|Always a beautiful sunrise at Shadow Cliffs|
The last triathlon of the season made me remember why I like triathlon. I didn't have any goals for this race given my shoulder injury, other than to cross the finish line and not damage my shoulder any further. So it was basically a great day considering i did all of those things and more.
I opted to go without a wet suit for this race. I knew the water would be warm enough, I felt confident enough in my swimming to now that I didn't need the extra flotation and I didn't want to tweak my shoulder trying to get in or out of the wet suit. That turned out to be a great idea since the water was really nice and warmer than the air temperature.
When I arrived at transition I set up in the dark in the same spot we had last year which was right next to the bike out/in and the run out. Only I didn't notice in the dark that this year it was only the bike in and the bike out was clear at the other end of transition along with the swim in. Mary Sue pointed this out once the sun came up. Transition was much longer this year so that would mean more distance to cover running through transition for T1 but I would be in a great spot for a fast T2. I didn't worry about it, especially since my largest concern for the day was my shoulder holding up on the bike. The funny part about this race is that it attracts a lot of newbies so all of a sudden that makes me an expert because a, I've done this race before and b, this was my 4th tri. It makes me giggle but I was happy to answer questions and help any first timers. As we started to wander over to the water for a quick warm up a woman approached us and asked if either of us had an extra set of goggles. Of course I did, I always carry an extra set in case one breaks. So I headed back to transition and grabbed the extra set. It was nice to help out someone else on race day and she was very grateful for the loan.
Once we hit the water, I jumped right in, it felt great, so I knew the decision to leave the wet suit at home had been a smart one. I watched the two heats n front of me head out in all of the race day excitement. Last year I had been so nervous about the swim that I lined up towards the back and to the right to stay clear of the faster swimmers. In hindsight that had not been a great idea because there weren't that many super fast swimmers. I got caught up with people doing backstroke and used a lot of extra energy trying to figure out how to get around people. This year I lined up in front and to the left (basically as close to the first turn buoy as I could get). As I waited for out start I watched two women get towed back to shore by lifeguards. This made me sad, to think that their day was over before it had even really started. I reminded myself that I was strong swimmer and not to let the sight of that freak me out. After a quick pep talk we were off. I felt great, my sighting was great and my breathing was going well. But damn if there wasn't a woman next to me doing backstroke! The funny thing is, it appeared that this was her race strategy. Last year the women who were doing it, were doing it because they were tired. This woman looked very confident doing backstroke for the entire swim. I wondered how that would work out for her at the turn buoy and cruised past her. As I made the first I still felt great, the shoulder felt great and I could really feel the difference in my kicking. All of that kicking in masters when I couldn't my use my arms was really paying off. Before I knew it I was approaching land and passing people who decided to start walking through the water (thanks Molly for teaching me to swim until my hands are grabbing the bottom). As I excited the water I started jogging up to transition and removed my cap and goggles and passed a few women who were walking. As I corseted the transition mat I did a little jump for joy when I saw my time! I had shaved 1:34 off of the swim from last year.
I ran through the long transition, put on my shoes, helmet and sunglasses, grabbed my bike and ran through the long transition again. At the mount line I mounted the bike pretty well considering how nervous I was about getting on and off the bike with the new set-up and a 3 cm raised seat. Up the hill and out onto the course. I passed a few people as I tried to settle into the bike and take in some nutrition. I made the rookie mistake of forgetting to open my ziplock bag with my chews in it before the race started. So I struggled for a little bit trying to get to those suckers, but eventually I did. As was the case last year, the bike was cut short to 8.5 miles. I felt like that would be my saving grace on the bike considering how little saddle time I had due to the injury. I wasn't looking to do anything special other than not hurt myself and still have something left for the run. I was passed by a lot of people on the bike course, but I tried to not let it get me down and reminded myself that I had only been on the bike twice prior to the race. The miles ticked a way and as I approached the park I could see runners. Um, I guess they changed the run course this year. I don't remember them mentioning the course had changed, otherwise I probably would have looked at the map. I assumed this also meant that the run course would really be a 5k this year, since last year it was only 2.5 miles. Oh well. i headed down the hill into the park and dismounted without crashing (another win!).
I swapped out my shoes, grabbed my race belt, visor and Gu and headed out on the run. The glorious part about my physical therapy taping my back for posture was that it insured that I could not slouch on the run, this really helped quite a bit. i walked the uphill portions and found a nice steady pace for the flats. Lots of great cheerleaders along the course and I tried to thank them all. There was also lots of great energy from all the women racing. Lots of high-fives and way to go's. This is part of the reason why I love all women events. On one of the last uphill portions my knee started to cramp, right int eh same area that it has on every multi-sport event this year. I'm still attributing it lack of bike training and lack of brick training since I wasn't allowed to do any brick training this time around. Last year I was teary eyed crossing the finish line of my first triathlon. This year I was grateful to be able to race and cross the finish line with what I felt like was a strong finish with all things considered.
Swim 9:43 19/57 AG (-1.34)
T1: 2:17 10/57 AG (-.04)
Bike 37:05 37/57 AG (+2.14)
T2: :41 4/57 AG (-.32)
Run 33:11 24/57 AG (+2.31)
Overall: 1:23:52 26/57 AG (+2.53)
I am super happy with the day I had. I made a huge improvement on the swim and also took times off both transitions. Fourth fastest T2 in my age group! I knew I would add time to the bike with the lack of training, and while I added time to the run the course was also over a half mile longer than last year. This was a great way for me to end the triathlon season and is encouraging news for next year. Especially since I shouldn't hate my bike so much now that I have a proper fit.
Now to focus on running!
|Thank you TriSports for your support!|