This past weekend was the inaugural Red Bank Olympic Triathlon and I was one of the 400 to try out this new event. I went to bed on Saturday night at around 10pm, thinking if I feel asleep quickly I would get enough sleep to be wide awake by 4am. Well needless to say, my body decided that I would not sleep, but I still popped out of bed at 4:15am. But it was to the sound of a torrential downpour outside of my window. Now I am all about attending every race I sign up for, but really, would they even have the race in this kind of weather? All I could do was drive the hour to find out.
I arrived at Marine Park as check in was opening, which was great, because I avoided all of the lines and it gave me about 2 hours to eat, poop, set up, poop, walk around, poop, etc. before my wave went off at 8am. I got everything set up, used the port-o-john and that is when I realized the first and really only amateur planning issue, four toilets for 400 people. Really? How the hell was that going to work? We would later find out, not so well.
Either way I headed back to the car, woke up nick who was sleeping in the back seat and got my breakfast. On the way back I noticed a very familiar sign that read "Riverview Medical" and I thought, I know that name for some reason. Well yeah, because that is who I have been paying back for the past few months for my last hospital stay. Well with that I realized the emergency room was right down the street and emergency room and hospital = clean bathrooms. So I got my money's worth and decided I would use opt for the emergency room bathroom over the 400 person line for the rest of my morning.
At 7:55, they started getting us into the water. We were to do a quick loop around the Navesink River. We were the 2nd wave and when we got in I was pleasantly surprised that the water was not that cold. Two minutes of treading water and we were swimming. I felt the first half of the swim was good and I was consistently passing people in my wave and wave before us. The 2nd half was a bit choppy and I drank a bit of water, but all in all it was a good swim. I got back to the dock and was feeling good. Swim time 28:08, I was ok with it.
Then it was into T1 for a quick costume change (1:33, getting better) and off on the bike. Now the bike course was interesting. I knew from checking that morning, that the highest point was between miles 11 and 13 so I was prepared to hurt for those two miles. And hurt I did! It sucked, I feel like I kicked my own ass for 2 miles and when the climb was over, I had a lot of trouble getting back up to speed, my legs would just not get back into it. It took about 3 minutes to get back to a steady pace with my legs feeling ok. One thing I will say though was that the bike course was beautiful. As beautiful as it was, I was glad when it was over. I made it into T2 with a bike time of 1:25, averaging approximately 17.5 mph.
I ran into T2 happy to off the bike, but not happy about the hill I had to climb out of the park to start the run. But hey, at least I knew the end was near! I was out of T2 in 0:51 (nice!) and began my run. Now just to back up a bit, the night before when Coach P gave me my goals, I was quite surprised. I was supposed to ride the bike 2 heart beats over the top of Z2, which I had no problem doing. But I was also supposed to run at a 7:41 pace. Now to recap, last weekend I ran my fastest ever at 8:14, a week later I was supposed to drop :33? I was not sure how I was going to do it, but I said I would try.
I headed up the hill and into the run and here is where the first feelings of doubt creeped in. I had massive cramps. My right side and my chest felt like they were filled with air pockets. I pushed out a 7:58 on my first mile, but I was dying. I felt like I couldn't breathe and the uphill climb was not helping. Then came the next cluster-fuck. As we passed mile 2 I noticed everyone veering off into a field, now we were trail running? I didn't hear anything about trail running! Yup, .5 miles of a gradually climb on trails. This is when I thought I might just give up. But of course I didn't.
I made it to the turn around point and the only thing that kept me going and sped me up a bit was that we now were running down hill, all the way back! Thank god! I picked up the pace and before I knew it I was back at the park. I finished my run in 51:48 with a pace, per my Garmin of 8:17.
The full race looked like this:
Bike: 1:25 approx 17.5 mph HR 169
Run: 51:48 8:17 min/mile HR 181
With a final finish time of 2:47:50, which actually placed me 4th in my AG. I looked and I was only 1:20 off from the 3rd place girl! Damn trail running! I could have had it, if it weren't for that!
I have to say it was a great race and a fun time. I walked away having learned a few lessons:
1) I need to perfect my climb
2) I need to be prepared for any terrain in a run or bike
3) I must keep believing in myself and get out of my head when things get hard.
4) It might be best to put at least a week in between races, because I could still feel last weeks race when I started.
Till next year Red Bank!