Monday, April 8, 2013

White Lake Sprint Race Report

I decided to do the White Lake sprint triathlon about a week and a half ago, and Mary agreed to race and drive down with me. It didn't occur to me that the water temperature was going to be so cold despite the fact that we've had a very cold winter, and the week before the race was very chilly. White Lake is a fairly shallow lake and any temperature swings make a big impact.

(For those of you wanting to skip the blah blah blahhing, here are the results.)

So when I heard on Thursday afternoon that the water was 52, I was not super thrilled. Rumor was that it was actually 49 and oh those poor people in the half on Saturday. That morning was windier and choppier and many opted to do a duathlon instead. Some after getting in the water and saying, 'Aww hell no'. I was honestly so worried about the water that I couldn't even think about the rest of the race! The good thing about that was I wasn't nervous at all (except for freezing to death).

Saturday afternoon we had a party at our house for our Master's team. Because Marty might not mention it, he won his age group at the NC Master's State Championship earlier that day in the 100 fly! The party was fun, although I definitely ate too much dessert. But it's impossible when it's just sitting there begging for you to get it in your belly. It's not my fault.

I got to sleep at a pretty decent time. My alarm was set for 4:45am and I was meeting Mary at 5:30 to drive down to White Lake. Logan however, had different plans for letting mommy get a good night's sleep before the race. After literally months of him sleeping 12+ hours a night (not counting when we travel), he decided to wake up crying at 1:45am. Ugggggghhhhhh. After much cuddling, feeding and baby whispering between Marty and myself, he finally went back to sleep.

I was definitely bleary-eyed getting ready after the watch beeped. Mary was a few minutes late to our meeting spot so I closed my eyes and got a few more winks.  Luckily, we talked nonstop all the way to White Lake so I had no problem staying awake. Upon arriving I was not happy with how cold the air was! I had a serious bad attitude going for a bit. But I got myself together, did a warmup run where I felt terrible, and then started getting prepared to jump into the frigid waters.

They were saying over the loudspeaker, "The water temperature is 56 degrees! A whole 4 degrees warmer then yesterday! You guys are lucky!" I wanted to scream, willyoushutupalready!! And I was told later that a USAT official actually saw the reading as 52. But really, what difference does it make at that point? Under 60 is cold.

I have a sleeveless wetsuit, but wore arm-sleeves which helped. I also had ear plugs and a neoprene cap. I stood on the steps so long that one guy finally said, "You're still here?" Keep moving along, buddy. I'll get in when I'm ready.

Mary got in and started swimming to the other dock so I went for it. It was awful. My face was so cold it hurt and I couldn't catch my breath. When we got to the other side I definitely whiney-cried this to her and she told me some positive affirmations that I couldn't really process.

Bri: wahh wahh my face hurts its so cold I can't do this wahh wahh
Mary: smile positive statements smile laugh smile swim away from complaining Bri

It did get a little better once everything went numb, but I didn't want to warmup through the National Anthem which seemed like a rude thing to do so I got cold all over again. Then it was 2min to go and stand in chest deep water for the gun.

The swim itself was fine. I really was numb by then so I can't really complain anymore about the water temp. You're probably saying, how in the world could you complain MORE??  The problem for me was I honestly just couldn't tell if I was swimming hard or not - I was out of breath but this might have been due to the cold water. There is also a strong possibility it has to do with my overall low training volume.

Anyways, I finally made it to the ladder and getting out and running to transition was just frankly confusing. I was a little out of it and there was so much to get off and I couldn't find my wetsuit strap and I couldn't hear anything because of the ear plugs and neoprene cap. I usually love the long transition runs because I can make up some time lost from the swim, but today I just lost more time. It was slow and there was lots of fumbling once I got into transition. And thank you to the spectator who found my arm sleeve.

The bike was fine. That could literally be my entire assessment but I will give you more details instead. You're welcome.  So it's a two-loop, semi-bumpy affair around the lake. I was completely by myself the first lap and then had some people to pass the 2nd lap as other waves were now filtering onto the course. I tried to push as hard as I could and could barely see 2nd place off in the distance. Mary was in first absolutely crushing us all. I got a little tired towards the end so backed off a bit. Maybe in another post I'll talk about my actual training and balancing life right now, but full disclosure, I did the best I could with what I've given myself to work with.

Off the bike and onto the run, with a little fumbling to get my gloves off that I wore on the bike. I saw 2nd place heading out when I was at my rack, but the lack of time information from the spectators clued me into the fact that Mary was way ahead.  I honestly didn't feel super great heading out but just put my head down and chugged along. I caught 2nd fairly quick and didn't have anyone to focus on so just tried to focus on keeping the gas pedal pressed and not worrying about anything else. Finally I got to see the damage Mary had done at the turn around and it was significant. She had told me in the car ride down that one of her goals for the year was to win a race - so when I saw her I yelled a very stern: "You have got to GO" trying to get the message to her that she could win this race, but I was not going to let up.

I really tried to pick it up coming home and she was coming back to me. I was getting so close - to her and the finish line and in the end I was 10 seconds short. But honestly, it was so much fun trying to run her down. And I could not be happier for her for the win! I don't think I've ever been in a position when I'm trying to catch someone and come so close and also be so happy for their victory. It was awesome.

Afterwards we did a nice cooldown run, changed, and got our awards. I'm not sure that we stopped talking until I dropped her off at her car.  I'm so glad I did the race, because I'm pretty sure between the water temperature and Logan screaming I would've bailed if I hadn't met her to drive down together. And we had so much fun the entire time.  I'm also happy with my race. I honestly surprise myself a lot of times with what I can do on not a whole lot of training. Quality over quantity for sure right now for me.  Quantity is not available at this point.

We stalked the results a few times just to be sure that we did in fact go 1-2. You never know when a sneaky age grouper might slide in. But we did, go OSB!

Mary is obviously telling me somthing super important since it looks like I'm hanging on her every word.

Yeah, probably not.


Beth said...

I got a bit chilled just reading about swimming in 52 degree water! But great job! When I saw the results I couldn't wait to read the report of how it turned to be so close at the end!

Steve said...

I have to be honest, I am not always interested in race reports, but this was a good read.

Congrats too. :)

Unknown said...

This is my favorite of all your blog posts ;) ... except for the picts at the end, woof. That photog must have really loved us!

Roger said...

Brrrr..... I hope that it's warmer for Beaver Dam next week! Nice race Coach Lady and a great write-up! Roger

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