I had been looking forward to this triathlon since the start of the summer, however, life turned pretty hectic and I wasn’t able to be as consistent with my workout and sleep schedule as I’d wanted to be. Oh well, life happens! Since the start is just a couple of miles from my house, I had planned on bicycling to the park. And typically, I prefer to arrive at the venue with at least two hours to spare (crazy, I know…pity poor Janet who frequently carpools with me!) However, upon crawling out of bed, I was immediately conscious of the very relentless rain coming down. I scratched the idea of arriving early and savored breakfast and coffee, even took a few minutes to check the weather forecast. The radar showed that the rain had already moved off to the east and with nothing behind it, I figured we might have a decent day. Having tortured my long-suffering boyfriend (Dave) with my tri-day exuberance (he’s not a morning person!) and since the rain had stopped, I decided I’d better get going. On my way past fellow cyclist Kate’s house, I noticed her car was open and she was loading her stuff for her trip to
Registration, chip pick-up, body marking and transition set-up all went very smoothly. I had a bit of trouble deciding what time I wanted to put on my wet suit, as transition closed at when the Olympic-distance athletes started. That left me with 45 minutes before my start. Ultimately, the weather dictated that I put it on earlier than later, because I was starting to get cold. I did manage to get a glimpse of Janet running from the swim finish to transition…she had a fantastic swim time and really hustled up the hill to transition. That would be the last I saw of her until the finish! Finally it was time for the first of the sprint waves. Wisely, I had seeded myself in the fourth and final wave. I spent the last few minutes conversing with two other women who were very nervous about the swim. One, doing her first ever tri, started sobbing a couple of minutes before we started. The support displayed from all the other women was very moving and once again, I felt tremendous pride in being involved in an incredible group of people.
The swim pace started fast and I rather surprisingly found myself sticking pretty well to the pace and feeling almost comfortable to boot. I settled into a somewhat steady rhythm and tried to maintain that pace. When I finally had the presence of mind to look for the first buoy, I realized I had strayed quite a bit into the center of the course. I corrected, slowed down and did fairy well for the rest of the swim. I sure wasn’t able to run up the hill to transition nearly as fast as Janet, though!
T-1. Well, what could go wrong, did go wrong. My wet suit caught on both arms and both legs, my socks didn’t want to go on my feet, I had trouble getting my bike off the rack and to top it off, I was a couple of paces away from my spot when I realized I forgot my race belt with my number. I had to set my bike down and go back for the belt. What fun.
Here’s what I look like when I’m trying to quell those evil voices that keep nagging me when I’m not doing so well. I was just thankful that the swim and T-1 was over and that I was finally able to get onto my favorite leg. In case you’re wondering, this bike course starts on a fiendishly steep hill out of the parking lot and onto the main road. Leaping onto the bike in traditional tri style is pretty difficult for most people (though I have witnessed Janet mastering it!) and impossible for me. I have to get one foot clipped in before I even think about moving forward. Once onto the main road, it’s mostly down hill or flat; then there’s a 90-degree right turn and you’re climbing another steep hill. To add some excitement, the race organizers offered a hill prime for the fastest time up the hill. Now, I had told myself before the race that I shouldn’t bury myself on the hill prime and I thought I was okay with that decision. Once the timing mats were in sight though, that competitive spirit took over and I was giving it all I had. To my great disappointment, the results of the hill climb were not posted, so I have no idea how I did (I do know that I didn’t win, though). I didn’t feel as good on the bike course as I usually do, but I did have a better swim and run time than last year, so I guess training is paying off and the three events are evening out for me. I purposely held back a little on the bike, hoping for something left for the run, but I don’t really think that strategy worked. I don’t think the time I made up on the run was worth what I spent on the bike leg. Oh well, each race there’s something new to learn!
The good part, though, was that I felt pretty strong on the run; I was even able to crack a smile when I saw