THE SWIM - 300 meters
Thanks to the changes in wave start times, us short course folks were able to start the race earlier than expected. I liked this, because I hate the standing around and waiting thing - I am not a patient person! As my wave entered the water, I was sooo happy that I had done a warm-up swim. The were all kinds of squeals about the cold, the mushy, leafy plants and muddy lake bottom from the folks who were getting into the water for the 1st time. Fortunately, I already knew what to expect, so I could just submerge myself quickly and start trying to adjust. Finally, the horn went off and I started to swim. I forgot my little dolphin dive thingy that Viv had taught me, but oh well! I actually swam freestyle for the 1st 100 meters or so, only taking a side stroke when I needed to sight or get a better breath. The water was pretty clear, so it was easy to see the people around me. I could see feet in front of me, an arm next to me, etc. I tried to remember what I learned about drafting from Cassie and Viv, but then decided to "just swim". About 1/2 way through, I felt tired. I actually thought to myself, "why am I so tired?" Seriously people, this was 300 M...I KNOW I can do 300 M with no problem. Even in the open water. At some point, I got a mouthful of water and started to cough. I don't know how that happened, since it wasn't at a time when people were around me, LOL! After that, I was all sidestroke! Grrrr....oh well, I think my sidestroke is still faster than my freestyle anyway. I took a look behind me and I found that I was still in the middle of the pack. When I was about 1/2 way between the 2nd and 3rd buoy, I heard the horn for the next wave...should have been right about 5 minutes. Before I knew it, I was heading out of the water and walking up the slippery boat ramp.
Side note: let me just take a second to let you know that do not have any of my race times. Unfortunately, they were never posted. I've called the folks at eztoregister and e-mailed them twice, but have yet to hear back to them.
My T1 felt very slow. I felt fatigued and my stomach felt queasy. I did consider stopping, but decided against it. I did not run to my transition area - I walked. Something I've never done before. I got my shoes on, took 1/2 a Gu and a quick drink from my water bottle, then I grabbed my bike and managed a slow jog out of transition.
THE BIKE - 14 miles
Once I was on my bike, I felt okay. Still a bit tired, but I love the bike, so I knew I'd at least make it through this leg. I knew I had a nice tailwind when I looked at my bike computer and it was showing speeds over 20 mph. :-) It was awesome! The only time I slowed under 18 mph was when I went over an overpass. Unfortunately, the course was an out and back, so after the turnaround the nice little tailwind turned into a headwind. Before the turnaround, my average speed was 18.9 mph. On the way back, my speed ranged between 16-18 mph. On the overpass, I went down to 14.3 mph. Ugh! I did get passed by a few folks - all men, and I did manage to pass a few folks too. At one point there was a young kid ahead of me. Everytime someone would try to pass him, he appeared to speed up! I finally caught him and gave him the "on your left" call and sure enough, he did try to speed up a bit! One thing I noticed here was that my lower back and my neck ached on this ride - something I hadn't experienced before. I didn't get a look at my computer before I racked my bike, but I imagine my average speed was around 17-something mph...slow compared to my last three races.
T2 felt slow too. I slow-jogged my bike to my transition area, racked it, took off the helmet, took the other 1/2 of my Gu and was off. I did think about stopping again - I felt tired and weak -like something was not quite right. But I decided to just do it - if things got worse, I could always walk. I got all the way to the run start when I realized I forgot my race number - DOH! In our race packet, there's a huge area talking about how you cannot forget your race #, because the bottom section would be torn off and collected as you finish. If you do not have your race number, you would be disqualified, etc. So, after stopping to think about it for a second (really I stopped), I turned around to get my race number and was FINALLY off.
THE RUN - 3 miles
Honestly, the run wasn't too bad. I don't think I was going at my best pace, but I felt like I was maintaining a decent speed. I did get passed by 2 women - one in my age group and one who I knew was competing as an Athena. The other people who passed me were some pretty fast folks from the long course. I told myself, "no walking. you will not be a wuss. no walking until the water station." My Garmin has been on the fritz, so I have no idea how far I had gone or how fast I was going. According to the race packet, there would be an aid station at each mile. At some point it seemed like I was never going to be done, I thought to myself, "surely I've run a mile by now!" And then I saw it - the aid station! And right after it was the turnaround...so it had been over a mile - yipee! I walked through the station and took a quick drink of water and did have to stop for traffic before crossing the road and heading back, but that was the only time I walked. I do remember thinking to myself, "Damn, this shit is hard!", lol. I tried to pick up the pace a bit on the way back, especially when I saw the turn to get to the finish up ahead of me. I even passed up two guys on the way in. Definitely not my speediest run, but if I had to guess, I'd say it was around a 10:30 pace.
When I started to get closer to the finish, I saw my fellow BTers there - Merry, Pat and Justin - and they were all cheering. Merry had a camera and Pat had a video camera. It was great to get some cheers at the end. They told me I was looking great, although I think they were lying. When I rounded the final corner, there were people standing everywhere and it took me a minute to figure the finish line was - thank goodness for the volunteers yelling "to your left"! Finally, I was done! I grabbed a Gatorade and went to hang out with the BTers and cheered for the folks still coming in - I was happy to be done and even happier that I hadn't thrown up! Oh and no one was at the finish to tear off my tab from my race number.
I think overall, this was a good race for me - certainly not my fastest, but I think I would have done much better if I had been feeling 100%. The organization could have been much better:
- There were not very many volunteers along the route - no one to help you out of the water (I saw several people with bloody legs from slipping on the way out of the water), very few volunteers on the course, poor signage for the turnarounds, etc.
- Unorganized start, no PA system so hearing information was tough
- The race website had very little information - there was a map that was posted the week before the race, but it difficult to read. The map in the packet was for the run and not much better. Plus, there was some misinformation in the instructions as well.
- No race results for me - that's the worst part!
But, the race was fun - the water in the lake is clear, the bike and run routes were fairly flat, the volunteers were uber friendly, the post race food (pizza rolls) were nice although I couldn't stomach much, etc. It's a smaller race, which is nice too.
After the race, I hung out for the awards because Keri placed 3rd in Athena! The entire way home, I felt tired and could only think about how badly I wanted a nap. Seriously people, I don't nap!!! I went home, took a shower and got the baby down for a nap. I made a comment to the hubby about how badly I wanted a nap. He offered to entertain the kiddo and I napped for the entire 1 1/2 hours that the baby napped. When I woke up, I still felt like crap, but I promised to take the kiddo to get her hair cut and we did just that. We also rode the mall carousel, which seriously made me want to loose my lunch! When we got home, I laid on the couch for the rest of the afternoon while the sweet hubby entertained the kids upstairs. I slept off and on the entire afternoon. I had a 101 fever, chills, body aches, etc....I was bundled in a blanket until I went to bed around 10 pm. Apparently, I really was sick! (Maybe this explains my lower back and neck pain on the bike?)
So that's it folks - my final triathlon of 2009. It didn't exactly go as planned, but it is what it is. I am proud of myself for how far I have come...to think I couldn't do a 25 yard lap at the Y in February! I can't wait till next year! Until then, I will be training for the Houston 1/2 and will do the 10 for Texas as a training run. My goal is to get faster. I certainly can't get much slower!