Donna DowellRec Plex Triathlon 2008
(500 meter swim, 23.5 mile bike, 4.4 mile run)

I haven’t done a triathlon since Halfmax 06, so I had to root through stuff to get all the gear together. Prior to this race Liz had set a few guidelines. “Eat your IRONMAN breakfast” was her first command, along with some other specific nutrition guidelines. Practicing, monitoring and tweaking nutrition was at the top of the list. Overall I think I had an excellent race. I descended effort wise during the swim with the exception of the second lap and this is where I got that weird weak armed feeling-you know when you take off on a 5K and then hit that funny spot? I passed six people and one guy passed me. It was serpentine swim. I got slowed down on a couple turns because someone was right there and then I had to pass them after they pushed off. Transitions were good, and I felt strong on the bike. I’m still pretty cautious on turns, rail road tracks and stuff which slow me down. The run was great. Yes-Great, I huffed and puffed the first mile and well, I was a heavy breather most of it, but I did not walk and felt strong. Around mile 4 I felt nutritionally depleted and I should have had a gel perhaps at mile 3, so I had one then and that was probably my only mistake.

rrp2.JPG (303574 bytes)rrp4.JPG (373894 bytes)Funny thing about triathlons is that there is so much to manage. I think I have a bit of control freak in me because I thrive on this. Gear, time, nutrition there are lots of things to consider. When I woke up Sunday morning there was an encouraging note in my backpack from Kelly, so I placed this on my transition towel. I saw Chris in T2 (the second transition between the bike and run) and he was having cramping issues. This was probably caused by shortage of sodium. You can practice and train all you want but racing is where you really learn what works. It just takes time to figure it out.

I enjoyed the race, felt confident and in control. When I finished I felt like I PR’d (best time) and then I saw the clock and was disappointed. However it is hard to compare year to year on this course because it has been different every time I have done it. Most importantly I followed all of Liz’s instructions; my nutrition was good and best of all it was lots of fun!

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