(The proper soundtrack for this post is “Water Stops” by Dispatch or “When the Levy Breaks” by Led Zepplin. I’m just not that technologically advanced to have music play.)
It rained for 4 days prior to the race and I was debating on even showing up. They weren't going to cancel anything until the day of, so DH and I were up and off. Peanut butter bagel and gatordae for breakfast, like usual. I think we need new bagels b/c mine was like a hockey puck. Or I need a new race day breakfast routine. (I’m tired of chewy bagels. I’m open to suggestions.)
It was lightly raining when we showed up and I thought we may be in the clear. I went to rack my bike but the rain had washed all of the rack assignments off, so it was a free-for-all. They said only 200+ of the 400 registered showed up, so there was plenty of room. I racked my bike but took everything else with me in a vain attempt at keeping dry. We had one umbrella, but it wasn’t enough.I went to get body marked and it started raining HARD. I was soaked, but figured it didn't matter since I'd be in the water soon. We found a shelter and waited. I was still hoping the rain would let up so I could finish getting my transition area set up without getting everything soaked through. About 15 min before the first wave, they announced the bike portion was cancelled and it would be a "Splash and Dash." Grrr. It was a smart decision, but I was still disappointed. It was raining so hard and for so long that water was sheeting off pavement – not good for a bike race with several 90 degree turns.
Those of you who know me know that the bike portion is my best and favorite leg. I seriously considered packing up and heading home (which a lot of people did) but I was already there, so what the hell. Besides, you can't wear a t-shirt for a race you didn't race. And I wanted to wear the t-shirt.The water was cold. No sun and several days of rain had the water temp at 72 the day before; I wouldn't be surprised if it was 71 when we raced. Of course I didn't bring my wet suit since it's a short race. Silly Sam should've brought her suit. I didn’t “warm up” either. I keep repeating the same stupid mistakes – in cold water, I need to get in before the swim or I have a hard time breathing until the last 100m. Not good when the race is only 500m. Maybe next year I’ll actually pay attention to these lessons I’ve learned. The swim was rough - I had a hard time breathing in the cold water. But at least it was short. My feet were numb by the time I got out of the water. My swim was painfully slow – 12:43 (2:22/100) but with all the doggy-paddling, I’m not surprised.
The rain had picked up while we were in the water. My running shoes were soaked. I didn’t bring socks and I think they would have been impossible to get on. I spent 1:00 min in T1 and I still couldn’t get my shoes tied right. It was a paved run course and there were placed the water was ankle deep. Not like it mattered at that point; once the rain picked up, it didn’t let up until Sunday. I had to stop and tie both shoes at one point. Between my cold fingers and the wet laces, things just weren't working right. I didn't stop at any aid station - 500m and 2.6 miles in cool weather and rain didn't justify the fluids. With all the water, I had several raw areas on my feet when I finished. I didn’t bleed through my shoes, so it couldn’t have been that bad.
It was a short run and I actually passed several people, unusual for me. I was at 22:34 on the run (8:41/mi) which isn’t terrible given the weather but I was still disappointed in my race. Total time was 36:16, 8/32 in my age group, 52/251 overall. I know I can be better, I guess it’s always good to improve. I also know you can't control the weather but it wasn't the best way to end my triathlon season. I did feel bad for all the first-timers who didn't get to bike.
I'm not a big fan of the women's only events. Reverse sexism, in my opinion. And I never really got the "Girl Power" crap. Triathlons are not about holding hands and skipping. Just my $0.02. It took forever to get body marked because everyone got a free pearl necklace (like a $5 one from Wal-Mart) and it was taking a long time for women to pick out which length they wanted. Seriously. For the record, I did not take a necklace. But it was nice having a women's cut dri-fit shirt and the porta-potties were the cleanest one I’ve ever seen at a race, so I guess it wasn’t all bad.
Time to clean up the bike and focus on my winter running events. I’ll have to post an end-of-season wrap up and start looking towards next year.
4 days ago