August 20, 2016
Race number 3 and final in the series. I had high hopes for this race. I've been training hard, so I really hoped to see improvements in the swim and bike. For the run, I just wanted to finish a little faster than last months time.
Carolyn and I drove up together again. This time, we had Wendy joining us at the race. We got there early enough to get a spot at the end of the rack. After a pre race photo and getting a spot to leave our chair and sandals, we headed to the beach. I'm not much for pre race swimming, so I hung out on the shore, with Wendy, while Carolyn tested out the water. Just after 7 am, the first wave went off. We were the 4th wave and last of the International distance starters. We got lined up, wished each other good luck, and we were off!
Swim: This was a large group, that wasn't just women. I had a guy on either side of me, boxing me in, which was frustrating. I was trying to keep up with Carolyn, but the guy on my left, was swimming towards the right, trying to swim over me! Finally, I just backed off and let him go by. After making the first right turn at the buoy, we spread out a bit. I still had people near me for most of the race, but I was able to keep clear of them. The swim felt good. I was feeling strong and calm. we were swimming parallel to the shore. Every time I took a breath to the right, I got a glimpse of the sun rising over the trees. So pretty! Just before the last buoy, I could see in the water, that the guy next to me had his feet on the bottom and was walking! So, I stood up and walked it around the last buoy. It was just over waist deep. So I did some dolphin dives, to pull ahead and go faster. Coming out of the water, I saw Carolyn and Wendy, running up the beach just ahead of me. I couldn't believe it! I'm not normally that close to them in the water. I saw 15+ minutes on my watch and was in shock. That was faster than my swim for the first race back in May. And that was with a wetsuit! I caught up to and passed Wendy and Carolyn during the run to transition, but my time in transition needs some work. Carolyn beat me out of there. I managed to remember my helmet this time! :)
Bike: Got a great start to my bike. I caught up to and passed Carolyn within a mile. I felt the wind, but was keeping a good pace. In the high 18 mph range. I had looked at my previous time, this morning, so I knew if I wanted to do better, I needed to keep a pace higher than 18.3 mph. The first loop, I felt great. I got in my Tailwind mix a couple of times. I felt super strong. Coming around for the second loop, I was feeling a bit more slow. The wind felt tougher (which it wasn't really), so my pace slowed down. I struggled to keep it in the high 17 mph range, once I headed back, after the turn around, I felt better and picked up the pace again. Just before heading into transition, I changed the gear setting to an easier one, to help flush my legs a little. As I cruised to the dismount zone, I stretched each calf on the pedal. I ran the bike into transition, got my bike racked, helmet off, then put on my visor and grabbed my waist pack and washcloth and started running out. I forgot to look at my time, so I had no idea how I did on the bike.
Run: My goal for the run was to try and get in under an hour. My time for last months race was 1 hour and 30ish seconds. My legs felt pretty good, just a little pain in my right knee. I just hoped it wouldn't bother me to much. I was pushing the pace, but had my breathing under control. My first mile was 8:54! I was surprised for sure. The trail, on the early part of the loop, was hard packed form the recent rain, which made for a little easier running. Last month the sand was loose. It was really hot, with no shade or clouds in the sky, but I felt better than last month. I guess I was a little more used to the heat at this point in the summer. On the second loop. I saw Wendy, just ahead. This wasn't good. I shouldn't have been lapping her! I slowed as I came up next to her to ask how she was. She said her back was hurting. As I ran past, I asked if she wanted some of my Base Salt, she said yes, so I stopped and jogged back a little to meet her. She took some, then I was off again. At mile 4, I ate half a package of Honey Stinger chews. I grabbed some water at the next water stop and also poured some on my head. At the last water stop, I poured some cold water on my wash cloth and held that to my face. So refreshing! As I ran through the parking lot, with just half a mile left, I knew I was going to finish under an hour, which made me so happy! Splits: 8:54, 8:49, 8:57, 9:36, 9:23, 9:11, 2:00
So, I ended up getting a PR in this race by over 10 minutes! My swim was faster by 3 minutes. The bike was faster by 4 minutes and my run was faster by 4.5 minutes! I placed 3rd in my age group. And, because I was one of a small group of women who completed all 3 races, I finished female overall winner for the series! I was so shocked!