I'll be honest (as always!) My expectations of myself were not very high today. Training has been sort of hit or miss and I just wasn't super excited about showing up at a race where I've been top 3 OA the last 3 years in a row when I knew the chances of me having my ass handed to me were high. That said, I went through the motions getting ready for the race yesterday... which really just means I cleaned my bike and painted my toenails with blue sparkle. I also put on my new BSC bracelet hoping it would work some magic or something.
My swim has been fine. Goal for the swim was simply to start hard and stay on Nalani's feet as long as I could. That lasted until ~the first buoy where we started running into the men who started 3' ahead of us. I lost her there and then played the obstacle course swim game for the remainder of the swim, trying to avoid being kicked in the head by the breaststrokers. (#fungame #not) I wouldn't call it a stellar swim but it was fine. I came out in 22:14... over a minute behind Kathryn and ~50" down on Nalani. Maybe a little further back than I would have expected but no worries. I made it up with the fastest T1 of the day. Totally got a full 4 seconds right back on Kathryn there. Lol.
Two years ago, when I was riding well, I split 1:00:07 on this bike course. Given that fact, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out what my goal was this morning. :) I knew my run wouldn't be there anyway so figured I'd ride like I stole something and see what happened... This is where I think the age group wave start helped me today- last year I rode alone the whole time and it was just weird- didn't feel like racing b/c the roads were just so empty! This year I played a little game of Pacman just picking off athletes in front of me. There was never a shortage of athletes to catch and that absolutely played in my favor. It was fun! The only bad part was that some of the men I passed didn't seem super thrilled to be passed by a rider who didn't have a penis. I got passed back by a lot of men who would SURGE after I passed. So then I had to SURGE to pass them back. Which I did. A lot. This might have been the least steady I've ever ridden in a triathlon. At one point I was trying to stay legal while surrounded by some men- one of whom (#740) had been riding like an asshole for miles (passing me then stopping pedaling, passing others on the right, etc. It was ridiculous!) I watched him almost take Kimberly down as she was trying to pass a guy who sped up (trying to not let her pass), then it appeared #740 was going to try to make a pass between them?!? I was watching from behind and yelled at him... he got the message and backed off but I was PISSED. I put in a massive surge at that point and as I passed I yelled in the most scary yell I could muster (which can be pretty damn scary) "QUIT RIDING LIKE AN ASSHOLE!!!!" He didn't quit riding like an asshole though- I watched him for the rest of the bike because he kept playing leapfrog with me and every single time he'd pass me he would stop pedaling. So that's why I don't mind calling him out publicly on my blog. Yes. #740. You rode like an asshole.
Yikes. I'm on fire. Sorry.
Anyway, the good news about the bike is that I smoked it. 58:02!! It's not a full 40K- I think they call it 38K. But still!! I'm pretty stoked with 58 flat. I felt invincible on the bike today. And I didn't feel smoked in T2.
So next up 10K run... My goal for the run was to focus ONLY on my form. Quick feet, landing directly under my center of mass. That's it. Whatever happened, whatever pace I ran, whoever passed me, it would be fine. Just focus on form! Usually in these scenarios I'm looking around and taking splits and trying figure out who is going to catch me and when, etc. But today I did not even look around at anyone. One of my athletes who saw me on course told me afterward you looked so focused! And indeed- I have to think about every.single.step to not fall back into old habit and end up leaning back and stepping too far out in front of myself... So in this regard, I am encouraged by my run today. I did get my ass handed to me as the fastest gals ran 36-40' and I ran 48... My slowest run at this race in several years (ok, ever). BUT. I am not actually too disappointed in this because a) I was capable of running a 10K with no injury/pain in my hips/hamstring and b) I kept my head together and focused on what I could control (my posture, where my feet landed) instead of allowing myself to consider what others around me were doing. After having to sit out and watch Lanikai last month, I felt grateful to be out there this morning. And in the end, I was 4th female and 1st in my age group so really nothing to complain about at all...