We did it! This is part 1 of my race recap. A more “race-reviewy” post will follow.
I was not as nervous for doing the full tri as I was for being on a relay last year, probably because I knew what to expect more or less this time around. On race morning, I was feeling good and ready to go. I even managed to sleep for several hours (in a row!) the night before. I was nervous for any bike malfunction and also for surviving my allergies.
Transition closed an hour before the age group swim start, which was kind of a bummer, but understandable since the elite athletes would be entering transition. The area where the swimmers were corralled before the race was packed. As always in triathlons, there were some very friendly and chatty people waiting and I appreciated the diversion and knowing I wasn’t the only person nervous.
After waiting an hour without even having a view of the lake due to the crowded area, when I finally got to the chute, things moved FAST. It seemed like no time until I was hitting the water, doing exactly what I’d rehearsed the week before (and in my head when I tossed and turned at night). I kept repeating my mantra “slow and steady wins the race.” In previous races, I’d gone like a bat outta hell off the start, like every swim was a sprint. Not yesterday. I stayed even and relaxed. People passed me off the start, but I quickly caught up to them and kept plugging away. I could have gone another lap around the lake if I’d wanted to (Ironman relay, anyone?) My 1500 meter swim time was 28:52 which was 3rd out of 48 in my division. It was a minute faster than my swim (and all I did was swim!) last year and 1.5 minutes faster than my goal for this leg.
I took transition slow. I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget anything and I am just too darn awkward to run with my bike. Once I finally got on the bike, I felt good. Really good. It was cool and cloudy. I was almost chilly but not going to complain! I got clipped in and relished the fact that for the first time, I could ride that distance without clipping out of my pedals. My new bike computer worked like a dream and I was shocked at the speed I was going. My goal speed was 14.5 mph average and I ended up averaging 15.6mph. The hills didn’t bother me at all and I even passed some people! Of course, I got passed far more often. Pretty much constantly. I felt more confident than I’ve ever felt on the bike. I do wish I’d have had more fluids, I felt like I was rationing as I’d made the mistake of not having water or nutrition with me in the over-an-hour swim wait after transition closed and I started the ride dehydrated. My total time on the 40K bike was 1:35:40. This is about 5 minutes faster than my goal for this leg. I was 42 out of 48 in my division on the bike.
Transition 2 was slow because the person with the bike next to mine (who was complaining about her bike’s location next to a pole as we set up that morning and who put her items on my side, instead of the other side of the rack where it belonged) had tossed her bike over two spaces at a wonky angle so I had to move it with some of her belongings to get my bike racked. Not that I was in a huge hurry to run a 10k, which is still pretty much the longest distance I’ve ever run (even in training).
The sun finally came out and was starting to feel hot! The first 3 miles are on a stretch of trail Matty J and I absolutely hate because of the lack of shade. In the summer, if feels like desert. I hit a turnaround at 1.5 miles and saw my friends and their kids cheering. The boys ran along with me for part of the way “You should pump your arms, it really will help. Do you feel like you are giving this your all? Could you ‘tri’ harder? ha ha” It cracked me up and I seriously needed the boost. The runner in front of me that I was keeping pace with laughed too. Partway through the run, their dad who started in a wave after me caught up and chatted which also helped.
Once we hit the East Village (my business stomping grounds!) I saw the Sunday Bazaar going on with big crowds and some of the business owners I’m friends with were cheering. I also came upon my friends Dan and Alison cheering in a couple of spots and Matty J too (who was finished) and I really felt like it made all of the difference to keep me going. I also didn’t want someone cheering for me to catch me walking so that pushed me to keep on jogging at my slow pace. My final 10K run time was 1:12:15 with an average pace of 11:4o/mile. It was only 2 minutes slower than my first (and only 10K race). I was 40 out of 48 in my division on the run.
Once I hit the hill and saw the blue carpet, I was so happy! I finished and hopefully didn’t make too dorky of a grin at the finisherpix people. Matty J took me over to get my time readout and I was thrilled! My overall time was 3:23:59 for 32nd place out of 48 in my division (F-30-34).
I feel like I put most of my mental and physical energy into bike training since it scared me the most. My improvement in this race from Copper Creek in June (half the bike distance) was over 1mph average faster. That is great. I think it’ll just keep improving with moderate practice. The run was a killer though. It was the leg I focused on the least figuring I could walk if I had to. I think the off-season will be spent plugging away on the trails, testing out new running shoes, and trying to get below an 11 mph average 10K time before next summer.
I can’t believe how “not too bad” I feel today. The allergies from all of the time spent outside and the sunburn from being separated from our ride from the Capitol (how on earth did we keep missing each other for an hour!) in the blazing sun are my only icky feelings today. I’ve achieved my biggest fitness goal (including my childhood and teen year goals…this tops those!) and need a new one or at least another race to train for that is not to far away since I don’t want to slack off. I’m already itching to workout and need a new race to motivate me!