I hate it when a race gets off to a shaky start and I am already stressed out and cranky before I even start moving. Does that ever happen to you?
It started out decent enough even though I looked like crap at 5:00 a.m. on the drive up. Wait! Am I 45 or 65? She needs a shopping cart to go with those bags.
The sun was rising and it appeared to be a very good day to swim, then bike, then run.
We got to Loveland a full hour early just to have time to set up. Little did we know that everyone is more anal and organized than we are. Apparently 600 people had gotten there at 3:00 a.m. or spent the night in a tent in the transition area. Parking was slim pickings.
We wheeled our bike up to transition and promptly realized there was a huge line just to get into the transition area. I have never seen this before.
I really wanted time to set up my transition area and take a dump, so I was kind of stressed about the line. I did smile, however, when I saw this guy wearing his robe. Why didn’t I think of that? I love people who don’t take themselves so seriously.
We finally got into transition and there was nowhere left to rack our bikes. Some people were setting up along the fence, so we did that.
Is Ken putting on a condom? Not the time or place.
That is, until lady-in-charge (LIC) came and told us to rack our bikes or we would get a penalty. I’m not big on penalties. I need all the help I can get in races. So, I did the unthinkable and moved someone's bike over so I could fit my stuff.
Finally, wetsuit on, we were ready to head to the lake. We had 15 minutes until our 45-49 swim time of 6:42 a.m.
That’s when LIC visited me again and told me that I needed to plug the end of my aero bars and she was going to WAIT RIGHT THERE until I did it. Somehow my plug had come out. I ran over to the maintenance guys and they literally shaved off a wine cork for me to use. Perfect because I love wine.
We got to the lake and realized our age group was already in the water. I zipped up my wetsuit and the gun went off. Just like that.
Mark is telling us how much shrinkage he has once he starts swimming.
The death walk. Me on the far left. Does everyone's butt look horrendous in these suits?
Me on the left doing the doggy paddle.
I could not find my groove on the swim. Probably because it was a mile and I hadn’t trained much and my brain got the best of me. “I hate this.” “Why do I do these races?” “I don’t know if I can do this.” “I am going to drown. Like right now.”
We made a left turn directly into the sun and I could see nothing. I just tried to settle in and follow whoever was in front of me. I got kicked, swam over and I think I even lost my virginity. I kept telling myself to be patient, that I would be loving life when I got on the bike.
1500 meter (.9 mile) swim: 31:00 minutes.
Much faster than I expected or than I felt.
I cruised into transition, determined to have a fast T1. My transition times suck the big one, so I really wanted to prove to myself I could get out of there quick. While wheeling my bike out I fell and my bike came crashing down on my knee. It felt unpleasant and I’m pretty sure if there were any sailors around I offended them with the string of obscenities that flew out of my mouth. I was out of there quick – in 1:34! Progress!
After about two miles on the bike and when my heart rate settled, I downed a GU and a bunch of water. I started hauling ass on the bike and felt like my groove and energy returned. The bike route was simply gorgeous. I felt like I made up quite a bit of time on the bike and passed a lot of people. Had another GU at about 20 miles.
24 mile bike: 1:09 – 20.8 mph
Transition 2 went off like clockwork (1:05). This is the first time I’ve done a triathlon and not worn socks for the bike or run to save time. The only issue I had with that was that with every step in my shoes there was a loud fart sound, but that is perfect for me and kept me somewhat entertained.
The run was a grind. That’s all I can say. It was about 85 degrees. I just got through one step at a time. I will say that because my legs were so tired from the bike, I kept trying to practice leaning forward and letting gravity do the work (Chi Running stuff). My legs were just along for the ride. I think that this was the first time my form really felt “right” and I didn’t feel like I was efforting as much as normal.
5.2 mile run: 8:27 min/mile pace
As I came to the finish, my friend Leigh was cheering me on, got close t me and said, “Show me your tits!” (I have the best friends). What an excellent way to end this race. So, I flashed the crowed. Kidding.
Total time: 2:27. 6/19 in age group. 53/230 overall female.
This was supposed to be an Olympic distance, but ended up being shorter because of a forest fire in the area. They had to re-route the bike and run routes. I was not going to complain.
In case you were wondering, NO, Ken did not wear a cotton white t-shirt for the race.
Sometimes I wonder why I do races because there is so much planning, training, expenses and angst involved. But, then I remember how much I love the race environment and how amazingly good it feels to push myself to the limit and finish strong. There is NOTHING like it in this world. Except maybe pushing out a baby.
Tomorrow I head back down for the final day of the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference in Denver. Yesterday was very informative and fun. We bloggers may be full of ourselves, but we’re nice. I’ll fill you in soon.
Did you race this weekend?