What a fun weekend! This is the first race I have had in over 3 months (I know, I did the Triple Bypass, but that was a ride, not a race)! Man, was I ready for this and excited! I went into it excited and nervous, really needing a good race. I did this one before so I knew what to expect, and I was excited to be doing it with many good friends!
I was heading up to Burley by myself as Ken had family obligations for the weekend. I was completely okay with this as I knew that my friend Kim, who I met on BT would share my hotel room with me and we could make a mini girl's weekend out of it. We met up and can I just say, she ROCKS!! It is a little scary how much we are alike! Anyhow, we had a blast! We went and checked our bikes into T1 prior to heading to dinner. Here we are with Ruby and Belle racked and ready to race the next day!!
We also headed to packet pick up which was pretty uneventful. We decided to skip their pre-race dinner and head to Perkins with the rest of the group. At packet pick up a couple of things held true: 1)Butt ugly race shirt 2) A potato in the race packet
After dinner we headed back to our hotel, visited for a bit and attempted (HA!) to get some sleep for the next day. We both like to get to transition pathetically early the morning of a race, so our alarm went off at 4:30 am to be able to eat and head over to transition. They have two transition areas for this race, so we dropped of our stuff for T1 with our bikes then headed to the race start and T2 to set up our run stuff.
My wave was starting at 7:30, so I really didn't have a ton of time to mingle around and wait before I had to zip up and get in the water!
I decided at the last minute to try something new with this swim. Last year I seeded myself towards the front, but off to the far side to essentially hug the shore the whole swim. I was thinking that the current would be stronger more towards the center, so I decided to put on my Big Girl Panties and try it. I knew that it would involve more of the washing machine effect that goes into a typical triathlon swim start, but I decided to try it. The gun went off and so did I! For the first 30-45 seconds I was ahead of the group! I had clear water and not hardly any other contact with other swimmers. I was thinking that my crazy last minute strategy change may be working. Well, I had other fast swimmers catch up to me and try to pass me and I got hit, kicked, etc as they did. One of them really ticked me off as he swam right over me then proceeded to start doing the breast stroke! When he did this with his wide kicks, he kicked me in the head! What a moron! You don't swim ahead of someone then go with a slower stroke! When I tried to pass him, he immediately went back to freestyle and sped up again. GGRRRR. Well, I had it and decided to be more aggressive. I put on the gas and passed him again, but not before I kicked him. (I didn't mean to, really! But I wasn't terribly sorry it happened either) The rest of the swim went well, and here is my swim course as gathered by my Garmin 310XT! I had NO idea this watch would get this kind of data in open water swimming, so when I uploaded it to my computer, I was THRILLED to see it can do and measure open water! I stayed fairly straight.....
I came out of the water, according to my watch (the official race results have no swim time recorded for me) in 18:04, for the one mile swim. No idea what the rank is for my age group as they don't have it recorded for me. So, this was about 30 seconds slower than last year. Not sure that the last minute change in plans for the swim helped, but at the very least it gave me more of the open water combat I am guaranteed to see at IMTX.
And finally, a pic of Kim and I at the end. She KILLED it today!
This is a good race, however, I don't think that I will be doing it next year. Due to the triathlon budget being mostly directed at IMTX, any other racing that I do next year will be local ones that don't require a hotel stay :) I do like this race, but the rule enforcement is incredibly frustrating, or should I say lack of? I had fun, it is a great time, etc. I am beating myself up in some aspects of this race, but that is a topic for another day, as I have had many thoughts lately on it. Now, it is just two weeks till Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee!
Happy Training and Racing all!