So today Mike and I did our first Tri of the season. It was a local (Redlands) race, and reverse order (run, bike, then swim). Very short for us: 5k run, 9 mi bike, 100 yd swim. A few notes of interest on this race: it was the first tri I ever did (although the location was different that year). And this was the first race for Mike and I since the one we met at.
I didn’t wake up ready for this kind of day. The RAIN (yes rain finally here and just for race morning) was very loud, and my head felt like it was going to explode and I was all stuffy. What better when feeling a bit under the weather than to go at a high heart rate for an hour in rain? Exactly. Nothing. So we got in the car and headed out just in time for sheets and sheets of rain. Driving east we got through those, and realized it would reach the race in about 2 – 2.5 hours — right as the race was starting.
Got registered and set up pretty fast. It’s easy when all you need is a helmet and bike shoes and goggles at your TA. Spent some time inside the high school gym to keep a bit drier and warmer, did some stretching. Went for a short warmup jog, and then lined up as it was near start time. The race (like many local ones) did of course not start on time. About 10 or 15 minutes late though there was a count down, and we were off! Some light drizzle, but nothing horrible.
Man running fast was hard! Ok, fast for me. I averaged 8:14 miles, and a heart rate of 183, which isn’t exactly where I’ve been training this base season 🙂 The run started with a slight uphill, then a drop and then ended a bit uphill again. But I actually felt ok on the run — a bit of complaint in the legs and lungs, but that was expected with this length race. I finished it, grabbed my bike.
I jumped on the bike for more of that same gradual grade of climbing. About 2 miles of it, then a downhill with some fun turns with sand and wet gravel across the road. I saw Mike on this first of 2 laps, and how close he was. AND THAT THERE WAS NO ONE IN FRONT OF HIM! And one of my goals was not to get passed by him, but another goal was him winning, which he laughed at. And he was closer than I thought possible. So that was good motivation. Maybe a bit too good — I actually went off road on one of the turns. I had a bit too much speed going in. Luckily it was a rounded blacktop curb and then decently flat dirt, so I just pretended it was a mountain bike. I saw him again a bit later in the loop, and that time he heard me cheer for him and realized how close he was. The bike loops ended with a uturn just past the TA entrance, and on that uturn I heard him behind me. “noooo” it was a slight uphill again and I tried, but he laughed and made it past me about 50 feet before the turn off where I would have been safe. So I almost made it.
As he climbed off his bike and ran for the pool I had one lap to go on the bike. Only one lap, I told myself as the burning of the climb started again. Oh shut up, you can do this. And so my legs did, and we made it to the top. As I got there the rain caught up though. Suddenly the barely drizzle, that had stopped for the most part, was pelting rain. It hurt, and visibility was rather reduced. Well I could see the guy marking the next turn, so I just aimed for him, and then the next one. Oh yeah and I remembered to slow a bit more and actually make all the turns while still on the road. As I rounded that uturn at the end of the course, I prepped for the transition. Rack bike, shoes and socks off, helmet off, grab goggles and run.
A 150 meter run brought me to the pool. Jumped in, pushed off, and swam like Mike tells me to: pulling hard. I felt the water pushing me forward, and just kept going. Push of the next wall, and then next. On my last push, my goggles flipped down. Happily bouncing into both eyes with each stroke. I broke my flow to pull them down and around my neck, and chased down one last guy as we got to the stairs, out of the pool, and were done. And then I got my first finish line kiss, which was kinda awesome. And the kisser was… the overall winner (yeah, Mike won!!)!
In the days leading up I was trying to guestimate our times. In the end I told him to go 45 minutes, and I hoped for an hourish. So he did (45:26). And by doing so he won overall, for his first time ever! I must be good luck. Then I got the full results (although Mike’s last name has bonus characters added to it) and those for me… and I won my age group (1:03:06)! And for once it actually had a significant number of people in it! I was 1/16 🙂 And overall women I was 9th! Which is awesome for me! And then there is the fact that a few women came in a bit before me that Mike saw who had pretty clearly only done one lap on the bike. So taking that into account, I give myself 7th overall in women! So yeah, it was a good start to the season.