So… timing for the Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon is still kind of screwed up, so this will get updated later. Basically, both transitions appear to have been added to the bike (when compared to my Garmin times, where I used multisport mode), so I used the Garmin times for transition. This may mean a HUGE edit to the race report later. Fingers crossed, because I am SUPER pleased with my times.
I didn’t have the same feelings going into this race that I did last year. I was excited, but not as much as last year. I think it was exhaustion. And general nervousness. Last year I was worried if I could do it. This year, I was worried that I would disappoint myself. I really wanted to show improvement over last year.
I was worried about the time trial start. After my open water panic issues, I learned to get in the water and get used to it instead of just rushing in. What is a time trial start? Rushing in. And there wasn’t an in-water warmup. So I opted to squirt myself with ice water before the race. I also put some ice down my shirt. I’m not sure that any of that actually helped, but it made me feel better, so it counts.
We got into the groups to go in the water. Athenas were the fifth group in. Our caps were dark blue and so the running joke was that they wanted us to drown. How were they going to see dark blue caps in the water?
My friend Jen and I went in the water together, which was awesome. The people in front of us weren’t rushing in, so it was kind of a slow start as we waded into the water. Probably for the best. And then we were off!
My swim went well. I wasn’t freaking out, I wasn’t having to sing music in my head, I was just swimming and enjoying it. I did have some ladies crash into me, but so it goes. I found myself passing some of the people in the group ahead of me, but also had other people passing from behind. About midway through, I realized that I should be focusing on my stroke and my kick. After all, I wanted to improve!
With the start, I felt like I took the first part of the swim a bit wide, but I corrected after the first turn.
Swim, swim, swim, and I was out and running to transition. That is a long run!
Swim 0.62 miles in 27:48
2013 – 28:43
T1 time. I stopped running once I hit transition because I was out of breath. I was racked in not an ideal spot – all the way at the far end of a rack. Being on the end gave me more room to maneuver, but it also meant that I had further to run.
Grabbed my stuff, struggled a bit with my shoes, and headed out. Totally forgot my bike gloves. Whoops.
T1 – 2:45
2013 – 4:25
Off to the bike! I know this course. I rode it many, many times over the summer and we drove it the day before so Anne could check it out. So I felt pretty confident. However, as the race went on, I just felt slow! I was being passed CONSTANTLY. Apparently, some of that is my bike, as I just run out of gears, but some of it is me. I need to work on my bike skills. The course is hilly, which I actually love. What goes up must come down! Plus the downhills give me a chance to rest my legs a bit and keep my heart rate in check.
I felt good during the bike. I glanced at my watch a few times and realized that if I just kept my wits about me, I probably had a PR nailed. But I had to stay focused.
Bike – 16 miles in 1:06:53
2013 – 1:12:06
Having forgotten my gloves ended up not being that much of an issue, but I was extra cautious during T2 to not forget anything. I like to carry my handheld water bottle on the run. I don’t need it, but I just like having it.
T2 – 1:58
2013 – 3:06
I must have blocked the run from last year’s race. I forgot how hilly this course is! I remembered Gatorade Hill, but forgot that we had to run it twice. And I conveniently forgot about every single other hill. So this felt like a slog. Multiple times, my heart rate alert went off and I had to slow down. It even went off while I was walking up a hill! Frustrating. This was where I really felt slow. I was definitely being passed left and right. But I can’t let that get to me because I’ve got health issues. I’m sure I can get a little bit faster, but I’m never going to be busting out 11 minute miles on this course (which many would still call slow). It is what it is.
At this point, I knew if I just kept going, that PR was mine. And while the run is my least favorite part of a triathlon, it’s silly to give up at that point!
Ran ran ran to the finish line and I was done!
Run – 3.3 miles in 45:31
2013 – 45:57
12/42 AG (Athena under 39), 655/1142 total finishers
PR, baby! Woo! I’m definitely pleased with this. I took a lot of time off from triathlon training after last year’s race because I jumped right into marathon training, so I’m super excited to see some results from all the work that I’ve put in. Let’s see what happens next year!