Swim, Bike, Run, Boogie!

Best race ever! 

We broke our normal routine of getting to the race site 30 minutes before anything is even open and arrived a solid fifteen minutes after transition opened.  Aaaand we still ended up sitting around for an hour waiting for the race to start.  I suppose it beats running late and being panicked.

It was dark and super cold when we arrived, but the sun was just starting to rise over the water and it was super pretty. I didn’t take this picture, but I did google “union reservoir longmont sunrise” and it totally looked like this:

Racked the bikes, wet-suited up.  The usual.

I don’t know how other people do the post-transition pre-swim.  I think I need to start buying throw away flip flops because walking on the ground barefoot friggin’ hurt but I didn’t want to wear my flip flops to the water because where would I put them when it was time to start, hmmm?

They never really announced that the water was open for warming up, but two or three of us just got in and then before we knew it everyone was in, swimming around.  It was nice that there was an area of water next to the start where you could just chill in the water until your wave was up.  (True story: my wave was women 29 and under and men 50-55.  I tried to make a joke about US Weekly two times, and two times no one laughed.)  Being able to hang out in the water while waiting means you don’t have to get acclimated, get out, and then start over. Good stuff.

Of course, by the time my wave was actually up, I was hungry (true story: I almost picked up an unopened gel someone had dropped on the ground I was so starving) and I had to pee again.  (Sad story: a girl broke her goggles 30 seconds before our wave started swimming.  So I should shut up about being a little peckish.)  I knew I ate a good breakfast (bagel and almond butter) and that I could certainly swim for twenty minutes with a slightly rumbly belly.

Whoops!  I said I didn’t have any time goals for this race.  That was a lie.  I had secret goals, and finishing the swim under twenty minutes was one of them.  And even though I started out too fast (like always) and had a hard time catching my breath (like always) and stopped to turn around a poor girl who got herself turned around and ended up heading enthusiastically away from the finish (that was new), I hit my goal!  I’m not sure if the course was 750 or 800 meters, though.  The website said a half mile and 750 meters.  Math is hard, y’all.

Swim time: 19:42                      

I tried to hustle to my bike but I didn’t run.  Wetsuit off, socks, shoes, shirt, sunglasses, more spray sunscreen, helmet, and we were off!

Transition one:  3:06, but most of that was getting from the lake to the transition area. 

The bike was fun!  It was fast and flat, but I was being a little careful not to push too hard because I wanted to enjoy this race and not feel miserable on the run. We were in a residential area, and they had one of those “this is your speed signs” which was kind of fun since it registered us cycling, too.  It was a three loop course, and I got passed by a lot of dudes going crazy fast on my first lap, but then they went off to run and it was a lot more chill for the other laps.  I still mostly got passed (by people not riding Target bikes they got at garage sales, I assume) but I did a little passin’ myself.  I only seem to pass people when going on a slight uphill.  Not sure of the significance there.  I ate some shot blocks (delicious!) and sipped some gatorade from my water bottle. 

When I finished my third lap and veered back towards transition I was feeling awesome and doing a little song and dance on my bike and giving the volunteers one-hand-up-in-the-air “holla!“‘s.  The bike is where the wheels fell off the bus last time so I was feeling good.  Even if I did have to literally kick  my crank a few times to make my bike shift. Whatevs.                      

Bike time: 45:46 (And my secret goal was 45 minutes for 12.4 miles, so yay!)

Coming out of transition after the bike:

Chris was really nice to get photos of me racing, but I messed with the camera settings so they all turned out blurry and tiny.  But I have a bunch of them!

Transition two: 1:13.  Bike down.  Remembered to take my helmet off.  Another spritz of sunscreen.

And finally the run felt great!  I felt like I was going fast when I took off, so I just went with it.  I walked a little at the top of a hill and through both aid stations, but otherwise I kept up a pretty good pace.  I didn’t have a watch or anything, but I know I slowed down towards the end.  Passed a bit, got passed a bit, and then it was over!

Run time: 33:40, and I think this beats my previous 5k record by 3 seconds.  I will never be fast at running, but I’m getting less slow.

Finished!  And I felt awesome, which was my number one, not-a-secret goal. 

Chris had kindly snagged my a veggie burrito (disadvantage to being a back of the pack-er: they run out of veggie burritos sometimes) and I finally got to pee.  I kept thinking there would be a port a loo somewhere on the course but no luck.  At least it motivated me to run faster.  I had no idea on any of my times since I wasn’t wearing a watch, but when I saw my results posted on a board I did a whole little dance to the song that was playing, “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.”  ♫ Thank the non-supernatural forces in the universe that I’m an urban dwelling gal who likes triathlons…♫

My season is over!  And this was such a great note to end on, but it’s time to hang up my wetsuit. Until next summer!

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