Hello all! Sorry for the delay with this - I've actually been *gasp* working quite a bit today! It's a good thing but definitely puts a cramp in my blogging life though! :)
So here is a rundown on how the race went on Sunday. Excuse my lack of pictures... I went solo to this event and really didn't even know anyone there - none of my usual racing buddies were there, nor was my family. Boo. So I did my best with self-portraits but they left a lot to be desired.
I basically didn't sleep Saturday night because I was wound up from Julia's party and nervous about having to get up so early to get her to my parents' house before getting to the race. I actually got up at 4:40am, got dressed, got my bike on my car, loaded my bag and quietly moved Julia from her bed to the car. She did not wake up the entire way to my parents' house. Whew!
Got to the site around 6:15am so I had over an hour to get set up and situated. It was pretty foggy and really humid- like a wet blanket actually - but once the sun came up it improved slightly.
This series (http://www.trekwomenstriathlonseries.com) is great for first-time triathletes so there were a lot of women there who hadn't experienced the transition area before. I highly recommend this to any woman who wants to try a triathlon - they do a fantastic job!
Racking the bikes is always interesting when you are in tight quarters. Well, the woman next to me was so upset that some of the bikes were racked "wrong" and that she didn't have enough room for her stuff. She actually chased down one of the other women in our row and made her MOVE HER STUFF to the outside of the rack so she had more room. Um, really? Way to be a b*tch about it! Seriously, I should have said something but I wasn't in any kind of mood to get into an arguement at 6:30am. Turns out she was in my age group too - more on that later...we'll call her Bike Rack Girl.
Here is self-portrait #1 - gosh, I don't look tired at all, do I?
We made our way down to the beach and there was a beautiful hot air balloon getting ready to launch! It looked a lot like this one:
via Google images
I think it was purely coincidence but cool none the less. Wish I had my camera but don't think it would have survived the swim! Anyway...
I was in the 3rd wave so I started about 8 minutes behind the first wave. I made my way to the front of the pack, to the right and who is to my left but Bike Rack Girl. Well, then...
We started and I took off like a bat out of hell! Bike Rack Girl hit my feet/leg twice at the beginning and I promptly kicked as hard as I could and she was history. HA! That's what you get for being so mean to other people!! So there! Meanie-bo-beanie :)
I got out so fast and never looked back - no one was even near me the entire swim! I ended up catching many of the women in the wave before me, and quite a few from the 1st wave. Needless to say, I was thrilled. Stayed close to the buoys, never strayed off course and killed it!
Swim time: 12:34 (cool split, huh?)
We had to run quite a ways up the beach, over a road, up another hill, into transition. I quickly got my bike gear on and headed out. T1 time: 2:08 - like I said, a long ways from the water!
The bike mount was actually at the bottom of a gravel, muddy hill heading straight up. Not ideal to say the least...more on that later too.
Once I got going, I felt like I was flying. There were quite a few rolling hills but lots of open road too. It was a nice course through downtown Howell and neighborhoods. I was passing people left and right which felt great. I kept a good cadence throughout and pushed up the hills as hard as I could. We did 2 laps so I continued to pass people - not one person passed me (including Bike Rack Girl and her "fancy" bike) which has never happened!
Bike time: 36:12 (19.8mph)
As I head back to transition, I am unclipping to dismount and thanks to the mud and gravel on the downhill and I completely bit it and fell directly on my left knee.
OUCH! I even took out the "Dismount Here" sign too for good measure. I have never fallen like that- my left clip was stuck and my wheel slipped out from under me. Luckily I wasn't really moving or it could have been worse. I staggered to my feet - it actually really hurt - and the 2 police officers standing there said there was medical help if I needed it. I thanked them and said I'd be alright...as I hobbled to my transition spot. I could barely walk at this point - thinking, 'how the hell am I going to run?! My knee is bleeding and I can't move it!'
I'm guessing adrenaline took over because as soon as I got my running shoes on, I felt ok!
T2 time: 1:15 (not bad considering the fall)
Of course, we went straight up a hill right out of transition - not great for me with a bum knee but I made it up. Then we turned and went along the lake through a cemetery! Kinda creepy but it was a shaded path with some woodchip sections. I was trucking along, feeling pretty good and continuing to pass people! There was one nasty, small but straight up hill at about 1.5 miles in where I had to walk (boo)- I just couldn't muster up the strength to get up it. We then went around a 2nd time, and I got passed by a 28 year old girl (who was in the wave behind me so she was hauling ass big time), back up the nasty hill (again, I walked) and then into the finish.
I was able to finish strong and felt great overall. My knee didn't hurt at all - I think it was more numb than anything!
Run time: 24:12 (pace: 7:48)
Final time: 1:16:23
After we finished, I got my medal and they gave us free freshwater pearl earrings! Nice huh?! What a treat - I loved it.
And since I finished ahead of a lot of people (which never happens), I got a massage too - loved that too. Lots of good food and music and it was a fun atmosphere.
Here I am with my earrings:
I waited around for the results, talked with Rob and my parents on the phone and then went to collect my stuff.
Now for the best part... turns out I was 5th OVERALL!!! And I was 2nd in my age group! I'm not sure how the woman who beat me in my age group did so, as I never saw her on the course and I heard them announce her finishing long after I was done. My guess is she was in a later heat, but I'm not sure why. Regardless, I was thrilled! Here is the leaderboard link on www.active.com
Bike Rack Girl? Well, she finished almost 9 minutes behind me - and I'm sure she was pissed about it! Ha.
I have no idea where my medal ended up - it's somewhere but is eluding my camera right now. They are shipping my age group award this week so I'll post a picture of it when I get it.
Overall I'm really glad I raced even though I was exhausted and debated about even going. It made me feel a bit better about my 70.3 this weekend too - I'm ready to attack it!
5 days to go...
Thanks for all of your support - I appreciate it!!