Rex Wellness Sprint Triathlon in Wakefield Recap

This morning was the second triathlon in the Rex Triathlon series through FSSeries. My alarm went off bright and early at 5:15 this morning. I got ready and was out the door by 5:30. While driving to the race location in Wakefield, I ate a banana and drank a bottle of water with a berry flavored Zym in it. I arrived on site at 6 and had plenty of time for packet pick up (no line!) and to set up in transition. Several people are participating in all three races of the series so I was racked with some of the same people as the last race. It was nice to recognize some faces and talk about the race. We are ranked based on our swim times and somehow I ended up on a rack with mostly men in their 40′s-50′s and their expensive tri bikes. 013One of my favorite things about pool swims in triathlons are the real bathrooms on site and not having to use a port a potty! I always get a nervous stomach before a race and need to use the bathroom. It’s much more pleasant to use the nice locker room bathrooms at the Rex Wellness Centers rather than a gross port a potty.

Right before lining up to swim I ate half a pack of Honey Stingers. The swim was in a saltwater pool where you had to snake swim from one side to the other. It seemed like there was a lot of congestion in the lanes with people walking behind slower swimmers. When I was lining up to swim a girl with a higher number than mine said she was moving up since she felt she was a faster swimmer than how she had ranked herself. I immediately responded you can’t do that as the start times go by your assigned swim rank start. She said they were letting people do it. I’m not sure how that worked out. The swim lanes felt narrower than they usually are. When swimming down my side of the lane I smacked arms with quite a few people coming up the other sides. The girl who skipped ahead of her swim spot was behind me and halfway through she tapped my feet so I pulled up at the end of the lane to let her pass me but she had fallen about 2 body lengths behind and I didn’t want to lose time so I just continued on. I just tried to swim steadily and not be out of breath for a quick transition as I figure I’d only gain 30 seconds or so going all out in the swim portion.

The run to transition from the pool was rather long, I’d say 150-200 yards or so. Once in transition I quickly dried my feet, put on my socks, shoes, sunglasses, gloves, and helmet. As I started running to the bike mount line I turned on my Garmin so it was ready to go as soon as I started. When I had run into transition a handful of the men on my rack were already getting their bikes and I ended up beating them out of transition which felt pretty good. A guy was right ahead of me crossing the bike mount line and right as he was trying to clip his foot in he slipped and went down with his bike. I narrowly avoided running into him. He popped right up though so I think his pride was the only thing hurt aside from a possible scratch.

The bike course is a 10 mile out and back course. It is a very hilly course with a particularly large hill around the 2.5 mile mark. It is a beautiful course in the country with gorgeous houses and some horses. At mile 6 I took in a salted caramel Gu so I’d have energy for the run. I passed a good number of people and was passed by 2 or 3 men on tri bikes. I don’t think any women passed me. Going down the large hill we had gone up earlier in the course a girl came behind me and yelled “on your left” but I decided to not be passed and I gunned it to get out of her range. I finished the bike feeling strong and I was happy with the bike splits I had been putting down.

I ran into transition where I racked my bike removed my biking accessories and slipped into my shoes and grabbed my race bib. When running out I saw on guy who had forgotten to take off his helmet having to run back to his rack to return it. He was pretty funny about it.

Onto the run! The only flat area on the whole course is the first quarter mile and the final 300 or so yards. The rest of the course is hilly with a huge long hill that was about 1/2-3/4 of a mile long. I’ve started to not wear my Garmin during the run portion of the race so I can’t get into my own head about my speed and just go by feel so I’m not certain how long the distances are and am estimating. I walked for a few seconds at each water stop and walked for a few seconds a few times when I had a side cramp. I think I walked for a total of one minute while on the course. I powered up the final steep hill to run the final flat 300 yards. My bodies annoying habit of wanting to throw up at the end of every race didn’t fail to appear and I finished the run while dry heaving. At one point I stopped to bend over sure I was going to throw up. I didn’t. It is so frustrating and I don’t know why I end up dry heaving. It doesn’t matter the distance of the race and it always happens at the very end. Because of this I had to run it in at a normal pace and didn’t sprint it out like I wanted to.

I ran into a triathlon friend, Heather, while waiting for the results to be posted. She’s competing in the entire series as well and we’re holding up two fingers for the second races of the series.019Well how did I do? I placed second in my age group!I was really happy to finish first overall on the bike, I have been working really hard to bike faster and it is finally paying off! I completed this race last year and my average pace was 15.9mph and this year it was 17.7mph! Here’s a breakdown of each area:The swim time didn’t end until you ran into transition so it also includes the long run from the pool which makes the overall pace seem slower than it really was. I set a new PR on the course by a little over by 4 minutes from last year so I’m really happy with that! My run time is so-so and I’d like to work on my speed as the top finishers have the ability to run really fast off of the bike. They don’t start the awards ceremony until everyone has finished the race so I had awhile to wait. While waiting I had this neat body scan thing done for some woman’s thesis for school about athletes, how they finish in their races, and if clothing can improve that. I’ll get the scanned image of my body emailed to me. I also had a plate of post race food.020024The age group winners received a nice ceramic mug as the trophy. I will definitely be using it in the future!040The race shirts were similar to the shirts from last month except they are a heather purple color. Although I noticed they went with a different supplier for these shirts and you can tell the quality is lacking. The fabric is noticeably thinner and the neck opening felt tight when I put it on.

Some girls used the ice and water from the pools used to keep drinks cold to complete the ALS ice bucket challenge. It was pretty amusing to watch.022All in all it was a great morning of racing at the Rex Wellness Center triathlon with FSseries and I cannot wait for the October race! I’m hoping I will be lucky enough to place in that race as well!

After showering at home, the husband, Margaret, and I headed to downtown Durham for some burgers, day drinking, and ice cream.003It was a perfect afternoon with my favorites!