As I explained in my previous post...I was very excited for this race.
It's a mile from my house. How cool is that? So I still didn't sleep well the night before (standard), but at least it was easy to get to! Plus, a lot of my local tri buddies were going to be there, and that rocks.
I felt like I needed to redeem myself a bit from Lifetime--I know that I did the best I could there, but I felt like it just wasn't good enough. I could do more. But I never know what sprints can bring. I sort of have one speed, and it's 70.3. I can dial that speed in, no problem. But a sprint? It should hurt. You should be gasping for air at the end. And that's not a race pace I'm really used to.
So I decided it was time to dial it up a notch.
I wanted this to hurt.
Despite crazy nasty storms, the lake was NOT choppy! I was pretty stoked about that. It was pretty warm and I wanted to go hard, but not totally blow it. I definitely felt like I needed to push it, though, especially after my pretty rotten swim at Lifetime. So push I did. I found a few legs, drafted for a bit, passed, and went comfortably hard. I knew I could have gone a little harder, but I didn't feel like I dogged it like I did at Lifetime. I was happy with my effort.
Swim Time 9:57
Place 6/19 AG
Got out and ran the almost 1/4 mile up to transition--sheesh! Tried to stay calm and collected and remember that I was about to embark on what's become my best leg. My buddy Ken was there and told me there were some girls to catch. I had a rough time getting my right leg clipped in but then I was off.
One of my former students and I leaving T1! She was doing her very first tri and finished 2nd in her age group--yay, Megan!
OFF OFF OFF.
Long story short--I killed it. I felt FABULOUS on this ride and my watts were high but I felt good. I picked people off left and right and got especially excited when I saw a leg that had a "U" on it, as that was my age group. I passed 4 or 5 girls with U's, and didn't see any U's pass me, so I was excited. I knew I was near the front of the age group and felt awesome.
And then I took a wrong turn.
About 1/2 mile from transition. SO STUPID. I even knew it was wrong. I knew we were supposed to go straight, but the police officer was waving right. Turns out, he was waving the cars and not us, but I saw a fast chick turn and stupidly I followed like a lemming. She really let the police officer have it and yelled, "I was winning this!" at him, but I silently turned and chalked it up to not trusting my gut and knowing the course better. I knew better than making that mistake and turning, and was mad at myself for doing it.
I probably lost 30-45 seconds.
But I hoped that I had built up a big enough cushion to still hang onto an age group place. I was not sure what this run would bring as my hamstring has been much better, but I haven't really tried to go that hard on it. I put on my brand new birthday racing flats, Saucony Mirages, that are obnoxious blue, grabbed my visor, and took off hoping for the best.
I was kind of being the Chris Leito of the average-Jane 30-34 females in NEO. I took his strategy of hammer the hell out of the bike and pray you can hold on. I felt a bit like a hunted/wounded animal, but I tried to just focus on the run ahead.
I felt SOOOO slow. The first mile, I expected U's to pass me left and right. I certainly must have been running 10 minute miles.
Except I wasn't.
My pre-race dream goal was to hold 8s, and it appeared that I was doing relatively close to that. I don't know because my little Nike kid's watch doesn't take lap splits, but I did time my 2nd mile and it was just under 8. Could this be true? One of the volunteers told me at about 2.5 miles that I was "the fourth female, and you can catch those other ones if you hurry." I knew that wasn't true because of the wave starts--I knew for SURE there were some SMOKIN' fast 40+ masters females behind me that were actually "ahead" time-wise. But if there were only 4 ahead of me, and I knew two of them I knew for sure were masters, then that meant maybe one more that was possibly in my age group.
Or it was me, in first place.
I knew then, with about .6 miles to go, that this was going to be my race to lose. And I sure as hell was NOT about to lose it then. There would be NO U's passing me, and if one did, and this turned into a Raelert-Macca thing, then I WOULD BE MACCA.
(*of course, both Raelert and Macca could beat me while running backwards wearing stilettos blindfolded, but you get the point, right?)
This was a huge mental victory for me, because usually at this point in a race, I am talking to myself and saying things like, "Hey, 3rd place is pretty good" or "well, I had a great bike today," but there was NONE OF THAT in this race. I knew coming off the bike that I was probably in first, and I made up my mind throughout most of the run that it was going to stay like that. End of story.
I knew those girls behind me might be fabulous runners, and I was hoping for maybe a 25 minute 5K at best, and can I really win this thing with a 25+ minute 5K?
The answer today was YES.
I dashed up the hill, kicked it into high gear just in case, and finished in 1:16.47, just 10 seconds ahead of the 2nd place girl in my age group.
Thanks to my awesome friend, Anne, for taking these pics for me!
She almost got me, but I was NOT going to have that today. No way. I finished the way I wanted to--gasping, almost puking, and smiling.
Met my two kiddies and Matt afterwards and got to hug them lots and lots.
1/19: 30-34 Females
9/115: Overall Females
72/292: Total Finishers
And THAT is how I rang in my next decade of triathlons.