I hadn't planned to do this race until I won an entry at our April meeting. I was planning to use it as a training day, but a few weeks ago I took a look at last years results and realized I had a good chance to beat last year's AG winner's time. I told my coach I wanted to go for it and she made my theme for the race "Balls to the Wall" (I love her!)
In the weeks before the race I rode the course 4 times, getting faster each time, and felt good about race day.
Race day morning:
My normal routine: woke up about 1'15" before departure time, had breakfast, loaded the car, and off we went. Arrive around 6, set up my transition area, and then hung out at the Vess' unofficial MMTC tent (thanks again Missie and Dave). Had a gel 30 minutes before my swim time.
Swim: 400m pool swim: 9:15 (6/13 AG)
Different from the other pool swim tri's I've done, for this one everyone gets a half lane for themselves; when a swimmer finishes, you cross the mat to start the clock, jump into the open lane, and off you go. I liked this so much better than a snake swim! I kept a strong, steady pace but finished behind my anticipated pace; it's possible that the time to and from the pool and across the mats was longer than I'm believing. Anyway, on to T1
T1: 0:50 (1/13AG)
I've been working hard at paring my transitions down to the bare essentials and it is paying off. I've been going without socks on the bike for a while and this time I started with my shoes on the bike. It also helps that it was a short run to TA and a very short run to the mount line. My only mishap was I forgot to open the straps on my shoes so I struggled a little bit getting into them.
Bike: 14 miles: 49:36 (2/13 AG)
My last training ride I went 47:27 so I was hoping to at least equal that. I'm not sure how I lost 2 minutes. I passed about 12 riders and wasn't passed by any. I finished the ride with a leg swing over the back of the bike and a running dismount, something I had never tried, even in training. I have mo idea where that came from but it worked out well and I hope to continue to use it in the future.
T2: 1:20 (1/13AG)
This has a much longer run from dismount to enter through the rear of TA. I lost maybe 5 seconds when I started to run the wrong way out.
Run: 5k (short): 26:44 (2/13)
Running used to be my real weakness, but I've worked it very hard this year and finally have become a runner. Keeping with my Balls-to-the-Wall orders I pushed this run for pretty much all I had; the uphills were tough, especially the part from TA through the grass to the gravel driveway and the last 1/2 mile, including the finish up the driveway and into the chute.
I finished under last year's AG winner, and it was good enough for 2nd place, my first trip to the podium! Not bad for a race I hadn't planned to do!