This was a 5 mile run / 31 mile bike / 5 mile run.
So leading up to this race did not go so well. I got a cold which turned into a sinus infection which I let go too long and thus took too long to recover. But I must say I started feeling close to 100% about 2 days before the race and on race morning I felt back to normal. I has originally hoped to break 3:15 for this race, but after being sick for 2 weeks I thought I should be happy if I broke 3:20.
Race morning the nerves were in high gear. The race didn't start until 9AM which meant more time to sit around and be nervous. I packed up everything and ate breakfast, then finally headed out around 7. Arrived at the site and it was cold, in the 40's. All I had to race in was a short sleeve shirt and my tri shorts. I saw a ton of people getting tights and arm warmers ready and wondered if I was missing something, but no time to worry about that, I had none of that available. I got to meet a fellow tweeter @triblogcarol who had gashed her head on her door and was told by medical that she would need stitches, but decided to do the race anyway.
Run1: 43:40 8:45 / mile. I was planning to run this at 9 min pace, but everyone went out fast and hard and it was all I could do to hang back. I think I was one of the last people in to transition and the results say I was 99 out of 102. Felt good on this run and ended up liking the course more than I expected. It was a loop with an out and back attached. It allowed for 4 water stops which would be very helpful on the second run which would be about 70 degrees.
Bike: 1:39:21 - 18.8 mph ave speed. I was once again planning to stay conservative on the bike and was shooting for 18 mph. I felt so good going out I just coasted the downhills and tried not to redline on the hills. I loved this bike course and we had favorable winds so it went by quickly. When I got to 3 miles to go I sat up and took it easy so I could get ready for the swim. I had taken 20 oz of Gatorade endurance and 20 oz of Regular gatorade and got a water bottle at the hand off so I had about 50 oz of fluid on the bike. Didn't realize until later when I saw my helmet how much I sweated on the bike, but felt like I had replaced enough and would be ok on the second run.
Run2: 50:15 - 10:04 pace. It was close to 70 degrees when we started but I was feeling good and I was ahead of my schedule. I only had to do a 49 minute 5 mile run and I could get my goal of breaking 3:15. Got about 1 mile into the run and I felt some cramps starting in my quads. I decided not to push to hard and just to concentrate on form and hope to hold off the cramps. I tool head and water at each stop, but they didn't have anything with salt so I was a bit worried. I did the first loop in 23 minutes and energy wise I was feeling great. I had two gels on the bike with the last on in transition. The second loop was not nearly as good as the first. When I hit the first downhill my quads were not happy, then going up the first uphill my hamstrings started to cramp so I slowed and walked up. Once at the top I was able to run again and made it to the water stop. Grabbed water and started to jog again. When I got to the final turn around I was at 3 hours even. That meant I had 15 minutes to do the final 1.25 miles. This had me all happy and I was encouraging all the other runners on the course and having a great time. Got the the water stop and was thanking the girls for doing such a great job and staying out there so long. Did a short walk then started running again. It was a short jog then made a sharp left turn and that was it. My left hamstring cramped so bad I thought my leg was going to break. Usually I can walk those out, but there was no walking this time. The only thing I could do was bend over and stretch it out. stayed like that till the pain went away and tried to stand up, as soon as I got close the cramp came right back. 1 minute later I finally could stand and tried to walk, but as soon as I bent my knee, boom cramp came back and I was bent over again. After about three minutes I got to the point were I could walk. I walked for a minute and then started jogging. Amazingly I felt ok again. no cramps. I ran the whole way back except for the really steep hill just before the last water stop. Since I didn't think I could make the 3:15 anymore I didn't think it was worth trying to run it. Once at the top I was able to run it in and finish. Of course right at the finish line my left quad cramped up and I limped across the line.
Overall I felt it was a good race, FSSeries did a good job. The bike course was just awesome. I still need to figure out the cramping deal in my hamstrings. I guess I will have to experiment with salt tabs or endurolytes coming up so I can crank out a 10k at the olympic tri in June without cramping.
I know I should be happy with the 3:16 since it was better than the 3:20 I expected, but knowing how close I was to a 3:13 makes it bittersweet.
Looking forward now to the triangle orthopedic sprint tri coming up in April and the Adventure race the week after that. Race season is in full gear.