I didn't sleep well Saturday night, but that's always the case the night before a race. I wasn't even able to settle down enough to get into bed until about 11pm, but I had everything prepared so all I had to do in the morning was load up. I woke up about 45 minutes before Bradford did and busied myself with loading the gear and bikes into/onto the car. I was on edge, as is typical, and we left a bit after I planned, but we made it to the transition area with plenty of time to get everything situated. Here I am just before we walked down to the water:
As we made our way to the swim start, I had butterflies in my stomach, but I kept telling myself it was my "C" race and that I just needed to take it easy. We swam a little bit to get a feel for the water and the waited in the shade for the announcer to call the heats to the starting line. The water was very warm and murky, and the swim went pretty well. I stayed relaxed, completing that portion in 25 minutes, only 5 minutes slower than my trial swim at Stacy last Friday.
After emerging from the water, I ran up the short, grassy hill to the transition area for a VERY long, VERY lazy transition - 4:45 long! Ha! I know that will improve! I jogged my bike the the bike start, happy to know that I had put in into an easier gear earlier that morning. The ride went well except that I almost lost my brand-new frame pump. I wasted a couple of minutes retrieving it, but I reminded myself that this was my "C" race and I couldn't justify leaving that pump behind. The bike course was VERY hilly, much harder than the one at the Rookie Tri, but I still managed a 14.4 mph pace despite coasting down a number of hills (I hope my coaches don't find out) and riding in shorts without padding (BAD idea, trust me).
Transition 2 was quite a bit shorter, 1:55, but I still piddled and took time to relax my breathing so that I would feel "fresh" for my run. I also poured a lot of water over my head to combat the heat of the sun that was already beating down. This turned out to be a poorly executed maneuver, which I realized shortly thereafter when my toes were squishing around in my shoes. My feet were SOAKED. The run course was ALL in the grass, no hard, familiar road at all. About 1/3 of the way of the way through, about the time I ate my first Clif Shot, I started alternating between walking and running. I justified this by reasoning that A) This was my "C" race and I didn't want to compromise training, B) My feet were sloshing around in my shoes and I didn't want blisters and C) I wasn't all that fond of running on the grass. I sorta feel like a wimped out, but I still improved my pace versus the Rookie Tri. I ran/walked a 13:08 minutes-a-mile pace, which I know that I can improve DRAMATICALLY for my next race. I hope to run closer to a 10 minute mile pace for the race at the end of August. We shall see!
After the race, I had a couple bites of pizza and a Sweet Leaf tea before I got in line for the bean-bag toss. I made all three tosses and won some Triggerpoint Massage tools! Yeah! Then, the guy at the Clif tent gave me a whole container of drink mix. Score! Finally, I had a superb massage that was almost 30 minutes long. It was great! I was in great spirits by the time we got to the car. Bradford was also excited that he finished in 1:27!! He's hardly been training and he did SO WELL! I am so proud of both of us...
Well, that's about it! I had a great time and I am really looking forward to my next race on the 28th! Yeah!