There was no advance packet pick up, so I got there at 5:30 just as check-in was opening.
|It was early but at least the lake looked calm.|
|The lake in the sunlight. Still calm - both me and the lake!|
With plenty of time before the pre-race briefing on the beach, I decided to take advantage of the fact that I could get in the lake and warm up for the swim. I wasn't able to do this at either of my previous triathlons, and I wish I could have. The water was so warm, I could have done without a wetsuit. But I wasn't giving up the extra buoyancy!
It was finally time for my wave to head out. It was a beach start, so I lined up in the back and towards the outside right since we'd be swimming out and turning left. They gave us the go and we all moved forward. It took a while for everyone to start swimming because it wasn't deep enough. Once I did start swimming, my arms were going through the underwater plants with each stroke. Luckily I was warned about this ahead of time so it didn't bother me at all. In fact, nothing bothered me! I swam, I sighted, I got kicked, I went a little off course but noticed before I got too far, I was going stroke for stroke with another swimmer for a while until she went off course and bumped me, I even passed a few other swimmers. And it was amazing! For the first time, I was totally comfortable in the open water. After the final turn towards shore, I could see all of the cool stuff on the bottom of the lake and I didn't want the swim to end. I'm not saying I was fast by any stretch of the imagination, but it was comfortable and fun and a real boost to my confidence.
On to the bike, straight uphill out of the gate. Luckily I was prepared and had my bike in the right gear. Since I'd done the See Jane Run Duathlon here last year, I was familiar with the bike course. It's mostly flat with only the hill out of transition and one other uphill. I remembered to eat and drink on the ride so I wouldn't bonk on the run. I was really pushing it on the bike and passed quite a few people. And before I knew it I was back at transition.
Change the shoes, swap out bike helmet for visor and GO! Only my legs and my heart rate were saying NO! It took a few minutes for my heart rate to settle to a pace where I actually could run, so it was a few minutes of walking at the start. Once I got to the top of the first hill, I started in with my run/walk intervals. The course was mostly on a dirt trail with lots of ups and downs. So I walked the ups, ran the downs, and tried to run most of the flats. The course was a crazy figure eight pattern and by the second mile I really just wanted it to be over. I finally got to the point where we were off the trail and I was so happy to be running on asphalt again. Strange, I know! A short sprint to the finish line, and my third triathlon was over.
This was an un-timed event, but there was a clock at the finish. Our wave was told that if we wanted to know our time to subtract 15 minutes from the clock time. So I came in at approximately 1:50:xx - about six minutes faster than my time at the Mermaid Tri.
I went into this telling myself that it was practice and it was all for fun, but of course my competitive side was happy that I beat the time of my last tri. I also learned a few things that will help with the remainder of my training for my race in October.