Mentally I wasn't into it at all heading there thanks to some other issues I have going on right now (that I may or may not end up talking about). I packed up my stuff after work and just hoped that once the gun went off I'd find my racing happy place.
|Totally unplanned superhero pose.|
Set up my transition and got in the water almost immediately after putting on my wetsuit because after what was a cold, rainy week last week has turned into blistering hot, sunny weather.
|Right before the gun - found my smile.|
The gun went off and I actually immediately found feet - a true rarity for me because I swim so slowly. I actually was with a group the entire time. I wish the feet I found had been a bit faster but in general was happy with my swim, especially when I came out of the water right behind my friend Bill. As it turns out I swam a 10:08, which was okay but I really thought I had broken 10 minutes.
T1 went really well - my wetsuit didn't stick (for once), I didn't lose my balance trying to get on my shoes (for once), and I was out of there in a smoking 71 seconds, making for a very happy IronHobbit heading out onto the bike.
The bike course was different than usual thanks to construction on River Road. Instead of doing the usual loop from 86-River Road-73, we went down 86, turned around right at the construction on River Road, and climbed back up the Three Bears. Ooof. I felt great for the first half despite the legs not feeling very spunky and thought I was holding my own, but at the turnaround I saw that Bill was right on my tail. I've been beating him on the bike this year, so that's when I started thinking my ride wasn't that great after all. We hit the Bears and that's when I REALLY feel the effects of basically sitting on my ass for three weeks straight. I get passed by a group like I'm sitting still. When my friend Anna (Bill's daughter) passes me on the bike on the way to T2, I really feel that I had a lousy ride since she's a runner who usually smokes me on the run after I crush her on the bike. As it turns out, I still rode under 39 minutes, which while it's hard to judge because of the changed course, I was second AG and top third women for the ride. (I would find out later that Bill and Anna both had breakthrough days.)
|LOL at this expression.|
So I hit T2 and although I THOUGHT I was really quick, my time was 37 seconds, which is slow for me at this race. Still - a total of 1:48 for both transitions isn't too bad - I try to keep the total under two minutes.
Heading out to the run was really ugly. My legs felt like crap. I just told myself "run as slowly as you need to, just don't walk) - a fine strategy that will still get you a good split in an Ironman (or even Half Ironman), but not in a sprint. Although I beat Anna out of transition she flew by me right away (totally expected even on a good day), but I had hopes I could catch Bill, which I usually can if I don't beat him off the bike. (For the record, Anna is not in my AG and Bill obviously isn't even the right GENDER, but I like using people as "carrots" during sprints to get myself to hurt as much as possible.) I finally see him near the turnaround, but I haven't really put any time into him. I'm so happy to see that cone because the way back is almost all downhill. I'm able to pick up my speed, although I don't pass anyone, but never even SEE Bill. I cross the finish and am SHOCKED to read 1:16 on my watch. Bill usually comes in around 1:20, so I was thinking I had a very slow day.
|Just finishing. (Actual run pics were all blurry because of the low light.)|
After nearly collapsing (as usual), I drink my Osmo while cooling my legs in the lake. Chatting with Bill, I found out that he "felt good" today and as for Anna, she had a major breakthrough ride. Good for her - her entire FAMILY are amazing triathletes. Unfortunately although it was my second-fastest time ever, my age group was really deep and my always-slow swim cost me a podium spot. (3rd place girl was less than a minute ahead but out swam me by a whopping-for-400-meters two minutes). A time that would usually have me second or so landed me 4/6 for my AG. Hat tip to all you fast ladies!
|All smiles post-race.|
And with that, the triathlon season comes to a close. I can't complain about a season that saw me PR all distances I did - Olympic, the Mini-Tri (by a HUGE two minutes), and Ironman by nearly an hour. Next one will be the Florida 70.3 in April. (And if you think I'm terrified of a first triathlon of the season that's a Half, my first OWS of the year, and probably not even wetsuit-legal, you would be correct. This will FORCE me to work out my swim problems.)
Next up, the Mohawk-Hudson marathon. Fall is is for RUNNING!