Sunday, July 01, 2012

Nola 5150: Over It

With the history of New Orleans WTC races and given the past 3 swim cancellations,  I was extremely hesitant to do another event. I've been a little over WTC lately. Despite mixed feelings, I knew I needed to get out there and see what I could do.

After my 140.6, I took a few weeks off, did a cross fit fundamentals class, and then slowing transitioned back to the swim-bike-run. Although I think my time off and slow transition back was appropriate, all of that long-sllllooow-distance really wrecked havoc on my speed. This definitely showed on race day.

Tropical storm Debbie had to make her presence known on race day and kicked up the wind to a lovely 20mph. The swim was a little choppy and the water was a little gross. Knowing the race turnout was low I made sure I was in the top few groups of AG women in the time trial swim start. And having a good knowledge of most of the swim field, I figured I should have been out of the water top 1-2 female. Here is a picture of the course:

There were some changes made on race day to lengthen the course to the actual 1500 m. The change that made the middle part of the race look like the letter: M

 Heading out on the first half I knew there was one girl and myself on each others heels. We were the gray swim caps. I stayed on her until the final straight away to the finish as all of a sudden a ton of gray caps showed up out of nowhere. Much to my surprise and as a result of the wind,  the buoy that marked the middle of the M and the buoy that marked the final stretch were pushed a little too close to each other. This apparently confused a few swimmers or they just blatantly cheated. As I approached this part, I saw a ton of gray swim caps: 1: stop and breast stroke 2. Do the math 3. turn hard right and head for the finish. Yes they totally just cut 300m from the course.....

Despite this I was still top 2 out of the water, but had several girls who I know are not strong swimmers right on my tail. Huh.... wonder how that happened. Anyway the New Orleans races (5150 and now the new half IM course) have the longest transition I have ever seen in my life. The checkered red line marks that on the above picture and you can kinda see this long straight away in the one below. It was literally almost a half mile run from the swim exit to the bike racks. Yes -that explains the 5 minue T1.

Anyway despite being frustrated about the cheating I saw and worn out from the long T1 run, I shrugged it off and headed onto the bike. Despite the race being in the flat swamplands, there were approx 8 hills going over overpasses and a 20mph+ tail wind on the second half of the 2-loop course. A few girls past me but I just focused on my race. It was hammer on the first half of the loop and then suffer for the second. My legs were trashed by the time I finished. I was super stoked however to rock some new goods :) Thank you REV3!!!!!!!

Going into the run, the sun beat down and the temp swelled over 100 deg with 90% humidity. After fighting the wind so hard, I had nothing left. I went out around 8 minute pace and it was all down hill from there.

It was a painful death march. With the time trial start, I had no clue where I was. Although no girls in my AG passed me, I knew my run was nightmar-sh-ly slow..... This is exactly how I felt afterwards:

Despite the ugly performance, I was 2nd AG and qualified for Hy-vee. Now it's time to get back to a real race and head to Rev3 Portland! 


  1. It is always good to race as soon as possible after an IM. Trust me I know. ;)

    LOL You will be recovered in time for your next one Heidi, and no doubt kick some ASS!! :)

    Have a good one. :) xoxo

  2. Oh Heidi I do not envy you racing in that kind of heat! Congrats on your podium!! Have a great race in Portland!!

  3. I think you did pretty great coming off an IM and subsequent recovery time! Congrats on the podium finish and good luck at Portland!