Cambridge was super hot and humid in the AM, but when we arrived at Lake Dennison, it felt super cool. Mass State has historically been very hot, but this year was more comfortable.
Goals & Training
Between Harvest Olympic tri and Mass State, my training hours have only been 8 to 9.5 hours per week (this time includes strength workout time). These training hours and my training intensity thus far are not where I’d like them to be and likely not where I was the past two summers. While I would have loved a Mass State course PR, I knew my training didn’t justify it. Therefore, I adjusted my goals to beating my Harvest Tri splits.
Week of Race
Workouts wise, I worked out a little over 6 hours. Food intake wise, I decided to experiment with not being as strict as I have been in the past. I ate a little bit of spicy foods (I LOVE spicy foods & regularly eat this, but sometimes I get tummy issues & usually refrain from spicy foods 1-2 weeks leading up to a race), and had more fiber leading up to the race than I usually let myself have (I don’t feel well when I don’t eat enough fruit & veggies).
Here’s what went down the day before (Saturday, July 8):
- Breakfast: peanut butter & blueberry toast
- Workout: cycled 9 miles on an antique fixie tandem with Kate & swam ~800 yards at Crystal Lake in Newton
- Morning snack: 2 Black Forest fruit snacks
- Lunch: Chinese big bun
- Watched the musical Wicked in the afternoon at the Boston Opera House
- Dinner: Went to my mom’s because my 2nd cousin was in town. We had a Chinese family style meal that consisted of pork shoulder, lobster, leek & beef, a Chinese green, and a Chinese vegetarian dish. It was great and one reason why I had to be looser with my typical race week diet!
- Was stressed about leaving dinner at a reasonable time to make it home to finish packing and get to bed at a decent hour.
- Went to bed ~11pm.
Race Day – Sunday, July 9
Woke up at 4:40am. This time I was driving so I drank a half cup of water and ate some blueberries to get something in my system before getting behind the wheel (I’m not great at driving and eating/drinking). Olivier met me at my place at 5:15am and we packed the car. Breakfast was a Chinese big bun that I ate in the car and I drank 17 oz water.
We arrived at the race site ~6:25am. What I love about this race are that parking is right next to transition and there are flush toilets! I finished packet pickup and setting up my transition ~7:15am. I then ate two cooked fingerling potatoes and 3 Clif shot bloks around 7:30am. Race start wasn’t until 8am so I had a comfortable amount of time to visualize swim out, bike in/out, and run in/out. I even had time to do a (super short) warm up swim, which I’ve never done before any race.
Swim 0.9 miles (0:34:03, 2:09/100yd, 5/8 AG, 0:02/yd slower than Harvest)
Gear: ROKA F1 goggle dark vermilion mirror; Castelli Core tri top & short; Garmin Forerunner 920XT
The race claimed the water was 78.3 degrees Fahrenheit, and, therefore, not wetsuit legal. When I was swimming, the water actually felt colder than that, but I don’t mind no wetsuit for shorter transition time.
I’m pretty disappointed that my swim split is slower than Harvest and I doubt that it’s all due to the fact that I was allowed to wear a wetsuit at Harvest. Admittedly, I’ve mainly been swimming only 1 time a week this summer.
Similar to Harvest, I never once had a negative thought in my head during the swim. Looks like I’m getting better about the mental game while I swim at tris.
T1 (0:01:42, 6/8 AG)
It was nice to not have to spend time taking off a wetsuit. I’m glad I decreased the time difference between my T1 time and the top T1 time in my age group.
Bike 22 miles (1:14:19, 17.8mph, 6/8 AG, 0.7mph faster than Harvest)
Gear: Javelin Amarone road bike; Giro Synthe MIPS helmet; Specialized Ember (2012); Castelli Core tri top & short; Garmin Forerunner 920XT
The start of the bike was not great for me. I dropped some of my Clif Bloks on the ground and I felt super wobbly on my bike. I have no idea why. Since I felt so wobbly, I was wondering if something was mechanically wrong on my bike and I was unable to drink or eat without feeling like I was losing control & balance of the bike. But finally around mile 10, I started to feel normal on my bike.
Although this bike course is not too hilly, the hills felt a lot harder than they did last year. This is a metric that I’m clearly not as bike-fit as I was last year. I haven’t been doing hill repeats this summer when I did them about once a week last summer. I’m also riding less mileage this summer. And, boy, am I seeing the results!
For nutrition, I ate 2 Clif Bloks at the start of the bike, ate a black raspberry GU (with caffeine) a little after mile 15, and drank 2/3 of a water bottle that had Clausthaler non-alcoholic beer mixed with water. I was surprised I only went through 2/3 of a bottle, but the weather really was cooler than previous years and definitely cooler than Harvest Tri.
T2 (0:01:02, 4/8 AG)
One of my higher AG placings for T2! I was sad to see a lot of bikes already racked, which was not a good sign for my position in the race.
Run 6.2 miles (52:21, 8:27/mile, 4/8 AG, 0:49/mile faster than Harvest)
Gear: Newton Gravity V; Castelli Core tri top & short; Garmin Forerunner 920XT
The run is my favourite leg and I felt good on it. A little sad I did not get a course run PR when the weather was not bad for it, but happy I improved my run split from Harvest. For nutrition, I had a salted caramel GU (with caffeine) halfway on the run.
Finish (2:43:26, 6/8 AG)
A list of racers were available before the race and I saw 6 in my age group. After I crossed the finish line, I did the usual thing of printing my results from the All Sports Events tent. When I saw I was 6th for my age group, I assumed I was last and was pretty disappointed in my performance. When I view the results online after the race, I saw that there were actually 8 women in my age group so 2 must have signed up last minute. Well, that made me feel better I wasn’t last place. Glad I was able to make some improvements from Harvest Tri. While I was initially sad this wasn’t the best race of my life, I’ve become ok with it. You can’t expect every summer to be better than the one before, and sometimes other things come up in your life schedule. No matter the result, I’m always grateful to be able to mentally and physically complete a triathlon.