There is nothing better than getting to do a triathlon that you can bike to from your house, is there? Probably not. You get to drink your own coffee, sleep in your own bed, check facebook before you leave…what? I got up really early.
I rolled by Christine’s to pick up a race belt on the way to the pool, where the swimming and transition would take place. I did have a race belt at some point but have since lost it, prompting Mr. Prepared (the husband) to get frustrated. “How can you not have everything you need?” he shouted in exasperation when I pulled out the handle from an old CD case to create a makeshift belt. And the answer truly is that it seems like every race requires different things, but all the races require A LOT of things. Triathlon just requires so much…stuff.
I arrived at the pool where the parking lot was filling up right at 6 as transition opened. Now this is a cool, little hometown race done in honor of a local woman who passed away from cancer. It’s run by volunteers, and every dollar goes back to helping other locals in medical crisis, which is why I do it. Well, that, and since it isn’t a USA Triathlon-sanctioned event, I figured there was a chance Lance Armstrong might show up (many thanks to my friend Rob for that joke…).
The swim is in the pool, so it takes quite a long time to get everyone through the swim leg. I gotta be honest, I didn’t like this part. There were people finished with the race by the time I started swimming (almost 3 hours after I got there), and I tried to warm up like 3 times before I swam by running around the block, but I got in the water cold from sitting. I unknowingly got in the lane with top-notch swimmer, former Mayor Ed Woodland. He lapped me during the swim. It was pretty demoralizing, and my swimming feel like a struggle. And unfortunately, due to a counting error (ours), we both swam an extra lap, which I didn’t know at the time. Thank goodness, because that would have made me feel worse.
Anyways, I couldn’t have been happier to be out of the pool (I know, it doesn’t even sound like me!) and on my bike. This bike course is like home turf. I ride it all the time, so it was great! Christine had made me ride on my new aero bars all the way back from the turnaround on Wednesday, so I felt ready to use them. Trainer Guy had showed up before I started and gave me some last-minute tips. I would summarize his bike advice as “don’t panic about the burning feeling of death creeping into your lungs as you start biking, it will go away”. Which was true, and since I didn’t panic about it, I felt SO much better when it went away! The bike section was awesome – I saw all my usual horses and my little pony. I used my aero bars all the way back from the turnaround, and I was flying! It was an amazing feeling.
The run was…well, running. You know how sometimes running feels amazing and you feel free and powerful, and sometimes it feels like…running? This run was one of the latter, but I did feel better at the end than I did at the beginning of it. While I ran, I thought about when I first started running a couple of summers ago, and how that run used to be SO hard for me to do all by itself, and it made me smile to think of how far I have come.
I was looking at my watch towards the end of the run, and I thought I had started at 8:32, and I was thinking I missed my goal of doing it in 1:20 or less. I figured I was close, so I still had to be happy about how I did. However, I was wrong about my start time, and I actually ended up doing the race in 1:13! (Now here you might ask why I didn’t use the stopwatch feature on my watch and the answer is…well, this is me we are talking about)
My time was good enough for 3rd place overall in women, which was really awesome! I got a goody bag of organic hair products and sunglasses, which was super cool. And I am happy with how I did on the transitions and the bike leg especially. It was a good way to start a Saturday, and the hubby, the kids, and I all biked home together, which is pretty special.