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2015 PT Solutions Allatoona Triathlon: The Swim Bike Mom Race Report

The Swim Bike Family headed to Acworth, GA early Sunday morning for the PT Solutions Allatoona Triathlon — a sprint distance local race consisting of a 500 meter swim, a 16 mile bike, and a 5k (3.1 mile) run.

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Last year, I had a good race and finished in 1:43

This year, I had a good race and… finished in 1:33.  Boom!

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I went to bed at 8:30 the night before—after much mocking by the Expert—and I slept great.  I have, in recent times, been a serious night-night nerd.  I go to sleep early, and I am sleeping like the dead.

Much of it has to do with Ironman training, I am sure.  Also, the food I am eating… for the most part, I am off sugar, dairy and gluten.  And I think (er, I know) that has made a huge difference.

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The weather could not have been more perfect. It has been HOT here… and race day was lovely.  A great day to find a big stick.

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Had chances to meet up with lots of SBM friends—new and not-so-new—and hug necks. That’s what we, in the South say–hug necks.

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The swim is a 500 meter lopsided rectangle.  It always feels longer than 500 meters, but it’s over in a jiffy.  Slower swim for me–not sure what I was doing–taking a tour of the lake, I guess.  Finished in 11:18 (2:16/100 pace).

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I noticed as I was coming out of the water, my legs didn’t feel as dead as they normally do running uphill through sand. That was a good sign. Ran my feet through the baby pool at T1 entrance to get the sand off.  Sunglasses. Helmet. Bike Shoes (no socks). Race number belt (turned backwards with number towards the back), and I was out of T1 in 1:01.

Making some sort of gang sigh, apparently…

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Oh, so this is my buddy Luis telling me to get going out of T1. I was taking my damn sweet time getting on the bike–what in the world.

“Are you going to go?” he asked me.

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Here’s one of Luis’ fantastic GoPro shots. Okay, maybe it’s not so flattering of me… but you can see the photo genius.  (Photo credit:  @LFabian2015)

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Out on the bike.  I felt like I had lead for legs.

Going into this race, I had a two or three day “taper,” just to give me a break, but I have really spent some major time on the bike lately preparing for Ironman Lake Placid (in less than 25 days).

[The good news is that I had my 11/26 cassette on the bike swapped out for an 11/28.  While I didn’t feel much of a difference on race day, I can report that today’s workout/ride was MUCH easier on an 11/28… so that makes me happy.]

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I averaged 20 MPH on the first 10 miles of the bike, then dropped a little in speed once I hit some of the climbs. Finished overall with a 19.4 pace (49:33), so can’t complain.

Into T2, and out of T2 in a jiffy (1:09)

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Time to run.  Le sigh.

I always dread the run. But in recent times, I’ve dropped a few pounds and have been working on the run.  And on this day, I was determined to have a good one.

The Expert and the Swim Bike Kids cheered me on out of T2.  The kiddos had clearly had a fun swim in the lake while I was out on the bike.

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I slapped some hands as I ran by and the Expert screamed, “You better get going faster than that, woman!”

Another crowd-goer nearby actually gasped, and said, “Oh my lord” when he said that.

I laughed.  I looked down at my watch, and was pacing 11:30… yep, I guess I should get going.   3.1 and done. Move it.

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Right out of the gate this run starts going up, up and up.

I am historically a pretty weak runner in general–not to mention when someone throws hills at me.

But on this day, I just went up with the hills, paced myself well, and kept right on trucking.  I could tell a huge difference from the race last year… where I did a shameful amount of walking. Not that there’s anything wrong with walking–but for me last year, there was a ridiculous amount of it.

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I ran. I smiled. I actually passed people on the run. (WHAT?!) Happy. Obviously ten minutes is a pretty decent PR, especially for a sprint.

Of course, the speedy folks still went flying by me, but I noticed a large decrease in the passing on the run this time. Was a welcomed change.

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Interestingly, my swim and bike were “fair” for me… and the run was where I had my first opportunity (like ever) to shine (for me)… ending up with a 9:53 pace for the 5k.

Yes, I realize that is not lightning fast (e.g., Coach Brett averaged 6:50 pace… what the heck)… but I am quite happy.

I took a little time off the swim and the bike from last year, but improved drastically with 8 minutes on the run—last year’s pace was a 12:30– and a 38 minute 5k.  This year, 9:53 pace.  I will take it.

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Overall time was 1:33:41, and it was a fantastic day at the races. 8th place Age Group finish. And always time for selfies with the Coach.

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Also, a little side-by-side body comparison of about 18 pounds of weight loss from last year. [Yep, I’ll take that too.]

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Next stop is the Peachtree Road Race (10k) on Saturday, and a killer ride through the Gaps with Coach Brett on Sunday.

Then, ever so slowly, taper will be creeping up and it will be time for Lake Placid. Wowzers.

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Thanks to the Expert and the kiddos for always making a fun race day even better.

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Happy Tuesday! #justkeepmovingforward

19 Comments

  • Heather

    June 30, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    So, so happy for you!!! Awesome progress on everything. Also – totally forgot about “hugging necks.” My grandmother was from the south and used to always say “I need to hug your neck.” <3

    Reply
  • Jenny

    June 30, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Congrats on a great race! I raced in Michigan this weekend and seen someone wearing one of your tri suits!
    I love this blog! You keep me going and make me want to try longer Tri’s.
    Thank you!!!

    Reply
  • Lisa

    June 30, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Don’t downplay the run pace. I thought I was gonna wet my pants the first time I hit sub 10 minute miles for 3 miles I was so excited.

    Reply
  • Harpreet

    June 30, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Congrats on your PR. I just finished a sprint tri this last Sunday and had a PR of 9 mins. I started doing triathlons after reading your book and I give it to all my friends to read. I read your book every year before the race season. Lol!!!! Because it’s so inspiring. Thank you

    Reply
  • Doris

    June 30, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    I would love to ride the gaps wit yall. I will be in blue ridge for the long weekend and don’t want to ride alone. What time, day and where are you starting. I met you just before the swim on Sunday. Had a panic attack on swim (first ow swim) but finished the race. I just finished the book and loved it!

    Reply
  • trigirl2015

    June 30, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Meredith, can you write a post about what you’ve been doing with your diet? This is something I have to get going on, but can’t seem to cut the carbs (gluten-filled ones at that) AND train for Ironman. What do you eat? How did you get going on eating better?

    Reply
  • Rachel

    July 1, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    I have a newbie triathlon question. I’ve done a few sprints but they have all been warm enough to not need a wetsuit. I’m planning on a sprint in Lake Michigan in August and am expecting it to be wetsuit legal. What do I do with my wetsuit in transition? The races I have done there hasn’t been a lot of room in transition for something as big as a wetsuit. Do they just get thrown on the ground under the bike? I wanted to go in prepared in case there was some special thing you do with them I didn’t know about. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Janice B

      July 2, 2015 at 8:38 am

      Rachel,

      Typically you’ll stash your wetsuit in your transition area. You can do this one of a couple of ways. You can toss it near your bike. If you do that, you risk it getting in your or someone else’s way (if the wind blows it around while everyone is on the bike). Depending on how much space you have, you can bring a big bucket, like the kind you get at Home Depot (five gallon paint bucket, I think). That usually is about as big as 1/3 of the space you usually get for a trans spot. When you get back from the swim, you dump your wetsuit in there (along with goggles and anything else), and head out on the bike. Good thing about the bucket is, when you get back from the bike, you can dump all your loose bike stuff in there, too. Helps with post-race cleanup.

      You can do this with a transition bag, too. The good thing about the bag is, it folds down so you don’t have to maneuver around it.

      Finally, you can also hang it on the rack where your bike was. A little better solution than dropping it on the ground, but you still risk it being blown around.

      Something to consider (which I’m sure you already have). If it’s a sprint, and you’re comfortable with that swim distance, comfortable enough that you know how long you’ll be in the water, you might consider NOT wearing a suit if it’s not WAY under the temp limit. Does the buoyancy help? A little, if you’re very comfortable swimming in a wetsuit. Otherwise, you’re dealing with racing in a wetsuit for the first time, dealing with getting out of it (unless there are strippers), and dealing with stashing it in transition before getting ready for the bike. And then wondering if you’ll be dealing with it getting blown around while you’re out riding. Not to scare you off using a wetsuit, but I’d seriously consider getting in the water the day before, or even right after you set up your trans area, to see if you can deal with the water temp for the short time you’d be in there. Honestly, unless you just don’t deal with the cold very well (and some people don’t), wearing a wet suit for a sprint is sorta like the folks that show up with their aero wheels and aero helmets. It’s probably not going to help you much, and may end up being more of a hindrance than an assist.

      Reply
  • Laura

    July 3, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Amazing! That’s a huge improvement on the run, and I’m so happy for you! IMLP is going to be fantastic. You look awesome!!

    Reply
  • Jen

    July 7, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    I’m doing my second sprint tri this weekend. In Texas. In July. I don’t know who is more insane, people who schedule these when there’s hades-heat and humidity or people who sign up for them. Well actually, I do. My first sprint tri in April was chilly compared to what it will be for this one. I’m struggling thru my rides even before the race. Any tips on dealing with extreme heat and humidity??

    Reply

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