This race was seriously top-notch. Despite not getting much more than 500 participants, while the Triathlon National Championship attracts over 1600, this event still is phenomenal. From the swag – tech t-shirts and hats NOT covered in sponsor logos – to the race numbers (see picture below), to the TriTats, to the amazing race facility… you get the point!
After a warm-up jog to and from the port-a-potties – which were plentiful! – I was ready to race. I lined up with Kim near the back, and we were off!
All I wanted to do was average 8:XX pace. I started running, and my wave, women under 50, took off! There were some FAST ladies here. Kim was ahead of me. I looked at my watch and saw 7:20. I backed off, and looked behind me. There were maybe 10 runners behind me. Crazy fast! I made it to the first turnaround pretty quickly, ran back past the start line, and headed to the second turn-around. It seemed pretty long, but before I knew it, I was climbing the infamous hill up into transition. It clmbs 100 ft in the last half mile. It isn’t huge, but it feels like it.
T1 was decent, but I really need to do a few B/R/B/R/B/R/B type workouts. I just don’t function that well in race mode yet. Anyone want to volunteer to guard gear in a parking lot for me? I ran out with my shoes on because of the sharp turn at the Bike Out.
Got out of transition, and started pedaling hard. Soon, I checked my GPS. I was going 15 miles per hour, and I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere despite trying very hard. Eventually, the road flattened and I realized that I was climbing the whole time… that was why I was going slow! So, I pushed. I passed Kim, I hit the turnaround and I got tired. Kim passed me. I reminded myself that my plan was to hammer as hard as I could. I thoroughly enjoyed the long downhill back to transition! I almost wiped out at the second turnaround back by transition. I told myself that the race was half over and I needed to get moving!
I pushed the up-hills and I pushed the downhills. I realized that I was doing those well, but I subconsciously slacked on the flats. So, I made the effort to try even harder on the flats. I passed Kim again, and came into transition a little ahead of her.
My average on the bike was 18.5mph. I’m impressed. I really think that in the short amount of time I’ve been living in Tucson, I’ve had a biking breakthrough.
T2 was quick, but I did sit down to put my shoes on. When I try to put shoes on when my legs are already fatigued, I tend to cramp up in my calves. Sitting down solved this problem!
My plan for the second run was just to give it everything I had left… and it wasn’t much. I ran extra hard on the downhills, knowing that the uphills would slow me down. I did have to remind myself that it was just a 5k left! I didn’t walk up the hill, even though I really wanted to. I could barely breathe coming up to the finish line. My throat felt closed up.
For the first time, I was asked if I needed medical help at the end. I promised I was ok and just needed to catch my breath. I walked around a bit, and then headed home.
I went back for awards and claimed my spot at Worlds!
The awards ceremony was worth attending. It was informative, fun, and inspiring! There were standing ovations for the para-triathletes as well as the 88 year old finisher! There were awards for fastest transition and slowest! For the slowest, they gave out pies and a lawn chair 🙂
All around, it was a great event, and I’m happy with my performance: