Good morning Angela and all,
My apologies for not seeing your post. I am still trying to understand this new website and somehow I missed your post. First off, congratulations! Congratulations on a solid finish and a great attitude! It’s amazing how much more athletes seem to enjoy the race when they are not always so worried about crushing it/PRing it! Not that this is a bad thing but sometimes it’s nice to take step back and just take it all in….just like you did!
And thank you for sharing your feedback. Lots of good lessons learned in here as well! So let’s dive in…
Bike pump! Yes, they always say that they have bike pumps available to use. Unless you are first in the transition area, I have never seen a race without a long line for the bike pumps! It might be best to reserve this situation for when you forget your bike pump. Otherwise, if you are able, carry it with you, use it and then (hopefully) hand it off to a friend or family member that can return it to the car.
Great work practicing sighting BEFORE your race! It is a skill and it takes a lot of practice. However it’s amazing what some practice in the pool and open water can do for you. That said, sighting does require a decent amount of core strength and solid body position. This isn’t something you can ‘find’ days before the race. Thus it needs to be practiced and practiced and practiced some more. Nice work doing so. It paid off for you for a confident swim!
Many athletes race through T1 and then mount their bike with a super high HR. This is exactly what we want to avoid! Thus I recommend a nice, easy jog through T1 working to bring the HR down (deep belly breathing (versus shallow chest breathing), repeat your mantra, etc). Mostly you just need to slow down. If you can’t get your HR down (depends on how much you practiced it during training), you might even need to walk through T1. The most important thing is that you recognized it was high and worked to get it down so awesome work!
As for the hand off bottles, I have received handoff bottles without the inner seal but more times than not, it always has it on. It’s a lot of work to take them off as fast as they are handing them off. So I would just assumed that it has not been taken off and then decide how you are going to handle it. If that means stopping, taking it off and filling up your regular water bottles, do it! It will take 1 minute. Then when you more concerned about finish time, you can practice a faster strategy.
And if you came to any of my seminars, you will know how I feel about hill training! Hill training is the optimal training tool even for flatter race terrain. This is when you can also work on ‘training’ your HR to come down quickly (like in T1). Hill training has so many benefits! If you can climb hills (bike or run), you can always better master a flatter course…
Finally on the run, nice work keeping your body temperature as cool as possible. I can promise you that you were not the only one out there stuffing ice everywhere…so don’t worry! And it sounds like we have another plug for thanking the volunteers and cheering for others. It sure does wonders!
Great work out there Angela! Pleased you enjoyed the training experience. Here’s to many more!