In February 2004 I did my first triathlon: a reverse order sprint (5k run, 10ish bike, 100yd swim). I was so proud to finish it in ~1:16.I did the same race, although on a new and similar course, again in 2007. A couple years of training under my belt and I pulled off a 1:03:06, winning my age group in the rain. And it was my first race with Mike, and he won it overall! Today it was that same race again, and so we went back for our first tri of this year.
Although my R3 and I have been having fun bonding, it is a fairly flat course and so my PX and my aero helmet got packet up. We had much better weather this year, although there was a bit of a chill at the start. The race wasn’t quite as well organized this year: our mail in registration didn’t actually get processed. So they just had us fill out the day of form and race that way. And only one part of the course was different this year, which was that they had the start line set up in the chute that led in and out of transition. Mike was a bit concerned about the sharp right turn less than 100 yards from the start, but then it turned out to be even a bit more of a mess — it was really just a lining up point before they walked us out to the actual start just past that turn. Where by walk I mean someone said hey go out to the road, and the pack kinda took off. Luckily they somehow stopped it at the planned start. But it was really odd.
But it was time, and we were off. In the first half mile I could already feel my legs were a bit heavy, and I just didn’t feel I had the same strength on the run. I’m sure it is still some recovering from the 50k still, as well as from the 10 days of being really sick after it. But I didn’t feel bad — just like I was having to work harder for the same results. So I kept trying to push it. Then Cheri (also an Inland Inferno Club member) came up. I’ve always admired her strength in tris and enthusiasm for the kids she brings into tris, so I felt honored to be running by her, and decided to try to stay with her as long as I could. And somehow I managed to stay with her through the run, even pulling away a bit at the end. So that was pretty cool.
I had a quick transition: not much to do but drop the Garmin and visor, pull on the helmet and get my sunglasses on with it, and then pull on the shoes, grab my bike, and go. To the mount line, quickly on, and I was off. It’s a gradual climb for the first two and a half miles, and they kinda hurt. Nearing the top of the climb I almost backed off a bit. But then I thought “Marky will be proud of me that it hurts” so I went harder. Thanks Marky… I put up with more burning in my legs each climb than I would usually think I could.
And the downhill — that was pretty fast and fun since it doesn’t look really really downhill! I felt like I was flying, and effortlessly. At the really sharp uturn at the bottom I watched a guy completely crash and flip, but not in a painful looking way, and with tons of race support right there, so I kept moving. Gotta be careful when it’s that sharp… I felt really connected with my bike and like I took most of the turns at a good clip – I think that’s where I improved over last year. I pounded back up the hill again (not very fast, but pretty smooth and strong). More burning and thoughts of Marky… and then as I came near the top a coworker of mine (an expert mtn biker new to tris, and in my age group) came by. It was a draft legal race, so I grabbed on. But then on the final very rough stretch of climb (woo potholes!) all of a sudden I heard a noise and something flew off my bike. Oh crap — my PowerTap computer! the base of the mount was still connected, but the craddle had popped off the base! I went so hard I exploded my PT 😉 I sat up, losing Lisa’s wheel, and then said screw it and just kept going, remembering where I was so I could go back later and get the computer, which was almost completely off the left side of the road. Having dropped her wheel, I did my best to chase, but I didn’t catch all the way back up. I saw her just ahead going into T2, and so I knew it was time for a fast transition and to bust my butt to the pool since I had the edge for swimming and running.
As I pulled off my socks, I saw her run out of TA out of the corner of my eye. So I went, pulling my goggles on messily while I ran (as Mike yelled for me to do so, and I might have said “I know!” in true Kylie style). I passed her as we got to the pool, jumped in, and again listened to Marky telling me to pull hard, and keep my head down as I took a breath. So I did — push off the wall and grab the water — it will only hurt for a second! I thought that way too many times during this race. I guess that’s what makes it a sprint!
As I hit the end of the pool the finish line guy told me to hurry and I’d break an hour — I saw the 59:30 on the clock, and went for it, and made it! Final time ended up being 58:40ish (I guess the finish clock was a bit off). Good enough for 3rd in my AG since a couple fast girls showed up this year. But over 4 minute PR, and ~18 min since my first tri. So yeah, the hard work is helping. And I do like the fast stuff!
Then we biked an extra loop of the just over 4 mile course and picked up my PT. After hanging out for our awards, we grabbed lunch, and I kicked Mike out of the car to ride home as I headed to school to get some homework done. But I ran into a classmate and realized it was due much later than the tomorrow I had thought, so instead we had tea and chatted.
But I still beat Mike home. Although he did win overall again! It was a closer race for him this time though, so I think it was more satisfying. He had people right there on the bike, and they really worked each other taking turns pulling and trying to get away and all that good stuff allowed in a draft legal race 🙂 It was a fun day.
Here is me getting my award:
And here is my super speedy wonderful boyfriend getting his: