The Nation's Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

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Washington, Washington, D.C.
United States
TNT productions
60F / 16C
Total Time = 2h 28m 40s
Overall Rank = 29/230
Age Group = F35-39
Age Group Rank = 3/31
Pre-race routine:

What a difference a week makes! I went into this race with zero expectations, I even went out the night before. It was kind of cool, did a dinner cruise with the Secretary of the Navy, and nearly every Navy Admiral in DC. So, I was "on the Potomac" Friday night, and "in the Potomac" Saturday morning! This was the first time since 1971 anyone's been legally allowed to swim in the Potomac!
And what a fantastically fabulous fall day it was. Not a cloud in the sky; cool, clear, crisp air and a definite electric charge all around! I rode my bike from the house down to the transition area in Georgetown--even met a fellow DC-Tri gal named Carmen who lives near me, so we rode together.

I arrived in transition pretty late, around 7:30 (my swim wave wasn't until 8:44), got all set up, and helped a number of newbies as well. Met the girl right next to me, Jennifer, who just got back from Iraq and is now out of the Army. After helping her set up, we both headed down to the swim start.

There were tons of DC-Tri folks all around, either racing or volunteering. The volunteer support was fantastic! The Georgetown waterfront was beautiful, clear blue skies--a perfect "San Diego morning".

Event warmup:

Ride to transition, and walk to the swim.
  • 29m 53s
  • 1640 yards
  • 01m 49s / 100 yards

The Potomac isn't the nastiest water I've ever been in. It was actually quite nice. Didn't smell bad, didn't taste bad, and it was actually better visibility UNDER-water than above. We jumped off the floating dock into the water, swam down to the Key Bridge, and then turned around for the down-stream, slightly longer leg back. Problem was that the sun was right in our face. It was a total white-out. The entire river seemed on fire with light. I couldn't see anything. I had to stop 3 or 4 times to try to hear others around me, and look backwards at the bouys to know where to swim forwards. Needless to say, it was a brutal swim!

What would you do differently?:

Wear my other pair of goggles! I had them there, but only swam with them once, was afraid of the seal.
Transition 1
  • 03m 12s

It was a fairly long run from the swim to the transition area--about the same as last week at General Smallwood.

  • 1h 07m 58s
  • 24.85 miles
  • 21.94 mile/hr

I took off flying past the Kennedy Center, checked my computer and it said 24mph! WOW, I thought, this is going to be a good race! I was flying all the way until the tip of Hain's Point, and as I rode around "The Awakening" statue, I "awokened" to the fact that my 24mph was a result of a heady tailwind, which was now a full-on brutal headwind. It was all I could do to keep it in the 15-18mph range. Two loops, where 3/4 of each loop had the headwind or a nasty cross-wind. I was passing folks left and right, and really enjoyed the ride through all the Monuments. What a gorgeous course! Bike may have been short 1 mile.
Transition 2
  • 00m 56s

Age group 1/31 (Yeah!)
No cramping, no need for water, in and out, lickety-split!

  • 46m 42s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 07m 31s  min/mile

I had no idea where I was time-wise, but after last week's fiasco and my 5-second loss for 3rd place, I knew I needed to just run. Run, Forest, Run! The course took us up Whitehurst Fwy, then over a makeshift staircase to the other side of Whitehurst and back down again. The motorcycle camera caught up to me and I had a brief conversation with them, but then I was off! It was great seeing so many DC-Tri folks running, and we were all giving each other the "thumbs-up" as we passed; volunteers were shouting and encouraging, and the energy was unbelievable! Next thing I knew I was at mile 3. Completely afraid to look at my watch, I just kept on plowing, telling myself that I didn't have to do another run this year, so you better run your heart out and leave nothing in the bank! And then I saw the "Mile 5" marker. And I felt great! I picked up the speed again. Then some guy behind me actually asked me where the Smithsonian was; having told him there were numerous ones, but the Natural History Museum was right in front of us; he then asked which one was best!? Really. We had a total conversation while I was running a sub-8 minute pace.
As I turned onto 12th street from Constitution, I noticed that there were runners running in both directions. How long was Mile 5 anyway?!? Then I turned right onto Pennsylvania Avenue, running straight at the United States Capitol. WOW, what a sight! And then, at the foot of the Capitol, we did a U-turn around a red-hot new Porche, and it was a 4 block straight-shot to victory! I picked up the pace, saw a few folks ahead of me and kicked it in. There wasn't a chance that I was going to give up this week. This week I was going to FINISH STRONG!

It wasn't until I saw the finisher's clock (which was ~45 minutes ahead of my time) when I realized I might actually have run a sub 2:30 race. And then I looked down at my watch. I couldn't believe it! My watch said 2:29:17, and I started my watch about :40 seconds early before the swim (so I'm always a bit suprised by my "official" time). Not only did I finish strong, but I had CRUSHED my all-time-best, and finally made the "sub-2:30 club". I also managed to requalify for USAT Age Group Nationals again next year!

Run may have also been a tad short....
Post race
Event comments:

For all the nay-sayers, and folks who never thought it'd happen, the Nation's Tri is one of the all-time best triathlon experiences I've ever had! I can't wait till next year!

Last updated: 2007-07-05 12:00 AM
00:29:53 | 1640 yards | 01m 49s / 100yards
Age Group: 10/31
Overall: 0/230
Performance: Average
Suit: Full
Course: Swim parallel to Georgetown waterfront to the Key Bridge, turn-around for downstream, longer leg to the staircase out of the water.
Start type: Deep Water Plus: Waves
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Good Drafting: Good
Waves: Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:12
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed:
01:07:58 | 24.85 miles | 21.94 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/31
Overall: 0/230
Performance: Good
Wind: Headwind
Course: Tailwind first 1/4 and Headwind or Cross-wind remainder 3/4. Two loops. Beautiful!
Road: Potholes Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 00:56
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:46:42 | 06.21 miles | 07m 31s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/31
Overall: 0/230
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too easy
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5