So this sunday was my last triathlon of the season. Lets back up a second and put this race back into context.
I knew I was in good enough shape to finish the race with a decent time, but like every competitive and perfectionist person I know a decent time was not quite what I was looking for. I was afraid that my reduced time to train would not allow me to succeed as I wanted.
Thankfully I found a small group of very supportive women who have been super patient with me with my doubts and my whining and helped me "coach" me etc... That has really helped me a lot. B also is super supportive and eventhough running with him is a humbling and painful experience it makes me a better runner. In case you didn't notice I rarely go for the easy route.
So I have been very anxious for this race to come. The course was a little longer than the other sprint triathlon I did. The swim was 0.46M instead of 0.28M but in Mission Bay so no repeat of the Solana Beach Triathlon. The bike was 12.5M of flat and the run 5K so 3.1M of flat too. The course was actually the same than my first triathlon just a little longer.
I knew that I improved my bike. I was hoping to be able to improve my last run pace a little bit like below 9min/miles and the swim well was just the swim.
So I had a plan and the plan was to race hard and then not be depressed by the race results which is for me the hardest part believe it or not.
Anyways Saturday we go get the race packet and thus I knew exactly where to go the next morning. After much debate we decided that B and the kids would be waiting for me at home. I loaded up the car in the afternoon and I went to bed at 10pm and woke up at 4:15am.
I ate my pb&honey drank some water and was on my way. The parking lot was empty, the transition area still closed and only a few girls in front of me. I was calm a little anxious but otherwise calm. I found the perfect spot for my bike and set up. I always forget which side I'm supposed to put my stuff on. Thankfully a much more experienced triathlete helped me out.
The transition area was filling up. I did my transition walk, from the swim to the entry to my bike to the bike out etc.... I went to the restroom. Finally saw some familiar faces around 6:30am. I had a plan. Slow and steady for the swim, bike strong and steady, first lap of the run get into a pace and the last mile start increasing the pace until all out at the end.
The start of the race wasn't super well organized I have to say. I was thinking a water start but since they had you register your timing cheap I wasn't even in the water when the swim started. I didn't really realized we started until I saw the first girls swimming past the buoy. I got into my rythm of reach out and glide. It was pretty uneventful. At the finish I was with the slow slow from the wave before and the fast from the wave after. I didn't dwell as I knew the swim is my weak point. I made it out without being completely out of breath and I knew a decent time.
Since the start was so weird I didn't start my watch and thus I didn't have any idea of timing during the race.
I got to my bike and eventhough I had a prime spot at the end of the rack someone propped her bike against the rack and was a little but in my space. However I was still able to get out in a timely fashion. Hoped on the bike and got into a rythm. My pace was hovering between 17 and 21mph. I had to slow down a few times because the back of my knee started hurting a little and I felt my legs burn as well. Since I wanted a decent run I tried not to die to much on the bike. I did manage to gulp two chews in transition and to drink a little during the bike.
Looked at my overall pace which was a little discouraging at a 17.5mph. I decided not to dwell on this because I didn't want to be down for the run. I was in the race and if 17.5mph was what I could give so be it. Ran in transition, put my socks, shoes grabbed two more chews and a little of water. I started running my shoe was not perfectly confortable but ah well. I got into a rythm where I was running strong but also kept my breathing under control. If you had asked me I was running probably a 9:30min/mile. I find it so hard to gauge your pace after biking. I am lucky though because I don't feel the wobbly legs any longer. So I started the run nice and flat, and I feel good. I'm working hard but nothing major. I grabbed a little water at the first aid station. Then at mile 2 I start pushing a little because there's only 1M to go and then someone joins me and we start running together. I was tempted to ask for our pace but decided not to. If I go fast then I'm going to feel I'm going too fast and won't last and if I'm slower than I think I'm going to be deflated so I decided to just focus on my running.
The girl I was running with start talking with a friend and I decided to pick up the pace a little. By that time I'm breathing hard but I'm still strong and then I see the turn to the finish and I accelerate. I think I'm done when I step on the first mat and thus slow a tad down until I realize that the end is a few feet away.... Pass the finish line I have no idea what is the finish time. I don't even think about looking at my watch. I had a great race. I wander a little grab a bagel munch on it. Finally find the GoTribal girls, talk to them a little, ask Jackie if I can borrow her phone call B. He is like wao it is only 8:50... try to calculate my time, can't hey 8:50-7:12 is really hard. Talk to him for a few minutes. Give the phone back to Jackie. Finally look at my watch and see that it is only 8:46. Hmmm I did my race around 1:30 Yay!!!!
Drive home, take a shower and start trying to figure out how fast was my run. I calculated a 8:50 min/mile. I was super excited and was going to tell B when I thought hey lets check if they posted the results yet. Sure enough the results were posted: Finish time 1:26:03, 32/118 in my age group, swim 18:15 (not surprising), bike 18.8 mph better than on my computer that's because I didn't reset the darn thing duh!!!!, but most of all run 24:53 for 5K and that is a 8min/mile!!!!
I have never ran an 8min/mile before maybe during my brief sprints at the end of my runs!
I am over the moon, elated so stoked. I have proven to myself and to other that you can shine with little time, focused training, strong will, interest in pain and not real atheletic background!
The best part is that I know I can do better but I didn't feel I race to the point of dying. I know everything worked for me on that one. It wasn't hot, the course was flat. I trained well thanks to all the advice from the GoTRibal girls, Tanya Bobbie Mary. My support group, Rebecca, Jackie, Bryan, etc....
Now a week off and on to half marathon training!
Next year I will tackle my first Olympic distance!