We are home again. It's been a whirlwind here and there. In addition to other stuff Thursday night was also the pile tidying night. This involves a serious effort to go through the small mound of stuff already beside the bag, and figure out what else needs to join it. In other words, the stuff that's been forgotten. I was back and forth as I thought of something. Once to get it into the pile, and once to add it to the checklist for next time. Then there's getting it into the bag.
Friday morning I zoomed out for a quick ride. It was between 6 and 8 C (about 44 F) but was supposed to warm up so I went in just shorts and a short sleeved shirt. Not enough. After a short warmup I pedaled hard to keep warm. 90 minutes total feeling fast and strong. I can't believe how much smoother and quieter the chain is, and how much easier the pedaling is. Love it! Finished packing up and zoomed off to Fernie to stay with Cath and Jason. They run the best B&B in Fernie.
Saturday we drove (once we finished stopping for road construction) up to the lake. I swam about 30 minutes. Very nice. Resolved to swim myself almost right out of the water because where I thought we'd be exiting was mucky more than about 10 feet from shore.
Race day was bright and clear, warm but not hot till after the race. We were there in good time and actually got pretty primo parking. This was the smoothest parking I've ever seen at a tri event. In fact, the overall organization for this race can only be called superb. Once I got a spot in transition I got chipped, and I need to rant about it. The chip itself was small, but the plastic mounting for it was enormous and badly shaped. There's these two huge arms hooking down that look like they are supposed to clamp onto a ski or something. Rather than a nice sturdy velcro strap they gave us a flimsy perforated piece of laminated paper with a wimpy little fold down tab. Lots of people lost their chip during wetsuit stripping. During the swim some guy was bashing my ankle. A lot. I only hope his knuckles are bleeding more than my ankle.
The swim felt strong. 1500 m, 27 minutes and some seconds to get out of the water. At one point I actually picked up the pace a bit to leave someone behind because they were trying to massage my kidney with his elbow. Long run along the beach and up a hill. I forgot my number belt in transition and went back for it. I was really happy that I wasn't feeling woozy and dizzy out of the water.
The bike was kind of odd. I was riding right at my target speed so I was happy, but I was getting passed a lot, and I wasn't feeling strong. I was shifting gears a lot on the out leg, and didn't really settle into it until the turnaround. I had to laugh at one point. A guy passes me on the right, riding on the crappy shoulder. He's all over the place on the shoulder, and on his bike, yet going pretty good. Just after him was a pack of guys. As they passed him, he was up out of saddle to keep up. All over the road. They were holding up traffic and there was an angry honk. I think coming back was faster. My buddy JN and I passed each other a few times, then he pulled ahead. I'm going to have to look carefully at the results and see how many places I lost. It was many.
Into transition and off the bike a bit early because that's where the porta potties were. It took longer to relieve internal pressures than the rest of transition took. I felt great as soon as my running shoes were on, and was into a good run pace right from the bike rack. My first two K was about 10 or 11 minutes which is fast for me, but it felt good. Mostly good, I could see that I couldn't maintain that so I slowed down a bit to get my breathing and heart rate under control. I knew that I was going to make my time goal unless my run totally exploded. Some of the run is on roads but lots is pathway around the lake and quite nice. Lots of water stations and some unofficial ones as well. I totally loved the one kid that asked "splash or drink?" If you said splash you got the cup of water thrown into your chest. It was great!
This is the first run where I've felt strong right to the finish and I could have gone on at that pace. The 10 K was about 57 or 58 minutes, but I'm not certain because I didn't press the button my watch right at the finish line. Some might say that means I didn't push hard enough, but I wasn't out to reduce myself to a quivering wreck. I'm still learning this game and building confidence in my fitness. I got passed a few times on the run, and (yahoo!!!) I passed some. You have no idea what big news that is for me. My race runs have mostly been shambling train wrecks that don't pass anyone. My legs and feet felt great, and I had a good stride for most of the race.
The official results aren't out yet but I beat my goal time by about 14 minutes, and took 20 minutes off my last Oly race results. So yes, I'm thrilled! More thoughts about it when the official results are out and I've had a chance to sleep on it. Looking forward to my next race - GWN.
Food was good. Linda brought cookies!!! Yay! They weren't letting people into transition at that point, so she was handing them through the fence. Loved the bike racks. Rather than the pole on a stand thingie, this was a bed of 2x4's made with slots the back wheel will fit into. There was no problems with spacing or unhooking your bike. Just another example of the great organization.
News of other people I knew at the race:
JN finished a few minutes in front of me and had a good race. His wife N was doing her first Oly distance. Her goal was to finish and when I saw her about the run 8 K mark I knew she would. My buddy Cath did really well, placing 4th female overall. I was really pleased to see my colleague DT racing. He's also new to triathlon and has made amazing progress.