OK, so my title gives away the ending, but I’m so amazed and proud I HAD to put it in the title.
St. George race recap (alternate title, not nearly as attention grabbing) – Olympic distance (1 mile swim, 20.5 mile bike, 10k run) Relay members in order of participation – myself, Mark Duncan, and Maximus Jones
I left for St. George on Friday. Slight hiccup in the race plans as my runner didn’t meet me at the meetup spot to drive up together. Turns out he had his days mixed up and thought it was Thursday. Oops. My team finally came together at packet pickup 9 minutes before they closed. Max and I grabbed a late dinner, and then settled in for a night of tossing and turning (neither of us slept well at all).
Race morning all was going well. Then I realized I left my goggles. I’m so glad I participate in a sport filled with so many good people – I shouted out in transition “Does anyone have an extra pair of goggles?” and had 5 offers in a flash. Fellow triathlete Reenie joked “Does anyone have an extra wetsuit?” and my tension was immediately relieved.
We got started a little late, and my group was the last to start, but I got to see Nancy come out of the water right before I started, which was awesome! As we treaded water, waiting for the start gun I just reflected on how much I love this sport. This is my first season, and I just get so much joy out of triathlons, especially the swim. It’s that calm time for me, where I can’t hear anyone, I can’t really see anyone, and it’s a level playing field for me, my extra body weight doesn’t slow me down like it does on the bike or run. Unless the water is choppy, I get into a great rhythmic pattern and I get into a zone.
My theme for this race was to never be comfortable. Because I just had to do the swim, I knew I could give it my all and not worry about saving anything for the bike or run. I may have started out a bit to fast. At about 1/4 of the way in I had to ease off a little, and I lost the front of the pack. By the turn around my arms were hurting, and my arms never hurt. 3/4 of the way done and my neck and back were getting sore. Also something that never happens, and this is actually a short distance for me on the relay. Seeing the shore approach helped me to push harder for the last bit, and really fly in.
When I get out of the water I’m always so disoriented, yet focused. It’s like a tunnel vision. I have no clue what’s happening on either side of me, all I can focus on is running into transition, and knowing I had a top performing team waiting for me to pass off the chip makes me even more focused. “Just run hard and hand off the chip” over and over in my head.
My time was slower than I’d expected – 34:55, and I was expecting 30 – 32 minutes. Later that night I came down with a very high fever that lasted 3 days, so I’m not sure if it was the onset of the illness that slowed me down, but I really hope to beat that time in the future, and I’m sure I will, as I time trialed just a bit slower than that in a pool with no wetsuit.
Mark posted an amazing 53 minute bike, smoking the other relays and ranking 4th overall. Max did a 39:48, which was the fastest relay split, and 8th overall. These guys are AWESOME.
We were half an hour faster than the relay team to finish behind us, but there were all kinds of timing issues that day. We waited around for hours after the race until finally they announced that results weren’t ready and that they would be mailed. I was disappointed because this was my first chance ever to stand on a podium.
As it stands right now, we’re ranked 2nd. Mark’s filed an official dispute. We’ll see what comes of it.
My very first win in my very first tri season. Now to work on my individual times!