During the time between my warm up and my wave start, I tried to focus on my game plan for the swim. Slow and steady out to the first buoy, let my body get used to the cold and then pick it up for the rest of the swim with a push around the last buoy and swim as far as I can into the shore. All of this went well, and as planned. I did have a few seconds of momentary panic - but did a great job of calming down and re-focusing. I did try to get on a few feet but they were all to slow, so it ended up with me going around people. It was good practice in navigating. Also, glad I got a chance to test out a one piece wetsuit. I think I like it much better than the two piece and I really like the long sleeve, couldn't feel any seaweed, so no panic there.
Out of the swim: Took off my wetsuit before I got into transition. Wetsuit got caught on the giant timing chip they gave us... but I suspect that happened to most as well. I had my extra running shoes I wore that morning along the fence and slipped those on. (the lot where our bikes were racked was all gravel- not nice on bear feet) The shoes were a great idea (thanks for the tip Doug!) Got to my bike and was able to slip on my bike shoes no prob. Took my time so I didn't get flustered with packing the wetsuit into the bag (normally you just leave it in your area). All went well and I was off to the bike.
On the bike, I worked those down hills... only a few of those hills I found I had to work in the smallest gear/ring... so that was good. I was a little freaked out by the rain and speeds I was going, but kept reminding myself to keep it steady and under control. I ended up averaging 17 miles an hour! Not bad for this course. After about mile 10 (when rain was getting stronger) I was a little more cautious on downhill and feathered my brakes on a few of those. The very last downhill I had a jerk pass me on my right as I was getting over... and we came VERY close to crashing! Thank God that no one was on my left passing me at that moment... I weaved back out around the cone and gave him a very BIG piece of my mind complete with F-bombs! Took everything I had when I passed him toward the top of the hill to not lay into him again... at that point I just wanted to concentrate on what I had to do when I got to T2.
T2- I had nice and dry shoes (thankfully I put them in a plastic bag) and off to the run I went. It was nice, Stacie and I started out of T2 together. First hill was slow but steady and the rest of the run I felt solid! There was only one small part where we had a small hill into a right turn and up another small hill where my legs felt heavy. But I kept focused and tried to keep the cadence up when I felt I was slowing down.
At mile 4 I increased speed and then sprinted into the finish. I averaged an 8:04 pace for the run! I am very pleased with this… I feel a sub 8 min mile pace coming soon!!!!
I really thought I was super far behind, because of the wetsuit and bike issue back at T1. I started to get concerned during the run that I wasn't seeing anyone from my AG but figured I will just run MY race, and whatever happens, happens. Little did I know I didn’t see anyone because there were only two girls in my age group that were in front of me! I never had that before… so that was something new. I knew I had a good race, as it felt good. But I didn’t know my final time, or how I did. So when my Mom asked if I wanted to stay for the awards, I said no, and we headed home to see Jack and John. It wasn’t until about 45mins into our car ride home that I noticed I had a text from Stacie… telling me I got 3rd in my age group. My first podium finish and I wasn’t there to get my medal! BOOOO! I was really bummed. Jen grabbed it for me and I will get it tonight at masters… NOW that is something to look forward to!!! Photo to come! :)