This was my 10th Columbia and I felt well prepared and excited to be participating. As I reread entries from my log book about past races most were filled with comments like, "the swim was great, it felt like such a treat to be swimming in Centennial, I loved the bike, I always forget how tough the run is but I felt really strong and just stuck to my plan". etc. etc.
Race morning, got to the park early, set up my transition area and headed over to our tent to chill with everyone. Got my tattoo, lots of hugs from folks and before I knew it it was time to get into the water for my 6:55 start. As soon as i got into the corral I felt my chip loosen signficantly. As I was treading water and trying to keep from losing it I swallowed several big gulps of lake water. I got it reattatched and then the countdown was over. Although I missed the sunshine, I felt comfortable in the water Several times rough collisions with swimmers had me swallowing more lake water. Still, I was a bit faster than last year and felt good getting out of the water. Swim: 31:47
T1- As soon as I got out of the water I realized it was raining. T1 has never been my strong suit. Honestly, I just can't get into rushing, however, this was unusually long even for me (7:10!!!) My fleece top was wet and unusually hard to get on as were my socks and gloves. ( I suppose I should give up gloves for racing)
The bike was not fun for me and usually I love it. It rained pretty hard until the circle on the way back and I felt tense and cautious. Hard to see with the rain on my glasses and wary of the wet white line on the right. Time: 1:45 about 4 minutes slower than last year.
T2 2:22 and uneventful
Run: After the first mile I was getting very strong signals that I was not "in the zone". Like having an "off" training day, except this had never happened to me before in a race. I'd run the course quite a few times feeling strong, and on one run with Dawn had a PR for the course but I just couldn't get my legs going. Usually I take two 30 second walking breaks on Old Annapolis Road and when I feel like walking up the hills I just tell myself to wait until then, but yesterday I started feeling woozey and a bit nauseated and found myself walking up part of some of the hills. It really helped to see so many MMTC folks along the way and the Dunnigan waterstop was the highlight of the run (except for the finish line). After I crossed the finish line I guess I looked pretty bad because I got helped over to the medical tent and was attended to by Nina Bingham and Harry Oken the people in charge of the medical tent. They thought that I might have felt sick from swallowing the lake water....anyway after a bit of a lie-down on a cot I was good to move to the tent. Time: 1:08 five minutes slower than last year.
Despite this dispiriting series of events I did manage to get an award for being second (of two) in my age group. Felt a bit punk the rest of the day and could only eat dull things like toast and Cream of Wheat. Feeling much better today and proud of myself for slugging it out.