I decided not to drive to Raleigh until Saturday morning before the race. I did not get a lot of scheduled down time in the week leading into the race and I really don't enjoy trying to get everything together Friday after work AND then hitting the road. I woke up Saturday morning, enjoyed a nice breakfast, and put some finishing touches on my gear. After a short rain shower blew through Charlotte I kissed my cats and hit the road.
While driving to Raleigh I made the executive decision to drive straight to the swim and then drive the bike course into town and to packet pick up. While it was great to see the entire course, driving 56 miles takes a really long time and is quite boring, especially after 2.5 hours of driving. The course seemed to showcase NC's finest foothills and lake views. It snaked through the countryside and dipped into the forests before emerging loud and proud in the middle of downtown. Even though I grew up in Raleigh, I recognized none of it. Hahaha, oh well.
I spent the rest of the day gathering stuff and dropping it all off again. And by rest of the day I really mean all day. I was once again reminded why point-to-point races are everyone's favorite . . . but not mine.
|T1 and the start of the swim at Jordan Lake|
I wasn't expecting the swim to be wetsuit legal, at least for the pro field, but I learned the day before WTC has a different wetsuit cut off temperature than USAT. This sparked quite a bit of confusion at the pro meeting the day before but in case you are curious WTC wetsuit temperature is 76.1 for all fields. For all USAT sanctioned events the cut off is 78 degrees for age group fields and 68 degrees for all swims under 3K in the elite field. Seems silly but I don't make the rules, I just have to follow them.
Despite having a swim background, I don't hate wetsuits. Wetsuits are fast, especially my Blueseventy Helix, but they also make swimming quite a bit easier. The flotation they provide takes a lot of stress off your core, hips, and legs. In short, wetsuits make it easier for everyone. However, when you combine a hard effort, borderline temperature conditions, and a full sleeve wetsuit things get toasty and in my opinion, unpleasant. Quite a bit different from my swim in Chattanooga!
|Nothing but wetsuit love right there|
The leader had a SUP lead which I could sight and follow but the lead was growing and I was starting to feel sick to my stomach. My legs felt hot and I stopped trying to kick. I felt so gross. I excited the swim feeling spent but still had to run up the hill to transition. I only caught a glimpse of one of the ladies ahead me exiting on her bike. I struggled a bit to get through transition but once I did I was happy to let the air cool my core as I headed out on the bike course.
Since I painstakingly drove the bike course the day before I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. I did not research the weather, however, and did not anticipate a headwind for most of the course. I was given a target power number and I was eager to see if I could still hit it given my new bike position. I have been working with James Haycraft on my position and once we got it dialed in we had to make some small equipment changes. Some of which I tried to do myself resulting in the fork falling out of my head tube right before I was supposed to help lead at the Carolina Half course preview ride in Davidson. I learned my lesson and took Sam to Inside Out Sports the week prior to the race and let James and Greg handle the last minute tweaking and race prep.
|My custom Cervelo P2 thanks to a couple of auto decals|
|Linsey Corbin's custom Trek Speed Concept (probs not auto decals)|
|My kit has no pockets so the taking|
of this picture was well timed.
Oh my gawd, heading out onto the run my legs felt so heavy. The other girls were already gone and I was struggling to get my feet off the ground. The new run course consisted of two loops with the first half of each loop heading up a long low grade hill. After seeing my mom, dad, and stepmom out on the course I felt pretty alone. Luckily some of the spectators I knew from back in the day started to cheer for me after seeing the "LEISER" scrolled across my butt. While I was having trouble locking in on faces from the depths of my very own personal hurt locker the crowd's energy put a HUGE pep in my step and by the second loop I was feeling much much better. I was feeling light on my feet as my legs were finally starting to turn over. I was also starting to see some of my friends and teammates from all over NC. It was really cool to encounter one familiar face after another. The sun was finally shining in full force but the breeze kept the temperatures from truly escalating. And guess what!! I passed someone! In the last quarter mile I passed a competitor . . . on the run . . . in a race! Oh yeah!
|Go ICE and Team Ferguson!|
Check out my interview after the race! I had just just finished and could barely talk. Thanks guys.
I just want to take a second to thank my family to trekking out to the race course. Spectating is both hard and exhausting. It is probably worse than spectating during my swimming days -standing out in the heat for hours only to catch a glimpse of me rolling by for a second or two . . . that's dedication. I would also like to thanks Inside Out Sports for all their support. I rely heavily on James, Melissa, and Greg to get me ready for race day. Charlotte is so fortunate to have a store that specializes in making you a better triathlete. I do not want to spend all my money on products that are all flare and no function. Their combined experience and knowledge is unparalleled.