Good morning! It’s 5 am and I did NOT sleep last night because dogs were barkin’ and horns were honkin’ and I took a stupid afternoon nap that I think messed me up. Also, blatant “my hair is getting SO long and I LOVE it” photo.
Most race mornings I jump out of bed, totally wired. Since this was more of a really really really just for fun race I was less pumped to get out of bed. It felt like my alarm went off right as I had drifted to sleep and I was definitely wanting another 20 minutes.
I ran through my packing checklist one last time, blended up a big smoothie for us to share and we were out the door by 5:45. As we got in the car I saw my neighbor friend putting her bike into her car too! She has been at three of the four triathlons I did this year, and we keep saying we need to organize some kind of club since our neighbors are all swimmers, bikers, runners, or some combination.
We got to Union Reservoir right as transition opened but apparently not early enough because we didn’t get to park in the close parking lot. Oh, well. Three minute walk vs. 20 minutes extra in bed? Easy call.
Once we arrived we split up. Chris was volunteering at this race, not just spectating, so he went off to body mark and I picked up my packet and set up transition.
I recognized a gal at the packet pickup table from the end of the Harvest Moon (my first half iron distance two weeks ago). She is the nicest lady and we chatted for a few minutes about how I was a crying mess and she said, “I’m going to cry again, I was so proud of you for finishing!” I think the people at Without Limits (the company who put on this race, my last race, and many others) are the nicest. And it feels nice to be able to “shop local” when it comes to races as opposed to doing those put on by giant companies. Anyways.
The t-shirts for this race are like the least ugly t-shirts I have ever gotten. I never wear mine (I give them to Chris) but isn’t this cute? This is the back, and the front just has a small “Without Limits” logo. They don’t have nine million logos on them.
I didn’t think about the fact that Chris would be up close and personal with so many fit ladies while body marking. Oh, well.
But since I knew the body-marker, I asked if he could give me some extra art. Which is how this happened…
So, I set up transition. I was glad we got there kinda on the early side because the line to get your timing chip got really long.
Said hi to my coworkerfriend doing the race.
And then I went down to the water and cursed myself for not bringing some throw away flip flops. It is rocky and horrible and my feet really hurt. I got in the water and waded around.
There was a lot of nervous energy in that lake. Before we started they asked for a show of hands for first time ever triathletes and it looked like a third of the crowd were first timers! I admit it was kind of nice to not be the nervous nelly and feel confident that I was going to enjoy myself.
I lined up with my wave and we were off! The buoys were spaced pretty closely so sighting was easy. I tried to push hard on the swim, to the point I got a small side stitch. But it was pretty clear I’d taken the last two weeks entirely off, and I ended up finishing a minute slower than last year. I got to use one of my favorite tricks: sighting off of someone who is breaststroking. They’re definitely going the right way since they can see, and if they’re next to you, it’s easier to see them than something in front of you. (Then again, I always come in close to last, so maybe don’t take my advice.)
I only got pummeled once by a swimmer from the wave behind me. Otherwise people were pretty good about personal space.
Chris was at the Run-Out at transition so I got to say hi on my way out of the water.
Somehow I sent a ridiculously long time in transition. What was I even doing? It was close to five minutes. Who knows.
Onto the bike! This bike course is nice because it is flat! I really tried to push myself, and it was so different to ride not on hills. I was actually pushing myself to the point where I started to feel out of breath before my legs were killing me, which was different than the past few super-hilly courses I’ve been on. I liked it. I even passed a few people. (Not that many. And they were on cruisers or mountain bikes. But still!) I have to think if I had a non-crappy hybrid bike from Target I could be a speed demon on the bike. Anyone have an extra $1,000?
Off the bike I felt awesome and really tried to push myself on the run as well. I took two one minute walk breaks and tried to push to where I felt just a little uncomfortable. I ended up finishing the run at an 11:47 pace, which was exciting. I haven’t seen that side of 12 minute miles in a while and it felt good.
One thing about this race is that it seemed kind of quiet. Usually on an out and back run there’s a lot of “Nice work!” “Keep it up” and “Looking strong!” but this course was eerily silent.
I wish I had more to say but I don’t really want to say “I really tried to push myself” for a fourth time. I tried to go fast-ish but I didn’t feel like killing myself. I think my lack of soreness today means I didn’t really go full throttle.
I ate a delicious veggie burrito from Wahoo’s when it was done and congratulated coworkerfriend (who also had a great race!).
Went home and put my new glass to good use.
Contemplated how wearing a race bib always makes me feel like I’m a star-bellied sneech.
And Chris poured me a congratulations-on-a-fun-season-ending-race glass of champagne.