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Monday, April 30, 2012

Collegiate Nationals: Not a Race Report

Well I am a few days removed from my first triathlon of the season. The benefit to writing this now, is that it is still April, and I was able to test myself against some very fast talent. After much thought on the 14 hour drive home, I decided that writing a race report really is pointless to not only, you, the reader (mom), but to myself as well. Instead I would like to talk about everything that I have learned over the weekend and share with those that were unable to experience. 1. Traveling to a race is HARD! This was my first time traveling more then 4 hours to a race. A 16 hour car drive from La Crosse down to Tuscaloosa kept me up through the night Thursday and already fatigued going into Saturday. Lesson #1, prepare for your travels before you leave and setup a routine. I don't sleep in cars or planes for that matter, and on the slight chance I do, it is anything but restful sleep. I was absolutely exhausted Friday night at the pasta dinner, and thought I could bank enough hours of sleep Friday night. Wrong, the best sleep you can get before a race is two days out, which, unfortunately for me, was spent playing role of navigator/driver 2. I traveled with a group of 9 other athletes from school, and it seemed as if some of us were on different agendas. Some of us were focused on the race from the moment we left La Crosse, while others were on vacation the moment we left. My vacation was to start after I crossed the finish line and not a moment before. I was also one of the more experience triathletes on the trip so lots of questions were directed towards me. That is a role that I am not used to, and welcomed with both arms, but when I need to make adjustments on 5 bikes before I get to mine it is tiring, especially when unexpected. 3. Eating on the road needs to be planned out. I baked some banana bread, packed some bananas, and brought lots of fluids. That lasted me about halfway through the car ride. Then my diet was consisting of IHOP, gas station stops, and the pasta dinner. I underestimated what I needed to bring, and didn't plan my meals or think them out in advance...lesson learned. 4. Routine. This is something that I was told after I came back when talking to coach. There was absolutely no routine on Friday, intact we were mostly flying be the seat of our pants the entire day. This added stress, lost time, and more time under a baking sun without preparation. A little more pre-trave organization can go a long way. 5. Racing. Well the race may not have gone AS BAD as I made it out to be. My swim was standard, especially for my first river swim ever, and first open water swim of the year. The bike was everything that I expected, nothing special, but was a direct result of where my bike fitness stands right now. It was my run that really brought me down, especially after all the hard work put in over the winter months. Mentally I broke once again after I saw the watch hit 8:00 pace, just .5 miles into the run that was mostly uphill. I need to relax more on the run and be patient. It took me out of the race mentally once again and I need to work on this. By mile 4 I was able to regroup and finish the race in a somewhat proud fashion, but it was that mental breakdown and 3 miles after that really killed me. So there it is in a quick recap. I have already moved on and the focus is now on 13.1 on Sunday.