400 meter pool swim - 14 mile bike - 3.1 mile run
Results (based on chip time):
Swim 7m43s (pace 1:46m/100y) OA 9/61
Bike 44m13s (speed 19 mph) OA 20/61
Run 30m55s (pace 9:58 min/mile) OA 44/61
TOTAL 1h 24m 40s OA 26/61 AG 1/3 GR 7/17
OA= overall, AG= age group, GR= gender rank
We already packed the night before, but after the alarm went off at 5am, I still had a couple of random things to throw in the car. By 5.30am we hit the road and I had breakfast in the car (banana, Larabar cashew nut cookie and water) and I tried to no indulge in my nerves. It was the first tri of the season after all and it makes my stomach a little squirrelly. Once at the race site, we picked up our packages, set-up transition and then talked to our tri friends and snapped a couple of pictures.... That was nice and distracting, so the nerves never came out full force. Sweet.
My race plan was: Swim hard, bike hard, run with whatever is left, but don't worry about the run.... Deal.
In previous years at this race, they let us start in pairs at the pool wall and you were spaced out by 10 seconds or so. This year, a different company did the timing and there was a timing matt on the pool deck, so they were much more flexible with letting people in the water. We were lined up by start number and then stepped on the matt and dove, jumped etc into the pool. I prefer this start over pairs, because you don't have to fight right away to get a good position on the first wall. Still, I was going for it and passed two people in the first couple of laps and then got passed by one guy, but just barely. The plan was to go out hard on the swim and I was swimming hard (actually, I had sore triceps the next day), but I never felt like I had a good rhythm. My stroke count was way too high and I had to remind myself several times to stop thrashing the water and just glide. Oh well, it wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good. When I got out of the pool I saw 7:20 on my watch... The official swim time also included the way from the pool to the transition timing matt... Pretty good.
There is not much to say about this... It was by far not the fasted transition, but I think I didn't mess around much either.
This was the first time ever, that I had a 19 mph average for a bike split and I am thrilled. Two years ago, I was close to it on this course, but I finally cracked that baby. With that being said.... I was supposed to go out hard and that's exactly what I did. I didn't wear a heart rate monitor at all for this race, but if you are almost out of breath the whole time you are on the bike, you are definitely working it. One mishap of course was dropping my chain maybe 300 yards into the bike, but fortunately, I was on a downhill and I just kept pushing up on the big chain ring until it finally caught on again. Phew! After that it was just pedal, pedal, pedal as hard as my legs and lungs would let me. Like one of the girls later said: This course is either up or down. There are no flat sections.... I cannot agree more. The meanest hill out of all of them is in the last mile before transition and it makes the legs feel like jello. I was feeling my left hip flexor during the complete ride, which sucked big time, but stopping and stretching just wasn't really an option. Last year, I really messed up my nutrition on the bike and this time I thought I did a much better job with both drinking and eating and was hoping that it would also result in a better run.
Once I got into T2, I knew that my "assignments" for the race were done and now I am just here to do whatever is left in me without worrying too much. My hip flexor seized up as soon as I got off the bike, but other than that, transition was pretty efficient and I was in and out quickly.
Since I have a lot of pacing issues on the run (on top of my other issues with running), I really took it easy out of transition and was passed by one of my team members right away. It's pretty normal for me to get run down, so nothing to fuss about. The run course starts out with a nice downhill section and after the first .5 mile, the hip flexor finally loosened up and after that, I didn't think about it anymore. I think I was pretty consistent on the run this time and only walked through the aid stations, grab a cup of water each time and had a couple of sips before dumping the rest on my back. Since the course is an out and back, the nice downhill at the beginning is a nice uphill at the end of the race. Once it flattened out, I picked up the pace some and brought it in. I felt pretty good right after I crossed the finish line, which made me wonder, if I held back to long. Oh well, nothing to be done about it anymore. The first thing after taking off the timing chip, was kicking off my shoes. I forgot to bring socks and ran myself a couple of nice blisters.
I hung around at the finish line, until all my team mates and my husband were done. Terry beat me this year... So sad! ;-)
After that, I grabbed a quick shower and then we took down transition to help out the guy that did the timing. And then a short and sweet awards ceremony which added another cup to my collection, before heading out and grab some serious breakfast.
Good first tri of the season overall. Now I just have to figure out, if I want to do a couple more sprints or if I stick to my international distance plans. ;-)
Also, I have to get cracking on running again. It's just so frustrating to see how I make good time in both the swim and the bike, only to loose all of it and then some on the run... ARRRRGHHHH!