John Tanner: Tri the parks

Racing John Tanner (a very popular sprint race around here) was not in the plans, but I was convinced by my friend to join her. Of course, my coach was not informed since it was my last minute decision to do the sprint. I kept my training as posted by her and decided to race moderately, after all it would be about a 1 1/2 hour workout right? Well, that is what I was planning at least. Well, do you remember the pain on my calf from the previous week? I went to check it out, doc diagnosed as a mild strain calf. I could keep training but I would also have to do 10 sessions of PT.

A sprint should be easy right? Well, not quite. Racing short means racing harder, being uncomfortable and pushing your limits. Even though, I was planning to go easy, I also wanted to give my very best out there. So here is how it went…

After Masters Swim on Friday, I packed and drove down to Carrollton, GA. It was about a hour drive from home. The hotel was about 15 minutes away from the race, so it would be better on race day to be there. It was definitely better, I had a good night of sleep.

The day of: Woke up, had breakfast (the usual bagel and orange juice) and headed to race location. The drive was short and easy, I enjoy driving on back roads. The parking was extra $5, I am glad I had some cash on me. I never carry money. I was able to park super close to the transition area. The sun was out by the time we got there. The race start was at 8 am, which is nice because there is no stress of setting up transition in the dark, but this also means that running will be pretty late and it could be pretty damn warm.

On Wednesday leading the race, I received an email saying that the lake temperature was 75F. I had been toying with the idea of not wearing a wetsuit. It would save me a minute on transition and that is a long time on sprint race. The lake was at 76F. My friend Shannon jumped in the water and decided to wear hers, I put my feet in the water and thought I could def brave the “coldish” water. The dilemma was now since it was allowed, a lot of people were using and that gave them a competitive advantage. I saw a LOT of ladies on my wave start using it. But it was okay, I just didn’t want to deal with it. I was betting on my fast T1.

Swim: It was not bad but there were some really cold areas in the middle of the lake. I would sight and it seemed to me that every single pink cap was ahead of me. I got a little annoyed and might have gotten to my head. Looking at the result now, I was better than average. Argh! I should have known better not to worry about other people’s pace. Time:14:36

T1: I was SOOOO annoyed that “I was last” on the swim that I was surprised to see bikes on the racks. Maybe I wasn’t the last swimmer? I quickly got over. Helmet and sunglasses on. I am ready to do my thing on the bike. Time: 0:57

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Fun times….

Bike: Mount here lane and I get ready to put my shoes on while cycling and…. yes, I get the wrong foot on, my shoes hit the ground and my dominant foot is stuck. BOOM! Nadia and her bike are on the ground. “WOMAN DOWN!” My right palm is bleeding and I am making a fool of myself. Argh, I am so annoyed at this point and then, a smart one yells: “well, you are the first one to do it”. Thanks dude, not like I need anyone else to beat me up. So much for a quick transition… bike started pretty damn slow. At this point, it got to my head. The course is a bit hilly and my right hand was hurting (and bleeding) to hold pretty much anything. I could not let this one go, I was cycling mad at myself. I guess I got a little bit too cocky with my bike skills. Time: 49:07

T2: Cycling shoes off, helmet off. Socks, running shoes, hat and on to the next thing. Time:1:17

Run: Remember the calf issue? It mostly hurts a lot when going up hill. Did you guess that the run course was hilly? You guessed right. But I only found that out while on .75 mile… well, that was not a fun run. I had to mostly walk the uphills. I do not know if it was hurting bad or if the bike “crash” got to my head and I quit the race then. It was hilly but how bad can a 3.1 mile be? I think it got to me. Time: 31:16

The race is well organized and super beginner friendly. If you are looking for a fun and nice race in the beginning of the season in Atlanta, you should def include Tri the parks (John tanner) in your calendar. As of for me, the overall was not bad, but I was not pleased with the outcome. I should have practiced the bike a little bit better but that was okay. Racing and learning. That is for sure. I also learned that I enjoy knowing people on the course. It is nice to see some familiar faces. Atlanta Triathlon Club was there as usual and everyone supported each other. I got a little jealous, so I joined them them too. They have an outdoor membership and it seems to me that it would great to train with them. I am excited to see if how that turns out. I was grumpy after the race but my weekend turned out to be great, I got see my friends baby boy and how can you not be smiling at him?

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I know you are smiling now too 😛

 

 

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