Ok so the morning was typical. The alarm goes off far too early. No one is stirring but the crazy triathlon people, but for some reason, this wake up didn't seem too bad. I didn't have to get Tracey until 6 am, so I set my alarm for 5:15 and that was probably still too much time. I could have slept 10 more minutes. Darn!
We got to the venue at 6:45, which was plenty of time to pick up our packets, set up our transition area, and be ready for our 7:45 start. Just so everyone knows. This was a sprint tri that consisted of a 1/4 mile swim, 7 mile bike and 3.1 mile run.
We actually got set up quite early and walked around and looked for a few other friends doing the event. Everyone seemed so at ease and I know I wasn't nearly as nervous as I usually am. I was calm, in fact, until right before the race started and then I got some butterflies.
|Tracey, Fellow Crossfitters (mother and daughter) Anne and Katelyn, Me|
The swim course wasn't that long (1/4 mile) and I knew I could finish no problem especially after the long swim at The Dam Tri. There were only 5 waves. Men <40, Men >40, Women <40 (me), women >40 (Tracey) and late registrants. So I was starting 5 minutes ahead of Tracey and Anne, but with Katelyn.
The start always comes on so quickly. It's like, wait, wait, wait around and then bam you're going. I thought I got into a good rhythm right away. I was actually swimming straight and was focused on lengthening my stroke. I thought I was doing so well, but I was definitely behind a LOT of swimmers. Still I knew there were plenty behind me and I wasn't going to let the swim get into my head.
Swim: 9:22 4th of 13 (age group)
|I always miss getting a picture before the remove the buoys|
As always, no matter how the swim goes, I was just so damn happy to be out of the water. I didn't feel tired or anything, but when I go to my transition area, I was so shaky. I really focused on going as quickly as possible and didn't feel like I wasted any time. Still, it was slower than I would have liked.
T1: 2:12 3rd of 13 (age group)
I just kept thinking on the bike that I had to go as fast as I could. At this point I really started thinking of the lead I'd been given on the 40 and over group. I knew Tracey would pass me (no doubt), but my goal became to keep her behind me as long as possible. It wasn't anything against Tracey or trying to beat her (I never could). It was just a friendly motivator to try and push myself.
I honestly thought I did really well on my bike. The only thing I might have been able to do better was my descents. I'm still so timid going downhill and couldn't help but be on the brakes more than I would have liked. Let me just say something though.... You crash a bike going 30mph and wind up in a ditch with 2 broken bones and let me know how you feel about hills. So I'll cut myself some slack. Post traumatic crash disorder. Yup!
Anyway, I kept hoping and praying I wouldn't see Tracey (at least not before the turn around). It was an out and back course so I hoped I wouldn't see her until the "back" portion. Sure enough just past the turn around, (about mile 4 for me) I saw Tracey. Of course we cheered each other on and I pedaled harder. I figured Tracey was about 3 minutes (or so) behind me and I had to move it.
The course really has one major hill (but obviously on an out and back you do it twice). I just wanted to get through that last hill and be on my way. The climbs were slow for me (about 6 mph) and I was so mad that I'm not a better climber. Still I was passing a few people (mostly guys... slow guys) and only got passed by one female (that I can recall). I wound up passing her when she dropped her chain on a hill and she still came back and caught me again. Damn her. Hah! Oh well, the bike was over.
Bike: 30:17 (13.87 mph) 4th of 13 (age group)
I made it back to transition and was ready to try to kick ass on this run. Again, I moved as quickly as possible through transition. I need to get my Yankz back in my shoes because tying shoes during transition just takes too much time. I got them tied, grabbed my headband and was on my way.
T2: 1:39 10th of 13 (age group) <--- my lowest ranking... must go faster
As I was leaving for my run the clock time read 53:XX and I figured I was seeing the top male finishers. I made a mental note to notice when I saw the first female.
I started off the run feeling pretty darn sluggish. My ankles hurt (as they normally do in the beginning of runs), but I promised myself I would push myself. I was NOT going to give myself permission to dog it. There was no sense trying to keep Tracey behind me anymore (I knew I'd be seeing her soon), but I still wanted to be as strong as possible.
I'm not sure when Tracey passed me. Maybe around .5 miles to .75 miles. I got passed by a lot of people on the run including the girl that passed me on the bike (you know, then I passed her when she dropped her chain, then she passed me again). She must have had a SLOW T2 time. Anywho, it's so discouraging to have people just go blazing by me especially when I was working as hard as I could.
I focused on my breathing and not my watch. I figured as long as my breathing was labored I was working hard. I'd check my watch for distance but not speed. Plus there were mile markers on the course, so that helped keeper my eyes off my watch too. I just wanted to make it to the turn around point. Once I made it there I felt like I was home free.
Remember my mental note to self? Well I don't remember when I saw the first female, but I started counting them. I got to number 9 and then I saw Tracey. I was so labored in my breathing I couldn't really say much, but I knew Tracey was pretty darn close to the top ladies. Remember those young folks? Well they had a 5 minute lead on her so I knew there was a chance she could be near the top of her heat and her age group. I told her to go for it because not too many runners were ahead of her. I wanted her to know that she should give it her all (not that she wouldn't but... you know what I mean).
I made it to the turn around after what felt like an eternity, but I knew I was keeping up a good pace for me. I wouldn't allow myself to let up. Keep pushing, is all I kept telling myself. I passed a few more men (old and slow) and got passed by a lot of REALLY young men (who must have started in the late registration heat). Like I said, I got passed by a handful of ladies, but most of that happened in the beginning of the run and not the latter portion. Regardless of how anyone else was doing, I know I was doing the best I could.
I finally saw the 3 mile mark and had just .1 miles to go. I rounded the corner and heard Tracey there cheering for me. I started to pick up my pace for a strong finish.
See that guy back there in the green shirt? Yeah well as soon as he stepped onto the gravel, I heard him picking it up and I had no idea HE was actually a HIM (I couldn't see behind me after all). All I knew is someone was coming behind me and obviously kicking it in. I was all "hell no, I will not be beat in the last 50 yards by an age grouper" and started sprinting as fast as I could. Everyone was cheering really loud since we had both kicked it in. He wound up passing me and I was relieved that he was a HE, but I still kept sprinting as did he. I finished maybe 2 steps behind him and he gave me a huge smile and a high five. I thanked him for pushing me to a kick ass finish.
Run: 30:08 (9:43 pace) 9th of 13 (age group) <--- If I was a better runner, I probably could have placed
Total: 1:13:36 7th of 13 (age group) 103 of 196 overall
I'm not happy about my placement, but nor am I sad. It's just is what it is. It's not great, it's not horrible. It's almost exactly average. As per usual, I know I gave it my all and I can never ask for more than that. I'm disappointed that I'm not a better athlete, but I can only do what my body will allow. If it were about head or heart I know I'd be "on the podium" every time. Alas it is not and I just have to be ok with that. I am ok with that.
Tracey wound up rocking (as per usual) and came in as the 7th overall female and 2nd in her age group. Also she was FIRST out of the water for her wave. Yep, FIRST!!!! Congrats Trace!
Anne and another CrossFitter Kathie finished 1st and 2nd, respectively, in their age group. So it was very blingy for CrossFitters on triathlon day.
|me, Tracey, Kathie, Anne, Katelyn|
I will do this race again as it's a nice short course and it's easy to get to the venue. I also appreciate the laid back style. So I'll see you again next year Butler Y Sprint Tri.