Well I finally raced this year! I forgot how uncomfortable triathlons are... Texting with Nalani though after the race, I told her that as cliche as it sounds, I really was just genuinely happy to be out there today. Maybe that's a benefit of not racing a lot... It felt like a treat to have the opportunity to do it today and I felt grateful to be healthy, that I live in a gorgeous place, and just that I am capable of doing this... Regardless of the results I was just happy to be racing again. :) #oksappypartover
Like last year, women 40+ went off in wave 6, behind about 1500 athletes who had started in 3min intervals ahead of us. I was mentally prepared this year to encounter a ton of people and play Frogger dodging everyone. Horn went off and I ran to the water and swam hard to start and no one came with me so I just swam alone the whole time and for the most part managed to avoid getting kicked in the head by people doing breast-stroke ahead of me. While I was swimming I felt happy, strong, and in control. I glanced at my watch as I crossed the timing mat and was pleasantly satisfied to see 22-something.
T1 was super simple... speed suit off, helmet on and I was running with my bike to the mount line. I put my feet in my shoes while I was riding and it all went so smoothly... no one would have guessed hadn't done that in 7 months!
This was actually the first time I'd ever raced a triathlon while watching power. I can't say I had any particular goal in mind other than really just to see what felt right and then see if I could hold it. Last year I remember thinking that I was riding well because I was passing a ton of people, but passing people doesn't necessarily mean you're riding FAST... just means you're riding faster than they are... but not necessarily a good benchmark. This year I would guess I passed as many people as last year (maybe more?) but I wasn't focused on them at all... just kept glancing at my 30" avg power which really helped to keep me honest. For the most part I was pushing 200-210w... rarely would spike above that but did a few times trying to pass a guy here or there. I think the highest I saw it was 250 but that was brief. Toward the end power was dropping some down into the 180s but overall it was a solid ride. They changed the course b/c of some road construction so we did 4x180 degree turns. It was fine though. Roads were smooth and flat and there was no wind... really no obstacles at all on this course other than the other riders and those 180 degree turns. I didn't know how long it would be but for sure it was shorter than 40k because I did it in ~57min. Someone said it was 2 miles short? Anyway, I do like racing with power and will definitely use it at Honu this year.
During the ride I felt focused. And there were several moments where I found myself feeling grateful to be out there. And grateful that everything was going so smoothly!
T2 was about as eventful as T1. In and out. Onto the run though yikes right away I was like who's legs are these?? Maybe this is where not racing much comes into play? My legs felt like bricks and like I was wasn't moving very efficiently. I've had some glimpses of what I would consider to be decent running in training recently but what I did out there on that 10k today was not that. It was weird like I was working about as hard as I could, breathing was labored and had I been wearing a HR monitor it would have said 170+ I'm sure... but it felt like a regression back to my old running form I think where I just sink into the ground with every step and moving forward was so labored. I felt frustrated by that like this is not what good running feels like but in the moment I felt unable to fix it. What was interesting though was that I didn't get all down on myself and mentally berate myself for the shitty run. This is a huge breakthrough I think because typically in the past when I've been running like an elephant I get super pissy and throw in the towel just giving up on myself and decide that I suck. Today I didn't do that though... It was like I know in my heart that I do not suck! Ok so I was having a bad run but that was not equivalent to me being a bad person. I think they call this athletic maturity. :) I did start to feel slightly better in the 2nd half of the run and even though I wasn't exactly loving life in that moment, I smiled. It was a genuine smile!
Anyway, I ran ~53min and finished in 2:17 which put me 6th OA and 1st 40-44. Honolulu Tri doesn't give age group awards though so as soon as I finished the focus became getting Moana ready for her race!
I posted a ton of pics on Facebook (and I can only assume that most people who read my blog are FB friends??) so you've prob seen them all... but wow it was really fun for me to get her ready for that and I loved it that she smiled the whole time. Kids races like this that are very achievable are quite confidence boosting for kids. It was a perfect intro to triathlon for her today...