Here's a few of us from the Tribe Game:
Going into this race, I didn't really know what to expect. To say I was rusty was an understatement. Coach Emily said, "Let's do a race before Steelhead, you know, to work out the kinks." I figured that was a good idea, as the last time I had a T1 or T2 was in Madison. I haven't really pushed myself in a triathlon in a loooooooong time. There were none last year, and the year before was all about LSD. (not the drug, of course. The SLOOOOOOOOWWWWW stuff.) The Olympic Tri I did that year had a 2:59 finish time, and my overall PR in an Oly was 2:54 from a year before that.
So the plan was for Matt, Bug and I to go to the party which was halfway between my house and the race, and then me stay at my buddy's house and they head home.
Why do I think that's a good idea? Ugh.
I don't sleep well away from my guys. WIBA was reaaaaaaalllllllllyyyyyyyy hard for me to sleep. I just felt restless. So I didn't sleep more than 2 1/2 hours the night before the race. Excellent. Also, my buddy has a cat and I am hella allergic, so I think I OD'd on my Nasonex. Needless to say, it was not the greatest pre-race night's sleep, but my buddy was so awesome to let me stay there and break up the (what turned out to be an) HOUR and a HALF drive. Yikes!
The alarm went off at 4:30am, and I immediately thought, what the hell am I doing? I'm not tapered at all. I'm tired. I miss my boys. I don't want to do this race. I feel like poo. I am a sniffly mess. I had a mojito and a bunch of mozzerella sticks last night. I'm 40 minutes from home...I can just drive home...
But then I snapped myself out of it. If I'm going to spend a night away from my boys, there BETTER be a good reason. I thought of Wil's alarm clock going off then, too, and I knew she wasn't going to miss her bus, so I'd better not miss mine. No excuses.
So I drove there, got all set, got my transition spot ready, laid out my towel, and realized I didn't have Yanks for my shoes. Damn. I meant to get those last week....oops. So I had a nice new wetsuit, a sweet new bike, and I was going to have to tie my shoes in transition. I guess that's why I was working the kinks out, alright!
We headed to the water. I remembered what a swim start was like, as the last time I bobbed in the water waiting for the gun was at Ironman Wisconsin. Why am I doing this, I thought again?
To see what I'm made of.
To see how far I've come.
The two loops in the lake were uneventful. I went at a pace I felt good at, and one that I could go all day at. I tried to really focus on good form and gliding in the water. I saw two girls toward the end and I thought I might be able to catch them, so I did. I got out of the water with no watch, and no clue what time I swam in. I would find out later that I swam in 27 and change, which would be a PR by just over a minute. 1:50/100 meters on the dot. I felt great out of the water, and know I definitely could have gone faster. But that's not what this race was about.
Had a decent T1 in 2:11, surprisingly, as I am rusty on transitions! And then I was off. Coach Emily said to keep my watts around 160-180. I tried to do this but found myself lollygagging a bit. At one point, I even muttered, "park it or drive it, granny!" and "this is a RACE, dude!" It's funny--I haven't raced in so long, and I think I forgot what it was like. But I'm happy to say I didn't get passed by ONE WOMAN at all on the bike course, and I passed a few chicks. It was a while before the fast guys passed me, too. That was pretty cool. I'm used to coming out of the water and getting MAD passed like crazy, so this was a nice treat. When all was said and done, my PowerTap said I had gone a little over 25 miles for 19.4mph, but the official race time is 19.1 mph for 24.7. I go by what races say, so that's the story. Still, a massive PR for me as my previous best on an Oly bike leg was 18.3, and the last Oly I did was 17.7.
The best part--or actually the worst I guess you could say--is I only averaged 151 watts. Which means, in fact, that was kind of granny-ish riding by me. Proof positive that I could have gone faster. And that's actually kinda sweet.
T2, despite me having to stop and tie my shoes, went pretty quickly in 1:06. And then I was off for a run. It was pretty good until about mile 2....and then the heavans opened up. What is it with me, races, and rain? Every. Single. Race. I have done since and including Ironman has rained. Good thing I do well in the rain, I guess! It was kinda annoying to have my shoes slosh around, but other than that, not bad. I did the first loop and felt fantastic, so I figured I'd pick it up a bit on the second loop. My Garmin kept going in and out of satellite range so it said the course was a little short, but the time at least was the same...51:29, for the fastest 10K I've ever ran, in an 8:18/mile pace.
I got to the end, saw the clock said 2:40.16, started laughing, and asked the 2 girls working the tent behind it if that clock was right...did it really start with the first wave? I just had to be sure. They then asked me how old I was, I told them, and they handed me a trophy. "You just came in first place!" My age group was really really small, though, so instead after they posted the results I looked to see I was the 5th overall female out of 14--and just a minute behind the 4th female, Alison in my tri club, who rocked the swim as usual and came out the water first.
Cool. But I was most excited about first, shaving 14 minutes off my best time, untapered, tired, and without racing in a year and a half. I raced a smart, and even conservative race, I felt great at the end, and I negative split my run. I surprised myself, yet again.
And THAT'S why I do this.
I told him I didn't know what I was supposed to do with it, either. And, clearly, he is NOT amused.
So I've got some numbers in my head for Steelhead. They are aggressive. I'll lay them out later, but it's safe to say I'm going to go hard, leave it all on the line, race my first 70.3 and not just do it, and see what I'm made of.
It's gonna be fun.