I am not a girl who can stand suspense, so let me tell you now that today ROCKED! I didn’t drown, I didn’t puke, The Hubs got a great photo of me on Mr. Bike, I finished on my feet, AND I went kayak-free! Check, check, check, check and CHECK! Here’s how it all went down:
Yesterday was pretty mellow. I convinced myself that I was racing for fun and I willed myself not to think too hard about the day. I deliberately did not let myself set any more goals than the ones I wrote about here. My cat spent the day throwing up, so that was a nice distraction. (She’s better now, thank you) There was a mosquito in my bedroom in the middle of the night, so that helped, too. Then my dog woke me up 45 minutes before my alarm was set to go off, completing the distraction trifecta – yay.
I was more nervous than I thought I might be this morning. I managed to choke down half a piece of toast with almond butter, but that was all my stomach could take. We left the house quite a bit later than last time, thinking it would be nice not to sit around and get more nervous. Traffic was pretty fierce and the bike racks were almost completely full when we arrived, so next time I think we’ll aim for something in between. On the plus side, by the time I got my transition set up, body-marking done and took a trip to the honey bucket, it was almost time to get in the water.
The Swim (800 meters)
*** AJH, here’s the answer to your question *** At both of my other TRIs, I have had severe panic issues in the water and called out to the friendly helpful kayak volunteers so I could take a break and hang on for a few seconds. There’s no penalty for this in a short-distance race (thank goodness), but I really wanted to prove to myself that I could get through an open water swim without kayak assistance.
Well Bloggy Friends, today was that day!! Right before I put my face in the water, I said to myself, “Of course I can do this, I’m a swimmer.” So I swam. And I kept on swimming the whole time! Not only did I keep on swimming, but I PASSED PEOPLE in the water! In the interest of complete disclosure, I will admit that I did the pop-your-head-up-and-tread-water thing a few times to make sure I was going the right way (mad sighting skillz, huh?), but I was moving forward the whole time.
Swim Time: 21:25 (four and a half minutes faster than last time!), T1: 3:25 (almost a minute slower than last time – I was meandering, for sure)
The Bike (16 miles)
I was fully expecting this part of the race to go well, since it was so awesome last time, and I wasn’t disappointed. As soon as I got started, I felt really good on the bike, so I commenced with passing people. Within a mile, though, I got passed by a kid (I love that you know how old everyone is at a tri – this boy was 22) who clearly had a terrible swim, since his wave left 25 minutes before mine. We leapfrogged the whole bike ride, but he was the only person who ever passed me. I felt strong the whole ride and – best of all – The Hubs got some great pics!!
Bike Time: 53:24 (about 20 seconds slower than last time), T2: 1:45 (about 30 seconds slower than last time)
The Run (3 miles)
So, here’s where the whole day got wrapped up with a pretty bow on top: the run was FANTASTIC! Of course, it totally helped that it was at least 10 degrees cooler than last time, but I think the heat training and wearing my Newtons were contributing factors, too. I ran the whole course, even the hills. It crossed my mind once or twice to take a walking break, but there was no real need to stop or even slow down. I felt great!
My 22-year old boyfriend was still playing leapfrog with me, but near the end he was fading and I still had something left. Before I passed him the last time, I pulled up next to him to chat. His name was Leo and he had a VERY bad swim. I told him about my kayak-to-kayak swim last time and assured him it would get better. Then I dropped him.
Run Time: 25:17 (three and a half minutes faster than last time)
FINISH TIME: 1:45:36 (a PR by over 6 minutes – w00t!!)
Like my day wasn’t completely awesome enough, as I was wandering away from the Finish Line, I met up with the oh-so-beautiful-in-person Tortuga Runner from Tales of an Ambitious Slacker!! She spotted me first and rather than say hello, I blurted out, “OMG, you’re so tall!” thus securing my place in the Worst First Impressions Hall of Fame. But she really is tall. You know how you read someone’s blog and you picture them a certain way? Apparently I thought she was short. Thankfully, she’s just as friendly and sweet as she seems on her blog. We chatted for a bit and she had a PR today, too, hooray!!
A quick preview of things to come: Big Boy and Little Boy are racing tomorrow! It’ll be Big Boy’s first triathlon and Little Boy’s second. I’m so excited and just a little nervous for them both!!