My overly-detailed results are posted in the previous post. This will be the story of how I won my age group!
I woke up around 4:30. I was already totally packed, so I got dressed, got a mini bagel with chocolate almond butter, a banana, and my water. Hit the road just before 5:00 with Patrick. Got to the tri, checked in, set up transition, and had about an hour to kill. Went to the bathroom, grabbed coffee, and watched the sunrise over the water.
I didn’t warm up. It was chilly out, and I decided that staying in my sweats was the best idea.
The sun came up, and I stripped down to get ready.
One final photo with my sherpa/driver/support team/coach/boyfriend…
… and I was off!
All of the women started in one wave. I really, really wanted to beat all of them. Swimming is my strength, and I wanted to take advantage of that.
I started out fighting my way to the front of the pack. Traffic was pretty bad. At one point, a girl swam halfway over top of my. I planted my foot on her chest (that’s how far up me she swam! ) and pushed off. I didn’t want to kick her, but I had to get her off of me.
After freeing myself from traffic, I passed the first women. I stayed there and caught a few people from the wave before us. They stared the waves really far apart, which was nice, because I didn’t have to dodge too much traffic. The current must have been kicking, based on what I felt and the finishing times of everyone else.
I exited the water and was really happy!
There are literally half a dozen pictures of me exiting the swim. That photographer must have though I was good looking! (or maybe I just exited solo, not in a big crowd of people, haha)
This transition includes 100-200 yards of running in the sand – it feels so long! They also don’t have volunteers keeping people out of the athlete’s way. I decided to be mean and tell some of them there was still another wave of athletes coming.
T1 went well. I need to practice putting on my bike shoes quickly.
My bike mount went smoothly. I ran in my bike shoes out to the mount line.
I took off on the bike and was still in first. I had really wanted to do well on the swim, so I was happy. I wanted to average over 18mph, so I set my computer to show average speed and just cranked it.
I went back and forth with a couple of women. I tried my hardest on the hills (yeah, we don’t have those in South Florida – there were two bridges, probably about equal in length, but one was a small climb and one was a BIG ONE! and we did each bridge twice), and on the downhills! I stayed on my big ring except when I climbed the big bridge the second time. It felt pretty good, and I was happy with my speed.
During the first 1/2 mile, I saw a girl and decided I was going to run at her pace. She was 23, so not in my AG, and that was cool. . I ended up passing her, and she caught me again just after mile 1. We decided to run together. I knew I needed it, because I went out and did my first mile in like 8:20, which is super fast for me. We chatted and kept our pace going. Mile 2 felt really long.
I wasn’t really tired, my breathing was great, and my legs felt fine. I could tell I could push it harder, but because my best 5k was a 9:05 pace, I didn’t want to push harder if I was running 8:20s. Running buddy got 2nd in her age group, and she kept me going.
We picked up the pace with 1/2 mile left, and really kicked it with 1/4 mile left.
I had NO IDEA I could run that fast!!
And then, the best surprise of the day… I WON my age group! By 2 minutes! NO WAY!
So, thanks to Patrick for being wonderful and taking care of me 🙂
We celebrated with sushi and a nap!
I’m taking today off, except hashing. So an easy 2.5 mile run is in my future. I really wanted to do a recovery ride last night, but it was already dark and Patrick was already at work. I wasn’t about to head out into the darkness alone – at least not yet.