This morning I got up once again to tri – I knew that I could do this race because I have done it before. All I wanted to do today was finish, and I did. The morning began with a fog cover. I figured it would burn off by the time we started and it did. I was out to the race site early, around 5:40. Transition opened at 6 but by the time I parked, stopped and said hi to Joe and Barb, and had Geoff check my tires, it was open.
My number was 602 and I was racking in row K. I didn’t realize until the swim start that we were starting with number 300. My number still put me near the end but I don’t mind that.
I got my pre-race nutrition right this morning: heed, a bagel, pbutter and banana. I had a gel before I entered the water.
This is a very calm, small lake. I remember thinking it looked bigger the past two years
but it really isn’t. I went in the water before the race just to feel the temperature. It was really perfect weather and water temperature. The official reading was 78 degrees.
Team Magic begins their races with individual starts, not waves. I like that method. I had to wait a little while but I spent the time stretching, talking to a few people, and staying calm. I was really not worried about this swim. It was 400 yards.
In the water I finally realized what was throwing me off on the swim – breaststroke. So I just quit doing it and finished with freestyle. I had been using a few strokes of breaststroke to get my bearings and spot. It feels like I am sinking though and I don’t like that feeling. My swim time was a little slower but I learned something really important that I can fix. Time 15:19. And I never got hit or kicked.
The swim exit is up a hill, through transition and then out to the bike. I had hoped to be a little faster than I was but that is ok as well. I just need to keep practicing. 3:39
My plan was to use my speed on the bike to make up for the swim/run. That was the plan. All was going well until I dropped my chain. Got it back on and started again. I dropped it the second time, but this time I could not get clipped out, fell, hit the pavement and laid there for too long. I knew I was ok and I thought about Sam being at the finish line, as well as Joe, Barbara, John, Deanna and Dave. Someone stopped to help me get up and I got the chain back on the bike. I had to walk a little to the top of the hill – it was not far. And then I got going again. I was certainly very happy that I had a helmet on because hitting the pavement isn’t a good thing. My knee is scraped a little and I twisted my back, but I am ok. According to my Garmin, I lost about 10 minutes. I really didn’t think it was that long. Final bike time 1:03 (8 minutes faster that 2011).
The worst thing was that I lost all my fluids when my bike went over. That made for a long 10 miles. I had part of a bottle on my seat post though. Good thing. I also had a gel.
Top speed on the bike today was 33.8 mph. I like the Oak Mountain downhills.
It was getting warmer by the time I hit the run trail. It is pretty much up hill for 1.5 miles and then mostly down but a few up hills coming back out. My back was hurting so I walked more than I planned at first. I realized that my back did not hurt as much when I ran so I ran. It was quite slow though because of the fall.
This is a great race because everyone is encouraging. I find that on a lot of courses, but this one in particular. There was lots of encouragement from people who were headed to the finish line. When I was getting close to the end, I saw Joe Wenning. He came to find me and make sure I got in. That was great.
I crossed the finish line at 2:14. Not the greatest time but I finished despite the bike fall and my back bothering me. I appreciated Sam Morgan coming up to watch, cheer and film. It was great to see John Hanna. It had been too long.
This was a race I needed to finish and I got it done. There are things I can improve and I learn something every race. Sam and I talked afterwards and he said there is always going to be something unexpected. Today was the fall. I didn’t let it stop me though. I am happy to have it done.