The morning kicked off with Smokey Joe barking his head off very early in the morning. Despite the fact that Smokey Joe never barks at 0-dark:thirty, T still yelled at him to be quiet. Then we heard M’s voice calling our name. CRAP! My alarm didn’t go off! ARGH! So, after a frenzied flurry of dressing and getting ready to go, we were off to the race.
It’s been about four years since I’ve done a sprint triathlon and I was surprised by the butterflies in my stomach. Lately, my workouts have been longer than the entire race, but there’s just something about racing that makes me nervous. M of course was very nervous, so both of us were quite a pair. We body-marked ourselves rather than standing in the line and got our transition areas set up. We were two numbers apart, so we got to set up right next to each other, which was pretty cool.
We made sure we knew where our rack was located in relation to the various entry/exit points and hit the bathrooms. Then before we knew it, it was time to get into our wetsuits and get ready to swim. M was first, in the third wave with the rest of the 30-34 year old women. I was in the fifth wave, so I couldn’t see her too well from my vantage point, so I just kept my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t see a pink cap being brought in on a boat or anything. Luckily, I didn’t see anyone abandon in the beginning so I was cautiously optimistic that she was doing okay.
M’s husband J was on photo duty, as T had forgotten our camera in the craziness of oversleeping. He got a couple pics of the swim start:
I had a horrible swim. There was some sort of rock wall that we had to swim over, which hurt. Plus, I seeded myself as if the swim was 1.2 miles, not 1/2 a mile, so I was too far back in the breaststroking, crazy swimming group and it was very hard to navigate through all of that mess. Oh well, shake it off and get ready to start biking:
I had a pretty great bike. My legs were cold and numb from the swim, but I got down into my aero bars, found a rhythm and started passing people. The course is super flat and winds along Lake Washington and then up onto the I-90 express lane. There were tons of people on the course, so it was pretty crowded.
Then the course goes up a narrow pedestrian path as you go up onto the bridge. Naturally it bottlenecks here as you can only safely ride single-file (not that there weren’t some jackasses trying to pass people despite the volunteers telling them not to.) There were a couple of slower folks when I got there, so it was pretty slow going, and some guy behind me yelled “Oh, come on!” in an exasperated tone. Without even thinking, I responded with “They are doing the best they can. You need to settle down” in my calm ‘Mom’ voice. I was pleasantly surprised that the guy I’d chastised actually came up next to me and said “You’re right, I was a jerk. I’m sorry.” So, that was nice.
As I was cruising along the bridge, I saw a familiar yellow/white/black trisuit ahead of me. I had a decision, do I pass M or do I stay with her. I weighed the pros of racing my race on tired legs from yesterday’s ride or stick with M and get to do her first race with her. No brainer! So, I heckled her for a while and we took turns passing each other with a snarky “On your left” and generally enjoyed ourselves.
We pulled into transition at the same time, and did our transitions pretty much simultaneously. As we headed out on the run course together, I got to hear about her triumphant swim and general excitement about her first race, which was pretty awesome. She ended up dropping me on a stupid hill at mile 2 and I couldn’t close the gap, but J did catch one of the best run pictures of me, ever – don’t I look badass? (Oh, and the uniform I’m wearing was designed by yours truly for our tri team.)
M had just finished about 15 seconds ahead of me, so she was at the finish line grinning from ear to ear. I was so proud of her. She did so good for her first race and with open water anxiety to boot. I think this photo sums it up nicely:
Our final splits:
Me: Total=1:39:32, Swim=19:09, T1=2:51, Bike=44:56, T2=1:42, Run=30:53
M: Total=1:49:16, Swim=26:11, T1=3:05, Bike=47:37, T2=1:49, Run=30:34
All in all, it was an awesome day, in no small part because of the boys:
We finished our morning with a delicious brunch, a nap and for me a 10-mile run in the evening. (Ironman training stops for no one… ) I was surprised by how sore I was after the race, apparently going fast hurts a lot more than going long. Next year, I’ll actually taper for the race and race it properly rather than throwing it in to a mess of Ironman training. So, look out Seafair Triathlon, I’m gunning for you!