Parking and packet pick up were a breeze! This was an inaugural event, but since it's put on by tri peeps, they knew what they were doing. We lined up according to pace (with me in the way back! LOL) and it was time to roll.
I had planned this ride to be a Race Simulation, meaning I was carrying everything I needed on me and I would only stop for water one time. The ride was going to be a little over the 56 mile course due to the start and stop point being on the other side of Downtown Augusta, but I planned to measure my time and ride my game plan pacing and see how I did.
I had no idea how challenging this would be. I have ridden 50+ miles quite a few times and rode this course once before. But always we stopped several times. I didn't realize how big of a difference that makes. Last time I rode the course, we did a total of 40 minutes of stopping - I had to look that up. It's big. And each time I've done a long ride, we take lots of stopping breaks. Not a big deal, but it's not race simulation - at least not for me. I'm not fast enough on the bike to allow for rest breaks.
But the great news is that my racing plan worked just beautifully! My nutrition and hydration worked well and the one stop to refill water is just enough. I have to admit to being a little panicked during the last 1/3 of the course that I was way off my expected pace, but I wasn't. I pulled into the finish and checked Garmin and found out that I'd averaged 14.2 mph and that includes the water stop and any time I had to stop for traffic (since I turned off the auto pause for the day). I was well under the cut-off time, and just above my own minimum expected pace.
|Post -ride! Sporting my Covington Century jersey!|
Which leads me to one of the best things about this weekend - an adjustment of my expectations!
Before last month, I was very nervous about my first Half Ironman.
Then last month, I went to train on the course - swam the river once, ran/walked one loop of the run course, and gently previewed the bike course. I felt so confident! In fact, I felt sort of cocky.
This past weekend, during Tri Camp, I was served a dose of reality. It's going to be hot. And humid. And hard. I'm going to be out there for a long, long time and I'm going to get worn out. I'm going to wonder why I did this and I'm going to feel defeated. WHAT A BLESSING that I experienced all of this during Tri Camp and not on Race Day!!!!!! Can you imagine if I'd felt exhausted and slow on the bike course during the race after having felt strong and fast during that preview ride (when we took 40 minutes of stops)? Can you imagine if I had to swim the river with all the debris in it when I swam a beautiful, fast, pristine river in July? Can you imagine two loops of the run course feeling achy and sore and slow when I felt strong and fast in July? I would be dealing with a battle of the mind - and we all know I struggle so badly with that!!
Thanks to Tri Camp weekend, I now have a balance between knowing the course and knowing that I can complete the race and realizing that it's honestly going to be hard work. It's a Half Ironman, after all. Notice the lack of mention of butterflies and rainbows in the title. It's not supposed to be EASY. When I finish this - be it a perfect race where everything falls into place or where I've had to fall back onto a contingency plan - I will have done something amazing at the end of the day!
So there you have it - all the details you ever wanted to know about Tri Camp! If you missed either of the other days, click on these links: Friday's report or Saturday's report. I am so glad I attended this camp and I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to complete or compete in Augusta's Half Ironman triathlon!
See you next month, Augusta!! Only 46 days until race day! And I'm more excited than ever!