Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Racing Alone

Ironically the Sandestin Triathlon happens to always fall on my anniversary weekend. While some may think it's odd to celebrate an anniversary by racing a triathlon, I honestly couldn't think of a better option. Scott and I headed over early Friday from NOLA to Destin, FL. We had just enough time to settle in, crank out the usual pre-race workouts, and to squeeze in some outlet shopping. We stayed conveniently right next door to where the race as being held and caught a glimpse of the most perfect sunset....
The race went off without a hitch. The gulf was calm, clear, and perfectly inviting. My age group was the first wave with guys/gals combined. I went out hard knowing this quasi-OLY/sprint race would be as I say "balls to the wall." With the guy/gal combo the start was a little rough. I drafted a little settled into a rhythm but found myself solo after I hit the 2nd buoy. No ladies in sight.

Hmmm.... Not having a stellar rock star swimmer history, I figured a few girls escaped me. I told myself, "I'll catch them on the run." After I ran the extra quarter mile to transition, I was off on to the bike. A few miles out people started yelling, "Go 1st lady!" What? How did this happen? Me? First out of the water? What?

And there I was. A-l-o-n-e. A guy passed me here and there. But I was out there flying solo. I'll be honest. It just felt WEIRD! It was nice to not have to worry about drafting packs and reckless newbies. At the turn around I caught a glimpse of my closest competition. She was a good 2-3 minutes back. I felt like I was flying on the bike but carefully kept my heart rate under my coaches 170 bpm cut-off. The glassy-smooth Florida roads were like a dream. The 20 mile bike was over before I knew it.

Off to my usual favorite:the run. At that point the sun was relentlessly beating down. As I set off at a 6:50 pace, I immediately scaled it back to coaches orders. I found myself again in a very strange place: ALONE. No guys. Nada. After I scaled my pace back, I found it hard to get the legs going again. As the heat/sun combo took it's toll on my body/psyche my pace slowed. I was spent. I neared the turn around and again saw the same competition still a few minutes back. I just couldn't muster the energy to pick up my pace. The last 2 miles of the 4 mile run were tortuous. The alone-ness was getting to me. I mustered up enough energy to pick it up at the finish line and finished "unofficially" as the first lady and obviously my AG winner. Knowing there was a pro lady in the field, I knew my my chances of winning were pretty slim. Not sure why a pro would race something this small-but I won't go there.

I ended up 4th OA. Hoping for an overall place, I was a little disappointed but knew I lost it mentally on the run. Tagging an extra 2 minutes from my previous years time, it was pretty obvious that I wasn't too comfortable racing ALONE.

Has this ever happened to anyone else? Ultimately, I guess I'm a chaser at heart :) Maybe this takes some getting used to?

Regardless of the outcome it was an amazingly-fun-filled-race/weekend. And I can't forget to sent a shout-out to Scott who dropped a crazy 15 minutes off of his time from last year. Check out his latest give-a-way too :)And to my fellow teammates who cleaned house :)
You gotta love accepting your award in a bikini! :)


  1. congrats on your race. It seems to me, and I know relatively nothing of triathlon, but it seems to me when you finish your race you have to do some clock watching to see how you did vs. the competition. At least the ones not in your age group.

    Oh well, Happy Anniversary, and Congrats on the race. :)

  2. Girl, you totally kicked ass! So proud of you. Only time I have ever been alone and hated it too, was a 50K trail race. Worst part was it was a weird set of repeats out a back so I couldn't gauge how far behind the others were. I held em' off though! I like having a chase bunny personally. Happy Anniversary to you and Scott! Great way to celebrate I say.

  3. Congrats on your AG win!! Racing out front is definitely different... Happy anniversary to you guys too. Great way to celebrate! :)

  4. Congrats on a great win! I really love your jersey. Very freakin' cool!

    Happy Anniversary to you and Scott!

  5. yay happy anniversary and congrats on the hardware!

  6. What a fun race report! It is tough tough tough to race out front but hey, sometimes it's a new thing you have to try once in awhile and see how it goes! You did very well and I think you should be proud! Oh - and GO SCOTT!! Going to read his now!!

  7. Congratulations!!! Sounds like you are having a pretty awesome season :) Happy Anniversary