I’ll try and be brief but forgive me if this gets a little long. It is not often I get a PR anymore unless it is a new distance and my podium finishes are few and far between!!
Background: I signed up for Tri to Win 6 days before the race - I watched everyone pushing themselves at Eagleman and wanted to try and “race”. Ironman Texas was not a stellar showing for me so I needed a boost. A comment my boyfriend made the day before also made me think maybe I could push harder and see what I could do. We had both finished the Baltimore 10 miler on Saturday – me as a pacer and him racing – and he said he knew he could push himself harder. He said he wanted to run so hard that he ran into a pole because he couldn’t see and couldn’t hear. Hmmmm, not really my style but I had the bug in my head to maybe push myself a little harder than I had been.
Race morning was crazy relaxed – with the venue 10 minutes from my house there was no rush. I got to transition later than normal since I am learning that having two kids in tow makes your T times a little slow. I racked my bike, kept loosing things along the way and was having a blast seeing so many Carroll County friends. This was my first tri in 2008 (the day after being hit by a car no less) and just a wonderful race for a great cause. I got to wait at the start with Phil and his boys, laughing and watching everyone start their race.
400 M pool swim: 8:36
My time was meh, I think because I was getting confused with the signs they were putting in the pool saying which lap we were on. I kept stopping to ask if I could get out!! I did not flip turn because of my hurt ribs but I felt good. This is a cool tri because there are a lot of first timers - people walked some of the swim, they stopped in the middle to rest, do backstroke, etc. Fun to watch and pretty motivating to see people do something new.
Pretty fast, I just slid on socks and shoes and took off. Too bad I ran out the run exit and had to turn around. I was laughing the whole time as were my friends who were marshals. They kept on calling me a newbie due to my many blunders that morning.
14 mile bike, rolling hills: 49:33
I started on the bike with the goal to ride hard and to keep off my brakes unless I was turning. I stayed on my tri bars as much as I could and just kept motoring. I passed a few people and only had 2 guys whiz by. I felt good at the end of the ride but had no clue how fast I went since my bike computer got jacked up on the ride to the race. I also decided to leave my watch at home so I was totally racing by feel.
No issues during T2. I found my way out of transition without issues and was pleasantly surprised to see there were only one or 2 bikes in my rack which is very unusual for me since I am slow biker most races.
3.1 mile run: 28:33
This run is pretty hilly and starts with about .5 miles on grass and gravel which is not easy on the legs. My coach (3rd overall and 1st in his AG) found me on the run and ran with me for most of the race. We chatted and while I was not setting any records, I ran the whole time and was not in any pain. I was just so happy to be running without pain; I really didn’t care about my time. The finish is uphill and I was thrilled that about 100 yards before the end Phil and the boys were waiting. I slapped their hands and pushed on to the finish. It made a huge difference knowing they were there to support me.
Epilogue: We left right after the race to take Phil out to breakfast for Father’s day so I had no idea of my total race time or my finishing place. I felt like I did well but it is hard to gauge with a rolling start. We went on to have a lazy wonderful day and I felt content.
My friend texted me early on Monday and said I was second in my age group and when I looked at the results I saw he was right. I had beaten my 2008 and 2009 finish times by more than 12 minutes and was actually in the top 100 finishers!!! This may not seem like a big deal to some people, but to me it felt good. I had an awesome day with a ton of friends and Phil and his sons got to cheer me on. What is better than that?