Remember how I said I wasn't racing in any tris this year? Because I was so busy/stressed/etc. etc.? Well apparently I'm not that busy (and in better shape than I thought) because I last minute signed up to do the Tri for Sight Sunday in Lexington and peer pressured
L to R: Andrew, Christy, Me,
Autumn, Terri and Rhonda (minus Luke and Lori)
I got everything set up early and managed to hit the potties before most people had arrived so that was a bonus. Taking off the one piece trisuit and hovering basically naked over a toilet at 6 am in the dark in 40 degree temps isn't the most fun thing to do on a Sunday morning but like every other crazy triathlon thing it was totally worth it. I got set up pretty quickly and was feeling surprisingly calm. I spotted Luke in transition and stopped to say hello. *Funny fact: I started reading Luke's blog last year when I was thinking about triathlons and his popped up since he also lives in the area and has raced tons of our local races. Long story short we became Facebook friends and he just so happens to also be a very active member of the tri club and a super speedy semi-pro triathlete!* It was good to talk to him in person and he gave me some huge containers of RAW protein for FREE since Garden of Life is one of his sponsors and he (lucky for me) hates coffee flavored things.
After dropping off the goods in the car I ventured back out to check out the swim area. The swim was being held in a heated pool (what?!) so I really had no nerves heading into it. I swim in a heated pool all the time so how bad could it be? And since there was steam coming off of it, it looked like a glorious hot tub. I came back to transition for the athlete meeting and found the Landsharks and
After an hour and 11 minutes my race finally started! We had to sit down and slide into the water then wait 15 seconds before taking off. Once he said go I started my watch and off I went. I was already feeling great, no jitters and few butterflies and once I started moving it all went away. I love swimming and am improving a lot which is a big confidence booster. After the first 25 I had already caught the person in front of me. At the 50m mark a woman caught me and I let her go by but before we even reached the wall for 75m she started doing breaststroke and I caught her pretty quick. Since it was in the pool and the lanes were narrow we had to wait until the wall before we could pass which was a little irritating. Somewhere around halfway I got in a head on collision which is kind of funny. When I swim in the pool I don't do a lot of sighting because I don't have to so I was looking straight down and a woman doing breaststroke bulldozed me! I was surprised but no one was injured so I just kept on swimming. Later everyone told me she was going the wrong way in the lane so I didn't feel too bad. I passed a lot of people on the swim which was really surprising but I was so happy since I knew they'd all catch up on the bike. I could hear people cheering for me every now and then when I took a breath and that was fun too. Before I knew it I was finished (and a little sad that swim time was over!) and hopped out of the pool to make the long jog to transition. I was expecting to do around 12 minutes, my best time in the pool on my own was 11:13 and I figured I lost some time getting stuck in traffic. I was shocked when I saw my splits!
400m Swim - 10:59 (2:45/100m)
I still felt great after the swim, in fact I didn't have sea legs at all and jogged into transition like an old pro.
The Colonel always acts as my personal photographer and this time Landshark Andrew was snapping some pics too so I've got a lot which is really cool. My bike was racked far back in transition but right near the bike out which was nice. The Colonel tried to give me a pep talk but my brain wasn't quite working enough to talk and dress so I didn't say much. I was nervous a little for the bike because I'm severely undertrained and didn't know anything about the course but I was having fun so tried not to stress. A few people came into transition behind me from the swim but I beat most of them out. I assume they were all first timers since I'm not all that seasoned.
Away I went on my bike. I forgot to set in a low gear (of course) but there weren't any big climbs out of transition so I was fine. It was a beautiful course! If I weren't in the middle of a race I would have stopped to take pictures. Scenery is definitely where Lexington has Louisville beat...but literally the only place it wins ;) They weren't joking about the "rolling hills" on the course because it was a constant up and down all 13 miles. I haven't ridden much but it's almost always on hills so I didn't have trouble with any of the climbs. There were a couple of pretty big ones and it definitely started to hurt on the way back but I just changed gears and kept moving forward. Just like I thought I was passed by what felt like EVERYONE on the bike course which strengthened my resolve to start The Sufferfest in November. I just kept telling myself to push hard but save a bit for the run. I think if I weren't so afraid of going fast on those downhills I would've done much better time wise but I'm still inexperienced and ride my breaks in case a turn comes up or I have to swerve to avoid something. I'm a wimp. I saw
13 Mile Bike - 1:06:24 (11.7 mph)
I remembered to shift down for the last half mile or so of the bike so I'd spin a little and get my legs used to a quicker cadence. I got off my bike and did the tippy toe dance into transition to get that tingle out of my butt for the run. Transition was FAST and I'm not sure how it's possible but the results don't lie! As I was jogging out I heard a guy yell "Nice legs!" Only in triathlon does that mean nice brick-free running legs and not the actual shape of said legs. He was right though. I hardly felt the brick and for a split second thought I should've gone harder on the bike. Who am I???
T2 - :51 WHATTTT?!
There was gravel at the start of the run which sucked but was manageable. The course was bizarre with 3 (I think) kind of random turn arounds. Aside from the gravel the roads were in great shape (bike included!) so that made the run pretty easy. I wasn't really paying attention to the time so didn't worry about intervals although I did walk here and there as I drank water. Remember all of those people who passed me on the bike? Yeah, I remembered too and picked off a lot of them during the run. Apparently I'm pretty good at that. I'm not used to passing people but I've got to admit it's kind of fun. Rewarding maybe is the right word. I gave them all words of encouragement and got a lot of stink eyes thrown back at me but a lot more positive words back. Anything goes during the run of a tri so I don't hold anything against anyone. There was one woman I really tried to hang with and did for almost 2 miles before she left me in the dust. Oh well. After the final strange turn around I came up on a TNT woman who was really sweet. Her grandkids climbed out of bushes and started screaming for her and she turned to me and said "Let's go!". I shrugged and said, "Ok!" and took off. She didn't. It was weird. But coming through the finish I passed 3 or 4 people which was still fun (more fun to pass the men) and saw lots of people I knew cheering for me which was awesome! Most importantly, that pesky leg injury of mine didn't bother me at all!
5K Run - 33:27 (10:47/mi)
Overall Time - 1:54:32 (less than 2 hours! Yay!)
2nd Place Athena 39 and Under Division
This is likely my last Athena (female triathletes over 165 lbs) race and I'm glad I did well. I really felt great throughout the whole race and only took a couple sips of water during the run the whole day. Before the race I had a few bites but not much. I can really feel the difference in my performance from eating well consistently and not just during race week. It's also nice to reap the benefits of skipping donuts! A few people have asked me about what I eat as a vegetarian athlete as opposed to what I eat as a vegetarian so stay tuned for a post on some of my favorite nutrition bits. ALSO look out for a giveaway coming soon!