Tugaloo has a very special place in my heart. It was my first Olympic distance race, well… the first I finished. Logistics are easy, about 1 1/2 hour drive from Atlanta, tons of friends and a really cool long sleeve t-shirt. This year was the 20th year edition and they had medals.
The day of: This year, I decided to stay closer and a couple more hours of sleep never hurt anyone. It is nice not stressing over traffic and not waking up at 4 am. I did not sleep well, but that is a bit of standard when it comes to race day. Me and another 2 friends, had breakfast, packed everything and head to race site. It was still super dark when we arrived and as much as I love triathlons, I always question myself for doing these things when I see myself in these situations. We walked from the parking to the transition area, it was about 1/2 to a 1 mile walk. For a second, I realized that I should have ridden. Well, too late for that since I am already in transition. I get my chip and set my gear. (I am getting better at putting my things together). I have time to walk around and talk to friends.
Swim: My first thought: the buoys seemed so far for a 1500 meter swim…but don’t they always look further than they are? I decided to be a little aggressive and started early than I usually would, I figured I would suffer here but the run would be better. Warm water, just Life Time pool. I start and I suddenly remember why I love time trials starts, it is a peaceful start if you are correctly positioned and then I remember why I hate, it is mentally dreadful if you are wrongly positioned: everyone passes you. I tried to focus on my race, my pace and it worked fine till my watch beeps at 750 and I am not halfway the course. I knew this was longer!!!! Then, I just got very anxious that it was too long. The sun was coming up and I could barely see where I was heading to while trying to make it to the shore. Oh, finally. I am back and I yelled: THIS WAS LONGER!!! It really was: 1817 yards according to my watch. Time: 34:41
T1: I walked a bit. Had to get over the fact that I swam longer, then I thought… well, everyone else did that too. I keep moving. Time: 1:56.
Bike: Uphill coming out of transition. Couple rollers on the first miles but once you pass the town, it is flat and for me, this usually means fast, but my bike did not happen. I tried and I tried but I was not moving. I got frustrated that I was not able to hit my usual fun pace: 17 mph. Time: 1:34, average of 16.5 mph.
T2: I went in focused. Socks, shoes and I am out of here. Time: 1:16
Run: Alright, it is a 10k, it is hilly and it is hot. Oh, I am still moving. I was shooting for 59 minutes but ended up being over my goal time. Some days are just tough! Time: 1:02:45
Final Time: 3:15:33, I was almost 5 minutes slower than my last result here. I was 5th out of 11, which puts me on top 45%. Okay, not that bad… right? Well, if you look at percentages… I did better this time (I was 52% last time – same age group…). Yes, I am trying to be positive. It s all about the small wins. Tugaloo is a fun (but hard) race that I will continue to do it. I need a do over on this bike course, for sure!
Nutrition: The usual breakfast (bagel, cream cheese and an orange juice). 3 GU gel: 1 prior the swim, 1 prior to bike start and 1 on the run. A 1 1/2 bottle of Accelerade, 1 bottle of water during the bike. And about 5 slices of pizza after the race.
The race is organized by Georgia Multisports and you know I love their races.