I always want to beat my last best time, and if realistic, I like to place. I was hopeful that this year I could pull out a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in my age group. The only wrinkle in this hope was the fact that I had an 80 mile bike ride the day before the race this year.
Despite my long ride, I still beat my prior best time! I finished in 1:13:05, 4th in my Age Group and was 68th of 281 athletes overall. Last year, for comparison's sake, I finished in 1:15:21, was also 4th in my Age Group and was 82nd of 281 athletes. That is some serious progress especially on really taxed and tired legs. [last year's race recap is right here] (and this is almost 10 minutes faster than my time in 2012. It just goes to show that the best and only way to get better and faster at triathlon is to do more and more triathlons!)
Here are the details.
Swim: 350 meters: 8:24 [last year: 8:14; 2012: 8:39]
Not gonna lie: I am not happy with this swim. I hopped in the pool, pushed off the wall and immediately felt my body rebel a bit. I pushed through. I was swimming fine and it felt fast and the guy behind me passed me. That was fine and I drafted off of him and then started to hit his feet, which meant it was time to pass. Only, every time I tried to pass him, he would speed up. I could not pass! And then he would slow and I would be stuck. It was this cycle for about 8 laps of the race. I honestly felt like I was faster in the pool or I may have tried to swim my heart out and pass. Ah ... what are you gonna do.
T1: 1:11 [last year: 1:41; 2012: 2:09]
I absolutely refused to lose any time in transition in this race. I threw on my helmet and sunglasses and quickly dried my feet and threw on my socks and bike shoes and off I went -- I was 24th overall in T1 so I guess my plan worked! I had no idea this photo was taken of me, but I feel pretty badass about it.
The.bike.was.hard. I know this course well - I have ridden it for two years now and I've driven the roads a million times. I know the hills and I know the flat spots. I got on the bike and my legs were just screaming at me. I spent most of the ride in aero, which was good. I also got in the drops on the descents and pedaled my way down. I knew the ride wasn't my strongest, so I wanted to take advantage of any speed I could get. I'm happy with this bike given my long ride the day before. I'm psyched that my bike was 90th of the 281 people in the race.
T2: :51 [last year: 1:42; 2012: 1:11]
This would have been faster, but I lost my bearings for a second and couldn't find my bike rack! I found it, threw the bike up, took off my helmet and sunglasses, threw on my sneakers, grabbed my race belt and sprinted out of transition. I put the race belt on while on the run. I was 31st overall for my T2 time.
Run: 3.1. miles: 25:04 (8:06/mile) [last year: 25:46 (8:22/mile); 2012: 28:23 (9:10/mile)]
The first mile of the race was pretty hard. My legs hurt. It was tough to turn them over. My breathing was all out of whack. But eventually I settled in and my pace quickened. The run was a tough effort but it also felt good. No one passed me on the run. I passed a bunch of people. I liked that. I also like that my run time was 69th overall. I love this picture of me on the run, not because of how I look, but because the kid behind me is clearly checking out my butt.
Even though I wore my watch, I rarely checked it. I went by feel, which was a good thing. I knew I was hitting the race as hard as I could, and I figured if I was checking my watch, I would likely either get down because I wasn't going as fast as I thought I was or I'd see how fast I was going and get complacent and stop pushing.
So, all in all, I am happy. A little meh about the swim, but I must keep reminding myself that I biked 80 miles the day before. My coach is thrilled that I had a 2 minute PR after such a long ride the day before. I am pleased.
The next, and final, race before IMLP is the Black Bear triathlon in a few weeks. It will likely be the day after a long ride like this one. And the bike portion of the Black Bear race is a, pardon the pun, total bear of a course. Hilly hilly hilly. But I'm glad to have one final race with the competitive vibe, the transitions, an open water swim and a finish line before the big dance in July.
See you swoon,