I was a little nervous going into this race three weeks off of Ironman Canada. My left hip flexor has been bothering me and I haven't been feeling terribly motivated (despite Clearwater looming overhead). that said, I do this race every year and decided f it, I'm going to just go and have fun. I even ordered myself a new "fun" outfit to wear in the race to ensure that I didn't take myself too seriously.
I had also noticed that several very fast ladies, including Karin Gardner, Patty Swedberg, Ann Ciaverella, and Anne Jensen, who have beaten me in the past were signed up. This made me a little nervous because hey, I kind of would like to win this race some day, but also took the pressure off a little bit since I knew I was probably not in a place to beat these ladies right now.
Race morning, we got there around 7:00 AM. The race didn't start until 9:00, but I had two buddies with me who had never raced before as well as my mom doing the duathlon and my little sister, Lucy, doing her first olympic triathlon. My mom and Lucy were fine on their own but I wanted to make sure that I could answer any questions for my first-timer buddies.
Everyone was set up with plenty of time to spare and we headed down to the lake for the start.
The swim was a diamond-shaped loop in Deep Lake. Usually, this is one of the coldest swims of the year. In 2005 the water was in the low 50's. This year, however, given the warm weather we have been having, the lake was really comfortable.
I went out hard in the swim to get away from any over-enthusiastic people who would just fade in the first 200m. I sat on Anne Jensen's feet for as long as I could until she pulled away from me around the first buoy when we started catching some of the slowest male swimmers who had started 5 minutes ahead of us. From here, it was a game of keep pace/dodge slower dudes.
I've been working on swimming hard for these shorter races since I tend to just have one gear when it comes to swimming. By the last 200 meters, I was swimming shoulder to shoulder with another lady until some dude backstroked perpendicular to my path (dude! come on!). I swam over his legs which I think kind of bothered him, oh well.
I came out of the water right behind Ann C. and ran up the steep little hill into transition.
Swim: 12:44 1:27/100 yards
T1 went surprisingly smoothly for me (I usually have notoriously bad transitions at this race). I got kind of stuck behind a big slow-ish dude on the run out although I doubt that cost me more than 5 seconds.
The bike was great. It's a straight rolling out and back. I think it's 11.4 miles but I'm not entirely sure.
I started out hard with the goal of going balls out for the entire ride (since I knew my run was going to be a little slow). Immediately I was passing dudes and by about mile 3 I was able to pick off Ann C. although she was riding really well so I knew I wouldn't put more than maybe :30 into her on the bike. At around mile 4 I passed a dude who said "go get them girl!" so I knew there were at least 2 more women ahead of me.
By mile 5 I had passed two women and at the turn around I realized I was the first woman. I hammered it back into transition and even managed to get my feet out of my shoes before the dismount.
*I also wanted to add in a little note here. Dudes, it's okay to be passed by a girl on a bike. If a girl passes you, let her complete the pass. If need be, you can pass her back later but them's the rules. I really don't appreciate when I get yelled and cussed at by some dude who starts pacing me when I'm half-way through a pass and I ask him to please back off.
Bike: 30:07 22.71 mph
T2 was again fast and uneventful. Since my shoes were still attached to my bike I was able to just rack it, throw on my running shoes and run out while putting on my visor and race belt.
Right as I was running out I saw Ann C. racking her bike and another lady not far behind, so I knew I wouldn't hold onto the lead for long. I also knew that there were some other speedy ladies not far behind her who could likely out-run me.
The run is 2 laps on a rolling trail around Deep Lake. That said, this is NOT a fast run. The path is well-maintained but there are a lot of roots and fast and steep ups and downs.
Since the run is only 2.8 miles and since I didn't feel like I had anything to lose, I decided to again, just go balls out for as long as I could.
As predicted, Ann C. passed me like I was standing still about 1 mile into the run. I figured the speedy Ms. Anne J. would not be far behind. From here on out, it was just a game of don't let too many women pass me.
After the first lap I was just like "this sucks!" and I didn't want to run hard anymore. But I'm stubborn and probably more competitive than I'd like to admit so I kept running hard even though my left hip flexor as well as my adductor were really tight and screaming at me.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, I came around the final bend and saw the finish line. I took a quick look behind me to make sure I wasn't about to be run down in the last 100 meters and then ran it in.
Yes, this is in fact a picture of me running, look closely, it's kind of like a game of where's waldo.
Run: 20:45 7:25/mile
Total Time: 1:06:50
1/18 25-29 Women
All in all I was really happy with this race. I didn't expect to be able to hold off 3 of those 4 fast ladies and I certainly didn't expect to be able to run as well as I did.
Even though I didn't win, there were a lot of big positives about this race:
- I went there to just have fun and I did
- I actually threw down the third-fastest female run split (not counting the woman who supposedly went 19:00 but, who looking at her other splits, probably only did one lap)
- I had the fastest female bike and the 8th fastest overall bike
- I had good transitions
- I didn't take myself too seriously as evidenced by the constant smile on my face and my outfit as seen below.
Because I am NOT A WIENER!
Mind The Gap
9 months ago