I guess the saying “third time’s a charm” really does mean something!
This was my third IronGirl and I was able to achieve a PR and improvements everywhere!
After the Celebration Sprint in June, I decided I really needed to do more bike to run training, especially if I wanted to get better! I am slow on the run as it is, so after swimming and biking, I would need any help I could get. I started going to Run/Bike/Run on Wednesday evenings. This has been such a big help. I would have never been running 4 miles in one workout! I also have been in a master swim program for the last year and my swim has improved so much!
I woke up at 3:30am to my usual text message from my friend Suellen (we do this each race to make sure each of us are awake). I got the rest of my stuff together and was picked up by Jill M., and we headed to the park. I got body marked; this is when I start to get nervous. Set up my stuff (thanks to Dawn and Kim- much more efficient this time)! Helped some newbies in my area, pumped tires and double checked my stuff one more time. Grabbed my sandwich, met up with friends and my sister (who always comes early with me as a spirited spectator) and headed over to the hill/MMTC tent. Hung at the tent when it started to pour! My parents came by the tent to say hi – they are such good sports coming out and waiting in the rain- again! Was very excited to see Mary & Kathie before the race- I had been looking out for them to wish them both good luck! Also ran into Sheila who wrote me a cute note on my race packet while stuffing them earlier in the week!
After a twenty-minute rain delay, the race was about to start! Went up to the hill, grabbed my swim stuff and said bye to my family one more time. Wished Suellen and Jill M. good luck and headed down to the start. I had been looking for my friend Amy- it was her first Iron Girl- finally saw her and her family and was able to give her a big hug!
Swim Time 27.31
Started a little in the back of the pack because I did not want to get beat up in the water. After a few minutes, found my rhythm and just concentrated on all the stuff I had been practicing for the past year! Glanced at my watch at the last buoy and knew I was about a minute faster than I was in Celebration! This made me feel really good! When I got out of the water I could hear people saying “there’s Jill, go Jill”, not even sure who it was, but it sure makes you feel really good!
T1 2.49 (very happy with this time- I have never been under 3 minutes)
Up the hill and on the bike I went. My sunglasses were all spotted from the rain-so I just put them on the rim of my noise. Finally I was at a place I could coast for a second and was able to wipe them off with my bandana. The bike is my strongest area and I just settled in and rode the course. I know where I can make up time on the flats how to handle those hills. Saw a few friends on the bike and that always makes me happy! This was the fastest I have ever been on the bike in practice or race.
T2 1.44 Even dropped my water bottle
Run 49:58 (after 3 years of trying- I was finally under 50 minutes for the run)
What can I say about the run? I tried my best not to do the “old many shuffle” and pick up my feet! I ran more this race than any before. Loved seeing my friend Howard at the first mile handing me water…always makes me smile when I see someone on the route I know! Made it to Gatoraide Hill and loved all the cheering, costumes, etc! As I entered the fields I heard someone say “you got this, Jill”- I knew the voice was familiar. Came around and saw friends of mine that I did not expect to see. She told me I was her hero!
Was able to see Jill M. coming up Gatoraide Hill! Came around the lake and I knew I was still feeling good, saw another Jill who was kayak support. She took my picture! Then I heard/saw Suellen cheering for me! Telling me it was time to go and sprint it in! So I did!
I always love the end chute at IronGirl with all the people cheering you in! I heard my name and pumped my hands in the air! I was so proud to be an IronGirl again! Went up the hill and saw my mom, dad, sister and friend, Steve! Hugs all around!
Went down the tent and drank the most delicious fruit smoothie! Mary gave me flowers from her daughter Summer! Very sweet of Summer to think of me! Hung out for a few and then headed home! I was on a race high all day…especially after knowing that I took almost 5 minutes off from my Celebration time and 13 minutes since my first IronGirl three years ago!
I have one more sprint tri this season at the end of September and I look forward to competing in that!