This weekend I participated in the Smile Train Tri in Wake Forest. This was my first time at this specific location. I was a little more excited but not over the top. I was still able to sleep.
Was up and moving at 5:00. Since the race was only about 10 miles from home, I didn't need to rush. Packed my transition bag, loaded the car and headed out at 5:45. Arrived at the site and they didn't have the rack numbers up yet. This was kinda funny. People were scurrying around trying to figure out where their racks would be. In my new attitude of being patience is paying off. Finally the numbers were put up and I was able to get the rack position I wanted.
I set everything up and went to get my race packet, marking and timing chip. The packet pick was interesting. One of the volunteers what a little frantic. He had too many people in front of him and he was freaking out a little. It was good. Finally had my packet and shuffled over to get marked. This went quickly. The line for timing chips didn't. It was slower. But all in all it went quickly.
After putting my numbers in place, Jody walked up. It was great seeing him. Was able to relax and talk with him. Also Keith S and Butch walked by and we talked. It really helps me to relax to be able to talk to others. I am able to remove the stress of thinking about racing and think about how great it is to see others out with me.
We enter the pool area and the race started. Originally we were scheduled to start in 15 sec intervals but FS decided to go in 7 sec intervals. Those 8 seconds made a big difference. I was happy with it since it was beginning to get hot.
Finally I was in the water and ready. Again as I stood there getting ready, the starter was talking to me. Loved it. The tension of standing there and waiting for the Go command, just evaporated. It was like being at the pool and swimming my training laps. When I got the go, I was able to take off with minimal effort.
My goal was to swim at an easy pace and try to stay to the right. Setting myself up for each turn. Well, the person behind caught my by the time we got to 100 yds so I was forced to move to the outside to allow her to pass. When I arrived at the wall she was still there. So we swam together pretty much the rest of the way. She would take off and then I would catch her. This happen a couple of times, but it worked. No issues. Again looked at my watch knew I needed to push it on the last 25 to be less than 6 minutes. Once I was out of the water I didn't want to look, so I just ran on to T-1.
T1 was quick and I was off on the bike. This bike ride went through a neighborhood with roundabouts and speed bumps. It was interesting. However it was quick. I felt like I was passing people at a rapid clip once I made it on the main street. It was good. The ride was smooth and felt really fast. Once I made the turn on to the graded road, I had lots of momentum so the road didn't bother me. Made the turn and was excited to be heading back.
The ride back was still fast. This was my first ride that I was not passed at all. No one even close to me at the end. Felt awesome.
T2 was also quick. Threw on my The Second Wind shirt and headed out of T2. I made the decision to run easy. No fast pace. Just a nice run. This course was hilly and had many turns. Everytime I thought I was finished with the hills on the way out, there was another hill. Finally when I saw the turnaround, it was at the bottom of the largest hill.
Good thing I wasn't concerned about my time for this run. I made the turn and started back. The back portion of this out and back was good. It did feel faster. I was able to easily navigate the hills. No issues with stamina or fatigue. The heat wasn't oppressive but now I was dripping sweat (more) and really needed a drink.
Finally within a half mile of the finish, I picked up my pace. Still feeling awesome. Grabbed water and it was warm. Not happy with that. Walked around and cooled down.
All in all the race was good. The course was nice and it was challenging. We had a great mix of people who were racers and those who were out to have fun. The venue as a whole was also good. It was a little cramped. I think they are going to have to reduce the number of participants next year. Just not the transition or parking spaces.
My times while not stunning, were actually pretty good for my effort levels.
Swim - 5:58
Bike - 38:23
Run - 21:52
Total - 1:08:04