I decided to do this race pretty last minute. I was hesitant at first because it was in Corvallis, OR, about 4.5 hours from Seattle, and because it was a pool swim which I've never done before. Also, looking at the results from last year, the bike looked really challenging as the fastest women's bike split was over 40:00 for 12 miles ... eep.
Regardless, I really wanted to get an early-season sprint in and I didn't want to do one of the little races in Elma, so I decided that this was my race.
750 meter swim
I ended up being the first person to go in my lane and both of the people behind be were supposedly faster than me. I decided to heed my swim coach's advice and just chill through the first 200, build for the next 200, and really push it for the last 350.
I started off steady and got passed by the girl who started behind me about 200m in. I managed to stay close to her for the rest of the swim though and we nearly lapped the dude in our lane which was neat since he was kind of arrogant. :)
I came out of the water feeling good. I think I was the third woman in my wave to exit the pool. I exited a little slower than I had anticipated but everyone I talked to said that their swim times were slower than they expected ... weird for a pool swim but whatever.
Swim: 12:42 - 1:33/100 yards
Nice thing about a pool swim, NO WETSUIT!
I had to run the length of the pool into transition but was able to get my gear on and get out of there really smoothly.
12 mile bike
I was nervous about the bike for a few reasons. First, last year's results definitely evinced that this was a slow bike. The fastest woman had not gone under 40:00 and only a few people had even broken over 20 mph. Second, it was my first race on a disc wheel with a tri spoke in the front. Third, it was cold out and i had opted to do the entire race in a race bikini so I was nervous about keeping my core warm.
The bike was definitely challenging. It was flat for about 300 meters before you started climbing and once you got about a mile out of transition almost all the roads were cruddy chip seal. I also knew that there were two very fast ladies who had exited the water right behind me so I knew I was probably being chased.
I felt good on the bike in spite of the weather. I tried to chill a little on the hills and keep my butt in the saddle since I didn't want to blow up before my run. I pushed it down the hills and tried to stay off on the shoulder of the road since the pavement was actually a little better in the bike lane. The bike was definitely the hilliest I have ever seen in a sprint tri. There was literally no flat land for the entire thing absent the 300 meters leaving and entering transition.
I passed the one individual girl who had exited the water before me almost immediately (the other girl had been part of a relay). I also passed about 7 or 8 dudes and spent the entire 12 miles chasing one guy which was a good motivator. Coming back into transition there were police stopping traffic and they must have not seen me coming because they almost got me creamed by a car in the middle of the intersection. I had some colorful language for them that I won't repeat here.
I came into transition feeling like I had definitely held back on the bike enough so that I could go for a PR on the run.
12 mile bike: 36:01 - 19.99 mph (slow, I know but the next fastest woman went 38:26 and only 3 women broke 40:00)
Totally uneventful. I was off my bike quickly and into my shoes immediately. I threw on my visor and race belt on the run out.
There were two things on my mind going into this run. One, this was a pancake flat course so I could likely PR. Two, there were two girls who can definitely outrun me somewhere not too far behind me.
Starting the run, I felt good so I just decided "@*^& it! I'm just going to go all out."
Because of all of the waves that had gone off before me and the fact that it was a two loop run, there were a lot of runners on the course so I just started picking people off. I would see someone ahead of me and say to myself "I'm going to get them by the next corner." and I would do just that.
My legs were burning. My lungs were burning. Around mile 2 the arrogant dude from my swim lane passed me. I smiled at him and was like "oh hi! remember me?" he mumbled something about me having a good swim and kept running. He was a really strong runner so I tried to keep him in my sights but that only lasted about another half mile.
At the end of the second loop of the run, you go back towards the swimming pool and finish by doing 3/4 of a lap around a track. I seriously felt like I was dying by the time I hit the track but then I saw my boyfriend, Brandon, running towards me letting me know that I was running way faster than normal. I wanted so so so badly to just slow down and jog it in but I knew that I had less than a minute left and I could see one of those fast girls only about 30 seconds behind me so I just pushed it through the finish. It was definitely the hardest I have ever run.
Run: 21:33 - 6:56/mile
So here's the neat part ... the results
Swim: 12:42 (25/187)
Bike: 36:01 (9/186)
Run: 21:33 (42/185)
12th out of 174 individuals
1ST OVERALL WOMAN!!!!
I couldn't believe it! I won I won I won!
2 weeks ago