I finished in just over 2:15. My goal was to beat my 2008 time of 1:58 at the race in Atlanta, but pretty much nothing went like I wanted it to. The biggest problems were: I wasn’t prepared for the heat (it was 90 when we started) and I did some bike maintenance on Saturday night and forgot to tighten one bolt. Not a huge deal, except that because that bolt wasn’t tightened, I wasn’t able to shift up, and lost a good 10 mph going down hills. It was pretty frustrating.
All said, though, it went well. My swim time was actually better than the last tri that I did, and this was the first time I’ve swum in a river (other than floating when canoeing). The current was so strong that race officials were coaching us before we got in the water as many of the front (faster) people were getting pushed off course. I did okay with that, except that I couldn’t actually put my face in the water, the current was too strong for me to exhale against. So I kept my head up the whole time. I told Chris that swimming in his sister’s above ground 12 foot pool was actually the best training that I did, because Lily was sitting on a floating chair while I was swimming in circles (I was so dizzy!) so I had to keep my head up to make sure she didn’t fall in the water.
The bike didn’t go well at all. The course was essentially 6 1/2 miles up hill, turn around, then go 6 1/2 miles downhill. My bike is not a race bike, so it’s just slower than most of the other racers. I knew that going in, I knew I was going to get passed a lot. For the fun of it, I tried to count the number of people who passed me, but I got to 50 in under a minute, so I stopped counting. I ran out of water at mile 5 (didn’t conserve very well, but it was HOT.) which was also about half
way up the biggest hill on the course. My head hurt and I was crabby, so I pretty much decided I was going to quit, but there were no support vehicles around, I didn’t have my phone with, and I didn’t want to sit on the side of the road waiting for anyone. At least if I was moving there was a breeze. Once I got to the top of the hill though I got to go down it and decided to keep going. That’s when I realized I could no longer up shift, so I was stuck in gears 1-8. I should have gotten up to at least 30 mph on that hill, and I think I topped out at 18. At the turn around where there were support vehicles I decided I couldn’t quit since, really, I could still ride, so I finished. My bike time was 1:04, only 1 minute longer than my time 2 years ago on a much harder course, but my training time had averaged almost twice as good as it did 2 years ago so that was really disappointing.
The run couldn’t have been hillier. Literally. We ran up the hill, over a block and down it, over another block back up it, then down it to the finish. But, after the first mile it was shady. I was too hot and exhausted by then to run, so I just walked. There were lots of walkers, so I just made friends with people…talking makes the time go so much faster 🙂 I ended up catching up with the woman who was in front of me in the swim, she had passed me really early on on the bike. She wanted to quit, so I talked her into walking with me for a little while. At that point we really were only a little over a block from the top of the last hill and the last mile was all downhill to the finish. I kind of underestimated how serious she was about quitting though, it look us almost 20 minutes to walk the last mile and I was actually feeling good enough to run in by then. But, I’m glad I stuck with her, she had done 6 triathlons 4 years ago or something but had to drop out of her last one and was so upset about quitting that she just quit training. At least this time she finished. And if was nice to have someone to pass the time with.
I’m signed up for the Cedars of Lebanon Triathlon on August 28. Hoping it’s a little bit cooler, and blessed to have a race bike on loan from a friend, so I’m looking forward to a much better race.
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