I showed up to the race site late (eh, what else is new - at least I got there before the gun went off). Forgot my bike pump, couldn't find one in transition, and initially opted for a full-sleeve wetsuit when it was clearly too warm for it. The morning was off to a stellar start. I eventually got myself and my stuff together, decided my tires were fine as they were (like I had a choice) and swapped out wetsuits for a sleeveless.
The swim (750m):
Jen - you would've been proud. I lined up at the front, pretending to be a fast swimmer (ha!). I was hoping my mad dashing skills from the beach into the water at the start would be enough to catapult me to to the lead pack, but alas, within 10 seconds of starting to swim, I was run over by 1/2 of the 30-39s in my wave. It still forced me to swim hard, and judging by the violence of this particular swim, I managed to stick with the pack because I never had clear water. I managed to meet my goal (under 14) and I also stayed focused the whole time (granted, it was a short swim, so that's not all that impressive).
You'd think I'd be better at this. 2:25.
The Bike (18 miles):
SO much fun! The sprint course was actually the last bit of the old Half course, done backwards - it was great, I knew where the hills and the turns were and what to expect. And it wasn't a technical course, so you could really just get into your aerobars and be aggressive. I raced on feel - no idea what my heartrate was or my average speed during the race. Hmm, not much else to say about the bike, except it was over really quickly!
49:23 (first in my AG?!??!!)
Nope, still total crap. And this time I don't even have the "I got stuck in my wetsuit" excuse. 1:33.
The Run (3.1 miles -of hell-):
The first mile was uphill. Bleck. I knew it was coming because I saw the people doing the 1/2 run up that same hill THREE times during their run the day before. I can't tell you how many times I mentally patted myself on the back for choosing the sprint, and thus choosing to run up that hill only once. Mile 2 wasn't pretty either, but at least it was flatter/even a little downhill. Ha, even one of my fellow Z'rs said to me after the race "well, you looked like crap at the turnaround, but by the time you passed me a little while later, you looked better." I knew there was some fast girls behind me and if I wanted that wine and tote bag, I was going to need to move - FAST! Mile 3 was downhill - but waaaay longer than I remember that section of the course being. I just kept telling myself to suck it up and reminded myself that I may be hurting now, but it's better than being irritated with myself after the race, knowing that I slowed down and didn't try my best. You know that old saying, "Pain is Temporary, Pride is Forever" (that was totally printed on my XC team shirt sophomore year of high school). I crossed the finish line, having not been passed by any girls (and very few guys) on either the bike or the run. That in itself, even if I didn't win anything, was something I was pleased with. And that my mile splits for the run got faster with each mile (I guess it didn't hurt that the last mile was downhill).
Final time: 1:28:39. Even better, I met all of my goals - place in the top 10 overall (just eeked that out with 10th), and win wine (2nd in my AG).
I haven't done alot of short course racing these past few years, and I forgot how much fun they can be. There's just something freeing about doing a race short enough that you can go all out and yet not implode. In fact, you are encouraged to go all out. It's like doing the 100m sprint in elementary school gym class - there's no pacing necessary, just go as fast as you can and see how you measure up.
Happy racing to everyone this weekend! I've already gotten my long run for the week out of the way and I look forward to having one "lazy" day this weekend, with my friend Chelsea visiting from Korea. DSW shoe store, watch out - we are coming!