When we woke up, it was raining outside. The forecast had called for sun, so I figured eventually it would stop raining. Seemed like every time I thought that, it would start raining harder. I actually considered NOT doing the event. Racing in the rain sounded miserable. But, we decided to go anyway and hope for the best.
The great thing about this event is that it is less than 10 miles from our house. The route is one that we are very familiar with. There are a lot of beginners at this race and so its very comfortable and really no pressure.
We got down to Frenchmans' bar and started to set up our gear. It was still raining, but it was slowing down. Another great thing about this event is that we know everyone!!! There are so many customers, friends, fellow triathletes that we know who come and do this event. I love that.
We got all set up in transition and it stopped raining. Yay. The road would be wet and I knew that meant we'd have to be a little more careful on the bike.
The swim is down river, so we have to walk 1/2 mile up river to get in. This is always a fast swim, the current really helps!! We made our way up river and got to the start area. Just as with my half ironman last weekend, I wanted to be stress free and I was doing a great job. I wasn't feeling nervous, I was just ready to get going.
I always start at the back on the swim. Last year, at this event, that was an issue. There are so many beginners, that if you start at the back, you spend half the swim dodging their legs while they breast stroke or flip to their backs. This doesn't bother me, I know how it feels to be a beginner, but I wanted to avoid that this year. I set up a little further out in the river and a little closer to the front.
The gun went off, I did my normal slow start, then I put my head down and swam. I did have to dodge a few people, but I just kept swimming. I felt good, comfortable, but certainly was pushing harder than usual. Its just 1/2 mile. Last week I swam 1.2 miles, so this will be over before I know it. That's what I kept telling myself.
Sure enough, it was over before I knew it. I wanted to race. I usually walk out of the water to transition. This time, I actually ran from the water into the transition. I got out of my wetsuit and into my bike gear as fast as I could. Off onto the bike...
Transition 1: 2:12
This bike course is flat and fast. Its a good one to get into the aerobars and just pedal. I wanted to go between 20 and 22 miles per hour. The roads were wet, so I eased up just a bit. I was also breathing pretty heavy and wanted to have a good run. My goal time was 35 minutes. I know this route like the back of my hand. We have ridden it probably 100 times over the last couple years. I know every pothole, turn, bump in the road. I passed lots of people in the wave that started before me and no one passed me on the bike!!! I saw Trevor, his wave started 10 minutes behind me.
As I came back into the park towards the transition, I reminded myself that I was racing and I needed to get off the bike and go....
There was only one woman who completed the bike faster than me!
I hustled in transition, changed my shoes, put on my visor and off I went. I heard some people yelling my name and realized that our friends Chris and Kristine had come to watch us. And our friend Shawna was a volunteer. I had my own cheering section and that really felt great!
Transition 2: 1:00
I felt really good off the bike, I focused on going as fast as I could. It was just 3.1 miles. We've been doing a lot of speed work and tempo runs, so I knew I could maintain a quicker pace for this short distance. I wanted to keep an 8 minute per mile pace, but soon realized that was probably a little too aggressive! My first mile was 8:26 and my goal became to maintain that pace.
Last year, I ran just about 10 minute miles, so this was quite an improvement for me. This run was an out and back, which is great because you can see who is in front of you. As I was going along I counted 3 women in front of me. That meant that worst case scenario I would be 4th in my age group. But there was a chance I could be better than that, depending on the ages of those women.
I just kept going and knew that if I did the best I could do that it would be okay. It was a struggle, I am not used to pushing like that, but it was fun. I was really having fun and feeling proud of myself. I saw Trevor and he looked good too.
It has started to rain again and was actually pouring by the time I crossed the finish line!
Last year's time was 1:23, so I took 4 minutes off. I felt pretty good about that. My bike was a bit slower than last year, I can only assume that was due to the weather.
This time was good enough for 7th overall female (out of 134) and 2nd in my age group (out of 28). I really wanted to be first, the girl who was first beat me by 3 minutes. She was a minute faster in transition 1 and 2 minutes faster on the run. Damnit!!!!
Trevor got 3rd in his age group for the 3rd year in a row. We both felt like we were always the bridesmaid, never the bride!! Honestly, we were very proud of ourselves. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to this event next year.
We packed up our gear and loaded it up. It was POURING rain by now and we were soaking wet. We headed to breakfast and then home to bask in our accomplishments! I think that is it for our triathlon season. Time to train to get stronger and faster. We plan to do another Ironman next summer and we need to work on a few things before that training begins.
This was a great way to end our short season!!