It was nearly an identical performance - which is not what I intended, considering I have spent all year practicing shorter races. and swimming.
The swim went okay. My ankle did not hurt although it did stiffen towards the end.
I think I did a good job sighting, the buoy was always where I expected it to be. I bi-lateral breathed as necessary. I was hoping to draft, but within the pandemonium of the start, I was too busy getting repeatedly kicked in the face to remember that plan.
Things were settled by the first buoy and then I did manage to catch a draft to the second buoy. But the course is a rectangle so this really didn't help me much.
Looking back, I didn't really push myself in the swim. It's still always less about swimming and more about surviving.
Last years swim time = 29:47.
This years swim time = 28:41.
There is rumor that the swim course was long. This was the rumor last year, too though - although the winning swim time (by the same girl) was a whole minute longer. But the only thing that matters is your placement out of the water - I was 31st - which means I cant retire Masters class yet.
Last years T1 = 1:48.
This years T1 = 1:54.
This transition area is quite unfair because it's really big. Some people get to run in / out, grab their bikes and go, while others have to grab their bikes and run in / out in their cleats. Like me.
I somehow acquired this fancy amino acid hydration supplement. In my mind, since it is fancy and the bottle swears to have magical hydration effects, it is awesome. For this reason, I save it for race day.
Mid-way through the bike, I notice my stomach starting to cramp. This is a phenomenon that plagues me in every single olympic distance triathlon. I have blamed everything: lake water, gels, over-hydration, heat.....but yet, I have never considered that maybe, my super-cool amino acid drink was the culprit.
Feeling like an idiot for not connecting the dots, I stopped drinking. I ended the bike less bloated but more thirsty.
Last years T2 = 1:46.
This years T2 = 1:36.
I loosened my bike shoes before getting off my bike, which was a mistake considering how far I then had to run with my bike. Given my lack of coordination, it should be no surprise that I tripped. BUT, luckily, my peddle caught my knee and I was able to slide on onto my bike instead of falling clumsily on my face.
It was an unintended moment of grace.
Followed by the much longer, less graceful moment of dealing with my bib-belt.
The plan was to grab it and put it on as I left transition.
This was a plan I remembered!
So I grabbed it.
And I tried to put it on. And tried. And tried.
A few minutes later, it was finally on, I dashed off for my run.
But only to the first water station.
The race started late (past 7:30am) and the temperature at this point was over 90-degrees. Not only was I thirsty, I was hot. Very hot.
I took every cup available to me and poured them over my head.
And then I "dashed" to the next water station. I spent probably close to 30-seconds at every water station, gulping water and pouring water over my head. Then with soaked shoes, I sloshed to the next station. Sometimes we look back at races and think, "well, it wasn't really that bad."
Nope, not this time - it really was that bad. I only smiled if I saw a camera.
Last years run = 47:21.
This years run = 46:27.
I was hoping for sub-42. On labor day, I did a 31-bike ride, bricked with 6.1 miles @ 6:45. I really thought maybe it was doable. And maybe it is doable, on a different day with a different heat-index.
After the race I was bummed about it, but I more happy just to be done and in the presence of lots of water, fans, misters, and my kids.
Final time = 2:26:30, 5th female, 3rd AG (1st AG since 2 of the top 3 were in my age group and you cant double dip. This is one of the benefits of being in a competitive age group).
I am going to try the olympic triathlon one more time - when its not almost 100-degrees outside. Until then, its trail racing season so if you need me, I will be on a mountain (starting with the Estrellas in two weeks).
Or Masters, because I just can't let swimming beat me.