I felt like I didn’t have much to say about this race. And then I started typing and I do. Of course I do. I always have a lot to say.
I really only had one goal and that was to do better than last year. In 2016 I finished third from the bottom in my entire field. But I can’t control how OTHER people perform. I could have a good day but if everyone else has a stellar day I could STILL finish at the bottom. All I could focus on was my own time so that’s what I tried to do.
But let’s get straight to it. Here’s the overview/comparison if you don’t want to wade through the minutiae of my thoughts and details of each part of the race.
- Overall place 61/78 (2016 was 99/101)
- Overall female place 29/45 (2016 was 49/51)
- Age Group place 4/7 (by THREE SECONDS…we’ll get to that next post) (2016 was 15/17) (Also, I aged into a new age group this year…)
- Time – I beat my overall 2016 time by 9:51.
I’ve mentioned this before but I actually trained this year. I hit most of my scheduled work outs and when I had to switch things up, I made sure to prioritize my bike/run. I’m not strong on any of the three disciplines but if I’m more comfortable anywhere, it’s in the water. My hubby made sure my bike was always in good working order and supported the time away from home. Pulse Running and Fitness Shop hosted their fantastic training group again this year and their coaching, encouragement and support were invaluable. And the people training with me…fantastic.
Stephanie (the other woman in the above picture) did the longer course so she started an hour before us. I had so much fun spectating and cheering for her while we could. I was with my coaches and Bob (the guy in the picture) and we sang and danced and cheered and stalked a random woman to try and read the tattoo on her back (okay only one of us did that…and it wasn’t me this time!) All in all, it was the most fun I’ve ever had pre-race…probably because I wasn’t a bundle of nerves this time. They say to “trust your training”. It’s amazing what a difference it makes to have training to trust!
Right before we started I saw my friend Lynette. She’s a beast of a triathlete but is having surgery soon so she’s out for the season. But she showed up for support and my heart just leapt when I saw her then and every time I saw her on the course. I don’t know if spectators understand what a difference it makes for a racer (or at least this one) to see friendly faces and hear beloved voices out on the course. It’s nice when anyone cheers for you but when it’s a friend, family or your spouse, it just gives you that much more of a boost. I was privileged to have multiple friends/coaches/training partners AND my husband out there. And that was probably the best part.
I only had one goal but my plan for the day was a little more involved than “beat my time”. I’m usually a stronger swimmer than Bob but he’s a much stronger biker than me (we’re pretty similar on the run). So my plan was to get out of the water far enough ahead of him that he wouldn’t blow past me immediately on the bike and then I could catch him on the run. Oh…and he knew about that plan. I might have lamented that I should have painted the bottom of my feet for him to chase….
On to the swim…
400 yard swim (12:11)
Here’s the thing. We’ve done multiple open water swims this year. And almost every one was longer than 400 yards. I’m comfortable in the water. I’m not fast but I KNEW that I could handle this distance. But having unfamiliar people around totally changes my mentality. It’s happened every time. And several people around me were flipping to their backs and gasping which I let distract me. I never panicked but I did find myself switching to my side when physically I didn’t actually need to. In fact, I think I tired myself MORE by doing that instead of just finding my rhythm and focusing on it. I beat my time from last year but barely. I know I could shave that time down, even without additional physical training, by just controlling the whole mental part better. Ultimately, I didn’t drown. And I did beat Bob out of the water (although I would have cheered SO HARD if that was reversed). So I have a few observations to prepare better but I’m not upset. Oh! You had to step up to get out of the water. I could see it but couldn’t tell how high it was. And I totally biffed it. I was fine. The Hubby has it on video and I’m totally cracking up as I’m running up the ramp.
My transition times weren’t recorded. I was here a few minutes. I actually sat down and wiped off my feet and put my socks/shoes on. I didn’t rush but I wasn’t leisurely. Bob came in as I was un-racking my bike and I yelled “DAMMIT! Take your time!” but honestly, I’m SO proud of how well he did! And then I was off to get on the bike…