Choosing a local tri was a great idea! We got up around 6 AM with a plan to be at the lake to rack my bike by 7. The kids were having a sleepover at Grandma's house so that the husband could take me to the starting line. I love having him there while I wait for the start. It's nice to have a familiar face in the crowd.
This race had a split transition, which was a new experience for me. We dropped off our bikes and swim gear (bike, helmet, headband, sun glasses, goggles, cap, fuel, socks and shoes). Then we drove to T2 and dropped off what I needed for the running leg (tshirt with bib # pre pinned- my best idea of the day!, fuel belt with another bottle of water, and hat). We have had high for us (mid/upper 80's) temps and I knew I'd need extra water. They promised extra water stops, but you never know what that will mean.
Back to the lake. Our timing was perfect and we only had to wait for like 25 minutes before getting on wetsuits. Wetsuit on! Pre-race meeting. The guy talked a lot about the bike course, but I couldn't concentrate at all on that. I was staring at this:
The buoys were so far out!!! My friend, Andi, pointed out that there were 4- red, yellow, red, yellow. The reds were straight and the yellows were a turn. 2 turns. I have to turn twice. I started repeating red-yellow-red-yellow. One buoy at a time. We got in the water and warmed up. My wetsuit was amazing! Back on the shore for the start. I had a plan- wait for all the crazy people to start and then I'd start. No need to get kicked in the face! My plan worked. I started out once the rush was over. Red buoy down- feeling strong, still doing crawl stroke, face still in the water. Yellow buoy- the turn got a little harry, lots of bodies, turn complete. 2nd red buoy- people are getting tired, I've still got this. Final yellow- this turn was easier, THERE ARE PEOPLE BEHIND ME!, feeling amazing. Straight swim to the orange finish buoys and I'm done. Not going to lie, I was tired, but felt so.much.more confident than my swim a year ago. I had already won this tri. :) My unofficial time was 21 minutes on my watch. That's 6 minutes and a whole lot less stressful than my swim a year ago. I was through the moon excited.
T1 was uneventful. I saw people hopping in to their bike shoes while I was busy drying feel and lacing up. I think I am going to start clipping in. THAT scares me.
Next was the bike course- 14 miles. It was a fairly easy course with a few ups and one HUGE down. On the down part I looked down at one point and was going 28 MPH. WHEEEEE! That was fast. My bike did great until the last half mile. I had down shifted in to first for a big hill and then it wouldn't go back in to 2nd for the last little bit of the course. I decided to not force it for fear that my chain would fall off. Thankfully there was only a half mile left and I made it work.
The bike took right about 1:10 minutes. I'll come back and put in official times as soon as they are posted. :)
T2 was a breeze. That's the bonus of riding in running shoes- no need to change my shoes. Swapped my helmet for my hat and I was off. By this point it was HOT. I wasn't too tired, but the heat was definitely getting to me.
The start of the run was brutal! The first half mile (totally just a random guess form a girl that was already an hour and a half in to her race) was straight up a giant hill. The run was in a grassy/gravelly/paced field around a lake. If I had known the run terrain then I would have brought my trail shoes. My road shoes didn't love the gravel.
I spied a guy in the distance that had been just a little bit ahead of me during the bike leg. My goal was to keep his pace. When he ran, I ran. When he walked, I walked. He had no idea I was watching him!
At one point I finally caught up to him. He looked like he wanted to quit. I told him he couldn't cause then I'd be quitting. He mentioned that he couldn't because he'd cramp up. I totally got that and reflected back to when I stopped during my first half to stretch. SUCH A BAD IDEA! I was excited to see that guy cross the finish line just a little after me. He told his wife that I was his pacer. I guess we helped each other. His wife took a picture of us together. Totally random and such a great example of why I love this running community.
I heard another runner say that we had a mile left in the run. Ok, I can do a mile. I started counting one one-thousands up to fifty one-thousands. Over and over again. Each time I got to 50 one-thousands I'd switch between running and walking. I don't know how many times I did this, but it got me to the finish line. As I rounded the corner I saw my family, my friend Andi that was also competing, and my running partner Julia who came just to surprise me at the finish line. She asked me earlier that day my goal for finishing. My goal time was 2:15. Look at what I did!
|Beat my goal by a whole 8 seconds!|
Hugs and kisses for everyone! The sad part was that due to some photo difficulties we only got one good picture. It was of me and Andi. She ran a great race herself and beat her goal time by 5 minutes. SUPER proud of her.
|Post race- We did it!!!|
I loved, loved, loved this race.
Things I loved:
- being local
- great on course support (signs, water stations, people giving directions, lots of arrows)
- bike course rocked!
- not super competitive
- very friendly
My mantra's during this race were:
- I am strong than this challenge
- Just keep pedaling
This is definitely one that I will do again!
I'll leave you with a funny story- After the race there was a festival. Of course the kids wanted to go-go-go and play-play-play. We took them over and started the playing. I totally forgot about my bike and gear. Ooops! 2 hours later and I remembered. I ran over to get my bike and the guy was almost done tearing everything down. There was my lowly bike. I apologized profusely. I am sure he thought I was insane! Next year- must remember to get bike after race.
I mentioned earlier that I had the post-race blues. This recap actually helped me to process them a bit. I'm considering a time goal for my next 5k that scares me a little bit. I'll share more about that once I have the specifics in place.