Somehow, I managed to sign myself up for 3 races this weekend. I guess I didn’t really think that through. I ended up skipping one of them (the Swamp Rabbit 5k – it was only $6, so no huge loss there). I allowed myself to get talked into participating in both the Tour de Cashiers in North Carolina and the Lake Murray Tri in Columbia. WHEW.
So, first up, the Tour de Cashiers. This is a bike ride starting in Cashiers, NC (duh) with a 100 mile, 100k, and 25-ish mile ride option. We signed up for the 100k. SPOILER: I DNF’ed. I knew this even would be difficult, but I still thought I could get through it – but I also just didn’t train for it. I haven’t done any major climbing since…last November? It’s been a while.
So, we drove up the night before to stay with a friend’s parents so we wouldn’t have to drive up that morning (it’s definitely in what I could call the “boonies” – beautiful, but way out there). The event started at 9 and it was…kind of cold. It was 45 degrees at that point and I was maybe not prepared for that temperature. The descents were very chilly.
Here’s the course elevation:
The arrow is where I decided to call it quits. That Cat 2 climb was intense, and before we even got to that mountain we had all that other junk first. The first 13 miles or so were good – some climbing, but nothing too terrible. The descent was AMAZING. So much fun. Then we had a few miles of some nice flat road in the valley before we started the big one – 7 miles of pain. I was pushing for 4 mph for a good portion of it. At one point, I was so ready to give up, I got off my bike and sat on the side of the road for a minute or two. I talked myself into getting back on and powered up the rest of the way. My legs were shaking and I was feeling a little nauseous. There was an aid station at the top – I stopped and got some drinks and snacks while I decided whether to keep going or not. I knew there was still another big climb out there (shorter, but steeper) and I just didn’t think I could do it. Rather than get stuck on the side of the road, I decided to stop there and ride the SAG wagon back to the start. I wasn’t the only one =) My friend said she was ok and I told her I would meet her back at the car. And she finished! Those last 20 miles (after everything else) looked killer and she said she definitely had some words for those last few climbs.
Still, this was an incredible event, and I would love to go back (after some training, of course) and try again to finish. I ended up completing around 37 miles with 4000 ft of elevation, which is still not bad. The views were incredible.
Onto the race!
I knew my climbing legs would be tired from Saturday, but I was still ready for a triathlon!
Since I failed to kick off the triathlon season back in March, I was definitely ready to race. Very excited to be out in open water, and to race on my new bike! We drove down Sunday morning for the race – not a bad drive from Greenville. Plenty of parking near the transition area, so it was a pretty hassle-free morning!
Apparently, the story is that someone stole the buoy the night before the race, so they were trying to replace it Sunday morning with a very scientific method (“A little further! No, a little more!!”). As a result, they told us that the swim was not exact, but based on the times, I think it was probably long. I was expecting around 10-11 minutes for a 750, and it took me over 16 minutes. Considering I can do 1500 in 20 mins, this seems a little off, even if I was having a rough time. My swim just felt off. I also decided to try and take off my wetsuit in the water rather than try to do it in transition. It was easier, but probably added a minute or so to my swim split.
ALSO. When I was getting into the lake to start (it was an in-water start), there was a damn snake swimming toward me. I screamed and ran away.
Time: 16:26 (8/53 Overall, 1/2 AG)
ETA: Some friends pulled their Garmin data for the swim and they all agreed that the swim was actually somewhere in the whereabouts of 1000m. So there’s that. Got a little more than we paid for 😉
T1: WTF was I doing? I had my wetsuit off, and I was wearing my new tri-suit, so I have no idea what I was doing for a minute and a half in transition.
BIKE (16 miles):
The bike course was a good one! Some rolling hills but nothing too challenging, which was good since I was feeling the ride from the day before. I loved racing on my tri bike! It feels so much easier to race on, plus it’s so much easier to shift into the big ring. I was actually able to pass people on the bike leg (unheard of!) and really felt like I was holding my own. The only thing I didn’t like about the course were the two dogs that were chasing us less than a mile away from transition. I let a volunteer know when I got back that they were out there, so hopefully someone chased them off before an accident happened.
I was super pleased with my bike split – averaged 19.2 mph!
Time: 50:51 (27/53 Overall, 1/2 AG)
T2: Same slowpoking as always.
RUN (3.1 miles):
Considering how unimpressive my running has been lately, I had a pretty good run. I only took 2 short walks through the water stops. The course was rolling hills – nothing too difficult, but it was getting warm! I tried to keep a steady pace and pick it up for the last mile. I was hoping to be under 30, and managed to just beat that.
Time: 29:32 (39/53 Overall, 2/2 AG)
Final time: 1:39:35 (23/54 Overall, 1/2 AG)
I’m pretty pleased with this race! First race of the season, and a nice course. I finished first in my age group, but there were only 2 of us, haha.
So, after a whirlwind weekend, I’m ready for bed.
Anyone do anything interesting this weekend? Who wants to join in for Cashiers next year?? =)