Sunday I participated in the Hagerstown Sprint Triathlon and this one I will remember for a long time. We’ll call it lessons learned! This was my second tri race of this season and I was really looking forward to “Tri”ing a new course.
You may recall my discussing my race anxiety a few weeks back. This time was different. I had a ton of issues going on in our house the last few weeks and I literally had no time at all to stress about the race or imagine any terrible things that might ensue. This really kept my race anxiety to a minimum and that was huge for me. (win!)
Hagerstown is about 90 minutes away from my home so my friends and I headed up the day before for packet pickup and to stay the night. This sprint tri takes place in a pool with a bike and run in around the surrounding park area. We were not familiar with the course at all (foreshadowing) so we decided to drive the bike course to get an idea of the terrain. Although we had the map on our phone, we missed a few turns but felt like we had a general idea of the course.
Had a fun, relaxing dinner with 4 other friends and headed over to our hotel to check in and check our gear. I was so tired from the crazy few days I had that I actually slept pretty well the night before the race. This never happens! (win!)
We arrived at the race venue a little before 6, easily parked, racked our bikes and set up our transitions. Just in time for a quick picture before the race started.
This was a 300 meter snake swim in a small pool with swimmers staggered every 15 seconds. I seeded myself appropriately and before I knew it, I was off and swimming. I literally has no anxiety at all! This has never happened. I immediately got into my swim groove and felt great the whole time. I did not encounter any aggressive swimmers and no one passed me. I exited the pool feeling like I had one of my best tri swims ever. (win!) This completely goofy pic shows how happy I was. PS they should not allow post swim photos!
Transition 1 was pretty good. I put my bike gloves onto the wrong hands which has never happened before. In case you were wondering, they are not too effective that way. Off I was on bike! I was feeling amazing from the start. A few people passed me and I then passed a few. This was a small race of about 425 racers and all of the sudden I found myself alone. I came to a fork in the road and had no idea which way to go. There was an orange cone but no sign. There was literally no one anywhere. So…I turned left and a little over a mile later I see a race official who tells me I am way off course. Oh No! How did that happen? I literally blew probably my best time yet by adding on an extra 3 miles. I should have had a course map printed out or known the course better. (Lesson learned!)
Finally made it back to transition 2 and quickly threw on my running shoes. Despite my detour, I was still in good spirits and felt pretty good on the run. My legs did not have that jelly feeling they sometimes get after a bike. I finished the run strong and knew it was one of my better tri run times. (calling this one a win!)
So I quickly realized, had I not had a little detour, I would have probably placed in my age group. Bummer huh?
Lessons learned in the race were huge:
-Having something else to stress about & analyzing every detail of the race took away my race anxiety
-Taking 2 days off before the race allowed me to start with fresh legs and lots of energy.
-It is my responsibility to know the bike & run course.
-Race pics are never attractive 🙂
Despite the little bike snafu, I am calling the race a win overall. I felt better and stronger than I ever have during a race. Can’t wait to go back next year and crush this course.
What lessons have you learned in a race?
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