So, I got a few photos from Saturday's tri - This was the first time I ever wore 'just' the tri suit for the whole race. It wasn't easy for me (being a little body conscious) but wow did it make a difference on transitions - and ended up being really comfortable too. Thank you Jaggad for having a sale and enabling me to get this QUALITY suit for only $30 - it ROCKS. And - I don't hate the photos of me in it. Yeah, I've got a ways to go to goal, but - I'm planning to do my next few tris in it :)
The day started early for me, but then it always does. There aren't any races in my backyard - and this race started at 8:00 AM - ugh! I've gotten good at getting ready to go and we were out the door, early for once. The drive over was easy, but once he got into the park things got a little dicey. There was NO signs on where to go to find the race! luckily there weren't many choices and we found it without too much trouble, just a little stress.
The race started 'pretty much' on time. Well, they got everyone into the water and started pre-race announcements at 8:00 :) Once that was through, we all lined up and the race was started.
The start was a little strange. A mass start of about 200 athletes and not all doing the same course. The folks doing the 'super sprint' (like me) were doing an out and back to a small buoy. The folks doing the sprint were swimming to the same buoy, only turning toward a second to do a 500 yard triangle. I had positioned myself at the front of the pack for the start, and when the 'go' was signaled I was OFF. As always there was a lot of thrashing, bumping in the like, but I managed to avoid most of it. I know I knocked into a few people, but there's really no avoiding it. I tried to forget about the other bodies around me and just swim as hard as I could, while keeping my form. That worked. My plan was to stick as close to the front runners as possible and that was what I did - without too much trouble. When I came out of the water I believe I was forth or fifth place overall, and one woman had gotten out of the water before me.
I sprinted into transition and tried my new routine. Step on towel, and grab helmet; Squirt feet while putting on glasses; dry feet, put on socks and step into shoes; start 'training' on watch so it can find satellites while I roll toward the mount line. I did my normal clumsy bike mount (the next thing I want to work on) and had a heck of a time clipping in, but in the end I got it all together and got on my way. I think I passed at least one person in transition.
Sadly, I haven't been showing my bike much love of late, but I figured that wouldn't matter on this short 5.5 mile ride. It didn't 'much'. What I did notice first thing was my seat felt too low. It wasn't terrible so I ignored it, but in looking at race pictures, it's obvious that I need to adjust it before riding again.
Although this was a short course it was challenging - One big 'hill' and lots and lots of rollers. For someone like me who has to use a lot of gears on the hills, and who uses clip on areo bars - it meant not much time spend 'in the position'.
But still, I passed all but two men in front of me, and was only passed by two men. That's a huge improvement for me.
What that meant was I came off the bike as the first woman. I didn't know that though until after a quick transition (Helmet for Hat, Bike shoes for running shoes) and hitting the trail.
It was the photographer who screamed at me "Whoo Hoo! your the first Lady!"
Even though it was only a 1 mile run - it was grueling. I had pushed hard on both the swim and bike and I felt it. And now, I was in first!? I knew the chances of losing my position were big on the run. I'm slow. But I knew I had to try to not let that happen. And so I ran, and ran and ran. I walked near the top of one hill, trying to catch my breath and get my heart rate to go down, but it wasn't helping much. So, I ran some more. The turn around was a welcome site! I grabbed two waters and drank them both on the run. I was a little confused at one point where the trail split - Super sprint folks were supposed to go one way, and Sprint folks another, but it didn't really say which was which - what was worse is one of the people in front of me went one way and the other went the other! I shouted back to the water stop volunteer and she got me going in the right direction.
After that it was just a matter of holding on for that last 1/2 mile. I know 1/2 a mile doesn't sound like a long time, but when you're running in for your first win, and you KNOW there are many many people out there faster then you are -- we'll it's FOR-EV-ER.
I'm sure I was grinning from ear to ear when I crossed the finish line having not been passed (by any women). I had done it - first place! woo hoo!
So, what's next for me?
Well this weekend (as I've said) I'm doing Tri-Girl-Tri. It's the same exact course as my first ever Sprint so I looked up my times for that race:
So the goals are:
Swim: 18 minutes - I know I can do this because I did it at the Tri for Fun in July :)
T1: -- Well that should be easy to beat I'll try for 5 min
Bike: 55 minutes - This will be fast, even for me :)
T2: -- again I think I can do this in less then 3 min
Run: 38 minutes -- I've done a trail run in 37, but I didn't swim/bike first
So, my ultimate goal will be 1:59 less then 2:00 hours
But any time that's faster then last time will be good.