This race is quickly becoming one of my favorite races. I love the venue, the pool and the ride.
This race recap will probably be short and sweet, but once I start talking about it, it may expand. I felt really comfortable leading up to this race. I was really relaxed and not feeling any stress for this race. My only goal for this race was to better my time from last year.
As normal, I packed everything the night before so I was ready to leave when I woke up on Saturday morning. It was a little chilly but nor bad at all. Mostly comfortable. Had a half of pb&j and coffee and hit the road. We arrived at Riverwood at @ 6:15. Picked up my race packet and timing chip and then body marking. All really casual.
I went down to the transition area and set everything up. Still really relaxed. No worries. Once everything was setup, I went to find Jon and Chick who were also both doing this race. They are both coaches/team leaders with the Second Wind. The Second Wind is a Christian Running and Triathlon ministry.
They were in the Athletic Center along with Paul, Chick's dad. We were able to chat and people watch as everyone came in. Jody also was competing and stopped by to say hello. He was actually starting right behind Chick.
At about 7:45 we decided to get into race mode. We went and removed our warm ups and mentally prepared to toe the line. The first racers took off at 8:00. My start time wasn't until 8:40 so I had plenty of time to watch.
Jon took off at 8:17, Chick at 8:20, Jody at 8:20:15. They are excellent swimmers so they took off early. They swam great times. Around 5:30 times. Awesome speed. One day I will be there :). It was awesome to see them do well.
Finally I was in line and moving closer to the pool. No stress. I was still really relaxed. I got in the water and was ready to go. Once I started, I wanted to concentrate on pacing. I wanted to ensure that I had plenty to make it. This pool started at 3 feet and ended at 7 so I needed to be able to swim the entire length.
At the end of the first 50, I caught the person in front of me. I was so excited. I swam on and felt great. Once I reached the 100 mark, the person who started behind me caught up with me. It was ok, I let her go. Then I caught back up to her. But I wasn't fast enough to pass her. So I tried to draft behind her. But I kept hitting her foot. So I got to the wall and let her go ahead. Then I caught her again. Finally at the 250 wall, I was able to get back in front of her and stayed there.
The run to transition was a little chilly. I was colder here than at Granite Falls. Brrrrr. Transition felt smoother. I felt like I was able to quickly get my shirt, helmet and sunglasses on and get out of transition. Once I was on the bike, I was able to think about the swim and felt really good about it.
The bike course started relatively flat so I was able to get started easily. I passed a couple of people almost right away. At about mile 5, I was passed like I was standing still. This guy just breezed right on by me. He was gone in a flash.
The rest of the ride was good. I would see someone in front of me and my focus was on passing that person. Once passed the process started over again, spot someone ahead and try to catch them. By mile 10, I ran out of people and this was at the worse possible point. My flat ride turned into rolling hills. A little tougher and without someone to target, I just coasted along. I glanced over my shoulder a couple of times just to ensure that no one was catching me.
Along the home stretch, I finally saw other riders and rode like a mad man to catch them. All good. That helped. Once I was back at the rec center, I slipped my feet out of my shoes and was able to smoothly dismount.
In and out of T2, easily, quickly. Started the run. Saw Linda and gave her a big smile and wave as set off to knock out this 5k. I felt great. Really strong. The run was along a greenway, so I knew that I would make up more time here as well. The first half of the run was almost totally downhill. I felt like I was cruising and easily passing other runners.
Since this was an out and back that meant coming back I would be running uphill. With that in mind, I throttled back on the way out. I did not want to run out of steam. I did a good job at maintaining pace for the run and finished strong.
Well that was the good part. Now for the bad. My times. I guess I relaxed too much in the pool, didn't give enough effort on the bike and totally cruised the 5k.
My times were worst in every category from last year except the swim. Boooo.
Swim 8:25 7:38
Bike 47:22 48:32
Run 20:55 21:22
Overall 1:19:25 1:19:38
I was 8th out of 13 in my age group and 34th overall. Yes that was a really tough pill to swallow. The best part was I felt really engaged for the entire race. No issues with motivation. I felt I had my mojo back. I was mentally into the race the entire time and gave 8 out of 10 effort.
Fortunately I have time now for more swimming and more cycling. I have to improve my times in both.