Since this race report isn't really about the numbers, I'll just put them all here:
I was relatively relaxed coming into this race as compared to Iron Girl because IG was my main focus this season. All I did was rely on what speed I've managed to develop this year for sprint tri's and add some longer rides and runs so I could hopefully manage the distance. I also got a 12-28 cog set to replace my 11-25 (I think it was 11) since last year my back was killing me after the Half Full bike from grinding up the hills. I was loving my new granny gear this race.
It was great hanging out with Gwen Musk before the swim start nd after the finish. I think we managed to keep our minds off the cold and dreary weather prior to the start. The swim went well for me. I love the TT start and I'm glad I had a long-sleeve wetsuit on.
I took some of the advice I read on the Yahoo group before the race and took the time in T1 to dry off and put on a dry shirt, arm warmers, wind breaker, and light gloves. I already had toe covers on my shoes and my aero helmet has the nice ear flaps that were fine for keeping my ears warm. Only my legs got chilly, and it took about an hour before they really felt alive. I made a point of thanking the volunteers and the police officers were I could since I was very impressed they were out there in the cold without exercise to keep them warmer. No power meter for me this race. I just went with how I felt and tried to keep some in reserve for the run.
The run is where I usually start thinking about how fortunate I am to be able to race. I try to keep this in mind for every race, but this particular race magnified the feeling many times over. I started thinking of Heather ZG, my father, and my friend from high school who has been fighting leukemia for over a year. I truly am thankful for being healthy, and for my family being healthy. This is what I was thinking when I finished, so I was smiling at the end instead of my typical grimace. The podium was extra icing on a cold day that gave me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.