Race Recap: Mach Tenn Triathlon 2015

Continuing down the path of short, fun races, I competed in my 10th triathlon, the

Mach Tenn Triathlon

in Tullahoma. This was my second time doing this race. You can read last year's race recap 

here

.

I like this race because they cap it at a couple hundred people, I always see a ton of friends there, it's well supported, and the course is short, but not too short, and challenging, but not too challenging.

Photo credit:  

Mach Tenn Triathlon

0.6 mile swim:  23:00 (2:23 per 100/m pace)

This was my first open water swim since

Ironman 70.3 Augusta

. The water temp was cold enough to make it wetsuit legal, and I brought my wetsuit, but ultimately didn't swim in it because I didn't trust my ability to get out of it.

So... I chest-punched a guy during the swim. He had it coming. He spent the first 11 minutes swimming into me and just generally getting in my way, but at the turn around, he apparently decided it was time for me to die. He started swimming on top of me and trying to pull me out of his way. He was right beside me, so I pushed him. Then he pulled me under and tried to swim on top of me, so I punched him in the chest and swam away. That stupid guy cost me a lot of time, but I still beat last year's time by 49 seconds.

Photo credit:  

Mach Tenn Triathlon

T1:  2:42

Hey, look at that! I'm getting faster in transition! I did a different thing with my bike shoes this time. They have three strips of velcro that I typically undo and then redo once they're on my feet. This time I only undid the bottom strap. Boom!

15 mile bike ride:  55:07 (16.6 mph pace)

I wasn't sure I was trained for this bike ride, so the week leading up to the race, I did a couple hilly, 15-20 mile rides. This bike course is challenging, but my memory of it was definitely worse than the course. I did fine! I beat last year's time by a whopping 11 seconds, ha!

Oh, a funny thing did happen. Right before bike dismount, you come down a hill and turn a corner. When I shifted, I dropped my chain. I had approximately one second to dismount and my chain was laying on my foot. In that split-second, I back-pedaled, got my chain back on, unclipped and jumped off of my bike. The race volunteers laughed and yelled, "Good save!" Bless.

Mile 1:  15.5 mph

         2:  18.2

         3:  15.1

         4:  16.7

         5:  16.1

         6:  18.2

         7:  19.6

         8:  16.9

         9:  17.8

       10:  18.7

       11:  18.9

       12:  15.7

       13:  13.0

       14:  15.7

       15:  15.1

T2:  1:38

Getting faster! I usually place my Garmin on my bike handlebars and then in T2 have to unstrap it and move it to my wrist. Dumb, right? This time, I just kept it on my wrist the whole time.

4 mile run:  43:49 (11:18/mile pace)

Oy vey, this run. My knees had been hurting the weeks leading up to the race, so I bought new shoes to see if that would help. The shoes arrived the day before the race. I had to decide between racing in my old shoes and my knee hurting, or racing in brand new shoes, which is typically a big no-no. I raced in the new shoes. And my knees were totally fine!

This run is HARD. It's uphill, it's hot as blazes and there's no shade, except the shade I was throwing at this hell-course. I was struggling. To save myself, I switched to a 9:1 interval -- run 9 minutes, walk 1 minute. I really wanted to beat last year's time, so when I got to the last mile, I did some quick math and realized I could beat my time if I sped up. I beat my time by just shy of 3 minutes. Sunburned HAM.

Mile 1:  11:15/mile

        2:  11:25

        3:  12:02

        4:  10:23

Total time:  2:06:12

Whoo-hoo! I beat last year's time by 2:39! I really wanted to beat my time, but I didn't think I would since I was in such good shape last year. I forgot that I raced as an Athena last year, weighing in at 173 lbs. This year I raced somewhere around 161-163 lbs. No more Athena, but I did place 12th in my Age Group (35-39).

Lessons Learned:

The only "lesson" I learned is to practice open water swimming before racing an open water swim. I got motion sickness during the swim, which I was luckily able to Jedi mind trick myself out of, but I really should have practiced.

Looking Ahead:

I'm currently not registered for anymore races. But I don't think I'm done for the summer. I like doing these shorter races that I don't necessarily have to "train" for. I may do the

Music City Triathlon

again, but sprint distance this year, not Olympic. Hell to the no to that hallucinatory mess again.

Mach Tenn Triathlon:

Swim:  23:00

T1:  2:42

Bike:  55:07

T2:  1:38

Run:  43:49

Total time:  2:06:12

12th Age Group (35-39)

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