A-Not-So-Great-Race, Race Reflections

Today was the first triathlon race of the 2015 season. The Smithfield Sprint located in (you named it) Smithfield, VA. Despite our crazy, cold VA weather this winter, I was feeling pretty confident about my race today. I had 2 great time trials (bike and run) under my belt from the week before and knew that my fitness was in a good place.

Normally the weather for this race is nice and cool. Today it was HOT and full on sun. The race started off well – I was extremely happy with my swim split (results are not posted yet, so can’t 100% confirm). I passed 5 people and never got held up. I felt strong, smooth and steady.

After I finished the swim, everything else quickly went downhill. In the spirit of living and learning, I wanted to document some race reflections while they were fresh on my mind…

Disable “energy saving mode” on my Garmin before a race.

  • I was super pumped to race with my new Garmin 920 and try out the triathlon feature. Little did I know that, while I was overwhelmed with nerves right before the swim, my Garmin switched back to the watch mode. No swim or T1 was recorded and I had to fool with a bit on the bike to start recording data.

Pool swims are not fun if you can’t start in the top 10%.

  • VTS/MTS used some sort of weird bell-curve swim seeding, which everyone complained about. I will admit I am pretty spoiled by typically being able to start towards the front. The hour and a half wait threw me off quite a bit.

A 10AM race start time is usually a solid play for a cool, April race, but not so cool when we get a heat wave. Holy hotness!

Starting the race at lunch time made me want to eat lunch.

  • Given the above 2 bullets, starting at 11:30 confused my hunger signals. We had to be there by 9 to get our packet and get set up in transition before it closed. I tried to gradually eat my breakfast on the ride down, but frankly I think my body knew it was time for lunch (and hungry again).

Study the bike route.

  • Even if I’ve raced the course before, still study it. With my Garmin debauchery, I was distracted from racing and missed (the not very well marked I must add) first turn on the course. While I thought it was VERY odd I didn’t see anyone in front of or behind me for a few miles, I kept plugging along b/c people were coming back in the opposite direction. It wasn’t until I saw Brian who started his swim 3 minutes back, that I realized I messed up.

Hot, sunny, non-shaded races are not my thing – nor will they ever be.

Bricks are good, very good.

  • I did very little leading up this race. It would’ve helped.

Negative thoughts won the day!

  • Particularly, after my race blew up. Multiple negative thoughts stayed with me throughout the whole run, which likely contributed to a very disappointing run split. I had high hopes that I would’ve gotten a run PR given my recent run focus. Sigh.

Here’s to hoping the next race goes down a bit smoother!

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