This race was a last minute decision. Michelle and I were at the June Landsharks social and she had brought up the race. We both did this exact race last year (my first triathlon ever). Well, we talked each other into it, and it was a little over a week away.
I woke up race morning in the hotel that Lipstick Runner had gotten for us. I went to the bathroom to “take care of things” and I get a message from Michelle telling me it’s storming! This was exactly like last year, except that it stormed early morning last year, and this year, it’s storming while getting ready. I opened the door to a horrible downpour.
I was for sure the race wasn’t happening, or best case scenario, postponed by a few hours, but the longer it rained, the more I saw that option dwindle. Michelle headed to the park where the race was being held about an hour and a half before start time. She text me saying a LOT of people were already down there. So it looks like it was going to happen rain or shine.
I packed up the car and we headed down to the race site. Once in the park, we saw a lot of athletes, and I was worried, like last year, that we’d have to park a mile away. Luck struck, and I found that the lot closest to the start had an opening. This might turn out good after all.
I set up my transition, in the rain. I left everything pretty much in my backpack to try and keep things as dry as possible. My rack was in almost the exact same location as last year, so I knew I’d be able to find it quickly in between swim and run. Michelle found me, and we made our way to the swim start. She got a quick swim in, and that’s when we learned of the delay. It would be about an hour later than the original start time.
Once the race was ready to start, the rain had almost completely stopped. Everyone headed to line up for the swim start. Last year, I kinda waited til my number or later got in line, but this year, I wanted to be “in the race” and start a little earlier than my number. I got in about 50 – 75 people earlier than my number called for. I hated waiting in the mud and the sooner I could get in the water, the better.
Once in the water, I knew this would be a completely different race than last year. I struggled on the swim last year, and this year, it was going very smoothly. The water felt great, no one was in my way, and I felt strong. I pushed a little because I never needed a warm up period. I felt good from stroke one. After the first turn I went a little off course. This prolly added about 25 meters to my swim, but it didn’t matter. After the second turn, it was a straight shot to the shore. I had someone right by me the whole way in, and my goal was to pass them. I think that was their goal too, because we stayed neck and neck the whole way. I DID climb out of the water first 🙂
Transition went pretty well despite all my stuff being in a backpack. I got out on the bike, and realized it was REALLY wet. I rode hard, except on the turns. I was extra careful, because going down would ruin my race. I did some passing on the bike, but also got passed a fair share too.
The ride was an out and back, and on the way back into the park, I came upon Michelle. She had said she got pulled out of the water. I was bummed to hear that, but pushed on to transition.
Once in transition, I had to dig out my run attire from the backpack again. I decided to forgo the socks on both the bike and run, because running in wet socks, suck. So this was my first run in these shoes without socks, and I was hoping for no blisters.
I was also without my Garmin, so I had to way of pacing myself, except my RPE – and I felt like I was redlined for the first mile. I had to walk once I got to the first water stop at mile one. I was hurting and felt nauseous. I only had a little bit of gatorade on the ride, and no water. My nutrition was horrible for this race. I think I walked for about a min or so, then picked it back up. I did have to walk once more before the turnaround at 1.5 miles. After the turnaround, I needed one more walk break, and counted to myself 1 minute, then ran. I grabbed water, at the 2 mile stop, but didn’t really stop. I decided that this pain would go away after I finished, so I latched on to a faster runner, and ran with him. We both made it to the final stretch, and I could here them announcing runners as they finished, so I picked it up a little more so I could like like I was running well for the crowd 🙂
They announced my name as I crossed the line and I needed water/food/to sit instantly. Everything was muddy, or I would have instantly laid on the ground.
I was sick to my stomach for the next 30 minutes or so, but it was a great race. Here is a comparison over the same race last year: