Or “How to almost bonk on a sprint”
Or “Why not to go out two nights in a row before a race”
Rookie mistakes you say? Yes absolutely. Here is my race report for the first in the Rex Wellness Triathlon series. This one took place in Garner which is south of Raleigh.
Thankfully I packed up my bike and all my stuff the night before and loaded up the car. That meant in the morning all I had to do was fill up my waters, eat some breakfast and then hop in the car. It was only about a 20 minute drive to the Rex Wellness Center so that made it really easy. The biggest problem was getting up. As the alternative title suggests, we were out with friends Friday and Saturday nights which did nothing to help me for this race. I wasn’t out to compete, so I wasn’t taking this race too seriously, however if I had I think I may have enjoyed it a bit more.
I got my transition area all set up. As there was only 200 or so people taking part the transition are was nice and small. I talked to a few people, had a few nervous poos which is pretty standard for me before a race, and then before I knew it we were all heading inside to the pool to start the race.
The swim was a 250 yard pool swim. I’ve never done a triathlon with a pool swim before so I figured this was going to be interesting. The pool was 6 lanes and the plan was to swim 50s in the first 4 and then 25s in the last two. This was because in the last lane there was a huge staircase took up most of the width of the last lane. It seemed pretty straightforward, until they told we would be lining up along the wall of the first lane in the water. So this meant you had to swim two lengths in the first lane, as well having people along the edge of the pool in the lane while you were swimming. Most people were confused and wondered why they didn’t just have the first and last lane be 25 and the middle 4 lanes be 50s. I was worried about this, until I actually got in the pool. The first lane was wider than any of the others so it ended up working out.
We were supposed to self seed for this race. So when registering you had to put in an estimated time for a 1oo meter swim. I could have given myself a faster time, as by the time I started it was a bit of a cluster in the pool. I got out of the pool in 4:16 (although the timing mat was at the start of the transition area so it has my time at 4:43), but I probably could have done it in under 4 minutes if I wasn’t being held up by people. My main gripe about the self seeding is, there was one kid (there were lots of kids doing the race which was great, that’s not my problem) whose parents clearly have an inflated sense of his swimming ability and gave him way to quick a time. He could barely swim and was just causing everyone to slow up behind him. I eventually got to pass him at a wall pretty quickly, but some people were getting way more annoyed than I was.
The bike was where I really started to struggle. I am definitely not strong on the bike, something I have learned over and over doing all these triathlons. The course was a 5 mile out and back. Pretty straightforward, but I haven’t been spending too much time biking the past few weeks. That with the lack of sleep and a few big hills on the course just destroyed my legs. I had a average speed of just over 16 miles an hour. Not much to say about a bike course that is straight down the road and back. Just under 37 minutes for the bike.
As soon as I jumped off the bike I knew these 2 miles was going to hurt. My calves cramped up straight away, something I have been battling with quite a lot this year. The run course was also pretty straightforward. 1 mile down the same road as the bike course. I had a stitch in my side and couldn’t get a good stride going. The course was pretty nice though. You went up a hill for a bit, crested the hill and the turn around was a little bit down from there. Once you got over the hill on the way back it was pretty much downhill the whole way back until the very end. I was hoping this run would be easy since it was only 2 miles and I’d be able to get a good pace going. But some with the bike, it just wasn’t happening today. Need to sleep more before races. Time: 18:33.
Total time was 1:02:29. I was hoping to go under a hour for this race as it was a nice short one and I thought I’d be able to just go out hard and maintain that for an hour. Unfortunately, I didn’t take the few nights before the race seriously enough and ended up paying for it. Apart from my not so great racing, the race itself was great. Rex Wellness along with FSSeries put on a great race. It was a nice doing a smaller local race. A lot of people were out doing their very first triathlon and there were a lot of kids doing it as well which was awesome (apart from the one who was causing issues in the pool, but fair play to him he was trying his best). I’d definitely recommend the Rex Series to anyone especially first-timers/beginners. I’m planning on doing the other two (August and October) to complete the Tri-Peat they are putting on this year.
But for now I need to get ready for the Triangle Triathlon at Harris Lake on Saturday and focus my running on training for the City of Oaks Marathon.
Thanks for reading!