Bike – 6 miles/3 laps (27:42)
This is the part I improved the most on. I was significantly faster this year. Apparently training works! Whoa! Bob blew past me towards the start of lap two and I whoo-hooed and then didn’t see him again until he was starting to head back in on loop 3 and I was about to make the turn around.
I don’t have much else to say about the bike actually. It was pretty fun…definitely more so than last year. Being able to drink on the bike is a game changer. But on lap three I thought “I’ll never do the double sprint cause I don’t think I could handle another three of these laps.” I really like the location overall. It’s convenient and easy for spectators. I like swimming at Quinn’s and running on the Greenbelt. There’s plenty of the room on the bike course, it’s flat and it’s not totally ugly. I like riding through where we start because the spectators are there. But otherwise I do get a bit bored with it. Maybe if I get faster…
I dismounted my bike and was running into transition when I saw another friend. We met at the first little tri I did and hanging with her helped calm my nerves a lot. I was very excited and gave her a high five,vtripping over my bike a bit in the process (also on video). Otherwise T2 was uneventful. Racked my bike, switched my helmet for my hat and ran out. My race bib ripped when I tried to move it from the back to the front so I just held it with my water bottle. I high fived Lynette and ran on out.
Run – 2 miles (28:08)
I realized real quick that the run was going to be difficult. I had pushed harder on the bike than usual and I think I started too fast on the run. I couldn’t calm my heart rate or breathing down. I did a walk/run thing the whole way and it got better. I saw another woman I met training. She was doing the longer course and on her way back in. She cheered and that was a help. I wasn’t expecting to see her so that was a fun surprise. Then I saw Stephanie finishing up her run and that was a big boost for me. I couldn’t run Bob down though. I saw him at the turn around. He was probably only 200 yards ahead of me at that point but I waved and shook my head and said “I’m not going to catch you today.” And I didn’t. But I was just done. I still ran some but I walked more. With about half a mile to go, I started leap frogging with a girl. She got ahead of me and I could tell she had more to give but within sight of the finish line, she started walking. A guy came running up and told her they were running in. I yelled “Are you really going to let me run you down NOW? Really?” She started laughing, took off and finished strong.
I ran in as well but I didn’t feel like I finished as strong. But The Hubby has video and I look much better than I felt. I was even smiling so even though part of me was trying to say I was never racing again, I obviously had fun.
I met up with my friends but we left quickly after that. LilBit was out there too and he was, as The Hubby said, “having attitude issues”. We woke him up early to go outside, without a screen in sight and surrounded by people being active. I’m pretty sure it was his Worst. Morning. Ever. (Also, he’s 14 years old now and hates being called LilBit but I haven’t come up with a new blog name for him yet.) I checked results on the way home (yay technology!) and found that I was fourth in my age group. By THREE SECONDS. Three. Freakin. Seconds. I thought at first that those three seconds were the girl I encouraged in ahead of me but then realized it wasn’t. In The Hubby’s video, a man and woman fly past me right at the finish line. I didn’t even see or hear them at the time. I had put my head down and was just finishing. But it had to have been her. Stephanie and Bob both podium-ed in their age groups/fields. We could have made it three for three. I keep thinking “I had four seconds in me somewhere.” And physically I probably did. I just have to learn to “suffer” a little more, embrace the discomfort. It’s not worth dwelling on though.
My goal was to beat my time from last year and I did that by 9 minutes and 51 seconds. There will always be things to work on and improve. I know what to focus on next. I had fun and made new friends that I can continue to train with. I was reminded just how fortunate I am to have The Hubby’s love and support and the wonderful friends I am surrounded by. I can’t really ask for a better race than that.