Distance: Sprint (.5mi s, 12mi b, 2.9mi r)
Time: 7am start (in waves 3min apart)
Weather: Cloudy and humid
Participants: 2698 (!!)
Park, ride/walk to the race site. Find where I'm supposed to set up my stuff (based on swim waves/age group), setup and get marked.
Filled up my water bottle in the lake and double checked everything before making a pit stop ;)
I was in wave 26... which meant I was starting well over an hour after we were forced to leave the transition area. Luckily I ran into my parents and two of my friends who surprised me by driving up that morning (thanks guys!!!) and was able to stay relatively calm while I waited for my turn.
I made my way to the beach in time for my wave to be shuffled into the corral, then into the water. Before I knew it we were off! I'd be lying if I said it was warm, but the initial chill wore off pretty quickly :) The water was very clear, almost disturbingly so! I didn't settle down as much as I would've liked, but it turned out to be my fastest swim yet (11:53)--did I take a short cut?? ;)
Over the timing mat, up the beach, a quick rinse into some sneakers before running through a parking lot and to the furthest corner of the transition area. Socks and bike shoes on, gloves, helmet, shirt... grab my bike and go!
I had heard about a hill on the bike, but I goofed the day before and we didn't actually get to drive the course. Despite not knowing what to expect, I made it up the hill (albeit very slowly), only to see a sharp right turn at the bottom of the nice downhill. So much for picking up speed! Turns out the bike course is full of rolling hills, but I felt pretty good for the rest of it. I finished the bike with an average of 16.4mph (43:46). I forgot to check my bike computer beforehand, so things weren't aligned after the trip and I have no idea how I did on the different parts of the course. I think I lost a lot of time on the hill--Anyone have any tips for climbing on a road bike?? This is definitely something I need to practice this a bit more, as I wasn't as comfortable climbing on my bike (like I am in spinning :/ ).
Another long run with my bike to where my stuff was set up. I changed my shoes, took off shades (it wasn't sunny)/gloves/helmet, grabbed my race belt and stood there for a second thinking I had forgotten something. Probably a waste of time as I didn't think of anything else, but oh well!
My left ankle was extremely tight/inflexible for the first 1/3 of the run... it's something I've been working through with stretching and ART, but it's never been this bad. Eventually it loosened up, but I was no longer thinking about it... instead I was thinking about the hills! No one ever mentioned the rolling hills on the run!!! I am indebted to the woman who was standing just short of the turnaround with her hose on for all of us :)
Just before the last turn into the park where our transition area was, a 22 year old passed me (age is marked on our legs). Up to this point I had only seen women in their 30s and 40s, so I tried to keep up with her and finish strong. I started to kick a bit too early, the finish line seemed to be getting further away! It didn't turn out as bad as I thought (22:36, 8:22 pace), but keeping in mind that I haven't been training as much due to the above-mentioned therapy and I don't have a hilly race to compare the time to... I guess it'll do ;)
As soon as I crossed the finish line and got my chip taken off, I made a beeline for the fuel tent. I didn't eat or drink that much on the bike (2 luna moons-forgot my Clif shot blocks- and 1/2 water bottle), so I was thirsty!! I grabbed water, WATERMELON, half a banana, and some Bear Naked Granola (the native mango, agave, & almond flavor is awesome) with yogurt. I found my cheering squad, went back for more watermelon, and did a little stretching while we hung around the finish line.
I'm still a little amazed and psyched about my final time... 1:26:57, which put me 17th in my age group (out of 211). Must've been all your good luck messages! It was awesome to have family and friends cheering me on, made this race very special :) I can't thank them enough for getting up so early on a Sunday morning!
While this was much larger than other tri's I've done, it's inspiring to see so many women accomplish such an amazing feat. The environment is so supportive, if you're hesitant at all, this is the forum to do it in! That is, for you ladies out there ;)
I've already signed up to do my next sprint tri, and am thinking about another one Sept 12th. Anyone want to join me??