TryCharleston Half Race Report

It had been about 4 weeks since I last raced and HB had shifted me from bike centered training to more run focused. I had never put in the number of miles I did for the last 3 weeks or the intensity they were done at but I was really enjoying it. I think my body was a bit shocked to be running so much but after getting back into the routine of stretching and foam rolling things were looking good for this weekend.

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I had been looking forward to this race for a few reasons. For one, I was excited to race a flat race that could simulate Eagleman (minus the heat) and to test out what my run could be. The second was that my parents were coming down from New York for vacation and stopped to watch the race. I also had a new kit to try out with my new Saucony A5’s plus our ‘Team DL’ hats to rock!

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Friday brought a lot of rain all day and into the night. When we went to bed that night, Duran and I weren’t sure what Sunday would bring in terms of weather. It was calling for 70% chance of rain and flash flood warnings kept going off on our phones all night.

Luckily when we woke up race morning it wasn’t raining and the wind didn’t seem too bad. The race had two different transitions for the bike and run which made it a bit of a logistical nightmare but it ended up working out fine besides them not having any water at T1 for people to fill water bottles.

Side note: this was my first race ever signing up for the “Open” division since I’ve never felt quite worthy yet of being in the elite group. Especially knowing I will probably get dropped on the swim fairly quickly had made me hesitant to sign up but I knew it would help me with the bike and run part of the race.

Swim: 34:07

I entered the water not expecting it to be so cold but it seemed the rain had drastically chilled the water as my feet immediately started to go numb. I was definitely intimidated lining up with the open competitors. I knew that I needed to swim a strong race and not worry about being dropped right off the bat. Once the gun went, we were off. This race has a two loop swim course and I made it a goal to not be caught by the group going off 3 minutes after us as long as possible. I didn’t feel great but didn’t get passed for quite a while and took that as a good sign and made my way around the loop twice and headed out of the swim. I looked at my watch and was pretty happy with my time since this course is usually a legit distance so I know my swim is improving and I didn’t get eaten by a gator…double win! As soon as I started to run to T1, my feet were frozen which for me isn’t out of the norm but really annoying when trying to run and then put on your bike shoes.

Bike: 2:29:59*

This course is known to be fast but with the weather I figured we would be in for some sort of headwind at the beginning of the race. Luckily, the wind wasn’t blowing like it was the day before and we only had a slight headwind to deal with. I headed out and immediately was hitting the watts I wanted and even a little over which was fine with the headwind and hoping to have a tailwind at some point to bring the watts back to where I wanted them overall. It was nice starting in the first group because I didn’t have to constantly say on your left and even had some people to work with on the bike! At about mile 25 or so a girl came and passed me. Honestly, my first thought was…damn that doesn’t happen often but hey I’ll go with her. I stayed with her for about 5 miles but she ended up hooking on to another group and pulling ahead. I knew in my head I would need to catch her on the run. Looking back, it was probably best I let her go since to keep up, my watts would have been way too high for me to be able to run well off the bike. I had three GU’s throughout the bike in case people are wondering. At the beginning of the race they announced that the bike course had been underwater and we would be re-routed to the old bike course from a few years ago which include a bumpy road. Holy shit, they were not kidding. I had way too many curse words come out of my mouth that even my old hockey coached would not be proud of while riding on that road along with thinking my shoulders were going to break. The only good part of being on that road was how pumped I was to get off it and hammer it a bit to T2. *The bike course was short by about 3 miles by what some of the other competitors had on their Garmin’s.

When coming into T2, you can see the start of the run and who is already out on the course. I saw Duran first and managed to yell a good job to him and then was able to count the 2 girls that were ahead of me.

Run: 1:28:25

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As I entered T2, I saw my parents waiting for me and they were able to tell me I was 5 minutes down from 1st place. Once I heard that, I decided I was going all in on this run and see where it left me. I headed out and clocked 6:30’s for the first two miles and figured I had to be making ground on the girls already. That was confirmed by Duran as I passed him saying they were probably one or two minutes ahead of me. Since the run was a 2 loop out-and-back course, I broke it down into 2-10K’s and raced them as that too. I managed to pass the girl who was previously in 1st at about mile 3 and saw the other girl at the turnaround…I was close. It’s worth noting this course is done on a side-walk and with all of the rain, the puddles were long and deep on the course. Many racers were going around the puddles on the grass but I took a more direct route and pretended I was competing in the steeple chase and doing high knees right through them. Your feet were going to get wet no matter what so it didn’t matter to me if they got soaked! I finally made the pass on the first place girl before mile 4 and tried to put some space between us but she was hanging tough. At the next turnaround to head out I had only 30 seconds up on her so there was no letting up. I was not only pushed by her but also to break the 1:30 half mark that has been my goal for quite some time. I always go into the run trying to take 3 GU’s and grab water but only usually manage to get down 2 which was the case for this race.The run course got more crowded on the second lap but again most people were going around the puddles which left plenty of room for me to run right through them. I made it to final turn around to only see her still there! I knew if I let up at all she would surge and pass me. I told myself treat it like a 5K and finish it off. With about 2 miles left I ran up to one guy who said, “I hear you”! He had a kit on that said “Put the hammer down” so I proceeded to respond, “you better do what your shirt says” and off we went to hammer those last miles. With one mile left I had a good feeling I would have the win and it turned into a race against the clock! I was so excited to finally break that 1:30 mark for the half and feel so strong doing it.

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Overall: 4:35 – 1st Overall Female

I’m happy to see how my body performed and even more how I felt after the race. After the Florida race my body was beat up. My hips felt like knives were going in them and I felt really run down. But, after Charleston, I felt like I could easily train the next day and wasn’t waddling when I walked. This race was the last time I will race with Finn – my Felt B12 but I can’t wait to get on my new bike!!

6 weeks to put the head down and as Duran says, “finish the mission!”

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Liebster award // spread the blog love

I wasn’t sure where this blog would go when I first started it but so far it has been a lot of fun. I’ve got to “meet” a lot of other bloggers and in some strange way you feel a part of something by sharing your triumphs and struggles with others. Erin was one of the first bloggers that I reached out to some time ago and her blog is one I always look forward to reading! Erin nominated me for the Liebster Award which is an internet blogging award that is circulating among other bloggers.

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Here’s how it works. The nominator asks you 11 questions, you answer, and then you nominate 11 other bloggers to answer 11 questions, and the fun continues 🙂

What was the inspiration for your blog and its name?

The inspiration for the blog wasn’t anything life changing by any means, I wanted to keep a record of past training and racing to look back on it and hopefully see how far I have come. Plus, I moved away from all of my friends and family when I moved to NC so it is a nice place for them to go and read what I am up to and try to understand the whole swim, bike and run thing. The name LGRacing came from simply my initials and I started the blog at a time when I was racing what felt like every weekend. To be completely honest, when coming up with the title I thought it was also perfect because if the day came that I may have to change my last name – it would be a G too so I wouldn’t have to worry about the name of the blog!

Why did you start blogging?

I think I already answered that above but for a bit more detail. Blogging has been a great way to meet new people in the triathlon bubble. I am really grateful for the people I have met online through the blog and other social media outlets. It’s great to know others can relate to what you are doing and being able to say hi to people at other races is also fun!

What’s your favorite topic to write about?

Gosh, this is a tough one since I am a terrible writer. I went to an engineering/technical school…we never had to write papers so I am always gun-shy to hit publish because of my poor grammar. My favorite topic would probably be race recaps but I would like to start including other topics on here soon! Any suggestions?!

What keeps you motivated?

I have a goal and a dream. That is all I really need.

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Gosh, I have no idea. I wish I had the power to put the toothpaste cap back on and the power to push a button and my bike is clean. (Lame I know)

What’s your biggest fitness goal, or A race, this year?

I have two races that I am gearing up for this year. Eagleman 70.3 and IMCDA!

Describe your perfect day.

wake up early – drink coffee – open water swim – dunkin donuts coffee (yes coffee again) – breakfast at Briggs – clean house a bit – long bike ride with Duran (could swap a long run in Umstead here) –  grill out for dinner – movie and hot tea – bed…boring but perfect

* all in 70 degree weather 🙂

Do you have a mantra, and if so, what is it?

I don’t have any specifically but music helps during the long training hours. For example, yesterday I had a 1:15 run which included sprinting up a hill 12 times and “Be Somebody” by Kings of Leon (don’t judge) came on. The lyrics: “Given a chance, I’m gonna be somebody, If for one dance, I’m gonna be somebody”  helped me get back up the hill a few times. I also used to listen to that song doing hill repeats for ice hockey which is the sport I did everything I could to be the best at and it’s always a good reminder that I need to do the same for triathlon.

What’s your go-to dinner?

Eggs of any kind. I’ll take an omelet or egg sandwich any day.

If you could give your 16-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?

Things will get better. Don’t ever lose your drive and don’t be ashamed of being a home-body. Life gets good and you will meet some extraordinary people. Even though it may not be what you think it should be right now…don’t change who you are because it turns out you are a really great person. You don’t need to have all the friends in the world or the rocking body with all the best clothes. Be you and it will get you places.

Are you going to pass the torch and nominate 11 other bloggers?

I don’t think 11 bloggers even read this blog! So I will pose a question to the few readers I have:

What is one thing you are proud of accomplishing so far this year?