I hadn’t raced a sprint in 2012. Two half ironmans? Check. Half marathons? Check. Anything speed related? Uh. No.
I slept like crap the night before. I usually do pretty well the night before a race, but I admit it. I was nervous. I didn’t know what I could give, but I know I wanted to give everything I had. I don’t know if I’ve ever truly stayed in the hurt zone on a tri. I believe I thought I had, but now I know I really hadn’t before.
First I want to give total credit for the pictures to this awesome guy who surprised us. It’s my favorite when I have people there cheering for me. Don’t be fooled if I look angry or don’t want to talk during the race, having someone there pushes me harder and gives me something to look forward to, so thank you Robert for being there and cheering us on!
I had done this race last year and took 3rd in my age group – for any of these local races I know I am a contender for the top 3 in my AG and that gets me excited. My first ever tri I placed 3rd and thought it would always be like that. Heh. It’s not that easy apparently, or so I proceeded to learn the hard way. Anywho, knowing the course to me is a big advantage. I knew what was coming on the bike course and I knew the run course. They did change it from 3 loops on the 5k (I know) to 2 which ended up being an awesome decision.
I had several friends racing as well, and after the men went in the water the ladies waited. I was first in from my group of friends and my heartbeat was totally frenzied. I was anxious! Hopped in the water and had a good spot. Once we took off I got into a great rhythm and just focused on getting through. Honestly swimming has not been my strong suit lately. I came into this sport as a swimmer and have used that as a crutch so I haven’t been training, and that’s a big no no. I swam really well for where I am right now and didn’t get off course and swam till I could claw dirt and hopped up to run up the hill to transition.
Swim time 350m: 6:25 (versus 5:18 last year, I know, ugh)
I got in and out of transition in 1:34 which was second fasted in my age group. I’ve really worked on cutting out the shit in transition. Stealing this from Lacke, but there is no “dicking around” in there. Get what you need and get out.
And then I got on my bike. My glorious bike. It was her first race and she performed beautifully. As soon as I got on I put my head down (despite the RD telling everyone to keep their head up for “cracks” in the first section of road) and hammered away. While I’ve been working on long distance and hills on the bike, I really haven’t focused on short speed so I was eager to see what me and my bike could do. Now I know it’s all about the engine on the bike and not necessarily the bike, but this thing gives me confidence. When I racked my bike second in line and the girl stopped what she was doing to oogle, I got excited. That’s right, she’s my bike and I couldn’t be happier.
You know those girls that got out of the water before me? Heh. I was out for them and any other man that got in my way (women were in the water after all men had gone so there was plenty of men to pick off.) I’d like to say I’m sorry for speeding very quickly past all of those men and politely saying “on your left” each time, but I’m not. With every person I sped by I was getting more excited. My heart rate was high and exactly where it was supposed to be. The only people who passed me were a few men. I consider that the best success of the day. Turned in my fasted speed split ever and I came into transition knowing I crushed the bike for me.
Bike 12M: 37:22 19.3 average (versus 39:29 last year)
Transition was a quick 55 seconds (second in my age group again) and then I was out on the run. I really wanted to push and keep my head down. Immediately a girl in my age group flies past me – I’m not joking y’all, she ran a 21:18 5k. I knew immediately I couldn’t keep that pace so I let her go and just kept plugging away. Encouraging as many people as I possibly could along the way. The run can be the hardest if you are struggling and I just remember my first triathlon where strangers yelled at me and encouraged me and told me to relax my shoulders and go get it! It meant the world, so I try to pass it forward every single opportunity I can.
I got to the end where you turn off the loop to the finish. I was feeling pretty good. I had a side cramp since about halfway through but I was managing the cramp and not making it worse but not slowing down to make it better, either. As I turned off I sped up a little just to get to the finish. Out of nowhere homegirl comes flying past me and of course she’s in my AG. I knew with the little space left and her speed on me there was no way I could catch up. I ended up losing 3rd place by 9 freaking seconds. As a friendly little reminder – every second counts in a race. Don’t think it doesn’t.
Run 5k: 26:44 (versus 26:17 last year)
Total: 1:13:02 (versus 1:14:04 last year) So yay!
Found my crowd of peeps after I finished and we cheered on those who were still out there. I got to watch my triathlon bff get up on the podium and also Elaine who has the best attitude and has been the most inspiring person also get on the podium. Love these ladies!
Overall I’m disappointed that I was off the podium. Otherwise I felt like I had a really great race. Made me hungry for my Blackland Tri on Labor Day to get out there and push even farther. Also reminds me that while I love training for distance things (I’ve decidedly become an endurance athlete) I still need to dedicate a few days of week to speed. So I’ll be working on that. And well, everything else! ha!