So this past weekend was my first triathlon of the season and I can say that I am definitely satisfied with the outcome. So let's start with Friday night. I got home from work and was feeling a bit sluggish from all of the food I had eaten all day, but managed to stuff down my last meal of penne and chicken. Then I loaded up the car and picked up my race partner. We drove the 2.5 hours south and made it to our hotel at around 10:00pm. Once there we set up all of our race stuff on the dresser and then settled in for some Will & Grace.
Before we knew it the alarm went off and it was time to get moving. I got up drank my protein shake, had 1.75 cups of apple sauce, a banana and a glass of Gatorade endurance. And like clockwork my stomach protested and the bathroom race was on, and lasted up until about 5 minutes before I got in the water!
So we checked out, packed the car and realized we didn't have an address for the race site. We will remember it next time that is for sure! So as we sat in the parking lot searching on our blackberries, the time kept on ticking away. Finally we found it and with my race car driving techniques I made it to the race site in about 15 minutes. Once there we unloaded the car, pumped our tires and went over the registration tent. This was the second time we realized we weren't prepared! We had left our id's in the car! So off I went for a nice jog to the car while Kara waited with our stuff on line. I considered this my warm up even though I don't normally warm up in my flip flops.
After we were registered, we headed into the transition area to set up. We were actually right next to each other so at least we could keep each other company while we got ready. Then it was time for the pre-race meeting, 2 more bathroom stops and then off to the "lake" for our swim. Now here is the odd part. The lake was pretty small and I think we could almost reach the bottom when we got out to the start point, but it was 75 degrees! 75 degree water in the beginning of May, kinda makes you wonder a bit. And it was brown. And when I say brown I am not talking about a normal lake brown, I mean I just started to close my eyes when I was swimming because it didn't make any difference at all, you couldn't see anything at all!
So the swim was 2 laps around a .40 mile square. We headed into the water about 15 minutes late and get set to swim. We got the word to go and we were off. For the first time ever, I didn't have a panic attack!!! Usually the first one or two races of the season, I have major open water panic, but on Saturday I was cool as a cucumber and off I went. I wanted to try to stay at the head of the pack as much as possible for at least the first lap, which I did. And I was able to hold on for the second lap as well. The only problem encountered was 2 nice swift kicks to the mouth by a very sweet young lady, whom I hope gets kicked in the head a few times during her next tri. (And by the way I beat her on the swim, so there!)Other than that swim was a success, .8 miles in 26:13 (the run to the transition area was included in that, so I am thinking I was more around 24:45 for the swim)and it was off to T1.
Once in T1 I decided it was time to haul ass, I got dressed, threw on my helmet and was out in 1:46. And on the the bike. The bike was a 40 mile out and back that you had to complete 2 times. On the way out, I switched to the big ring and decided this was where I was going to work for the next 40 miles. I took off and was averaging around 19-20 mph for the first trip out. Then we turned around and I got hit with a wall of wind. At one point I hit an open area and the wind was so bad it almost pushed me right off my bike. My speed then dropped a bit and my avg fell to around 17.4 mph. The good thing is that I knew I would have one more try to make up time on the second lap. So after a confusing turn around, I did just that. I pushed it as hard as I could on the way out and luckily when I turned around the 2nd time the wind had died down a bit. So I finished the bike in 2:25:37, 16.6 mph. With less wind I know I would have done better, but I'll take it. (Again part of the bike time contained the run to T2)
So now I am in T2 (1:37, probably could have gone a bit faster) and I am ready to run. And by ready I mean I actually want to. So off I go! The First .4 miles was across grass and then a little bit of sand, not ideal! Then it was on to the road for the next 8miles. Luckily the sun was in the clouds for the first 3 miles of my run. Then we turned a corner and guess what was back? The wind!! It was so bad that when I passed Kara on the way back as she was facing the wind she said "This hill is awful!" The course was actually completely flat, the wind was just so bad that she thought she was trekking uphill.
I started the run with two 8:39 miles, and then I hit the wind, I am not sure of the exact times, but I know that the next 2.5 were a bit slower. Then after turning around I enjoyed some wind at my back and tried to make up some time. The best part was that I felt great! I really did, I was smiling and happy and not in any pain at all. Throughout the run I continued to pass people, only being passed once. So when it was all said and done the 8.8 mile run took me 1:23 which is 9:27 min/miles.
I crossed the finish line at 4:18 and was very happy with my time. I kicked off my season with a longer race than usual and my 2nd longest race yet. I finished 6th in my age group and 23 out of 63 females. I think it is safe to say that I am ready for this year. I know I need to work on my bike to get a bit stronger but I am very happy with where I am right now.