>Last Saturday kicked off the start of my triathlon season. And, in the words of the great Taylor Swift: this ain’t a fairytale. My season opener was going to be in far from perfect conditions, but, I came to race, so that’s what I did.
Ryan and I drove down to Lake Anna on Saturday morning. A 10am start time gives us the ability to make the 2.5 hour drive the morning of the race which is nice. The rain that was falling from the sky all morning was not so nice. The weather inevitably backed everything up, so getting my stuff set up and ready to go was pretty rushed, and I was happy when I was finally in my wet suit, shivering, ready to roll. The rain was still coming down – but hey, you’re going to get wet anyway, right?
I was excited for this swim based on my strength in the pool these days, and I felt great heading out to the first buoy. I looked up at the turn and I was sitting comfortably at the back of the front pack of women in my wave. And then it was as if the lake I was swimming in turned into the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of a hurricane. Okay, so it wasn’t that bad, but the waves picked up and coupled with the hazy and rainy visibility, finding the buoys was pretty difficult. Looking back, I still don’t know exactly what went wrong, but I felt like I was swimming for forever. I finally ran into T2 and almost didn’t want to look at my watch – 27 and change. Eek. I wasn’t pleased, but had other things on my mind – like getting the puddles out of my bike shoes so I could ride.
Once on the bike I was really relaxed. This course was probably the easiest 24 miles I have ridden in some time, and I was able to take advantage of the speed my Specialized Transition gets me. Due to the propensity of the cross winds we were experienced, I was also in probably the most aero position I have ever been in so I could keep control of my front wheel. Unfortunately my super sweet Walmart watch doesn’t have the capabilities to take splits, but I think I did the first loop ~35 minutes. Which means, with my 1:09 final split, I may or may not have negative split the ride but I at least stayed super close.
Got off the bike and headed out for the run. One would think the rain would have stopped by now, but no, I can promise you that wasn’t the case. The run course was similar to the bike in that it had some small rollers, but nothing too crazy. Heading out of T2 I was the 4th place female and I knew the girl in front of me was only maybe 30 seconds up. Slowly I chipped away at that time and was able to pass her. I set my sights on the next girl but unfortunately her great swim gave her too much time for me to regain. Despite that, I still had my fastest 10k – ever – at 45:06!
My 2:25:50 was good enough for 3rd place overall and a 3 minute PR. I won….a very thin towel. Thank you, Setup Events for as usual being one of the cheapest event production companies around. One of these days I will stop throwing my money at you. I did enjoy the Papa Johns Pizza at the end.
Also a shoutout to Oiselle – my run pant and run tee were essential to keeping me warm and comfortable before and after the race! The run pant is my new favorite piece of clothing – and they are on sale now!!
Overall I felt good about the day and the effort. I am looking forward to Columbia, but even moreso to Eagleman as I think I will have some good things to show when the bike and the run have a little more length.
NEXT STOP: VEGAS, PLEASE.
Grand Canyon R2R2R attempt on Friday!