I'll throw out the numbers first.....
59:22 finishing time
1/4 mile swim: 6:49
10 mile bike: 25:42 (1st age group!!!)
5K run: 22:22
3rd in 25-29 age group out of 46
7th overall Female
39th overall out of 762
So the race went well. I did a little of all of my race plans. I did all 3 sports well, I pushed hard and I went fast. Unfortunately, with the top 6 overall girls ranging from ages 16-29, I think I had my work cut out for me this morning.
I didn't sleep very well last night. The normal fear that my alarm wouldn't go off had me waking up every hour. The alarm finally went off at 4:30am and I was ready to get up. I wasn't nervous I was just super excited. A big change from last week when I thought I was going to throw up I was so nervous to do a cycling race. I just couldn't wait to get there.
Since I packed up my Hyundai last night with my bag and bike, all I had to do in the morning was turn on the coffee, fill up my water bottles and make my oatmeal. I prepared 3/4 package of instant oatmeal w/ raisins and a little banana w/ soy milk in a Tupperware bowl and grabbed a plastic spoon. Gotta love eating on the road. I poured my coffee in a travel mug and filled up my pre race water bottle w/ 1/2 scoop amino acids (base nutrition) and the race bottle w/ 1 scoop base nutrition AA's. The trip seemed to take forever but an hour later I was at Ft.Desoto. I parked the car and headed to the transition area for body marking and to get my chip.
I was a bit sad after I racked my bike and set-up my transition area because I didn't see many familiar faces. Where was everyone??? Well, finally...I started running into people. Probably because I arrived 90 minutes ahead of the start and I was just making a million trips (actually 2) to the bathroom before the start that I didn't see anyone for a while. It is also my friend's b-day today...so HAPPY birthday GAY!!! She raced and I saw her and my friend Tony at the swim start. I got in the water just for a few minutes to do a few strokes and then headed to the swim start. I said hello to a few more faces, like Gary and Harold, two guys who I coached (Gary I'm still coaching) when I was in Clearwater.
There were two heats ahead of the 39 and under women heat so I waited 6 minutes until my start. The swim wasn't parallel to the shore like a normal Ft.desoto race and rather it was away from the shore, left turn, straight parallel to the shore, left turn and then back. Kinda like a rectangle with the long ends perpendicular to the shore. I noticed that many of the guys were being pulled to the right of the buoys on the way back because of the heavy current. There was a storm last night and the weather has been nasty here so aside from water ALL over the course, the water was a little rough w/ a strong current.
I swam well and tried to keep my eye on pink caps. There were only a few of them by me but I focused on the buoys so that I wouldn't get off course. I excited the water and as I made my LOOOOONNNGGGG run on a rough gravel road (because of the rain) I was actually looking forward to the bike. If there was one thing I wanted to do to today it was to leave the race with a good bike. I figured if i could suffer in a circuit race by drafting on a wheel of a female cyclist, I knew I would have a great time riding solo with 700+ of my local triathlon friends....and enjoy my aerobars :)
Well, I knew Karel would be proud of me. I didn't get passed by any girls and I was passing some of the guys who started 3 and 6 minutes ahead of me. The course is super flat but with wind in all directions, it makes for a hard 10 mile course. I knew I had to leave it all on the bike if I wanted to do well because I wasn't going to be able to hang with the fast runners. I barely had anything to drink on the bike (2 sips) but I wasn't too hot....until I started the run.
The heat hit me and I was super hot. I passed on water as I was exiting transition area since I was just behind another girl with a 29 on her calf. I turned around my visor because the wind was in my face and I just got into a rhythm with my breathing. By the time I hit the first mile I ran 6:35. I knew I wouldn't keep that up but I focused on my form as I headed to the turnaround. At this point, the u-turn now put us on the sand and we said good-bye to the concrete. I was far behind the girl with the 29 on her calf so I made many looks behind me to see if I was about to be caught. Nope...clear of all girls. I decided to just keep running fast and try to finish with everything left on the course.
By the time I got to mile 3 I was making a turn to the finish line. Just a little straightaway to go and I was able to get some water. I did grab water at aid station 2 and 3 but just for cooling. By the time I got to the finish I looked at the clock and saw that it said 1:05..I broke 1 hour! I've never broke an hour in a sprint before!!
Breaking an hour in a sprint means that you can swim fast, bike fast and run fast. I just never thought that I'd be able to "race" in a sprint distance. Well, it all came together today and I am really super happy. I think this was just what I needed to get some confidence back and start "racing" again. I love participating in races and giving it my all but sometimes I think I don't really give it my all. I just push hard and then smile across the finish. Well, I was smiling this time but that was just before I nearly collapsed at the finish.
I met up with Gay and we ran for 16 minutes on the sandy part of the course to cheer for other athletes. An hour or so later I picked up my award and headed home.
What an exciting day for all the athletes at Top Gun, especially the first timers. I just love this sport and I am ready for the HammerHead Olympic Distance Triathlon on August 24th!
Sorry I don't have any pictures of my race. I was alone this time. No parents, no Karel. So, just a race report.
*Karel rode with all his Gearlink friends this morning so we can't blame Karel for being a bad fiance. He had a great time and everyone was glad to see him again.