So, I owe you guys a race report. Yes, I realize that August is almost over, and I raced Top Gun in July, but better late than never, right?
The Thursday before the race, a deal I couldn’t pass up came my way for the hot pink Rudy racing helmet I’ve been drooling over for past year. I paid the extra shipping to have it overnighted so that I could race with it on Saturday. I think they look so silly, but I’ll take the little bit of extra speed any day!
I picked up my packet on the Friday night before the race, surprised to see that we got race tattoos and a silicone cap. Dear race director: Silicone caps for July races in Florida are a DUMB idea. I was overheating standing on shore waiting for my wave. And race tattoos? This is a local sprint, not a 70.3 or Age Group Nationals. Is that really necessary?
Okay, okay, I understand that for some those are perks of this race, and that’s why they do it, so I’ll end my rant there.
Anyhow, my morning alarm came way too early. 7:00am start time for the first wave and nearly an hour drive to get there meant a wake up time that began with a 4. OOf.
I arrived at Ft. DeSoto and used my cell phone flashlight to guide my path over to transition since it was still dark out. Thankfully transition had a bunch of flood lights on, so I could get myself set up. I filled my hydration bladder, started drinking my PreLoad, and made sure everything was set before wandering around transition to see my friends. Soon enough, it was time to head down to the water.
I looked at the flags and was disappointed, as I always am with sprints. The swim was just so short (but I think it actually was longer than when I raced two years ago!)- how was I going to get any advantage there? Sigh. I warmed up, swimming nearly the entire course, and then got out and waited for my wave. We started late and my wave was one of the latter ones, so it just felt like forever until I actually got to go! Finally, the gun went off!
Swim: 6:51 (1st female)
I lined up to the right of the pack, since that was closest to the buoy. We’d be going against the current for a very short time to get to that first buoy, so no sense in making it longer! I was out in front with a few other girls, but kept my stroke strong and steady. Shortly after making the turn and the first buoy on the straight, I started passing people from the waves in front of me. Hello men doing backstroke, breasstroke, kicking their little legs away, and just floating there. Sheesh. I tried to stick as close to the buoy line as possible, and definitely ran in to some people doing that. I didn’t have a good idea of where I was within the pink caps, but I knew there were definitely girls on my tail. I picked up my pace, turned the last buoy and didn’t stop swimming until my hand hit the ground. I popped up and hightailed it out of the water.
Hello long transition. As I ran up the beach I remembered that Ft. DeSoto races have such a ridiculously long run to get to transition. Add to that the fact that they’re paving the parking lot where transition usually sits, so transition was move a little further away than usual- and it makes for one long run! On my way in to transition, I was passed by Brittany Pierce, and I did a little happy dance, because I beat a pro on the swim!
I grabbed my bike, helmet, and sunglasses and hit the road. My goal for the bike was to give it all I had to see how fast I would actually go. The bike is about 9.5 miles on a one loop course. I didn’t wear my watch, I wasn’t looking at numbers, I just wanted to get out there and go. At about 7 miles or so (if I remember correctly) I was passed by another female. Darn it. I kept pushing, and didn’t let anyone else pass me. I don’t think there was anything else memorable to report on that short bike!
I got in and out as fast as I could here. In transition, I saw the girl that had passed me on the bike, and I was determined to get out before her. (I did- she was in there for 1:42!)
I was really hoping to average 7:XX per mile on this, so at first when I saw my split, I was disappointed. But then I learned that the run was a bit longer than a 5K, so my average was actually better than I thought. My goal for the run was to have a better run than I did 2 years ago, when I had to stop and walk. It was hot, but I was not going to give in. I knew that the only woman in front of me was Brittany, so I had a chance to be one of the top females overall. I just put one foot in front of the other and kept ticking off the runners in front of me. Thank you late wave. I had no clue what pace I was holding, since I didn’t wear a watch, but I didn’t care, I just wanted to keep going. With about half a mile to go, I was passed by a woman in a blue tri kit. I immediately looked to her calf, and saw she was in my age group. My heart sank. I thought about slowing some, but told myself no, that I was going to finish strong. I was hurting and very hot, but I only had a half mile to go- I can do this! I forged ahead and soon, I finally saw the finish line. Thank goodness- it was over!
Total: 1:02:19, 2AG, 4th F OA (I think)
Overall, I was quite happy with how the day went. I dropped time in the bike and run from 2012, and I’m pretty sure the swim was longer this year. I would have loved another 1st place podium spot, but 2nd ain’t so bad;-)