Kerr Lake is my first of the Try Sports series of races. I have four on the schedule that serve as preparation and practice for the big show in November – Long Course Worlds.
It’s been unseasonably hot here lately and today’s weather forecast promised more of the same with a small chance of rain. When we arrived, the wet roads betrayed a recent shower. I figured that would be the small chance right there but, luckily, I was wrong.
This year the Try Sports series has added an open wave. This means that anyone who so chooses can start in the first wave. I chose to do so, as did perhaps 8 or 9 other intrepid men and women. We survey the course that looks long from the shore. Just before the start, I poll the group for likely suspects to lead out the swim. In response I got some hemming, hawing and oblique suggestions that it should be me.
Oh. Well darn. I’m not used to leading the way on the swim, but I don’t give up hope that I have someone to tail and take the swim out at a moderate pace and scope out the situation. There is one guy on either side of me. Hmmm….good! Then they begin to slow. Eh, oh well.
Let me just take this opportunity to point out that (a) my swim fitness is still off, (b) the water was too warm for wetsuits so no floaty device to aid the way. Yet I quickly open up a significant gap on the field. What in the world? Somehow, even with my hapless navigationg included 5-10 seconds of breaststroke scanning the horizon for the next buoy every time I made my way to the next one, I landed on shore with a lead of several minutes. Oh yeah and there was the guy from the next wave that took 4 minutes out of me. Not that this would be hard.
On to the bike. First order of business in transition was to take the chip ankle strap out of my bra and put it back on my ankle. Oh yeah, I had to stop to take it off before it fell off on its own. Then I tossed on the helmet, grabbed the bike and off I went. Being in the lead, I had a motorcycle leading the way and helping with traffic directing. I began to get the notion that it would be really cool to roll into T2 still in the lead. You know, girl power and all that.
So I went hard. Then I heard thunder and I got a little bit of rain but not much. I rode at a high intensity and think I did well. At least, I did well enough to retain my position which was really, really cool. On a related note, people ask how I continue to get faster. The answer is that I don’t. My bike split in 2007 was nearly a minute and a half faster — and it rained pretty much the whole ride on that one. Not that I’m complaining about my performance. My fastest bikes come on the heels of a winter of riding, which is precisely what I did not do this past winter.
In and out of transition in an OK time considering I was putting on wet socks and shoes (it rained pretty hard there), I test my legs out on the run. I remind myself that this is 10k and not just 5k. No sense going crazy in mile one.
I will say that I’m not in love with my K Swiss racing flats. They have a metal piece in the sole that acts as a stability device which exaggerates my supination tendencies and makes it harder for me to get my legs to track properly when I run. Plus, I got blisters and that rarely happens when I wear socks. Those shoes are about to become lifestyle shoes and replaced with something better for me.
In the end, I ran a low 41 minute 10k which is fine. Not outstanding but perfectly fine. This kept me in the visual lead but was a couple minutes behind a guy from the second wave. Not that I care about that. I got to cross the finish line first. It is unsual for a female to get that opportunity, so something to really enjoy when it happens. What a gift!
Again, great event. It’s always a ton of fun racing in a location where I know so many names and faces. Also, this time I remembered to bring the Recovery e21 samples and gave some out to most anyone who would talk to me. Try ‘em out! Yes, I used them during my race today.