Tinman is often a bit of a crazy race for us, as we have a business booth, both race, and drive some Exceeding Expectations kids, which makes for a number of trips to race site and plenty of things going on before and after the race. Saturday we got ourÂ gear together, including everything for both a tri club booth and an office booth, and dropping some of that off at the site.
SundayÂ Mike and I got up dark and early, needing to be out the door by 4:30 at the very latest, and pulled on our awesome Redlands Tri Club kits for their first race 🙂 Oh, and we were out of our normal breakfast food. So with an emergency batch of oatmeal on the stove, Mike packed the bikes into the car as I got the puppies ready for a long morning alone. “Mike, something is wrong with Gracie… she doesn’t want to eat!” Annie, on the other hand, ate her food, although less enthusiastically than usual. Chalking it up to G being a moody bitch, the time of day, and that she knew we were leaving her, we let it go and blew the puppies kisses as we were out the door at 4:25 — before our final cutoff for maybe the first time ever.
It was weird to actually be ahead of schedule, and I wasn’t sure what to do when I had Mike and all the booth items dropped off at the race site before 5am. I was picking up some Exceeding Expectations kids who were racing, but not until 5:30 and they were only about 10 minutes away. Finally I left to get them early, and it must have been something in the air: the kids were actually ready early, too. So we were all back at the race site by about 5:35, and had plenty of time to do the very little transition prep we needed.
This race is a reverse order sprint: 5k run, 9mi bike, 100yd pool swim. Fast, but not so flat (at least on the bike). Still, transition just needs a bike, a helmet, bike shoes (forÂ Mike attached to his pedals)Â and a pair of goggles lying on a towel. I had an aerobottle of water on the bike, and that was about it. My run shoes and sunglasses wereÂ already on.Â The nice thing about being there before any one else was our choice of transition spots. And knowing this race doesn’t really have a dismount line, weÂ got a rack spot that we ran straight to as the end of the run course, and that we could basically coast right up to after the bike leg. Although it did mean that some times random things happen… like a bike appearing between ours as the race was starting, and still being there as Mike finished the bike. And the random bike someone placed on top of Mike’s after the bike leg of theÂ race. But I’m not at that part of the race yet! First we need to start…
So the run was soon off, and the course last year was missing the turn around marking on an out and back, so fast folks (aka Mike) ran about an extra half mile. This year it was marked, but oddly the out part was in the close lane of traffic, and the back in the far lane, which meant the lines of runners had to cross. Luckily for me there weren’t that many people still on the way out, and I didn’t have a problem getting through.
This run course always feels so long to me, I just seem to lose the motivation to run by about when we are going past the backside of the pool. But I kept going, although definitely not as strong as the first part. And then there is my tendency to slow down for the final straightaway. But this year, Gus came up beside me right then, so I had to keep running. Thanks Gus 🙂
Straight into transition and to my rack spot, and my “T1-reverse-order-tri” mantra was going through my head: helmet shoes bike helmet shoes bike helmet shoes bike. So I put on my helmet, swapped shoes, grabbed my bike and was off. The first part of the course is through the campus on the walkway, with cobblestone and narrow sections. I just like that part to be over as fast as I can get through it. But then comes the climbs.. one that is steep and short, and then one that is loooong and less steep. But there is a turnaround at the top of it, and it’s a chance to see where I stand. This time I saw Mike in 4th, and thenÂ thought I counted that I was 5th woman, or 4th. Right at the turn around another lady who kicked butt climbing that beast passed me, but on the descent I passed her right back and didn’t see her again til after the finish line. And soon I passed another girl as well. Counting myself now in 4th place, I WORKED. I was 4th at this race last year, and juuust off the podium sucks.Â Soon I made the turn back onto the campus and onto their sidewalks, and I don’t like that part, either. But fortunately I made it through safely.Â SoÂ I pedaled and pushed, through another out and back and soon made the turn for home. UndidÂ my bike shoes, but forgot we were getting back into the campus, and had to slow as speed bumps without shoes on are trickier.
But I coasted right to my rack spot, with my “T2-reverse-order-tri” mantra going: rack bike helmet goggles rack bike helmet goggles. Goggles in hand, I ran off toward the pool. At this race, the run to the pool, and then the run from the pool to the finish, are each longer than the swim itself. At the pool I realized I forgot to take off my racebelt, so it was left on the deck and I jumped in. Right as I started swimming I saw the lady I thought of as 3rd heading to the 50yd turn. But she did a breaststroke kick, so I though I could get her. Swim swim swim and on the final turn at 75 yards I saw her beside me, andÂ I went hard for a final 25yds. Then a run, althoughÂ careful since slippery, down to the finish line, where my arrival surprised Mike and he informed me I was 2nd woman!
Although this race uses chips, they don’t do splits, and I didn’t wear a watch. So I know I was 28 or 29 minutes on the bike, and 55:45 total time. I went 55:04 last year, so I was slower this time, but still moved up in places. I felt like I raced strong, but I could also tell that I’m just busy right now and my mind wasn’t all in the race. The Tri Club and office boothes went well, and then I rode home (about 16 miles) since I just needed bike time. And those 16 miles were painful. I guess I did work hard in the race, and in the 50 miler the day before 😉
Got home, and then more fun: Gracie was sick… yay for carpet cleaning! And Annie soon added a couple pukes of her own to the fun. Ahh well, still a successful day.