Yesterday Marty and I raced the Breezy Point Triathlon in Norfolk, Virginia (1K swim, 20K bike, 5K run). It’s held on a naval station and it was pretty neat to see all the giant helicopters right next to transition, and finish the race on the airstrip in front of them. This race had a bit of prize money which was an incentive for us to go up there; my sister lives nearby and she graciously lets us stay at her house, and then dragged herself and her daughters out to cheer for us in the early morning. I’m about ready to make her start traveling with us because literally every race she has come to I have won! And this goes back to our time in Florida.
I knew a few of my competitors from doing a couple of races up there now, and also recognized a couple other names from different race results and knew I needed to have a great race to finish near the top. Last week at the fun Woodlake triathlon I purposely dialed back the intensity and used it as a workout because I wanted to be ready to go for Breezy Point. I knew I may need to dig deep and didn’t want to have to go to the well two weeks in a row. That worked perfectly and I had a great time last week and a solid ‘triathlon workout’ but wasn’t sore or that tired afterwards.
Marty and I got to the race site early since you had to drive on base and we didn’t know if there would be backups with them checking ID’s, but it turned out to be a non-issue. There were also a ton of people already at the race site which surprised me since we got there around 6:15 for the 8:00 start! We did our morning race rituals and then realized at 7:30 that the swim area was only open for another 10 minutes, so we hustled down there to get in a little warm up. After getting out of the water I talked with Scott (future bro-in-law) before my wave got ready. I was glad he was there to chat with because I was pretty nervous and he kept my mind off of everything.
Once we got in the water there was confusion and yelling about where the start line was (the one end of the ‘start line’ was way ahead of the other, not sure who came up with that). Then the horn went and the typical mayhem ensued when you start with all the Open men, too. Except since this was an in the water start I didn’t get clobbered like I did last year at Sandman. The swim was 1K in a protected area of the ocean, but it still had a bit of chop and some current so it wasn’t one of our nice, flat, lake swims we get spoiled with here in NC. I took the swim out hard and put a lot of effort into it. My reward was 2nd female out of the water, and my transition had me on my bike with the slightest lead. My swim time was 14:31.
The bike is completely flat with some turns I am too cautious on. It was windy (hence the name, ‘breezy point’) and the roads were way bumpier than I would like. My legs took a bit to get warmed up but they came around quick and I pushed it pretty hard. No bike computer means I’m always a little nervous about how fast I’m going but my breathing (LOUD) reassured me that my effort was high. The second half of the bike smoothed out a bit and had a turnaround where I could gauge my position. Over the years I’m usually the one chasing and it’s a whole different mental battle when you’re in the lead! The girl who came out ahead of me on the swim wasn’t too far back, and the one young girl from Virginia Tech that I knew was fast must not have had a very good swim because I had a really solid lead on her. I relaxed a bit towards the end and I was confident I could hold it together for the run. Bike time was 32:28.
My sister and nieces and Scott’s mom were right there when I got off of my bike and were cheering like crazy. There is nothing cuter than hearing a 4 year old yelling your name! Heather was able to give me my lead (about :40) as I was running out. Even with putting on socks because of my delicate feet :) I had one of the fastest T2's for women.
I started the run and felt pretty good. I quickly caught up to a 19 year old (I think he was the first out of the water) who I had come up on the very end of the bike. He said, “You’re a machine!” which made me laugh. I told him he was doing great and he tucked in right behind me for most of the run. I didn’t mind and he kept me from slacking off. The first mile felt easy and when we turned right after it I found out why – we had a massive tailwind. So now it was a massive headwind. I kept it together for 2+ miles but then started to lose it mentally, and my buddy had fallen back. The last ½ mile is on the seawall (running into the headwind) and I definitely let my pace slide a bit. You could see the finish but it was so far away! My buddy ended up kicking past me with about 100 yards to go, and there was no way I was going to get into a sprint to the finish match with a 19 year old boy! I crossed the line and was pretty tired but overall felt good. Run was 19:30.
Marty is definitely getting back on track and finished 3rd overall. He was the ‘old guy’ in the top 5 and I think he did great. They sure do know how to have a post race party at these events; they held it at a park on base and had tons of food, soda and beer (all free!) They did awards pretty quick and we got watches and checks! I won $400 and Marty won $200 so that will help pay for the new front, side and back doors we just bought for our house. They were desperately needed but geez those things are expensive!
I’ll post some pictures once my sister gets them on facebook. My 10 year old niece took some great shots, although definitely too many butt shots of me.