Mission Bay Triathlon: October 2, 2011. Coming off of 2 strong races I really wanted to push myself on this one. Race morning I woke up so amped that I was really nervous. But I seem to race well under those conditions. When I got to transition it was still dark. I got all my gear set up and checked everything over a few times. Once I was satisfied I swung by to chat with Mickey Forrest for a few minutes. It’s always good to see a familiar face in transition.
After leaving transition (it was STILL dark) I had a lot of time to kill. It didn’t do my nerves any favors. We were enjoying the sunrise and watching the first few waves take off before I went for my warm-up run. My guts were in a knot. I ended up with a stomach cramp during my warm-up. Really? In warm-up? Thankfully it went away. After my run I crammed myself it my wetsuit and waited for my wave to hit the water. I was struggling not to throw up I was so full of nerves.
I was pleased about the swim course because it was a straight shot up the beach. I was not pleased about what seemed like 200 other swimmers in the water with me, all heading for the same target. The swim start was chaos. For some reason we didn’t get a horn for our start. We just (barely) heard some guy yell, “Go!” and all looked at each other for a few seconds. Was that really the start? Suddenly we were all swimming over, under and through each other. I took a series of kicks and punches to the head throughout my entire swim. I have never wanted to give up so badly, but I kept on swimming. At one point someone swam up my back and they stayed there. Did she think she was paddling a surfboard? Nothing like trying to pull twice your weight through the water! She was on my back for a few strokes before I finally got rid of her. Halfway into the swim I felt so tired and tired of struggling. And I suddenly heard Hux’s voice in my head. “Get long in the water. Keep your elbows high.” I changed up my form and suddenly felt a ton better. Hux would be proud! When I swam in to the finish I could barely stand up. I was so anaerobic I couldn’t even think. It took me a good 20 steps to find my feet while I headed to transition.
When I got to transition I was stoked that I remembered to take off my Garmin so I could get my arm out of the wetsuit. I was just too foggy-headed to remember to put it back on while I was still running. I was also too foggy-headed to remember where the hell my bike was! I wasted at least a full minute if not more looking for my gear in transition. I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Where the $@*%! is my bike!?!?! Apparently I forgot to pick out a landmark to find my bike rack. What a huge waste of time. Once I finally found my stuff I just slowed myself down for a second to try to regroup. I got my act together and made the very long run out of transition to the bike course. And proceeded to have trouble getting my foot clipped in. *sigh*
Once I finally got underway on the bike I had a smoking hot ride. I felt good. I was super happy to be done swimming. I just tried (and succeeded) to haul ass. I passed a ton of people on the bike, including several from my age group. It was pretty cool to have Coach’s friend Rick ride up next to me and introduce myself. There we were hammering away and chatting. It put me in an awesome mood.
After the bike it was another loooooong run into transition, but I was in and out pretty quickly. I ran into Evangeline’s parents just past the run out. I started the run off at just over a 7 minute pace, so I had to force myself to slow down. It took a while to get my legs under me. I started off heal striking really badly, but got things under control after a few minutes. Once I settled in I pushed the pace back up. No stomach cramps this time! I had such a happy, fun run. I passed a ton more people including a few more women from my age group. If there was a 2 mile marker out there, I never saw it. So I kept second guessing whether we were actually running into the finish or if we still had to loop around somewhere that I could see. With that in mind I was running pretty fast, but still holding back a bit. I finished strong, but still felt like I could have gone harder if I had realized exactly where I was on the course. I don’t like to leave anything in the tank.
All in all I came away with several good lessons learned and a very satisfying race. I ended up 8th out of 76 in my age group. Watch out next year, ladies!