What I did know is that this is an extremely well-run race. It's a big race, but there's lots of great swag (excellent shirt, hat, socks, etc.). The volunteers are great and the post-race party is excellent. It's no brainer that this is a great race.
Note to self: Leave earlier for this race next time!
I rode to the race with my tri-peep, Jennifer. We decided to leave earlier than originally planned and it was a good thing, because traffic was super-slow getting into the parking area. Once parked, we were able to hop onto our bikes and zoom on over to the transition area. I felt a bit out of practice setting up my stuff in transition, since I only had a chance to complete one tri last year due to the hip issues. Fortunately, it only took a few minutes to get things set up, because the transition area was about to close and there were still several people coming in.
|Me and Jenn before the race...gotta love the cool race tats!!!|
Because of our late arrival, there wasn’t much time before the start. We headed over to the beach and waited the 30+ minutes until our waves started. When it was my turn, I decided to hang back just a bit to not get in the way of the faster swimmers. I had great practice swim in the same lake the weekend before, so I was hoping for a repeat of that experience.
The SwimMy swim started out well, but about the time I made it to the first buoy, I seemed to be right in the way of another swimmer resulting in me getting kicked in the head. That caused me to have a bit of a panicky feeling for a minute, so I finally flipped onto my back for a few seconds – one: to help me get my breathing back under control and two: to let the swimmer get ahead a bit. I turned back over and started going again. By the last buoy, I had my rhythm and was feeling pretty good, but I somehow managed to get in the way of the same swimmer again! And yes, I got kicked. I swear we were being held together by some sort of magnet, because I’d try to move to the right and she’d be there. I’d swim over to the left, and she’d be there. My goggles got kicked off and what was left of my swim was just a big mess. But I finished and exited the swim just happy to be done.
|Can you tell I am just happy to be out of the freaking water????|
Swim – 14:57
T1 – 2:03
The BikeNext, I put on my helmet, socks and shoes and headed out on my bike. Of all three parts of a tri, I have to say that the bike is probably my favorite. Maybe this is because I occasionally pass people and feel like it’s the one area where I have the ability to "dig deep" during a sprint. As always, it took about 2 miles for my heart rate to get under control. Once I wasn’t feeling too winded, I was able to settle into a decent pace. I was passing a lot of the men who were on mountain bikes, and a few men and women on road bikes. And yes, I was passed a lot too. I love this course, because the turns are minimal and you actually have an opportunity to maintain a good pace. The miles clicked by pretty quickly and before I knew it, I was at the final turn-around and heading back toward transition. I definitely need to work on taking less time to dismount and get into transition…my slow as molasses dismount cost me a little time on my overall pace.
|Yep, I love me some bike...I am cheering on the folks on the run at this point.|
Bike – 40.47, 18.8 MPH
T2 – 2:21
The RunI think I hit the bike a little too hard, because my legs were definitely feeling it on the run. I headed out of transition at a 9:40-something pace, but just couldn’t maintain it. I walked at both aid stations and then walked again before mile 3. Sad. It was hot and I was just pooped. Definitely something to work on!
|Nice...eyes closed and looking, well, tired. Oh, and nice heel strike!|
Run – 31:34, 10:11 pace
Finish time – 1:31:43
|The BLING - it's gorgeous!!!|
AFTERI walked away from Bridgeland pleased that I was back in the world of Triathlons. I knew I wanted to get back into it this year, but I was a little slow getting back into the swing of things. I also found that I have plenty to work on! There are only 4 weeks between Bridgeland and my next tri, Town Lake (on Labor Day). I think I will be a little stronger than before, but let’s be real…there’s only so much you can do in 4 weeks. But, I am looking forward to seeing how it goes!
|Me and the family after the race...looks like the Munchkin is just ready to go!|