The morning began at 4:30 am. I think I immediately turned to Andrea and asked if we really had to go through with this. The look on her face told me that there was no more sleep in my future! It didn't take long to get dressed and jump in the car. We got to the race site a few minutes after 5:00 am and it took us about 15 minutes to walk from the parking lot up the transition area.
Last year's race was a real learning experience. This year, I bought some extra clothes that I didn't mind leaving behind in order to stay warm. It was so cold last year, that the last thing that I wanted to do is spend 2 hours in the cold again. While it wasn't that cold this year, the clothes still made it more bearable.
My start time was a whole lot earlier than last year, too! The swim was started in waves based on age. It is based on the age you will be for the year. So even though technically I was still 34 years and 364 days old, I raced in the 35 to 39 age group. Which pushed me from last year's number of 1200-something to 593. Which meant a whole lot few people in front of me. Honestly, I think it really changed the way that the whole race went for me.
|One of the official photos of the swim start|
|I'm in the back right corner|
|My helmet was crooked - apparently for the entire race!|
The bike portion was really the focus of my race. Last year, I swam too hard and had trouble moderating my heart rate. So, I ended up walking up a hill pretty early in the bike portion (around 3.5 miles) and then again around 9 miles into the race. This year, my main focus was to RIDE up those hills. I was up the first hill that had given me trouble before I even realized that this was one of the hills!!
As always, there were some people that kept passing me and then I would pass again a few minutes later. One of those was a fellow TouchChik. She rode by and I yelled out "go Tough Chik" and paused before I yelled out "I'm one, too!" is a bit of a smaller and more pathetic voice. I must have passed her at some point because she came up beside me a few minutes later and said "You ARE a Tough Chik." I answered "No, I really am... I just didn't wear the tri top!" We chatted a bit and then all of a sudden, there it was. The second hill.
It was still a doozy. One lady couldn't clip out fast enough and tipped over to the right onto the grass. There were several moments when I didn't think I could do it. Or I would do it but cause a heart attack or stroke. I was huffing and puffing when I finally made it over that second hill. And then there were a few tears. I HAD DONE IT!!! I had a huge smile on my face for the rest of the 9 miles on the bike!!!
|See... still crooked!|
|A rare good picture of me running|
I quickly met up with Andrea and then the Tough Chik I chatted with on the bike course. Her name is Charity and this was her first triathlon!
|Swim||536 m (0:16:05 min)||3:03/100/m||242/53|
|Bike||19 mi (1:15:16 min)||15.1/mph||432/85|
|Run||3 mi (0:39:39 min)||13:13/mile||912/167|
Compare this to last year's results:
|Bike||19 mi (1:31516 min)|
|Run||3 mi (0:47:53 min)|
I believe that the swim was a bit longer this year than last year as everyone's times went up. I also really tried not to go out hard but rather use it as a warm-up and to relax.
ALMOST 30 MINUTES OFF MY OLD TIME!!!!!
Needless to say, I'm really happy. Super happy. So excited about doing triathlons now!!! THIS is the reason people race. I get it now!!