Being a process-oriented person, I have tried to base my first full racing season on Joe Friel’s book. So this race I had labelled as a “C” race, with my main goals for the race being to improve my swim time and my transition times over those of my first race, last year’s Iron Girl.
After fretting for two weeks over the Lake Anna water temperature, I was incredibly happy that the day was going to be sunny and warm. It turned out that the water wasn’t so bad once you got in and that thin layer of water warmed up in your suit. I was satisfied with the way my head and hands and feet felt before the start, too. After the initial flurry at the start, where I got excited and swam too hard for a couple minutes, I told myself to settle down and concentrate on form. Well, that water wouldn’t let me get comfortable no matter what I did. I couldn’t seem to catch my breath no matter how slow I went or if I did the backstroke for a while. It was frustrating, but I slugged it out until finally rounding the last buoy. Then I started going left all the time! At the end I reverted back to one-sided breathing and subsequently went left a lot. After crawling out of the water, I was still listing to the left! It took a half minute to get my bearings. I ended up doing the swim at the same pace that I did Iron Girl, which is surprising, since I was pausing to catch my breath all the time.
I thought it funny that after babying my new wet suit since I bought it, I yanked and stomped, and cursed it off of me during T1. I was able to reduce my T1 time by 1:46, even with the clingy wet suit.
Well, that was a long-winded description of my short-winded swim, so I won’t bore you with my very average bike ride. Except to say that this is the first time trial I’ve been in where I got to play chicken with oncoming traffic. It was an exciting game of car and runner dodge'em!
After surviving the obstacle course, my T2 was also improved. I went from a whopping 4:45 at Iron Girl down to a less laughable 2:05. Not changing socks really helps. :)
My run was pretty average (for me), except for getting my legs back near the turn-around and being able to pass a lady whose age matched mine. I rarely am able to pass anyone who isn’t 20 years older than me on the run, so it added some satisfaction at the end.