As I have become accustomed to the last year or so, I just jump into races. It's not the best way, but it's a way. Really I decided a few days before the race to do it because they changed the bike course. The old one had hills, but that's not the problem, I won't stray from a race just because of some hills. But the old course had a technical downhill with very fast traffic, rough road on another fast section, and some very dangerous rail road tracks. Just wasn't something I was interested in doing again (I'd already done it twice). So this new course was a 2 loop relatively flat well maintained road course. Sounds good, sign me up!
I live only 5 minutes from the venue, but thanks to life as an Altra Running family, my husband was at another expo in San Diego so I had to stay with my wonderful mother in law 25 minutes away just to get a babysitter. Headed to the race site after baby thankfully woke up early enough to nurse before I left and then went back down to sleep. I threw my bike in T1 and ran home to grab some shoes for the expo I was working at the finish line (we eat, sleep, and breath Altra I tell ya, our kids can sell the shoes, and have). I appreciate that after this long in the sport I can do race set up in no time and not stress over it. Now if it's a longer race and there's nutrition to think about that's one thing, but in a sprint like this all I need is my bike, bike shoes, helmet, sunglasses, running shoes, number, and visor. Done.If anything, it just gives me more time to chat. Not that I really had it here between setting Altra and transition up and heading to the van to pump since my little baby wasn't with me. But I do have to say how very sweet it was for so many people to stop and say hi to me, made me feel really good to have what felt like a 'welcome back' like that. Triathlon is a great sport!
Headed into the pool, chatted with great people a bit and it was finally go time. The swim was uneventful, I felt a little better than I expected. My jersey floated around which stinks, but oh well. Headed out of T1 in 2nd place behind childhood swimming friend and swimmer extraordinaire Jen Fredsall.
Looked forward to the nice roads of the new bike course. There is a big intersection not even a mile in that I worried a little bit about beforehand wondering how well it would be manned. Well, unfortunately there was a biker layed out flat on the ground with cops around him. Not even 10 people through that intersection and somebody got hit. I mumbled something to the cops about "already, really?". Thankfully that guy was ok, and on my second loop he was standing up, and even finished the race! Sounds like his chin really did a number on the drivers windshield though...
Anyway, there were a couple other scary parts and although I do prefer the roads of the new course, there was definitely less traffic pulling out of neighborhoods and parking lots on the old course. Kind of spooky. I didn't feel super powerful, but was pleased to be comfortable in aero. Passed Jen just before half way through the 1st loop.
Coasted into T2 getting ready for a flying dismount very slowly, overestimated how far away it was and kind of felt like a dork. The run was tough. Headed straight uphill and on grass and it was harder than I expected. I was almost reduced to walking. The first 2 miles of the run were difficult. It felt very anaerobic and not very coordinated or fast, but I just kept on going the best I could. The last mile was downhill and as per usual, I finally felt strong. Ran into the oval and finished strong.
Now interval starts are always difficult, you never know how you placed till results come out. 2 fit ladies came across the line several minutes after me, but I had no idea where they started in the water so couldn't determine how I did. Anyway, they were posted and I hurried over nervously, and I pulled off the win! Everyone kept asking me before the race how I thought I'd do and if I was going to win and as I told everyone, I really had no idea, I hadn't incorporated speedwork yet, and was just going to go see how it went. I'm pretty pleased. I know I am definately not 100% yet, but getting there. I struggled with it last year some, not being as excited as I should be with a win, but I was really happy with this one and did a little elbow back hand in a fist Yes! move (haha, I have no idea if it has a real name).
I worked at the Altra table teaching people about the shoes for the next hour or two, such a fun thing to educate people and watch their faces light up when they try on the shoes. It's a hard thing sometimes, to have to devote so much time to the company as a whole family, not just my husband, but it sure is neat to see the results and good things we're doing for people. Anyway, awards finally started and the people around me told me to go up as I didn't even realize they were happening. As second place climbed up I turned to her and smiled and said good job. I really try hard to not come off as prudish, like I'll only talk to fast people. I really try to befriend everyone around me and just be and appear friendly and not threatening or intimidating. Anyway, the lady turned to me after my friendly hello and said "yeah and you only won by like 15-20 seconds and I hardly ever do these!". Uh, ok. It was actually closer to 45 seconds ;) I really wanted to say "yes, and I just had a baby 2 months ago", but I didn't, I just smiled. She and I will meet again at a big race this summer that I have just a little more motivation to train for now :)