Pre-race Ė a good nightís sleep the two nights before the race, the standard sushi dinner the night before, and Ĺ bagel with lots of peanut butter the morning ofÖand good to go! The tent was great Ė lots of good vibes, camaraderie, and last-minute advice for my first Columbia.
I was enjoying the tent so much that I lost track of time and had to rush to catch up with my wave, which was already entering the water when I realized their caps were the same color as mine! Too much fun at that tent! At least there was no time for butterflies. I still havenít figured out how to navigate through the crowd, so stayed to the right, and got out of the way every time someone was near me. I stopped to tread water for a few seconds, about 3 or 4 times. Last year I got over the fear of open water, and found that itís helpful for me to stop every once in a while to get a larger view of where I am in the race, and where the people are around me. My only other Olympic distance was 3 years ago, and the swim took me 45 minutes with much hyperventilating and panicking. I was quite happy with this new precedent!
Much slower than I hoped, but failed miserably with trying to get the wetsuit off over the chip. The legs of my wetsuit donít match the length of my own legs, so it really just gets to below the calf Ė above the chip. Am I supposed to take the chip off, to take the wetsuit off? This is the first time Iíve had to sit down in transition Ė but finally, I got it.
Bike 1:36:42 Pace 15.8
I wasnít sure how hard to go, because I didnít want to kill my legs before the run, and wanted to take it easy on my back which has been a mess lately. Iíve never ridden a bike in the rain. Lots of people were changing flat tires. Those things all made me nervous, so I stayed comfortable and thought of it as a training ride. Loved having the gel flask in my pocket, which was much easier to manipulate than tearing off the top of the gel packets while riding.
A short chat with a couple other women nearby. Itís really nice to race with women!
Run 58:40 Pace 9:27
I have no idea where this came from, since Iíve been running about 10 minute miles so far this year Ė with the exception of one good training run on this course with Sadj, where we were just under 10 minute miles. I felt really good all throughout the run, didnít walk a step, didnít struggle at all, and was happy to see familiar faces along the way with so many words of encouragement! I might start to enjoy running, after all.
Overall 3:12:57. I had aimed for 3:30:00, so this was great. I felt fine at the end, really energized.
Cute little story Ė I was so happy with my time, and that I didnít walk a single step, and how good I felt when I crossed the line, that I got a bit teary eyed Ė so just put my hands on my knees and ducked my head for a moment. Three wonderfully responsive volunteers ran to me, offering help to get to the medical tent, thinking I was about to pass out, but it was just a little Hallmark moment.
And then I had the best cheeseburger ever (which I started wishing for, when running over the dam). A good day!