about the run since I had started looking at the race day weather forecast days beforehand. The forecast had called for heat and sun, and it certainly delivered. By the time I got out to the run course, despite it still being relatively early in the day, it was already getting quite toasty. Fortunately, the run course, which was a rolling double out-and-back, was at least partially shaded. I started the run in second place and felt good for about a mile until I hit some uphills and full sun. My non-heat-acclimated body rebelled and I started to slow down, slipping back into third place. I was grabbing ice and cold water at aid stations, but by the last couple miles I was really started to feel disorientated. Despite the struggle, I managed to hold things together enough to maintain my place and crossed the finish line with a podium finish.

Despite not feeling my best towards the end of the race, I still consider it a great wrap-up to my spring season. It was a blast to see all my other TMS-IOS teammates out on the course putting in work! I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the summer holds, and promising myself that I will be at least a little more heat acclimated for whatever comes next.

beaverdam

And We’re Off (Sampson County Super Sprint)!

Last weekend, I opened my 2017 triathlon season with a crew of friends at the Sampson County Super Sprint. I’ve never done this race before, but since it’s hosted FS Series, I knew it would be a great event. Plus, when I looked at my training calendar it seemed like a great day to sneak in an early season race and follow it up with a long bike ride on less-traveled roads well outside the Raleigh area. Thankfully, the weather cooperated, and we were treated to warm temps and sunny skies.

I can honestly say that this was the shortest triathlon I’ve ever done, and like all sprints, every second promised to hurt. To ensure even more fun (read: pain), the women’s field was pretty stacked. The TMS-IOS team had 4 ladies racing, the NCSU triathlon club team showed in full force, and the ever awesome Bri Gaal made a last minute decision to join in on the fun.

To avoid making this post longer to read than Sampson County took to race, I present you the race in bullets:

* 250 swim: smooth, small traffic jam around the 100 mark but nbd. Squeezed through and got around it.

* T1: didn’t drop my bike or knock over any racks; win

* 7 mile bike: ow. pass some people. ow. annoying water in my ear. ow. tight turn around… unclip… put my foot down (yeah, on the ground; I’ve got no moves). ow. ow. ow. Finish! Managed close to 23 mph; I’ll take it.

* T2: did some stuff and started running

* Run: ow. ow. water in my ear still. ow. this is gonna hurt. getting hot. ow. I hear breathing. Must be that guy I saw. Crap, sounds like a girl. Dangit, pink. It’s Bri. I’m screwed. Run faster. ow. Keep running. Where do I go? Bike out, yeah that’s it. Wait, no that’s not it. Veer back, oh yeah the finish chute. I’m done!

* T3: Lay on the ground at the finish line in the fetal position.

In the end, top 3 women were within 9 seconds of each other. Bri ran me down, but she also probably forced that extra second out of me to take 2nd. Cath had a killer bike!

results

It was a great race, and the team represented well. Here are the TMS-IOS ladies with Adam (teammate and overall winner) after the race.

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