I signed up for this race because my dad wanted to do it. Sadly, he’s still not back in the triathlon game since his accident back in July, so I was on my own for this one. As a side note, he did ride his bike for the first time the day before the race. He’s been making such amazing progress! So proud! Thankfully there were a lot of people racing from the Tru Tri Sports team, so I wouldn’t be alone! One of my riding buddy’s wife was also kind enough to be sherpa for the day and hang on to extra clothes and shoes for after the race. Always so awesome to have a great sherpa around!
From the time I walked out the door I knew it was going to be a hot race. By 5:00 AM it was super duper humid. Yuck. The race site is close to my house, so a quick drive down the road and I was there. Not even enough time for a decent song to come on AltNation and pump me up! Upon entering transition I pretty quickly realized I wasn’t going to like my transition spot. While I was near swim in and run out, I was a whopping 17 rows from bike in/out. That’s a long way to run in bike shoes on muddy grass (I’m not fancy with the flying mounts and dismounts!). I got my transition area set up long before the sun even began to come up, and went out for a 15 minute warm up run. It was so freakin humid. I was thoroughly damp by the end of it, and knew I wasn’t going to dry off or cool off anytime soon. So ready for fall. Legs didn’t feel particularly great, but not bad either, so I really didn’t know what to expect for the race.
All of the Olympic waves start first at this race, so it was nice to get an early start since we’d be out there for quite a bit longer than the sprint racers. I was in the last of the Olympic waves, and in the water at 7:22. I lined myself up a the far right of the very front row of the beach start. It’s just so much fun to be right there in the middle of everyone as they sprint towards the water! The swim start was surprisingly calm and clean. I never got punched or kicked or slapped or anything. Pretty surprising considering our wave was all women under 40! I decided to wear my Roka Viper Swimskin since this was a decently long swim (1500m), and I’m glad I did. Two years ago I did this swim in 33 minutes. I figured with the skin and all the Masters practice I could do about 30 minutes this year, but I ended up finishing in just over 26 minutes. I think the course may have been a bit on the short side, but I’m still really pleased with how I swam. I think it just may be the straightest I’ve ever swam in open water. Overall it was just a really solid swim. I got out of the water looking forward to the ride, but a little sad that the swim was already finished!
I really wasn’t sure how to pace myself for this ride. I’ve only done the Oly distance once, and that was two years ago. I knew I needed to push, but just not sure how much. I had averaged just over 20mph on the same course before, so all I knew was that I wanted to beat that this year. The course is a simple 2 loops. The first loop is pretty boring since none of the sprint distance racers are out yet. I pushed, but not super hard. A girl in my AG passed me early on, but I knew I would seriously wear myself out if I attempted to chase after her (I’m pretty sure she went on to win my AG). I settled in and just rode at a slightly uncomfortable pace, and judging by the 5 mile splits I was easily holding 20+mph.
By the time you make it around to the second loop, there’s a ton of sprint course riders out which means non stop passing. So much fun! There were a few points where the riders would get all bunched up and block the entire lane, but most of them were pretty good about moving to the side when I’d scream, “Left side!!!” from a ways back. All of the passing really gets me motivated, and it just makes it so much fun out there!
Just like the swim, the bike was pretty uneventful. The time flew by, and before I knew it I was back in transition with just a 10K to go.
If you know me even just a little bit, you know that the run is my weak link. I only saw a couple of bikes on any of the racks near me in T2, so I felt I was doing decently well in my AG, but wasn’t sure exactly where. I spent the entire run worrying every time I heard footsteps behind me that it was someone in my AG passing me. It was so damn hot and humid that there really wasn’t much I could do. The run course was 2 loops like the bike, so I tried to take the same approach.
Comfortably uncomfortable for the first loop, then hang on for dear life on loop 2. Our race packets had come with a container of Base Salts, so I decided to give that a try on the run since I didn’t plan on carrying OSMO with me. It seemed to be working well until about mile 3 when I pulled it out to get a lick. I closed the cap, but when I attempted to get it back in my shorts the cap came open. I pulled it back out, and it had gotten damp and there was now powder caked all around the opening. I tried closing it, thought it was close, but when I tried getting it into my pocket again the entire contents dumped out all over my shorts! Gross! I was so pissed! So much for that strategy… From then on I just took in a little bit of gatorade and chased it with water at every aid station trying to keep the electrolytes flowing in. If it was available I was also shoving ice down my bra, back, face, and holding it in my hands til it would melt. Did I mention I’m ready for fall?
I had done a little bit of analysis before the race, and the goal time I had come up with was 2:45. I started the run knowing that if I could go anywhere near an hour for the 10K I would smash that. My PR for a 10K is around 58 minutes, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen considering that was a standalone race and about 40 degrees cooler! Having that goal in mind really kept me going. Just one more mile. One more mile. By mile 5 I was really ready to walk, but I kept it going and even passed a girl from my AG. Although I’m always dissapointed by my run paces, I’m pretty pleased with how I executed this one.
The biggest surprise was when I checked the results. About 30 minutes after I had finished, results still hadn’t been updated and there was no one from my AG up there yet. Twenty minutes or so it had finally updated, and to my surprise I had come in 3rd in my AG. Holy crap!!!! I didn’t think I had a chance in the world to podium at this distance! So awesome!
1500m swim – 26:13 3/22 F30-34
T1 – 1:56.5
24ish mile ride – 1:06:51.3 3/22 F30-34
T2 – 1:37.7
10K run – 1:01:04.1 6/22 F30-34
Total – 2:37:42.7 3/22 F30-34