Thursday afternoon was the triathlon with work colleagues and this year there was the addition of a biathlon- 3 mile run, then the 12.6 mile bike and 3 mile run with the triathlon participants. I can't imagine choosing to run 3 miles rather than swim half a mile, but it did attract a few participants which was really nice because there were more people out on the course. My only disappointment for the day was that it rained off and on until about 3:30pm when we decided that my husband and the kids would stay home and I would go by myself since it might rain again and spectating in the rain wouldn't be fun for any of them. About 4:30pm as I was packing up the car it really started to look like it was clearing and I was hoping my husband would spontaneously decide they would go with me. After 10 years of marriage I should be a bit more familiar with him, he's not going to say something like that, I should have asked again. Crossing the finish line without them there was a real letdown since this is the only event that they can easily attend and I didn't realize just how much it means to have them there until they weren't.
Anyway, let's recap before I give the race report. My last swim was some time in February, when I was randomly putting in about 25 minutes during the boys' swim classes. My last bike ride was the triathlon last September when I rode 15 miles in the pouring rain. My last run, however, was just this week and I've been doing a lot more on that front. I'm at exactly the same weight I was last year, so I raced Athena again- there were three of us in the division.
People remarked that the water was cold, I thought it was just about perfect- I think it was upper 60's. They told us the start would be in the middle of the beach, so I stood in the middle of the beach before the start siren. However, when they counted down from 10 seconds, people were already standing ankle deep in the water, which left me at the back of the pack of 52 swimmers. It wouldn't have made that much difference in the end, but I probably spent about 30 seconds trying to get through the pack to a spot where I could swim. I was also clobbered in this swim more than in any other I have participated. I was dunked once, but really nothing that caused me to panic. Honestly the swim just felt great. It was a two loop course with a short jog across the beach between loops. By the time I got to the third leg of the first loop we had spread out a bit and I had a nice spot to swim. Time: 12:47 (I still doubt it's an actual 1/2 mile course, especially based on that time)
Then I got on my bike for the oh-so-fun 6 loop course. My bike computer worked for about 34 seconds and then turned off. I managed to hit the timer on my watch to get an idea of time and double check that I did 6 laps without losing track. There was one spot on the course where they had a traffic sign set up that displays your speed as you approach. I was excited to see it say 17mph each of the six times I went by, so I didn't slow down much over the course of the leg, at least not at that area.
12.6 miles, time: 46:15 (only 17 seconds slower than last year despite not a single practice ride)
As I headed out on the run the sun came out- bummer- and it was hot for the first portion of the course. My legs thought about cramping up at the same point I had terrible cramps the past two times, but this year the extra fluids I took in on the bike must have helped because after some mild tightness for about a dozen steps, they stretched out and I felt pretty good. My only disappointment was that I was hoping to break 30 minutes on this run and I cam close, but not quite.
3.0 miles, time: 30:11 (Last year was 33:09, so that's a good improvement)
I think overall this was my best race ever. I know I was working as hard as I could have. I felt that I'm-about-to-vomit-if-I-don't-back-off feeling a couple times on the bike and once on the run. I was second in my group, but I think the first place Athena was about 8 minutes ahead of me, so it's not as if I just missed out. I truly hope to race age-group next year although there's no chance I'd ever place age group, because I'll be below the weight cut-off for Athena. And, while it didn't go poorly this year despite my lack of training, I intend to put in a well-trained effort next year. And unless it's pouring buckets, the family's coming with me!