Valdese Triathlon Race Report
Heading into this race, I was feeling pretty good after finally having one and half days of lighter training. The morning of, Kristen and I departed for Valdese, NC at six am. So much for my Saturday slumber. After a relatively short hour drive, we arrived at the race start and a balmy 44 degrees/windy. At least it wasn’t snowing like in Boone.
Warm up went fine expect my stomach was starting to act up and I really couldn’t find a rhythm running. My legs felt heavy and lethargic but I figured it was normal pre-race jitters. I headed over to the pool (which was inside a bubble!) and got in roughly 2000yds warming up. Overall, I was just not feeling that sharp but once again I dismissed it as pre-race jitters. The only problem I could see was that I was freezing cold and it was roughly two thousand degrees inside the pool bubble. I dismissed it again as pre-race coldness (?).
Being the first one in the water has its perks, namely being the first one in the water. The downside is that there are a nervous group of 500 type a triathletes waiting behind you who are more than willing to laugh and point if you get pasted by one of the ‘slower’ swimmers. Lining up behind me were two Davidson swimmers (freaking awesome, who I saw splitting 25s 50’s during warmup) and a high school swimmer who probably doubled as the local high school’s tightend. The stomach problems I had eluded to earlier re-surfaced (maybe not the correct word choice) around the 125yd mark and I spent the rest of the swim wondering if I was even going to make it to the poolside.
Luckily, I was able to prolong the march of the amphibians and exited the water in second position by one second. By the time we had exited transition I was in first again and following behind what looked to be the Cash Cab. With blinking lights and horns blaring, we started our ‘gently rolling’ 9mi loop. The only problem was that the ‘gently rolling’ quickly turned into quarter and half mile long uphill followed by dramatic sweeping downhill and 90degree turns, as well as chilly crosswind (Luckily I am from Boone and it was like a spring day). I think I spent a total of two minutes in my aerobars! I came off the bike with a 3+min advantage and started the run. Side note: my rear wheel skewer was not fastened down. I couldn’t figure out why I was getting so much road vibrations and trouble shifting. Note to self: fasten the skewer before next race. Thankfully, I didn’t crash…I’m a freaking genius!
Here’s where the fun started.
As soon as I started the run my stomach completely cramped over. The quote that comes to mind is from the movie, Rat Race, “I’m prairie doggin’ it.” I never could get into a full stride thanks to the fact that I was on the verge of forfeiting my entire GI tract. Once I hit the two mile marker I realized that I was over a half a mile ahead of the next guy and eased up tremendously in hopes of my stomach issues subsiding. I should point out that I was also running a fever at this point in the race. Needless to say the following two hours till the awards were spent over a toilet.
All in all, a good effort on a day that I physically was not 100%. It’s good to get one under the belt before Lubbock in two weeks. With my immune system strong and my body fully rested, Collegiate Nationals should be a breakout race for me (as soon as I can keep some calories down).