Yesterday I decided to get up at 5am, drive up to Culpeper, Va, and race the Culpeper Sprint Tri. I was feeling like another good workout (and fun race) after last weekend’s Mission Man Tri in Burlington, NC. And yesterday’s race didn’t disappoint. A good workout it was. I was also able to help a 16-year old finish his first triathlon, making this race my “good samaritan” race 🙂
A quick and easy 750 meters. Quick and easy? WHO am I? It’s funny how swimming, like running, comes easily once you’ve been doing it consistently for so long. I finished the swim sans wetsuit easily in 15 min. I even passed a ton of old guys who had started in the wave in front of me. OOoooh and SO EXCITING (not really…): I got a different color cap this time. Set Up Events, the organization that puts on the Virginia and North Carolina tri series races, usually gives women in my age group the purple caps. I have like 6 of them already. Then yesterday they decided to change it up (finally!) and I got a red cap.
Perfect, matched my speedy bike, Ruby. She was racked all by herself on the last rack. I got sooo lucky that I got my own rack away from everyone. Just a perk of signing up last minute I suppose!
Unlike last week in North Carolina, the bike course was extremely technical. A technical bike course is one that has very steep inclines/down hills that require quick and timely use of different gears, aero positions, and overall cycling know-how. If this was my first tri of the season I’d definitely gotten my ass handed to me. But I knew what I was doing and Ruby handled it like a pro. When I bought her from Performance Bicycle, the bike pro explained how she has a different gear system–a compact gearing system– that offers a lower gear selection in order to make it easier to climb hills without changing the top speed. Yep, it feels amazing when I am neck and neck with another racer and I fly ahead of them on the hills because my bike changes gears so quickly and easily.
So although the course was extremely difficult I was feeling great. At around mile 10, passed a young guy who was really struggling on his bike. He was huffing and puffing and barely making it up the hills. I slowed down and asked if he was ok. He said it was his first tri and he didn’t feel well, that his shoulders were really cramping (a definitely side effect of the swim to bike transition for first timers!). I decided that since I was just racing for fun and fitness I would hang back with him and talk him to the end of the bike. I have to admit that while he was struggling I felt great. I was barely peddling (or it felt that way anyways). It felt good to know I was helping him and also that my endurance has come so far. Overall the 16-mile bike took 58 min. And though I could have finished 10 min earlier it felt so great to see my new young friend finish the bike portion!
Last week’s tri was on the hottest day of the summer thus far. This week (though it was a bit cooler) I came prepared with an ice bottle for the run. And it definitely helped! What didn’t help was the challenging course. The run goes up and down (twice!) the “famed Montelago hill” in Culpeper. On my way up I decided I’d speed walk up the hill because it was as fast as jogging it anyways. It turned out to be a good strategy because the rest of the run my legs felt good 🙂 Woohoo!
My camera ran out of batteries but I got one last shot with my phone back at the car.
And now on to marathon training