It was a success!! In fact, it was amazing. I felt great through all three legs of the race and am really happy with my results. The weather was perfect and the course was flat just as predicted. It was cool to see Zach, Emily, and Anne on the course and to see and hear my parents and Emily's fiance cheering for us from the sidelines. All in all, a great first tri of the season! Here is the recap:
Pre-race: My parents met us at our apartment about 6:00 and we made it to the race site by 6:45 or so. We got our transition areas set up and then found Emily who had brought balloons to mark our spots with. It was hilarious- mine said "Class of '09" and hers said "I love you." We got all suited up and made our way down to the beach. Zach's wave was first, then Emily was 5 minutes later, then my wave was 10 minutes after that.
Swim (800 yards): It was seriously the best swim I've ever had in a triathlon. The funny thing is that the night before the race I had a mini breakdown about the swim, basically freaking out about drowning. Totally irrational, I know. And I was pretty nervous the morning of the race too. My stomach was all knotted up. I mean, I get a little nervous before every race including running events, but not nervous like what-if-I-don't-survive nervous. It's a special kind of nervous. But after a little warm up swim I knew it was going to be fine. The water was comfortable and I was relaxed. The best thing was that I didn't have any problems with my nose clip or goggles or anything! That has been a problem in almost every single swim I've done and it totally disrupts my rhythm. This time my gear was good and I was so grateful. I got into a good rhythm and was swimming in a straight line. I never had any contact with other swimmers even though I was right in the mix. Before I knew it, I rounded the last buoy and was sighting on the beach. I pushed really hard for the last couple hundred yards. At the very end there was some seaweed that I got kind of tangled up in but right after that I could see the bottom and I stood up and ran out of the water.
Swim time: 17:30
T1: The run up from the water was really long. I usually like to take my wetsuit off immediately after exiting the water but they really funneled you through all the way to transition. Luckily the wetsuit came off just fine when I finally got up there. I threw on my shoes and helmet and all that as fast as I could. I wore my bike gloves but I know now that was a bad idea. It only took a few seconds but it was annoying and I probably didn't need them. I finally grabbed my bike and ran out of transition, lapping my watch right as I mounted my bike.
T1 time: 2:53
Bike (12 miles): Again with the awesome! It was definitely the hardest part of the race but good. I passed a lot of people and got passed by several fast 40+ guys and a couple 40+ women which were the waves after me. There were a few people that I leap-frogged with but I was very careful not to do any illegal drafting or blocking. I saw several course officials on their motorcycles and even witnessed some girls getting penalties for riding side by side. I also saw a few people with flats. I was doing great though- I was going 18-20+ MPH the whole time. It was perfectly flat so there were no hills to alter my pace. My legs and butt were on fire! I was having a blast though and knew the ride was short so I could afford to push hard. I saw both Zach and Emily on the bike course.
Bike time: 38:57 (18.5 MPH)
T2: The distance from the dismount line back to transition was again very long. Maybe they are always this long and I just never noticed? I felt like I was running through the grass with my bike forever. Finally I got to transition and I couldn't find my spot. I was totally confused. Shit! I totally should have walked it through before the start but I guess I forgot. Finally I spotted my balloon! I ran over and threw my bike over the rack and changed into my run gear. I grabbed a cup of yucky electrolyte juice on the way out onto the run course.
T2 time: 1:49
Run: I hate to be redundant, but... awesome. The run was FUN. I felt ok, a little tight but I ran at an easy-ish pace to start. I picked off a few people as we ran out of the park and then onto the bike path along Marine Drive. I felt like I was running too easy even though I was passing lots of people. I picked up the pace a little and hit the turnaround. Only after I was heading back into the park did I really start running hard, knowing there was about a half mile left. I had passed tons of people and only got passed by two guys the whole run. I saw Zach, Emily, Josh, and my parents as I came to the finish line and I crossed with a huge smile on my face!
Run time: 24:18 (7:49 average pace)
Official finish time: 1:25:27
I hadn't seen very many girls in my age group the whole time, I passed maybe 2-3 on the bike (didn't get passed by any on the bike) and I passed maybe 4-5 girls on the run (obviously none passed me) so I figured they were ahead of me out of the swim and stayed ahead of me. Or I was going to win? No such luck. ;) I finished 9/47 Females 25-29 Not bad!! I was 180/608 Overall.
Here are some more stats, because numbers are fun:
Out of 600+ finishers, here is how I did in each leg
Swim Split: 301th (about as Mid-Pack as you can get)
Bike Split: 299th (I'm clearly about equal on my swim and bike)
Run Split: 118th (Yay!)
I wish they had more of a breakdown for how I did among the women, but they don't. Those numbers would be more impressive obviously!
I have several pictures but I don't have them downloaded yet. I'll post them soon. I only saw one official race photographer but it was right when I was taking a drink of water on the bike. D'oh!
In summary, yay. I'm really happy with the race. I felt great the whole time and when it was over I wanted to do it all over again. I not only had a blast but I felt strong and confident in all parts of the race. I loved it. I am definitely in the right sport.
Thanks for reading!!