First off, it was a perfect day. Not too warm. No strong winds to interfere with biking. Just lovely and sunny and wonderful. Great day for a swim. And a bike ride. And a walk!
I arrived at the course around 7am. Got all checked in, set up my stuff in my rack and chatted with the women nearby. One of the best parts about the YWCA Women's Tri is the friendly, supportive atmosphere. Sure, it's competition, but people still want to have fun. Even though it was busy, I still had plenty of time to check my valuables into the bag check, get my timing chip, get body-marked, go pee and even grab some coffee before heading down to the beach.
The swim part was awesome. The water was not cold, but cool enough that it took me a minute or two to get used to it. But I quickly got into a good rhythm. I completely obliterated last year's swim time, and managed to NOT get kicked in the head. Yay! My first transition went well. I made sure to drink some water this time, and have a gel. Even though I did not improve my bike time from last year, the bike part went so much better. Less seat discomfort for sure. But also I didn't get as tired. It really was not until after mile ten that I started to hit a wall and then part of that was because I forgot to downshift into a lower gear. I thought I was losing steam but it turned out I was just working too hard. Doh! The second transition was a little rough. I was tired and having a hard time getting my bike racked and I almost fell. But I grabbed a gel and some more water and was on my way in decent time. I'm a little amused that the walk went faster this year. Last year I walked (more like limped) the first mile and then walk/ran the rest. This year I just power-walked. The lesson here is: I RUN SLOW. The only time I ran this year was the last few yards as I approached the finish. I got a sudden huge burst of energy and just busted into a run. Nice way to finish.
I actually felt pretty good throughout the race. I got tired at the 10 mile mark on the bike course but I powered through it. When I finished I was tired but not exhausted. And now this evening I'm a little sore but not in pain, really. Overall I think the whole thing went a lot better this year.
Some things I would like to do next year:
Buy a tri suit. It would be nice to not have to struggle to put pants on while wet. I bet that would cut my first transition time in half. Also the pants I wore today were too loose in the crotch and they bunched up and made for uncomfortable friction while biking. My inner thighs are RAW right now.
Get a better bike. I'm riding a Hard Rock mountain bike with road tires. It's actually a nice bike and I'm grateful to have it. (I got it for free from a friend who was not using it) But it's not made to go fast, and the frame is a bit small for me. I don't want a racing bike, just a nice road bike. Something that fits me. I'd love to see what I could accomplish with some better equipment. Someday I'd love to see my bike time closer to an hour- or even under an hour.