First race of the year....done! Woot!
I knew this one was going to be tough. If I had to pick my strength in triathlon, I'd pick swimming. Sad...since that's the portion that lasts the least amount of time. Not that I'm a fast swimmer, maybe just a bit less slow than my bike and run. So with a run-bike-run format, I've eliminated my strength. But that's what this is all about. Testing myself. Getting outside the comfort zone. Seeing what I can do.
The biggest lesson of the day may just be.....don't schedule a race on the day that we set the clocks ahead. *YAWN* I had actually forgotten about the time change and remembered right before I headed to bed. Not that I had to worry about the clocks. They change themselves. But I quickly realized that what I thought was a reasonable hour of 9:30 bedtime was actually 10:30. And 5:30 came around very early.
I had plenty of time to check in, visit the loo, get my transition set up, do my warm up, visit the loo, and get to the start line by 9:00. It was about 50 degrees and I worried about being under dressed in just my shorts and tri top. But then with my aversion to being even a tiny bit cold, I typically tend to overdress. I quickly thought that I should have at least put on my arm warmers, but...too late now! Time to line up and get going. It all worked out in the end though, as I quickly warmed up once we got moving. Only my hands got a little chilled on the bike.
The field was small enough that they decided race morning to send all the women off in one wave. Just looking at some of the ladies there, I knew they'd be speeeeeedy. Everyone, all roughly 40 of us, just sort of gathered by the start line and soon enough we were off. And just like that (*snap*) everyone was gone! Gone I tell you!
The instinct to chase after them was strong, but I tried to follow *my* plan. Ease into the first mile, then go for broke the second mile. The first 2.2 mile run zipped by and then I was running into transition to grab Trinity and head out.
I was a *little* apprehensive and maybe a bit cautious on the bike. Not during the straights/flats, but a little tentative on the turns, a little unsure of which gears I'd need at what times. Being only about my third real outdoor ride on the new bike, I think I did okay. There was some head wind, there was a roller that was a little steeper than I anticipated (hit once on each of the two loops). Mostly there was a lot of empty road due to the small field. Except it seemed almost every time I came to a turn there was traffic. And I'm never sure of the etiquette in passing during a turn. Do I make the pass anyway? Is that considered rude? I don't know. So typically I end up slowing down to stay behind the person during the turn and waiting to pass until the turn is completed. I think I need to learn to plan further ahead and make sure I complete passes before the turn.
All in all, I'm quite pleased with the ride. The bike feels good, pretty comfortable. I think things can only get better as I get more comfortable with gearing, braking, and just the feel of the new bike.
As I approached transition again, I reached down to pull my right foot out of my shoe. A nasty cramp lodged itself in my calf and I quickly let my foot sink back down. The left one came out okay, so I tried the right again and managed to get both feet out and on top of my pedals in time to hop off and complete my 'flying' dismount. It's kind of fun, spectators seem to like to see the flying dismount, and I almost always get some version of "woo hooo.....gooooo!" Ran into transition, chucked (okay, gently put) the bike back on the rack and shoved my feet into my running shoes. Oooof. Legs felt like wood.
Okay, just 2 (.2) more miles! Hang in there! I felt like I was barely moving. Cramp in my side for the first mile, I just kept talking myself into keeping moving. Left heel complaining a little bit. (Note to self...MORE calf stretching!) Ticking off the the steps. Around this turn. Just down that block. And before long I could see the finish line entrance. I heard some cheering for someone who must have been *really* close behind me and tried to get to the finish line as quickly as I could. Somehow I held on and made it. And just like that the first race of the year was already finished.
I missed my "A" goal, but overall I'm quite happy with my performance, finishing in 1:12. I tried something new, I got my first race done on Trinity, and I learned some things! That's a good day racing, kids!
And evidently good enough for 4/8 in my age group and 19/44 for women. I'll take that. Especially since the initial results had me in a funk...listing me as second from the last out of all the women. What the?!?
Next up....international tri in about a month....gulp!