I had every intention of writing this recap on my way to the beach following the race nearly two weeks ago but it just didn't happen. And then I planned on writing it while on vacation, but again, it didn't happen. I debated not writing about it at all but figured this would be one race I would want to go back and read about during those times I question why I race.
If you're here for the short version, I won my first triathlon. And when I say I won, I mean I won the whole damn thing. I have come pretty close to top of the podium in the past, finishing 6th, 4th, 3rd, and 2nd three times. But this year, I finally got to claim top of the box and it felt really freaking good.
The great part about doing this race, at least for me, is that it is practically in my backyard. I can wake up, eat breakfast, change, load up the car, and find parking all within 30 minutes. With so many races requiring absurdly early wake-up calls, the extra sleep was a much appreciated perk. So I was up by 6am and getting body marked a little after 6:30. Another thing I really like about this race is seeing so many familiar faces. As soon as I started to set up transition I was running into former teammates from my swimming days, competitors from last year, fellow strava addicts and of course my triathlon partner in crime, Rachel. Knowing so many people makes racing feel less intense.
Swim (500 yards)
With a swim this short it's hard for anything significant to happen. All I really remember is having to ask the race director three times how the serpentine swim worked, tell Rachel that I would be happy once the swim was over and I was on my bike, and spending the entire swim feeling like someone was choking me. I found out after the race that the chlorine levels in the pool were high, which makes sense given that I was literally gasping for air. Oh, I also remember on my way to transition telling my mom and Rachel's dad that something was wrong because I couldn't breathe. When they told me to told me to take a minute to catch my breath I yelled back that I didn't have a minute. Leave it to me to turn on the sassy while running to transition.
Swim 07:34 (2/95)
Bike (15.2 miles)
To be completely honest, this is not one of my favorite bike courses. I don't have a good reason for not liking it, but I just don't like it. The one thing I do like, is being out there pretty much by myself the entire time because of the way the swim is structured. I am an extremely competitive person, which means that sometimes I ride harder than I should and pay for it later. There's something really freeing about being out on the road, competing against yourself and nobody else. Being alone for all but the first three miles also meant nobody was there to witness me throwing up while still trying to haul ass on the bike. I chalk this up to the chlorine and lack of air problem on the swim but regardless, I was happy that whatever it was only lasted a few minutes. The rest of the bike was business as usual. Go hard, drink when I remember, crack jokes with the volunteers at the turns, remember this is a race and try to go hard again.
Bike 50:39 (1/95, 18.1mph)
Run (3.1miles- really 3.25 because of a detour)
This, this was the fun part of this race. The run in my last race was more like a death march/shuffle than a run, which left me really nervous about how things would go this time. As soon as I got my flats on and took a few steps I knew things were going to be just fine. I haven't been doing too much hard running these last couple months with ironman training so I wasn't expecting anything super fast out of my legs. It was pretty much 25 minutes of plugging away, running knowing that if I wanted to win this race I needed to get moving. The last few minutes were pretty brutal, as they should be. Making that last turn onto the track all I could think about was my dad and how proud he would have been. He is who I think about when things get hard, when I want to quit. And in those last few minutes I knew, because of him, that no matter what the outcome of this race was it really didn't matter because I raced a little more fearlessly than in the past.
Run 25:19 (7/95, 7:48min/mile)
Overall 1:25:21, 1st place
Post-race was a mix of awkward interviews where I surely embarrassed myself, cheering in friends, and anxiety waiting for results to be posted. I was 100% that obnoxious person who stalked the results wall for a solid 75 minutes. But seeing my name first was everything. And the perfect kickoff to the last few weeks of ironman training.