I signed up for this race on a whim a couple of weeks ago after just a couple swim and bike workouts, and just wanted to do it for fun. I am in the midst of ultra training and ran 16 miles the day before the race so this definitely wasn’t a main focus. But still, I was really excited to do my first tri in a couple of seasons!
It’s been kind of a rough week for me, physically and mentally. I had a couple big trail runs Thursday and Saturday – which went ok except that on both of those runs I took big falls. Same kind of fall both times - caught my foot and straight up belly-flopped onto the trail. No harm done but I was shaken up. Anyway, a bit of family stress in the mix and I was pretty worn out. Saturday night we went to an Avett Brothers concert and didn’t get to bed till about midnight. So worth it though, they are amazing. I knew I would be a bit tired for the race but it was just for fun so who cares!
The real excuse came on Sunday morning when I woke up.
Barf. It was POURING. At 7:00, when I was supposed to be leaving the house, I was sitting on the couch in my robe watching the rain pour down.
I had pretty much talked myself out of going. I texted Emily and Amy and told them I probably wasn’t going and that they shouldn’t bother coming to cheer. Finally, about a half hour later, at the last possible minute I decided Fuck it! Let’s do this. I told Zach - guess I don’t have to bother with sunscreen!
We drove up to Vancouver and the rain had let up a bit. I set up my transition area, using a plastic drop cloth in place of a towel as a base and threw a small towel over top of my stuff. I listened to the pre-race meeting and we all walked a half-mile up the river to the start.
Swim: 1/2 mile
The water was cold, but this swim course was the awesomest. Like I said, we walked 1/2 mile up to the start. Meaning we swam a half mile downstream in the Columbia. On the walk I talked to a guy who did the race last year, and said my swim would probably take 5 minutes less than normal. Whaaa? I got in the water and it was very cold. My wave was second and not that large.
Off we went! I felt really good the whole time and could tell I was moving fast. I wasn’t pushing hard, but I was breathing every two strokes so I must have been working. I didn’t bump into anyone or freak out or anything. I had no trouble sighting since we were just along the shore and there were swimmers all around me. Oh and I could see Zach the whole time, walking along the shore! I even waved once.
Swim time: 12:42
For SURE 5 minutes faster than normal, if not more. Yay current!
I saw Emily and Amy by my spot in transition. So nice of them to come cheer for me!! I was really quick in transition and felt good.
Bike: 12.5 miles
The bike course was super flat. The road was wet but there were only a couple turns so it wasn’t much of a concern. I haven’t been on my road bike much so I figured I wouldn’t be terribly fast but wanted to push it as much as I could. My speedometer said 16-18 mph for the most part which was good. I was having a lot of fun and all the athletes were cheering each other on.
The friendliness ended briefly when I was passed by a group of women who were quite bunched up. I know that happens sometimes, but after they passed me they kept right on riding together. WTF? I hollered out “Are we passing or drafting, ladies?” and it looked like a couple of them tried to move past of fall back. But for the most part they stuck together. Real close too, very intentional. I was pissed. So after a couple minutes I geared down and sped up, standing up to gain speed. I yelled out “on your left!” and proceeded to lecture the half dozen women about the rules of triathlon as I passed them. I was friendly enough, I started out my monologue with “I don’t want to be a dick, but…” I was pretty fired up so I rode fast for a while after that, but several of the women passed me back later. At least most of them weren’t drafting as much. I didn’t see a single official on the course which I thought was a weakness of the event. But still, official or no, stick to the rules. This applies to everyone, especially people who think they are faster than me.
It as a great ride though and I didn’t let that get to me. I did my best to let them know the rules, but then I moved on. It’s such a short ride I was not too tired toward the end. It started raining again with a couple miles to go.
Bike time: 43:19 (17.3 mph)
More cheers from my crew in T2 and I was in and out. I wished that I had put quick laces in my running shoes because tying my shoes took some effort. The rain really started picking up.
The run was tough. My legs felt like lead for the first mile or so. I felt simultaneously like I was running through molasses and like I was working way too hard. I focused on picking off women ahead of me. I assumed that they were all part of the drafting pack and felt very determined to pass them back. There’s no cheating in the run! I got passed by two women, a super leggy and fast 25 year old and a ridiculously athletic 46 year old. Plus a number of guys. I passed quite a few people too. My first mile was 8:10 and my second mile was 7:55. Right about where I hoped to be! I knew I was doing really good and was getting close to the finish. I saw one girl who I know was one of the drafters and barely passed her with a few hundred yards from the finish. I said mean things in my head. I sprinted to the finish with cheers from Emily, Amy, and Zach!
Run time: 24:32 (8:10 pace)
Total time: 1:23:08
A sprint distance PR! I was super psyched. I was tired but not too bad! I got a medal and a souvanier water bottle too then met up with my fans.
The girls had to take off and Zach went to get the car. I walked over to the results area and saw that I had placed in my age group!!! When Zach pulled up I told him to park and we would wait for the award ceremony. It was absolutely dumping rain and we stood around for about a half hour. It was worth it though! I got a bad ass trophy for placing 2nd in the F30-34 AG. I even got to stand on a podium!
Official results: 1:28:03
I was SO cold and wet, so of course the post-race priority was a long, hot shower. Then we walked down to the pizza place and ate a ton of food while watching the soccer game. I followed that off with the perfect race-day treat: a 2 hour nap. We went over to Deana and Dana’s house for dinner and I got to rock the race numbers and boots:
It was a really great day. Not sure if I’ll do any more tri stuff this summer so I’m glad I sucked it up and completed this race. Now I’m back to trail running until September!
Thanks so much for reading and for all the support!