Race Recap: Music City Triathlon 2014

I competed in my 7th triathlon on Sunday, the

Music City Triathlon

hosted by Team Magic. This race has been downtown for the past 6 years, but this was my first time participating. Two distances were offered, sprint & intermediate. I did the intermediate, or Olympic, distance:  1.5k swim / 43k bike / 10k run.

0.93 mile swim:  43:14:00 (2:53/100m pace)

When I got to the race on Sunday, my goal was to beat my

Tri Fall Creek Falls

swim time (41:42:00), but after talking to other people at the swim start, I changed my strategy. I decided to swim strong, but to save my energy for the bike.

So that's what I did. I jumped in, moved out of the way & swam at my warm-up pace to the first buoy. Then I sped up & maintained a comfortable pace for the rest of the swim. I didn't swim as fast as I could have, but I was calm & never had to switch strokes. I came out of the water with the energy I needed for the bike.

Also, someone said that the course was longer than 0.93 miles, so it's possible that I did, in fact, beat my Tri Fall Creek Falls time.

T1:  5:43

I followed the advice I received for Mach Tenn, which is to fast-walk the swim exit to T1, so as to not go anaerobic. It was a pretty good distance from the river to transition, & it was all uphill, so I'll take 5:43.

27.5 mile bike ride:  1:48:15 (15.2 mph pace)

I've obviously never ridden my bike on Ellington Parkway, so I had no idea what to expect. My friend Marne told me it's not that the hills are necessarily hard, it's more that they're long & it gets annoying. She also warned me about wind, which in hindsight, I wish I had paid more attention to.

Because I was doing the longer distance, I had to ride the sprint course twice. A friend suggested I ride the first loop conservatively & then go HAM on the second loop. I hope I did that. I think the turn-around was between miles 15-16.

Mile 1:  14.1 mph                               Mile 15:  15.3 mph

        2:  16.6                                               16:  18.5

        3:  19.3                                               17:  14.8

        4:  14.0                                               18:  13.2

        5:  13.6                                               19:  12.6

        6:  14.7                                               20:  22.0

        7:  21.6                                               21:  16.0

        8:  12.0                                               22:  11.1

        9:  12.3                                               23:  15.2

      10:  19.6                                               24:  17.8

      11:  20.7                                               25:  18.8

      12:  19.3                                               26:  14.3

      13:  13.4                                               27:  11.9

      14:  12.9                                               28:  9.8

I got passed a lot during the first loop, but on the second loop, I picked everyone off in front of me & passed them. Only one guy caught back up to me. The wind on Ellington was like nothing I've ever ridden in before. It was hard to stay upright & keep my balance, especially going downhill. There were a few times that I got blown so hard I thought I was going to fall over. It was next level.

T2:  2:20

I swear, I have zero memory of this transition. Who knows what I did. But here's a picture of me at the beginning of the run.

6.1 mile run:  1:20:12 (13:38/mile pace)

Y'all, this run was biblical. And I'm trained for this. It was 97 or 98 degrees outside with a heat index (feels like temp) of 110-114. I was in the

danger zone

of dehydration. I had chills, dizziness, nausea & at one awesome point, my right arm tingled & went numb. I walked a lot.

Mile 1:  12:13

Mile 2:  13:07

Mile 3:  13:54

Mile 4:  14:46

Mile 5:  13:44

Mile 6:  14:07

In addition to the Patron Saint of HAM, who got me through this hell run, I'd also like to thank Heidi, Andy & Lana. Heidi & Andy rode their bikes beside me for the first mile. They got me up the hill to the bridge, up the hill over the bridge & to the first water stop. Then Andy circled back & gave me a wet towel. Lana was waiting for me at the turn-around & ran me back to the bridge & then later, into the finish. It takes a village, people.

Total time:  3:59:43

I was determined to beat my Tri Fall Creek Falls time of 4:00:06, which I did by 1 minute & 17 seconds. Heh! What I didn't realize until later, is that Music City is longer than Tri Fall Creek Falls, so I actually beat my time by a lot, but whatever. I was just happy to have not died in one of the loading zones around LP Field. And! I won Third Place Athena, which, I don't even know how that happened, but I'll take it!

P.S. The best part of this video is hearing Sarah Shearer say, "Hey gurrrl" as they're taking the timing chip off my ankle at the very end.

Lessons Learned:

Pardon my French, but I'm in pretty good goddamn shape. I felt great on the bike. I realized afterwards that this was the first time I didn't want to quit halfway through the bike course. Even at Mach Tenn, which I just did in June, I hated the bike portion & spent the last half of it freaked out that I'd never be able to do Augusta & questioning why I even do this sport. But I never felt like that on Sunday. Sure I was hot & spent a few miles questioning the state of my cardiovascular system, but I felt fine. Hell, I kind of had fun.

I'm putting a lot of time & effort into my training & it shows. I couldn't have done this race last year. The bike course would have broken me & the run would have for sure broken me. It's hard for me to see & acknowledge my own progress, but I see it. I see it & I feel it.

Looking Ahead:

I'm 8 weeks away from Ironman Augusta 70.3. As of now, I don't have any other races lined up. I'm toying with the idea of doing one more Olympic before Augusta, but I haven't decided. I may just focus on my training & the procurement of a new tri kit. Thanks for turning my shirt brown, The Cumberland.

HUGE thanks to my friends & family who stood outside in the heat for 3+ hours to cheer me on. It helped so much seeing you along the course & at the finish. Kristine, I laughed so hard when I heard you yell, "You look pretty!", haha. Maybe one day I'll learn how to read race results & you all can stay to watch me accept my prize on the podium.

Pictures! Ya'll, there are so many pictures of this event. Full photostream on


. Team Magic race photos


. And if you want to see my hilarious in-motion, race pictures, they're


, bib # 785.

Music City Triathlon:

Swim:  43:14

T1:  5:43

Bike:  1:48:15

T2:  2:20

Run:  1:20:12

Total:  3:59:43

3rd Athena (1 - 39 Division)

Half Ironman 70.3 Training: Week 12

Weekend Wrap Up: I Swam In The Cumberland (Twice!) Edition