Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Amazing end to an amazing year!

This triathlon was so overshadowed by the 1/2 ironman I did that I kept forgetting I'd even signed up for it. Throughout last week I wasn't thinking of it at all -- just when someone would ask me if I had plans this weekend and I'd go: oh yeah! I have a triathlon!
Though I've done other sprints, I'd never done this shorter distance before: 750m swim / 20k bike / 5k run. When you look at this distance compared to the longer ones you think automatically that shorter is easier, and in a way it is, but it's a different type of race – faster! If you've been training for endurance, as I have been these past months, you won't necessarily do well in a short race.

So, the swim was pretty good although the water was FREEZING! They said it was 72 degrees, but there is no way it was that much. I'd say maybe 62. Thank God for wetsuits! A few people did not use them, and I don't know how they did it. The first 2/3 of the swim I did fine but I had a really hard time seeing the last big bouy to swim to and definitely swam a very curved line toward it. Also, at the end it got quite shallow for about 50m -- too shallow to swim but very tough to run through. My time was not bad, but definitely could have done better. 15:56.

T1 was a little hard because it wore me out getting through that water at the end, but my time was not too bad. 1:46.

The bike was going amazingly. I think it was my best bike ever. I was just racing past everyone. Only two people passed me and I must have passed at least 50 people. That is, until the last 3k or so. I had just passed a great big group of people and was going down the last hill planning to steam my way to T2. I switched to a nice big gear to get some extra speed at the end of the hill and then CLUNK! My chain fell off. I won't repeat here the words I said there. I pulled to the side and that chain was not just off, it was tangled! I don't know how long it took me to get it back on, but it was at least two minutes. I estimate between two and three. In my peripheral vision I saw all these people I'd just passed, pass by me. Humiliating! I managed to get back on the bike and pass two or three of them before we got into the very very irritating no passing zone, where I felt like I was crawling my way to the finish line. (we're all going at the pace of the slowest person at that point) On the whole I would guess that chain incident cost me a minimum of four minutes. Bike: 36.30

T2 was pretty good, even with wiping the oil from my hands all over the grass -- 1:13

The only problem with the run was that my feet were still numb from the swim - honestly! (72 degrees! Yeah right!) In fact I heard quite a few people say the same thing. It probably took until 2k until I could feel my feet. That's just about the point that my left lace became untied, which didn't cost me too much time.

If you've never been in a triathlon before, you should know that your age is written in big numbers on your calf. I had not noticed anyone in my age group (45-49) until that point, but at around 4k I noticed a woman with 46 on her calf. My competition! I found another hidden gear, powered my way past her and just kept powering to the finish line. Run time: 27.11.

Total time was 1:22:36. I was pretty happy with that, especially considering the chain loss. There is no doubt I would have been well under 1:20 had that not happened.

After grabbing some water and food and walking around a bit, the results were posted and I saw that I'd won my age group again! Yippee!

I'll post a picture when I get one.

So in my four triathlons this year I came 4th, 3rd, 1st and 1st. My husband is joking that we'll need a new room to hold all my hardware!

I just hope people aren't disappointed in me when I sign up for some highly competitive races (with international competitors!) and don't place as well. I'm warning right here and now that it's going to happen next year, so don't be disappointed in me when it does.

What I do in my races, and what I'll continue to do, is just set my own time goals. I can't dictate how other people do; I can only do the best I can myself. If that results in a 1st place, that's a bonus, but if it results in a 10th or 15th, then that's okay too.

I'm deciding already on my races for next year, and yes -- the finale will be a full Ironman!

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