Clermont Swim Exit A 3:30 race start used to feel extremely late to me; however, since I took a leave of absence from work, I have started to embrace the triathlete lifestyle. I now enjoy taking my time in the morning. I woke up around 8am, had breakfast, and went for a 45 min easy spin and 10-minute jog to get my body moving. Before I knew it, I was eating lunch and ready to head to the race site.
I arrived around 1:30pm and rode my bike before heading to transition to watch the men race. It was great to see the tactics used during the swim. The lake was shallow and some men would dolphin dive, others would run, and others would swim. It looked beneficial to do a combination of all three. I am a runner, so many would think I would enjoy shallow water (as it would be less swimming); however, I fatigue doing dolphin dives and was nervous because of the unique swim start and exit.
Earlier in the week, Sara McLarty, and the rest of the Clermont crew, went to Lake Louisa to practice the swim and I was exhausted doing dolphin dives. Thankfully Sara McLarty had been giving tips all week, such as alternating five dolphin dives and five strokes, for maximum speed without becoming too tired.
I felt lucky in my swim line-up as I was next to two of the stronger swimmers and I knew I had to stay on their feet throughout the swim. Turning the second buoy, I was in striking distance of the front girls, and pushed to exit with the front pack.
There was a long run to transition, which I used to not lose spots going into the bike. I mounted my bike (not so gracefully) and off we went! The front girls (Sarah Haskins, Kerri Lang, and Jessica Harrison) were pushing the pace and I felt great on my new Specialized bike and HED wheels. The bike felt faster than ever; however, I made a few mistakes, which caused me to finish the bike with the chase pack.
I didn’t feel great on the run, but I knew I needed to keep looking up. I still have some work to do on my run, before it’s 100%, and I’m looking forward to upcoming races when I’m in full run-mode.
Overall it was a great learning experience for me, and it showed me areas to focus on. USA fared well with two podium finishes (congrats to Kelly Whitley and Sarah Haskins!)
I am excited for my upcoming races: Mooloolaba WC and Sydney WCS