I woke up at 4:30 and was out the door just after 5 a.m. Race started at 7:15 a.m. so we were shooting to get there by around 6:30 a.m. or thereabouts. Rachel and I arrived at the first race approximately an hour and a half early last time. This actually wasn't so bad for the first go around as there is a lot to take in and it was nice to not feel even a little bit rushed. We didn't think this was really necessary for this race as we know the general routine now. Rachel and I collaborated on a quick breakfast for me. Last race was a bagel, peanut butter, EAS shake, chia seeds, and a red Gatorade X-factor out the door. This time we didn't have any bagels in the house so I went with some mini toaster waffles, peanut butter, banana, and the same red Gatorade X-factor on the drive.
We arrived approximately when we had planned and I got checked into the transition without incident. There was approximately 30-45 minutes before the race started and this was plenty of time to get settled in. Only problem was that most everybody else had already showed up so it was tough finding an opening for my bike/transition gear as there were no assignments. It was a free-for-all and I felt like I was the last man standing in a game of musical chairs. I did manage to find a spot though.
The swim was 300 meters in an indoor 50 meter pool. I had signed up for the race with a 7:45 estimated time so this had me starting with bib 80 out of approximately 145 entrants. I was a little nervous how I would do given my lack of training this past week, but decided to try to put that out of my mind and just go with the flow and try to be attentive to what my body was telling me along the way. I started out o.k., but definitely felt like I was less aerobically prepared versus my first race. I tired more quickly and had to go to the backstroke about 3 times after the 150 meter point. I never backstroked for more than about 10-15 seconds though and just pushed through. I passed several people and noticed that the lane behind me was empty as I was getting out of the pool. Checking my results after the race showed that I had a swim time of 7:31. I actually had done better than I had expected. First triathlon pace was 2:33 per 100m and this race was 2:30! Not sure why I felt so horrible, but I was apparently doing o.k.
First transition was uneventful. Got changed over fairly quickly. Was a little wobbly getting on the bike. I don't go out with my shoes clipped in to the pedals and opt to put them on my feet first. I had a little problem finding my clips so I didn't exactly look "pro" getting going, but I made it. Need to practice having the shoes clipped to the bike before my next race and see how that goes.
The bike course for this race was a little longer than the first race; 12.75 miles versus 12 miles. I immediately noticed a problem with my Garmin as I headed out on the bike. In the pool area, since the Garmin couldn't obtain a satellite signal, it had asked me if I was indoors. I replied "yes." What I didn't realize is that, despite being in multi-sport mode, this effectively turned off the GPS functionality of the watch. Heading out on the bike it was quickly evident that I had no GPS and therefore no speed or distance information. The only data I had was how long I had been riding and what my heart rate was. This proved to be a pretty big problem as I couldn't pace myself on the bike or run. I went out strong, but could tell that I was probably overdoing it because my heart rate was around 170-180. It pretty much stayed there for the entire bike leg. I felt fast on the bike and seemed to be holding up well so I just went with it and thought, "maybe I can try pushing myself a little harder this race." My official bike split was 41:38 at an average pace of 18.37 mph. This was a pretty good increase over my first race of 17.91 mph; especially considering the added distance.
Coming into transition off the bike I felt fairly winded, but was still doing o.k. I transitioned well and was off on the run without incident. My legs were a little tired and stiff, I had not run in nearly a week and had just come off of the bike after all, but there was not pain in my calf. I started off tentatively and eased into the run at a much slower pace than normal. This was by feel only, but I could definitely tell I was going at a much slower pace than normal for me. I felt o.k. through the first mile, but could start to feel the same stomach discomfort that I felt in my first race. It was definitely the red Gatorade sloshing around in my stomach. It was only 20 ounces and I had consumed it over an hour and a half before the race, but it was definitely still in there as I could kind of taste it. Like red Gatorade heartburn. My heart rate continued to stay in the 175-180 range that I was in coming off the bike and I started feeling like I was losing steam fast. The queasy feeling in my stomach continued to get worse and somewhere around the mile and a half mark that red Gatorade decided it wasn't staying in my stomach any longer. I stopped, puked, ran a little further, and stopped and puked again. All red Gatorade; maybe mixed with the 10 ounces of water I consumed on the bike. I managed to pull it together and finish out the run, but had to take 3 more short walks after that. In the end, there was no sprinting to the finish for me. I finished out as strong as I could muster and ended up with an official run time of 31:20. Not horrible considering I blew chunks on the course, but over 2 minutes slower than my first race.
Overall, my official times were as follows:
Overall, this was another great experience and I look forward to doing it again. I am not currently signed up for another race, but will look to do 1 or 2 more before the season ends. I go on vacation this upcoming Thursday and school will be starting soon so it will be a bigger challenge going forward on the training and race front. I'll continue to post regardless as I think it is important for everyone to see that life certainly can get hectic, but that pulling back on the training/race schedule doesn't mean you have to give up.