If any of you remember from my last post, my goal for this race was not to PR, but to do better in the swim. For those of you who don't feel like reading through my entire race report, I can say that I kind of reached my goal, but also ended up getting a PR, but I still don't know how I feel about this race. Let me explain.
Pre-swimI was excited to see that I was in the first swim wave. I have never been in the first wave, so I was pretty happy that I'd be the first group in. All of the 25-34 yr. olds were grouped together and there were about 80 of us. I got my wetsuit on and headed to the water. They announced that the water temp. was 67 degrees and it actually felt refreshing. I did a couple practice laps and felt good. I saw my family about 10 min. before my start time and went over to talk to them while I waited. It was great to have them there for support. :) Finally, it was time to head to the start. I just kept repeating in my head, "You can do this, you can do this, don't freak out!" I got in the water and lined up near the front. I know I'm not a fast swimmer, but I am done with starting near the middle or back. All that leads to, for me, is more people kicking me and lots of confusion. So, I start at the front and if people want to pass me they can. This may make some fast swimmers mad, but I have found in tris I HAVE to do what's best for me to get through the swim.
Anyways, they did a count down, then we were off. I actually felt good in the beginning. I was swimming fast and was in a rhythm. One person tried to swim over me, which I wasn't about going to let happen, so I did a big kick to get them off. It worked. I continued to the first buoy and still felt pretty good, but I kept running into people and people kept running into me. I could not for the life of me find a clear path to swim. A couple of times I had to stop and side stroke to find a path of my own. I was breathing so hard and my heart rate was sky rocketing. Finally I saw the finish arch and soon was at the finish! I got to the sand and heard my family cheering! It was great. I was having a hard time catching my breath and had to walk part way up the LONG path from the water to the transition area. I got the top of my wetsuit off and felt so much better. I thought I had a good swim so in a way I met my goal, but I really didn't because of my time. I was pretty disappointed and just really frustrated when I got my results.
Swim: 750yds + long run from sand to transition
My wetsuit came off great. My bike shoes, helmet, and glasses went on and I was out of there! My bike was in the closest rack to the bike exit, so I didn't have to run far in my shoes! Woohoo!
Time: 1:28 (Not bad, but I would really like to get this down)
The bike was interesting to me. I didn't get a chance to pre-ride or even drive the course (they had part of it closed), so I had no idea what to expect. But, once I got on the course I was instantly brought back in time to my Half Ironman I did this past fall because parts of the bike course were the same. There were a lot of rolling hills, some big hills, and lots of turns. So, I would be going fast downhill or on a flat section and just start to get into a groove when I would have to slow way down in order to make the turns without crashing or getting caught in the loose gravel that was all over the course. It was a royal pain actually. And for that reason, I didn't really like the course. But, I passed some women, never got passed, and felt like I pushed myself, so I was happy with how I did. As I came into transition there was a guy that yelled, "Go get em, you're the 10th person in!" I didn't know what age group the women in front of me were because the 25-34 yr olds were all lumped together, but my competitiveness kicked in and I wanted to try and catch them on the run!
Bike: 10Miles (My Garmin actually said I rode 10.92 miles....so I'm not sure if the course was accurate??)
Avg. MPH: 17.6 I thought this sounded really low, but when I considered the hills and turns, it makes sense.
I got my bike in and my helmet and shoes off without any problems. Then, when I went to put on my running socks I noticed my right sock and shoe were completely wet. What the heck?? Then I realized that when I took my wetsuit off I draped it such that one of the legs led right to my shoe. So the whole time I was riding my bike, the water from my wetsuit was draining into my shoe. The cool thing though was that I brought my Smartwool16
I started the run and my legs felt so heavy and slow. But, when I looked at my Garmin I was doing around a 7:20 pace! With every tri, I am still amazed by how I feel so slow but am actually running pretty well. It took me about a mile for me to get my legs back, especially since the course had some rollers, and by then I was almost half way done. I could see women ahead of me and I just kept focused on them. With every step I got closer and closer. I passed one woman in my age group before the turn around and started picking up the pace on the way back. I passed 2 more women, all in my age group, and I was so excited! I was coming up to another women and a woman going the opposite direction said, "Go get her!" It was awesome! I had about .1 mile to go when I came upon another women, again in my age group. I picked up the speed as much as I could and as I passed her I said, "Good job" and she said, "Kick it in!"
Me trying to sprint to the finish. The girl in blue behind me is the last one I passed.I gave it all I could and could hear and see my family and boys cheering for me. That gave me the extra energy I needed and I crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face. :)
Time: 22:24 Avg. Pace: 7:14
Overall Time: 1:20:20 A new PR!!!
Overall Place: 14/322
When I saw my results, I could not believe that I got 4th place! I was so happy, but then I decided to see what I missed 3rd place by. 16 seconds! Can you believe it? I looked at the results a little closer and this is what I discovered (get ready for a pity party): I did better than the 2nd and 3rd place finishers on the bike and the run, but my swim was a good 4 minutes slower than theirs. Now, I compete in triathlons for fun because I love the do them, but it is so frustrating to know that I could have placed if I would have just had a better swim. And this just wasn't a bad race day, this has been a repeating pattern for pretty much every tri that I do! I don't know what to do anymore. I've done lessons and am still going to Masters swim practices, and nothing is working. I am just so frustrated! (Pity party over)
Overall though, I had a great race! Without Limits did an awesome job with the event and I had fun, which is ultimately what it is all about. Oh, and getting a new PR for a sprint tri isn't bad either! :)