Monday, July 21, 2014

RR: Girlfriends and Dudes Sprint Triathlon (PR)

And, we are back with another RR.  I've actually done two races since the last one but I'll start with the race that was the more exciting of the two.

It's been several years since I raced a sprint and I really wanted to find one this year.  The one I normally do fell on the day of my first HIM for the season so that was out.  I remembered a few years back Jen did this race so I googled it and registered.  I had high expectations for this race.  I wanted a PR, I wanted to compete and secretly, I was hoping for a podium finish, though, I was going for a top 5 AG.

Race morning, it was overcast, windy and chillier than it has been.  I'll take it--at least it wasn’t 108 like the HIM.  Pre-race went all fine and dandy and as I was getting into the water I told Mr. Pi that I was excited and ready to have a fun time!

Pensive pre-race photo

1/2 mile Swim: 13:03 (1:29/100yd)

Despite it not being a big race I got into a tangle with one other lady and couldn’t shake her.  We swam stroke for stroke for probably half the race.  It was slightly annoying but also motivating to not slow down.  It was a downstream race which made for a fast time.  Sprint swim PR set, off to a good start.

Awkward run up the sand...why is this always the hardest part of the swim for me? Probably added an extra minute just getting to the timing mat for T1.

T1: 1:44 Good lord, what was I doing for nearly 2 minutes, this could use some improvement!

12.5 mi Bike: 39:59 (18.75 MPH--2nd fastest bike split in my AG)

My goal for the bike was to ride balls out.  If that meant blowing up on the run so be it.  I got out and got going and right before the first turn one lady passed me, and sure enough she was in my AG.  However, not long after the turn I came up on a girl, also in our AG and blew by her.  Not knowing exactly where I had come out of the swim, my goal when Pink shirt girl passed passed was to NOT let her outta my sight.  I shifted and aeroed right through the headwind.  My watch was set on total time so I hadn’t a clue my pace and that was fine by me…all I wanted was not to be passed and to pass as many people as possible.  The charity wave started before my wave so I was constantly passing the slower riders but through the rest of the ride only two dudes passed me, hauling ass I might add.  Pink shirt AG girl was within my sights but riding too fast for me to catch her.  At the turnaround it was a nice tailwind back to the park and I got a look at some of the riders ahead of me.  I thought there was maybe one other girl in my AG ahead of me and thought I was probably in 3rd.  For the first time in any race, I was a freakin’ competitor!  As I rushed through the final portion of the bike I kept saying, just run strong.

T2:  1:12 Again, this could be improved.  What took me so long?!?

5k Run: 28:53 (9:17 avg pace)

Not knowing my bike split really at all but briefly looking at the total time I thought, crap, I can blow my 1:35 total time goal out of the water with a strong 5k.  So, off I went.  The girl I had passed early on in the ride, I had seen at the turnaround and she wasn’t THAT far behind me.  At this point I was hoping she was a slow runner.  On the 5k, I passed several duathletes and charity wave runners and just settled into a comfortably hard pace.  I was focused on running a good race.  If the girl behind me passed me I would try to keep up but really I cared about executing my own race more than a podium finish at that point.  Mile one clocked in at a 9:20, I was happy with that and asked myself, can I run faster…so I turned it on a little more, especially as I approached the turnaround and saw the Pink shirt girl coming back toward me, I figured she was probably running too fast for me to catch her but I was going to try.  As I hit the turnaround, I was scanning the crowd looking for the girl I passed on the bike, sadly, she too looked like she was running pretty fast and gaining on me.  I held it strong and mile 2 beeped in at 9:09.  I was holding my own!  The only people passing me were guys who looked like they were running 6 min miles and 1 freakishly strong looking 40-44 year old lady (made me think of Coach Jen).  I felt awesome!  At some point during the final mile, green shirt girl passed me, I held onto to her tail as much as I could but she was out running me.  As I rounded the corner to the finish line, the only thing I could think of was HOLY CRAP this is awesome!  I saw the finish clock which read 1:34 and I was sprinted to beat my goal of 1:35…but I had forgotten that I wasn’t the first wave!  I looked down at my watch 1:24---holy shit, 1:24!  My 5k spilt was under 29 minutes and faster than the Freedom 5k (more on this race to come) I had done just a few weeks prior.  Not only that BUT I felt like a competitor!
Passing a duathlete...why on earth would someone want to skip the swim and do an extra run?

BIG smile to go along with my BIG PR

I found Mr. Pi and told him how awesome the race had gone! We walked around to cool down a bit and then I found the results tent.  I knew I was probably wasn’t going to be on the podium but I wanted to check.  It read 5th…BUT turns out that the girl that won our AG was also top 3 overall (along with freakishly strong 40-44 year old) so I ended up in 4th by about 40 seconds.    This is what stinks about not being a fast runner.  However, I think I can cross weak cyclist off my list. So CLOSE to a podium but I think what’s more important is that I raced to my potential and completely BLEW my sprint distance PR out of the water with a 25 MINUTE improvement!

Official time: 1:24:52

I really could not be happier with this performance, I left it all out there, I competed, I kept my wits about me and I finished strong.