Last Saturday morning, I woke up to this:
The forecast had been dismal all week, and I was pretty cranky about it (just ask Nick), but I was hoping they were wrong (they weren’t).
Nevertheless, I packed all my gear for the Take the Hill sprint triathlon at Gustavus in Saint Peter and decided racing in the rain would be a last minute decision. Of course I knew the entire time I’d race, but I just wanted to complain about the crap weather a bit. (Last year’s race weather was equally terrible.)
It was pretty relaxed. Nick and I arrived about 90 minutes early, checked in, met up with a few friends who were also racing and arranged our gear in transition near the bike and run in + out. I learned my lesson last year, so bike shoes, run shoes, socks, ear warmer and race belt went inside a plastic garbage bag to keep them dry. Because there’s nothing worse than biking and running in wet socks and wearing a soaking ear warmer.
Also, braids = brilliant. This is now my official race hair :)
SWIM // 500 yards, 11:10.
Based on our estimated 500-yard time, we were assigned waves for the pool swim; my 8:00 time put me in wave three. I opted to swim in my suit for two reasons: 1) a wet kit = a frozen kit when it’s 35 degrees; and, 2) I didn’t want to chlorinate my new #teamSOAS kit. I don’t remember much about the swim other than it never felt hard and that it went by quickly. Granted, it was only a 500-yard swim, but it flew by. So, my 11:10 time… it’s not accurate. My lane partner started about 30 seconds before me, and after I finished, I toweled off on the pool deck and put on my pink peacock SOAS kit and lululemon swiftly tech long sleeve before I crossed the timing mat outside. I remember the clock saying 8:32 as I neared the end of the swim, so guessing my swim time is closer to 8:05 (the clock started with the first swimmers in each heat).
T1 // 2:35.
BIKE // 12.5 miles, 40:19, 18.6 mph average.
I love my bike, I love riding my bike, and racing on my Argon for the first time didn’t disappoint. It was fast, responsive and just felt good. And, other than frozen braids and my legs matching the color of my pink shorts – they were numb and frozen – I felt good. While it wasn’t as windy as last year, the cross wind still blew me around enough that I couldn’t stay in aero around several of the curves and down the one hill.
T2 // 1:16.
Helmet off + shoe swap and off on the run.
RUN // 3.3 miles, 23:37, 7:07 pace.
Mile one wasn’t too bad. My legs were a bit heavy, but they warmed up quickly as I ran through the arboretum. The hill – the one that leads up to campus and the race’s namesake – came around mile 1.5, and it hurt going down and coming back up. After slogging to the top, I had two goals: To catch the triathletes in front of me, and to see how hard I could push myself the rest of the run. I kicked it into high gear and repeated: You can do anything for one mile. And, after passing a few more runners as the route rounded the football and soccer fields, I crossed the finish line, unsure where that 7:07 pace came from, but I’ll take it!
OFFICIAL RESULTS // 1:18:45, 1st AG, 2nd OA female, 13th OA.
For the first race of the season, I’m really happy with it! It was a great race to test my fitness (which is way better than last year… I cut 14 minutes off my time!) and nearly three months of training with Coach Joe. All the swimbikerunning is working!
And, congrats to friend Nick De Leeuw and my Nick! They rocked the race, finishing 1-2, respectively. All in all, a cold + fun day!