Yep, another du done for the year.
Obviously this race wasn't what I had planned for or expected. The race director sent out an email on Saturday morning with the sad (for some, like me) news that the swim was being cancelled due to poor water quality. I was mostly peeved because I had really wanted this race to be full on prep for Hawaii 70.3, which is in about 5 weeks. Oh, and because the swim is the one sport where I tend to be in the front part of the middle of the pack. But my bad attitude wasn't going to change anything, and only make me miserable, so I got over it and moved on.
Race morning came dark and early, as usual. Everything was on schedule until I got about 10 minutes drive from my house, started walking through my race in my head and realized I had left my nutrition sitting on the kitchen counter. Back home, back on the road. I still arrived at the race in plenty of time, parked in my usual spot on the other side of the park from transition, and hoofed it over to set up my bike spot. I went to grab my USAT card and license so I could check in, and that's when I realized my license was still in my car. Gah. Waited in line to check in anyway, just in case they didn't require me to show my ID (hey, it happens sometimes). No luck. Grabbed my bike, did a nice easy pedal back to the car, got the license, back in line. Checked in.....and my packet was missing. So now I get a new number, a sprint number because that's all they had. Now that the flurry of mishaps is (hopefully) over, I settle into the pre-race stuff. Thanks go to both my better half and Molly for helping me get my numbers and stuff set up quickly and settle my frazzled nerves.
Just enough time for a little warm up jog with Molly, chat with JoLynn a bit, and then head over to the start line.
I was in the last wave to start, and eventually took off for the run that replaced the 1.5k swim. It never ceases to amaze me how fast women my age are. Zing....the fasties were gone. I tried to keep my head and run my own race and that first mile went by pretty quickly. Into T1 for a speedy transition onto the bike. This was my first time racing with a power meter on my bike and I had some good guidelines from my coach about where I should be. I was having a good ride, passing quite a few people from the previous waves, keeping an occasional eye on my average power. Then about mile 5 or 6 I see a guy standing on the side of the road, obviously trying to change his tire. Or he had been trying and now was just standing there looking anxious. I felt bad for him and asked him what he needed. A CO2 gun. Okay, I have that, so I stopped. Well, how much of an ass would I have been to ask and not stop?!?!
He started inflating his tire, except that he hadn't seated the tire on the rim yet. I groaned inwardly, waiting for him to get things together. Finally I told him I'd catch up with him at the finish to get the gun back. And silently hoped and hoped that I wouldn't get a flat myself. Then I set off again to try and pass some of the people who had passed me while I was standing there. Into the wind, up hills, down hills, I eventually made my way back to transition. And to a bike course PR, even with the stop.
Another quick transition and out to run a little 10k. In heat we hadn't felt all year. While I suppose it was a good preview for what I'll face in Hawaii, albeit without the humidity I'll find there, it was a shock to the system for sure. I tried to stick with my hydration/nutrition/pacing plan but by the last couple of miles, I was definitely fading a bit. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and eventually came down the finish chute and wrapped up my third du of the year.
I cooled down, grabbed some food.....do orange slices ever taste better than after a hot race?.....and went to pack up my stuff. I asked Jeff whether I should try to find the guy with my CO2 gun, or just chalk it up as lost and head home. No sooner had I asked than we arrived at my bike to find my CO2 gun in my helmet. And as I was packing up, the guy I had loaned it to came by and thanked me again. He was so grateful to have made it in from the bike and finish his race. I just hoped he'd remember and pay it forward some day.
So I finished up the day with a bike/run course PR, some good karma, and some heat training for Hawaii. Oh, yeah, and a reminder to myself to have someone slap me the next time I mention signing up for a race that will be run in hot and humid conditions. I may be melted into a puddle in just about 5 weeks. Oy.