As much as I want to let you in on my time (for better or worse), I will go through the race report first, and then I will let you see the final time at the bottom... Please note I have been trying to break 1hr 20min for quite some time in a sprint distance event.
I had to go pick up my race packet first since Friday night pickup ends at 8:00pm. I don't know what they hell that Tri-Peachtree City is thinking when they do this. For those of you who don't know, Atlanta is either somewhere between #1 and #3 with the worst traffic in the US (I think Southern Cal and Chicago make up the other two). Can I say, AWSOME SCHWAG BAG!!!!! It rivals the Tri 101 series. And if you have visited their website, I can honestly say that they have the best schwag bag ever! Afterwards everyone went to Chili's to get there food on! I had a somewhat good meal of mostly protein and a salad, except for that damn skillet queso (I just can't get enough of chips, salsa, and dip). I also had a beer. While consuming said beer (Miller Lite), someone starting talking about Beer Pong. For those of you not familiar with beer pong, please visit this website when you are done. Even if you do not drink, you will fall in love with this game.
Well being both a graduate of the University of Georgia, and living the fraternity experience in college, I was well versed in Beer Pong. Needless to say there was no way I could say no to such a challenge. After dinner we went back to Matt's house (about 15 minutes south of the race event, convenient!), and began playing beer pong. My team won a game and then lost a game. Since I carry the team (based on my superior beer pong skills), if I am off, then we will lose, because there is no one to bring up the rear. After a couple of games, I had to stop so I could get my bike together and pack my transition bag. Matt brought home a portable breathalizer from his work, and I was the least intoxicated at .023 (just over 1 beer or some Listerine). Packed, taped, bungee corded, etc, and then it was off to bed at the early hour of 12:30am. Hey as my uncle once said,
"Hey if your parents tell you to be home early, then come home early. I personally think that 7:00am on a weekend is pretty damn early!"
I woke up at 5:45am, about 20 minutes after what I wanted to wake up. I was not too worried though, since I was only 15 minutes away from the race site. For breakfast I had 1 Nature Valley Bar, some Accelerade, and a packet of Jelly Belly Sports Beans. I got out the door ok and headed to the race site. On the drive there I consumed some more Accelerade and some Gu. The new Accelerade flavors are awsome, I got really tired of having the lemon lime all the time until this year. When it was all said and done I did not have too much time to put my stuff together in transition, since I forgot the that this was a championship series race for U23 in the USAT. That meant they started 15 minutes earlier than everyone else. I forgot my sunglasses! Fortunately the roads are shaded early enough that hour of the morning not to cause any problems. I spoke with a few perfectly nice strangers while setting up, just to pass the time. Then I headed over to the seeding site since they were about to begin the swim for everyone, and I met up with Josh Nickell and Robby Sprayberry. We all went to high school together. This was the third race (I think) I have been in with Josh, and this was Robby's first triathlon. Within about 5 minutes, I was next to be in the water (2 person staggered starts every 2 seconds)....
I think overall you could call this the most chaotic swim that I have ever been in. I cannot tell you how many times that I was either hit/kicked or I hit/kicked someone during the swim. Total melee! Puts Ulitmate Fighting to shame! I had trouble getting rythm since I kept running into people, yet I felt that I was moving through the water pretty quickly. The first leg and the last half of the return leg were not that bad, it was the middle of the race that was horrible (between the two horizontal bouys). After leaving the water I maxed my heart rate out going into T1, I wanted to make sure that I got in and out as fast as I could. By the way, Lake Peachtree was really, really nasty!!!! I cannot even begin to describe to you how nasty it was.
Place: 24/44 in AG
As I stated before, I maxed my heart rate out going into T1, basically sprinting to my rack position. This is pretty much the largest transition I have to go through, save Emerald Pointe (it is a long run from shore to the transition area and a steep uphill to get there). Everything was on ok, and again I wussed out and strapped on my shoes before I got on the bike. Other than the aforementioned factors, I was pleased with my transition time.
Place: 4/44 in AG
Hmmm, I will have to say that I was very happy about this leg of the race. There is a no pass section of the bike that takes up about a bit over half a mile when you calculate both the out and back poritons of the "NO PASS" zone. Once out of that area it was on. There was no such thing that existed on my bike except for the big ring! I passed Josh around mile 2-3 of the bike. He is always faster than me on the swim, but I make up for it on the rest of the race. The first half of the ride was overall slightly downhill with you starting rollers at the top of a hill, whereas coming back you were hitting false flats and rollers beginning at the bottom of the first hill. If there was a hill, I just geared down on my rear cassette, and if I had do, get out of the saddle. I think my max on my bike (which was actually faster than my fastest downhill) was around 35mph. For my bike that was awsome, considering the highest gear I have is 53x12. I had some GI issues during the bike that were due to my breakfast, so I was a bit uncomfortable and was belching alot. The Accelerade I had on the bike in my Aero bottle was awsome, and I did not fell the need to take the Gu I had on my bike, since my stomach was acting up. I only got passed by a handful of people (maybe 6 at the most). I did pass some people, but not as many as I had anticipated. The majority of people I did pass were going uphill though. I think that my hill skills are improving, especially ther rollers. Once I got to about mile ten, I increased my cadence and geared down a bit to save my legs for the run, but not low enough to sacrifice speed. Right as I was about to enter the no pass zone again on the way back in, I got out of my cleats and peadled on top of them until I had to dismount.
Time: 38min 1 sec
Place: 13/44 people in AG
After the perfect dismount, I hauled ass to my rack position. I almost missed the row, and quickly corrected my problem. I took about an extra 5-7 seconds in wiping my feet off since they were still very wet and covered in grass (the transition area was in a field). As I was about to run out a volunteer stopped me and told me that one of my cleats had fallen off the bike going into transition, and the put it at my rack position. I thanked the guy but I was really pissed that he stopped me, since all he had to do was place it where my stuff was, since he knew my number. I think what had happened was that I felt my bike jump when I was coming into the transition area, and that was my cleat hitting the ground attached to my crank, and then fell off. Shoes, number, sweatband on, water bottle with Nuun in it, and I was off.
Place: 19/44 in AG
This was going to be the make it or break it for my race goal, the INFAMOUS 1 hour and 20 minutes that has eluded me for a year and a half now. I got off to a really good pace for the first mile, and although my Garmin was beeping at me for being in and out of zone 5, my RPE at the time was more towards a 6-7. I had a brief "comfort zone slowdown" near the aid station, which was on an out and back section just before (and after) the turnaround of the 5K. When I got to mile 2, I began to crap out and the run kicked up slightly uphill. I needed some motivation, and so I found a rabbit to chase. That lasted all but for a quater mile, but it was what I needed, and it took me throught the steepest portion of any uphill area on the run. Once I got to the final .6 miles, I knew it was the home stretch and kicked it back up again, since it was downhill/flat for the rest of the race. I passed Robby when I was about 100yds from the finish, and he was just going out. I yelled at him, but I don't think that he heard me. Onto the Finish, and the times are below...
Time: 24min 29 sec
Place: 20/44 in AG
TIME: 1:16:49!!!!!!!!! I BROKE 1HR TWENTY AND I BEAT MY TIME LAST YEAR ON THIS RACE BY 5 MINUTES 56 SECONDS!!!
PLACE: 17/44 IN AG
Excited could nto describe how I felt. I called Wes, James my training partner, who realistically stated I would do a 1:18:30, my parents, friends who care about my triathlon life, etc. Everyone was proud of me, and I was proud of myself. I hung out awhile after the race to check out other results, as well as get my stuff packed and in the car. As I was going to transition, they told everyone to get out of the way, that the last person was coming into transition and that they needed to move out of her way. WHAT!!! I was very proud of this lady for being so determined to complete this event. I had time to finish, veg out, eat a bagel, 2 slices of pizza, and an apple, drink 2 bottles of water and sit down some more before I ran into this person in T2. I guess that is kind of like the pros in Kona who finish, go take a shower, eat and take a nap, then come back to cheer on all the people who finish before the 17hour cutoff time.
There will be some pictures to post in the coming week. For now I am going to get back on Athlete tracker and check out team raceAthlete and see how they are doing at IM Wisconson.