Swim 14m 51s (1:44 min/ 100 yards) GR 15/85 AG 2/10
T1 1m 17s
Bike 48m 51s (speed 19.6 mph) GR 28/85 AG 3/10
T2 0m 59s
Run 25m 53s (pace 8:19 min/mile) GR 29/85 AG 5/10
TOTAL 1h 31m 57s GR 23/85 AG 4/10
GR= gender rank AG= age group
My friend and team mate Audrey and I were heading down to Columbia Saturday around noon. Yes, we could have driven down there in the morning, but we made a little girl's weekend out of it. Once we got checked into the hotel, we grabbed some lunch and then hit the pool for some relaxation. It's sad to say, but I cannot even remember the last time, I have been just laying by the pool and boy did I enjoy that. After the pool time, we headed to Columbia downtown for package pickup and a pizza dinner. As soon we got back to the hotel, we vegged out in front of the TV and had an early night.
The alarm went off at 5:30am. We both brought breakfast, so we had breakfast in the hotel room and then packed up our stuff and headed out to the race site on Dreher Island.
As soon as we were on site, the usual pre race rituals and routines started clicking away and before long, we were standing on the boat ramp, heard the national anthem and then the gun went off for the open division to start. 9 minutes later it was go time for the purple caps.
I went out really hard on this swim. Actually, I was going so hard, that I ended up breast stroking halfway to the first turn buoy to catch my breath. After that, all was good. Good thing with the breast stroke too, because I veered way off course and it gave me the time to get straighten out.
After that, the swim was pretty uneventful. I reached the first turn buoy and stayed closer to the course and even was able to draft off a couple of feet for a little while.
Out of the water, over the boat ramp, I started to take off the wetsuit as I was running along, passing a couple of dudes on the ramp and hit transition.
Taking off the wetsuit took a couple of seconds, but I think it was totally worth wearing it. Everything else was pretty efficient and I am actually happy with my transition time.
The bike course was a lollipop course and rolling. I must have passed one of my age group girls either in transition or right at the beginning of the bike, but then got passed by another girl in my age group right around mile 4. After that, nobody in my age group passed me anymore and not a ton of other girls either.
Around mile 7, I got passed by a team mate of mine and she was yelling at me: "Come on, Kathrin! Kick my a$$!". We passed each other back and forth a couple of times until the very end and I am just happy, that I was able to keep her in my sight.
The course was on fairly quiet back country roads and there was not a ton of traffic, but wouldn't you know, that I had to slow down twice because of cars. The first time, I was about to make a right turn when a car coming from the other direction just kept on turning left even though he must have seen the string of cyclists on the road. The next time, I was just coming down a hill, when a truck with a boat turned off into a boat ramp right in front of me... I was so peed off after that one, because I lost all my momentum from the downhill. What's wrong with people??
Overall, I am very happy with my bike and the average speed especially for it being a rolling course.
Chop chop... Getting stuff done. Things are starting to get more efficient again in transition.
The run course was on paved trails in the state park and also a little rolling. It had a couple of out and back sections and was fairly shaded. Overall a pretty nice course.
Running has been my limiter for the longest, but I made constant progress over the last couple of months and was itching to see what I could do... And I was also determined to really try to push and not give myself an easy out.
After fussing with my visor and watch, I started getting focused and pushed the pace. And I kept pushing and then pulling back when my breathing got out of control and then pushing again. I had no idea what pace I was going, since I was just running with a stop watch and not my Garmin... Really going by feel and not worry about the pace seems to work for me these days during races.
A little after the first mile marker, I got passed by a girl in my age group and then by another one a couple of minutes later. Right then, I knew I wasn't going to place, but I also knew that there was another girl in my age group right behind me and I wanted to make sure, that I am not losing another place.
Coach Katie was standing on one of the last turns, cheering on the participants and gave me pointers on my form (no chicken wings!).
When I crossed the finish line and saw my overall time, I knew I had a good race and a good run. When I checked the results later on, I found out that I just ran a 5K PR. My previous PR was from a standalone 5K back in 2009 and today I beat that time by a good bit after I already swam and cycled. I am so stoked about this... There might be a runner in me after all! ;-)
I ran into some of my team mates right away and grabbed something to drink and then went over to the finish chute again to cheer in my friends that were still out there.
While I didn't place, I still scored some free stuff (t-shirt and water bottle) during the awards ceremony.
After that, we hit the road back to Greenville with a little stopover at a Mexican place where we scored a free desert and free t-shirt as leftovers from Cinco de Mayo.... I probably should buy a lottery ticket today!