Friday, June 28, 2013

One long week!

As I sit here in the hospital waiting for the doctor to repair the nerves in my Gramma’s back. I look back to a week ago. Wednesday I had swim training at 5:30am, work until 4:30pm training for an hour and a half after work, dinner then bed by 10. Except I didn’t fall asleep until midnight and the alarm went off at 3:30am. My friends were getting married at the summit of Mt. Washington and I was the wedding planner and witness. It was the easiest wedding to plan! I connected Matt and Amanda with my friend Tami as their JP and my co-worker the Ernie Mills for the photos. I drove each of their parents up the Auto Road at 4am while the couple made their way up the trail by the light of the moon. Sunrise was at 4:50am and they arrived just after. It was gorgeous not a cloud in sight and hardly any wind. It really couldn’t have been any more perfect!

We returned to the base at 6:45am I had an hour and a half until work started. After work my workout was week 7 of the Salomon Trail Running Series. I had a 30 min ride before I ran my 3.3 mile race. After the race I had plans with my friend Tyler and his family to chat over dinner in the dining room at work about his first triathlon. We finished dinner at 8pm. My drive home is about 30 mins. I had to get up at 4:30am for swim training the next morning so I brought my wetsuit inside and hung it up in my closet. As I walked away I heard a big crash. One side of the clothes rack had pulled out of the wall. Great! Exactly what I wanted to do at that hour. I found some screws, put it back together and hung my clothes back up minus the wetsuit of course. Just as I hung the last shirt, the other side let go. Are you kidding me?! I couldn’t leave my clothes in a pile they’d get wrinkled. So I took a few and hung them on the shelf, well I hung a few too many because that came down too! I just laughed and left them there and because I’ve been so busy that’s where they lay now. Friday swim training again at 5:30am then work, I usually I have a pm workout but I told Steve how tired I was and he suggested I take the afternoon off. I came home from work took a nap tried to address my closet but didn’t have any screws. I was racing on Sunday and leaving right from work on Saturday. I packed everything for the weekend so I had time to enjoy a night out with friends for the first time in months. It was perfect, a few of us hung out around the campfire and I forgot about work, life, training and Gramma needing surgery. My roommate Leah and I agreed we’d leave around 9 but we were having a great time and didn’t leave until about 10:30pm, it was well worth it. Work early the next day so I could leave early to get to race packet pick up in Nashua NH, about 2 hours and 45 mins away. Gina and I always get a campsite to save money and to be outside but there weren’t any close enough so we stayed at a hotel instead-3 minutes from the race site. We arrived with 15 mins left before they closed packet pickup. We drove the bike course and I rode one lap for my workout. Not to hilly, really fun and 90% excellent pavement. Had a nice shower while Gina prepared my pre race dinner salad, chicken and veggies. It was game five of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and we got to watch it! Well I watched some of it Gina watched the whole game. 

The transition area didn’t open until 7:30am, so we got to sleep in an extra half hour.
Unloaded the car and I switched my front wheel to Steve’s 3 spoke race wheel with tubeless tires. I keep the rear stock wheel because race wheels are very expensive and I use the power tap hub to collect all my data.

As usual it was pretty hectic at the race venue with 450 triathletes setting up their transition area, getting body marked, figuring out the layout and warming up. Most races restrict the transition area only to athletes and are very strict about it, not this one, there were kids, dogs, friends, parents, everyone. I set up my spot and went out for my 45 minute warm up. I returned to work my way into my wetsuit, which again was a challenge being sweaty and especially because it was super humid. I walked down to the water it was a good four-minute walk from the trans area, the longest I’ve seen. Every race I’ve done each wave is separated by the color of swim caps. I reached the beach and everyone had yellow swim caps on. The water was pretty warm but wetsuits were still allowed. Juniors went first. Then my wave lined up and got checked in. The waves were three minutes apart and we had to tread water while waiting. I didn’t have a problem being in a wetsuit! I started all the way to the left, the course was all left turns and I wanted the shortest distance. I usually don’t start out front because I know I'm not super fast. This time I went for it. The horn blew and I stayed out front for longer then I expected! I think I was only passed by less then ten women. My mindset is the faster I swim the quicker I can get on my bike! I’ve been practicing swimming as far into the shore as possible so I don’t have to waste time running in knee-deep water like most do. I was out in 9:37.

The run up to the transition area was a slight incline for almost a ¼ mile. There were wetsuit strippers just outside of the trans area. As you run you pull the top half off so the strippers have you lie down and pull the rest off for you. I almost went for it but didn’t want to try anything new on race day.  I should have because I struggled, I was rushing. I switched to bike mode and was off. It was ½ mile to the first intersection. I took the wide corner at speed and something didn’t feel right I almost slid out. I rode for a few minutes and realized my front tire was flat. The tire is tubeless so the only way to fix it was to put slime in or change out the tire. I had neither. So my options were to ride for 16 miles or stop racing. I bet you know which option I went with! The course was two eight-mile loops with rolling hills. I tried my hardest not to let the flay get to me mentally, I knew I could deal physically. I ignored it but had to be extra cautious on corners.

I transitioned to the run in 39 seconds and heard the announcer say “heres the first female leaving T2” I was pretty sure he wasn’t talking about me but it made me feel good. I started my watch and did not feel fast. It was so humid.
I ran the first mile in 6:49 about 20 seconds behind pace. After the first mile marker the course gradually descended so I tried my best to take advantage of that. As two people passed me I hung with them for as long as I could. I ran the second mile in 6:53 frustration set in and I wanted to turn it into speed. I didn’t have much left. Just under a 1/4 mile left when I was passed by a female who was running at the pace I should have been. My plan was to stay with her and pass her just before the finish. I stayed with her for 30 seconds and started feeling horrible. I pushed for 15 seconds more and couldn’t hold it. I came through the finish shoot to the crowd cheering I gave it the rest I had.

The girl that passed me was still recovering I patted her on the back and she returned the favor. I wasn’t happy with my run but I’m not going to feel awesome at every race. It was mentally challenging but as I race this summer I am learning more and more about pushing myself and overcoming unforeseen circumstances.

That girl I tried to stay with was Lexi Abel she ended up in first place! She also raced in the World Triathlon Championships in Auckland New Zeleand last year.

With registration I got free ice cream, free lunch and a raffle ticket. Lunch was a small salad a dinner roll and 5 chicken wings! I took one bite of the wings and they were too spicy for me. Gina ate one and had to toss the rest. It would have been nice to know they were spicy I would have turned them down and not waste them.

Despite the flat tire I finished 5th female out of 166 and 1st in my age group!
I requested a late checkout at the hotel so I could shower and not stink up the car for three hours. 
We arrived in Randolph and had dinner then I had an hour drive to my house. Monday I had half the day off from work but swim training at 5:30am. I did some house stuff then to work for instructor training. I lead two five day mountain bike camps for teens for the Appalachian Mountain Club.
I arrived home at 5:30pm then had to pack for the next day's AMC training, my am workout and my short visit home to Connecticut take my grandmother in for back surgery. Tuesday morning I was up early for my am workout before work. AMC training and then the four hour drive to CT which ended up taking five hours.

Gramma's surgery was planned for 11 and we had to check in at 9:30. We arrived at 8:15 she likes being early. She went in right at 11 and the dr gave us the good news that everything went as planned at 2:15. She was in recovery for 2 hours before Gene, her husband and I got to see her. She did well and had to stay the night. Gene and I arrived home at 5:30 and got some take out dinner. It was raining so I couldn't do my bike workout. I was pretty wiped and figured I'd do it the next morning.

We planned on getting her at 1pm the next day but awoke to a phone call at 7:00am. She was ready to come home whether the drs gave her the ok or not. We got through the discharge papers and were on our way to the comfort of home. Her recovery at home is to walk as much as possible no twisting or bending and to have her incision bandage changed twice a day. She has 19 staples in her lower back but they look great. I stayed an extra night to make sure she was adjusted to home. I'm glad I did because I woke up at 3am and found her on the floor with Gene trying to help her up. He couldn't manage. I picked her right up and checked her over she was sore but ok. I didn't hear her calling because of the air conditioner and fan. Then I was up for an hour. She woke up at 6:30am needing her pain medicine. I'm so glad I was able to take some time from work and be here for her. Of course there are many details I've left out over this period of time living with two 80 year olds who can't hear well, but to sum it up- thank God I've got lots and lots and lots of patience.

It's been two days since I started this post and I'm heading back home in about an hour. It's heart wrenching to have to leave them and I'm trying to be strong and not cry. I really wish I could stay but I just have to trust she will take it easy, ask for help from the family and friends and remember to stay on track with her pain medicine.

I still have a workout when I get home, not sure I'll have much energy for it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Arrr..Matey! Recap of the Pirate Tri!

All I had to do was swim 1/3 of a mile, bike 14 miles, run 3 miles and be super fast in transitions!  Yesterday's race couldn't have gone better, everything before the race was near perfect, which very rarely happens. I hoped to make packet pick up by 3pm the previous day but I was the photographer for a 10 mile trail race at work and had to post those results online. It was a great race and seemed like everyone had fun! I sure did and I wasn't even racing.

Gina and I arrived at the Point Sebago Resort Campground at 4:30 and checked in. I was very surprised as I listened to the reservationist explain all the amenities. She pointed out the sports center, the tiki bar, general store, putt putt golf, and all the events happening over the two days. Funny she didn't mention the race. If we were camping for the weekend I'd want to know nearly 400 triathletes would be racing though the resort! The whole run course was in the resort and the bike course used the entrance. I did not feel like I was in Maine, most people were buzzing around in golf carts, don't people walk anymore? We found our spot and began to set up. I checked out the bathroom which I could throw a rock to and there were free showers! I had a pre race workout, Steve calls it a brick opener. 40 min ride-15 min warmup with 3x3min power intervals, this gets my heart rate up and my body ready for racing. I brought my trainer in case it was raining, luckily it wasn't but the roads were mostly gravel so I just spun at the site. After 40 mins I had to transition right to a run with more quick hard efforts. I ran through the campground to the sound of games and laughter and a spot on the podium in my head.
It was very humid, so glad there were showers. We drove the bike course and studied all the pot holes, hills, corners and had to mentally follow Steve's plan-don't stand up on any of the hills, spin easy but fast. This saves energy and keeps me more fresh for the run.

We returned and walked over to the transition area inspecting the flow, very important to do that. When in race mode its nice not to have to think about where to go.  I met up with my friend Armand. We hung out for awhile and talked tri. Checked the water, very chilly!

We made our way back to the site to make dinner. Grilled chicken, zucchini, squash, peppers and tomatoes with salad, my pre race meal. I checked over my bike, changed the wheel to Steve's 3 spoke HED, put new bar tape on and of course painted my nails by lantern!  It was a nice and relaxing night.
Packet pick was at 6:15 and Steve was arriving at 6:30, so the alarm was early. Egg, avocado and cheese sandwich and half banana for breakfast. Double checked my tri bag and we walked to the check in. So nice to be so close! Last week my race number was 842 and my wave began at 8:45 this week I was 242 and my wave started at 8:45 I had a superstitious good feeling. We walked over to the transition area. They are very organized all timing chips hang in order by number. If a chip isn't picked up they know who didn't race. After the trans area closes, they take the display to the finish line and pull the chips off the racers as they finish and hang them back up, great system.
They asked if it was my first race or if it was Gina's first time watching because Gina was taking lots of pictures. We both answered, neither and explained I was gong to London and write a Blog.
After asking my age he wrote 49 on my calf...ooops!

The transition area was on the beach so everything would be sandy, I can't stand that feeling but there was nothing I could do. I knew where my spot would be from the night before and hoped to get there early enough to get the outside. Each rack has a range of numbers. It was first come first served and I got the spot I wanted. I set up right on the end which is quicker then running into the row.  I was worried about someone taking my spot so I remembered to leave my wetsuit, pad and tri bag. The trans area closed just 15 mins before the race start so I could go in and out for my warm up. I set up my spot-bike, bike shoes, helmet, glasses, running shoes, and race belt...that's it!
I went out on my warm up: 15 min easy 2x3 min power intervals w/ 5 min recovery in between, 15 mins back, transition to run with hard efforts, 10 minute swim with hard intervals. After riding and running I was really sticky, so getting into my wetsuit was quite comical! Reason #975 I have the best coach...he threw his coat in the sand for me.

There were a few minutes to warm up in the water before the pre race meeting. The water looked nice but it was cold about 55ยบ. My hands and feet started to go numb but had to get my arms ready to swim. I had a much better warm up then at my tri last week.

Pre race meeting was lead by a pirate! Then the national anthem played, which always brings tears to my eyes. I think of what my younger brother went through during three tours of duty. It must have been so hard and that makes me want to race strong for him!
Gina grabbed a picture just before my wave, I was so nervous. Coming off a win the week before, I was hungry for another podium spot but with nearly 400 racers I really wasn't too sure of that. 
All women 39 and under lined up on the shore! I had a plan, stay on the outside and out of the chaos. It was a little longer to the first buoy but I could settle in quicker.
The swim went so well compared to every other race. After a few minutes I almost always start to panic. I look up and see all the swimmers ahead then I try to go faster instead of focusing on my pace. I will sometimes break out of freestyle to get my catch my breath. Not this time, I pushed that panic feeling out several times and just kept swimming. The field usually spreads out after the first buoy, but there were so many swimmers, it was crowed the whole time.  It was hard to see, we were swimming into the sun but I just kept the big orange buoy in site the best I could. I swam until my hands touched the bottom so I didn't have to run in waste deep water like others were.
Steve and Gina had me 20th out of the water, not great. I looked at my watch 10:36. I felt faster but stayed in freestyle so I was relatively satisfied. I pulled my arms out and booked it to my spot. I was a little slower than normal, the cold water really took a toll on me. As I stepped out of my wetsuit I was grinding all the sand into it and it made me cringe a little, but it did wipe most of the sand off my feet! I pulled on my bike shoes, helmet and glasses I was out in 1:08.

It took about 10 mins for my quads to warm up, they felt so constricted. I couldn't go as fast as I wanted. I started my game: see a bike, reel it in and pass. I saw a bright pink t shirt and passed her. She was strong and I underestimated her because of her equipment. No aero bars or race suit. I really need to stop making those judgements! She passed me on the first hill, we passed more racers. She stood up I stayed seated and spun. I was able to pick up a few more gears as we crested the hill and I passed her. She got me on the next hill along with another girl who had a tri bike with aero bars. Same thing they stood up and passed me but I got them at the top. We descended and I took off. As we picked off more and more riders we played leap frog. It was awesome! That doesn't happen to me very often and it was fun to try to catch them and vis versa. One more steep hill, still I stayed seated they stood up and passed me.  I caught them at the top and stayed with them. We raced so hard back to the trans area. I was slightly behind them and wanted to beat them out of T2.

T2 starts when you dismount your bike and finishes when you run out of the trans area and counts towards your overall time. I got off my bike, ran it to my spot, took off my helmet, changed my bike shoes to running shoes, racked my bike, grabbed my race belt and ran out total time: 36 seconds!!

I focused on high turnover on the run and got back to my game see runner, pass runner. I was really pushing it and almost got sick. I tried looking at my watch to see what my run time was as I passed the mile markers but my math isn't that great to begin with- doing it while racing was impossible. Next race I think I'll restart my watch for the run so I can pace much better. I caught up to a guy in my age group who didn't seem to be running that fast. I got near him, he heard my breathing and picked up the pace. I tried staying with him hoping to pass him but I couldn't. It made me a little faster though. I turned the corner and the crowd was wild which somehow makes you find a little bit more and I sprinted to the finish.
I stopped my watch at 1:14:58 hoping it was podium worthy. I was so spent I knew I really pushed it and it felt awesome. Each race I am able to dig a little deeper. I found Gina and Steve, they counted me as second female. I couldn't quite accept that because I knew women 40+ started in the wave after me and they are super competitive. I started tearing up as I hugged Gina and Steve. We checked the results which unofficially showed me as second female! We walked the shore and I drank my recovery mix and talked about how I felt. We had some time before awards so we went back to the campsite and I dropped all my stuff off and changed.

The awards started promptly upon our return without much warning. I could tell the timing company wanted to leave. The podium was in the back of the tent and wasn't great for spectating or for pictures.  It sure was rushed. All winners received a pirate hat and I got $50 to Maine Running Company! I was so excited to be on the podium again! They continued with age groups. I knew I was first but wasn't sure if they'd recognize me again. They didn't, second place in my age group was recognized as first with a finish time of 1:23, eight minutes slower than me. I remember just a few summers ago finishing with that time wondering how the winners raced that fast. Now I'm in that spot and it feels pretty cool! I'm torn with the decision to award this way. It's awesome they don't let winners double dip but when you look at results I was first in my age group, I earned it. However I've been on the other side where I was second in my age group but was awarded first and I felt funny.
As I was waiting for a massge and man came up to me and said"I've heard so much about you and am so exicted to meet you" It was Jim Soroka a local triathlete who has raced in the Kona World Championships - 2.4 mile swim 112 mile bike and 26.2 run- amazing! We chatted and made plans to train together. Another local triathlete from Madison, Christian Carlson met up with us. We all placed in our age group!

Gina headed back to the campsite while we were chatting and made lunch! It was so nice to come back and unwind with her and Steve. Having someone doing the little things for me is so helpful thank you so much Gina, you make racing fun and relaxing!

I never wear nail polish except for race day, bright green with words of encouragement. 

We packed up the car and started home, first stop ICE CREAM then a nap. Again I can't thank Gina enough for driving to my races, I can zone out on the way home.

I finished 2nd out of 188 females and 32 of a total 365 triathletes! 
Link to results

As I cross races off my schedule I'm reminded of how close London is and I don't want it to come. After Sept 13 I may not have goal to train for and won't be asked: when is London? How's training? Are you getting excited? When is your next race? Don't get me wrong I can't wait for it to come but not knowing what is after, is on my mind. I know I can qualify for Worlds again but I can't afford to do it in the near future. Yes I can raise money, but training, working full time and part time with Team Skidmore duties this summer is almost overwhelming, plus I have no time for friends.

But I love racing so much, it's me.

Next event Sunday, June 16th Team Skidmore 5k Fun Run/Walk or Bike at Great Glen Trails click here for details. Tell everyone you know, it's an easy 3 miles and perfect reason to get Dad and the family out for some exercise!

Next race Nashua Tri June 23!

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Monday, June 3, 2013

I won my first Triathlon of the season!

Running through the finish line knowing I had pretty much left all of it out there felt amazing but not the amazing most can associate with. Amazing that I’m learning to mentally push myself physically. It’s a new and exciting level of training.

The alarm went off at 3:12 am. Bedtime is usually 9pm before a race, but the clock read 11:20pm as I closed my eyes. Libby’s Bistro hosted a fundraiser dinner for Team Skidmore the night before so I was there a little later than I wanted but had a great time with friends.

I have a really hard time eating on race morning even more so when it’s super early. It was a 2.5 hour drive to the town of Bath, Me and packet pickup was between 6:30 and 7:30. I usually don’t eat out the night before a race but I had no choice. The food was incredible but I wasn’t digesting it well. I had also eaten out a few times during the week. I haven't had time to go food shopping but I made good choices at the restaurants I did go to. Gina and I departed at 4:15 it was still dark. I did manage to get half a bagel down and a banana but knew I needed more. My stomach was gurgling all the way there, the sunrise was beautiful though!

We had stopped a few times to use the bathroom. We didn’t pack a breakfast and planned on stopping somewhere. That somewhere was McDonald’s yup..McDonalds. I didn’t want to eat at a new place and I’ve had McD’s breakfast sandwiches before so I knew I was safe. Plus there were no diners open that early. Egg sausage and cheese it was good. Didn’t settle my stomach but at least there was food in it.  Due to the wave assignments I still had two hours to my start time. We arrived at the Bath YMCA and straight to the bathroom I went.

I checked in and got my race packet which almost always consists of race number for the run, race number for the bike, a timing chip worn around the ankle, a swim cap color coordinated to your wave assignment, some coupons and gels. I opened mine and found the two race numbers and a coupon. I always have an extra swim cap in my race bag but used it last week and never put it back, apparently I didn’t learn as a child to always but things back.  I asked about the timing chip and they weren’t using them. I was a little concerned since the race was sanctioned by the USA Triathlon association. I wondered how they would get the splits including T1 and T2. There are several mats that read the electronic timing chip. One after the swim, another as you go out on the bike, one coming in on the bike, one leaving the transition area on the run and one at the finish. This way swim time, T1, bike time, T2 and run time are all recorded. After looking at the results it seems they added the T1 to the bike and T2 to the run, I'm really not sure about that.

The swim portion was in the pool so I was worried about having to count my laps 10 ½ or 21 lengths.

I hit the bathroom again and went for a quick ride. The pool and the transition area closed at 7:30 and my wave wasn’t starting until 8:45. All other tris I’ve done are in open water and the wave times are just a few minutes apart. After my spin with power accelerations I checked in, got inked, and set up my transition area.

 The racks were pretty full but I made do. 

As Gina and I listened to the pre race meeting, I checked out the competition. Most seemed pretty relaxed and looked like they weren’t super competitive. But I’ve learned you can’t judge by suits or personality. The race director went over the rules, the run and bike courses and then the teens started at 8am. 

I went back and forth from the spectator area to the bathroom a few more times. I still had 30 minutes to start. I knew I need to run but didn’t want to stray too far from the bathroom and I didn’t bring an extra pair of running shoes. I forced my somewhat functioning body ready to race. I borrowed Gina’s sneakers two sizes to small and took off. It was very hot and humid, I really don’t do well in the heat and felt pretty crummy but I knew I had to do this, plus Gina made me. It was a good thing because the elastic in my hair was stretched out and wasn’t  holding my hair well. I returned and found another elastic. It's funny how things play out. Back to the bathroom and then to the pool.

It was pretty confusing, there were still swimmers in the water and I couldn’t tell if they were racing or warming up. You’d think one could differentiate between race pace and warm up but there were many beginners in this race.  I hung out on the deck, I hesitated asking the volunteers because they were counting laps. 
Yup there I am not knowing whats going on, thanks Gina for capturing my finest moment!
I finally asked what lane I was in and was told “any lane you want, some lanes have two swimmers and some have one.” The swimmers that were in the water were warming up! Well, glad they made that apparent in the race meeting. I got in and heard “30 seconds to start”, awesome, no warm up. I was so nervous I didn’t want to loose count and there were so many people watching. I especially didn’t want to be the last out of the pool in my wave. The kid next to me said good luck and I responded with the same I could tell he was a strong swimmer. The whistle blew and I swam pretty hard but after a few laps I just couldn’t get there mentally and wasn’t swimming fast. It was a huge disappointment because I’ve worked so hard on my swim since August. I swam a 9:48 and was the last out of the pool. 
That's me in the closest lane in last place in the wave
With the help of Steve and Maury, I seeded myself in the 8:00 minute wave. It was so frustrating but I just put it behind me and ran like heck to my bike, my specialty. 

Got on and instantly felt fast. Steve wanted me to cover up my computer so I’d be racing by feel not constantly studying the numbers which I’ve also done since August. Well I forgot the tape but I really only looked at it twice over the 10 miles. I did what I could to reel in and pass riders, some in my wave some in the previous wave.  Steve’s last words to me were “absolutely hammer it on the bike and pick up the pieces in the run”  I was on the line of suffering the whole time but knew I’ve have the data and Steve to answer to if I wasn’t.  The road surface was pretty rough which makes it really hard to stay focused and in the zone. I kept my cadence high and passed a few riders and was not passed by any from the wave behind me. That’s always a confidence booster! The roads stay open to car traffic so all rules apply but there are cops and volunteers stopping traffic so that helps. It’s still confusing at times. I got pretty turned around and didn’t realize how close I was to returning back to the transition area, like I said I only looked at my computer twice and didn’t scroll to the next screen to see mileage. I popped off my bike and ran in to T2. I raced 10 miles in 32:21 fifth overall and may or may not include T1 or T2. 

Depending on the terrain of  the transition area I slip out of my shoes while still on the bike. It’s much easier to run barefoot than with cleats. Picture running with reversed heeled shoes, really funny and awkward since your legs are spent. 

Ripped off my helmet and bike shoes pulled on my running shoes and grabbed my race belt. The key to a fast T2 is the race belt -it holds your run number so your not wearing it the whole race. I was in and out of T2 and on my way. 

It was hot out about 85 or 90F and I ran with a fast turn over quickly reeling other racers in. I saw another female who was part of a Tri club and knew she started in my wave so I had to catch her. She passed one of her teammates and they slapped hands. “Aww how cute” I said in my head with a scowl on my face. I get jealous of the camaraderie that comes racing with a club. The closest tri club to me is two hours away. I try to funnel that into going harder knowing I’m representing myself.  I didn’t want to pass her too soon because I didn’t know what she had left. Luckily I could watch her pace for quite awhile on the straight away. After a few minutes I realized I had her. I passed her at the half way point and never heard her again. The run seemed to go on forever, there were no mile markers. I passed a few more and one guy yelled “you’re an animal!” as I looked over to him I barely gasped “come on let's go a little faster we’re almost there” I rarely communicate with other racers but I feel incredible when someone faster than me encourages me. I’m working on returning that favor. Yes I’m racing hard and in the zone but my positive comments may entice a first time competitor to race again. I pushed it harder through the finish shoot and stopped my watch at 1:02:30. 

I was so spent but thrilled that I pushed myself into the suffer zone. I ran the 3 miles in 20:29 which again I think included the T2 time. I was third fastest runner overall!

I caught my breath grabbed some water and checked the results. NO WAY! I was the second to finish and first female?! I held the excitement in because they were unofficial and not all athletes had finished. Gina recorded all my splits and was very happy but said did you forget how to swim? I’d like to erase it but racing is all about gaining experience and dealing with the unforeseen events on race morning. We walked to the car to get my recovery drink and found some shade to elevate and stretch my legs.

We looked at the results again and I had dropped down to 4th overall but I was still the 1st female, it was starting to sink in a little and it brought a sly smirk to my face. A few more racers finished and I cheered them in. I looked up the race number on the girl I passed and she finished one minute behind me. She was second female. She swam a 7:50, thank god I can ride and run but it still means I’ve got a lot of work to do.

We gathered in the gym for awards. The race director thanked all who raced and acknowledged the sponsors. They awarded the teens and went right into overall winners. I started getting butterflies I really don’t like being the center of attention but I earned it! Most races recognize the top three overall and top three for all age groups. Today they only went two deep. Hearing my name as overall winner was so awesome!! It’s the first race I’ve won I was hoping for a podium so I could shake hands with the second and third place finishers,  be up there in front of the crowd with others and of course get that podium photo. But that didn’t happen, oh well.

Gina got one shot of me and we hit the road. 

I was the fastest female to complete the course that day! It won’t set in for a while. As we drove away I looked at my legs and slapped them a few times “great job today girls!” Then I told my arms they sucked, we both laughed hysterically.

What a great start to my tri season! I’ve got five days until my next tri. I'm excited and nervous but this one is an open water swim and won't be as hectic, I hope!

2013 Y-Tri Triathlon Overall 1st Place!