The 2016 race season has begun! It’s always fun to kick off the season with the Icebreaker from RaceTri. This was my fourth year participating. It lived up to it’s name by being a freezing 32 degrees that morning. We even woke up to a little bit of snow. However, the weather cleared and snow melted before race time.
I was excited to race. With Ironman Oceanside 70.3 coming the next week, I wanted to “GET” in race mode. I also moved up in my age group this year. The 40-44 age group. Yes, this year is the big 40 for me.
The pre-race set up is always fun. I enjoy catching up with friends, hugs and pre-race photos. This past year has been a blast getting to know so many more people in the triathlon community and the Salt Lake Tri Club. I am grateful to call so many of these fabulous people my friends! And I continue to meet new friends all the time.
I hate warming up in the water. I know every coach on the planet is yelling at me right not, BUT I don’t feel like I gain anything with a water warm up. Because if I do, I am just wet and cold waiting for it to start. So I swung my arms around warming up on the side of the pool with my fellow triathletes, as we all tried to seed ourselves. It’s so hard to do that. You don’t want to be stuck behind someone slower than you, but also don’t want to hold anybody up. And you have NO idea what people are swimming. You just have to line up and hope for the best.
In first 50m, I was passing people. The first 200 felt great. I was calm, relaxed and strong, then the traffic jam came. On the last 100m, a bunch of us got caught up and it was a mess. It was worse an open water swim. Some guy kicked me in the head. I stood up, shook it off and kept swimming. In my age group, I was 1st in the swim. Seriously… 1st in the swim in my age group. Like, that never happens. When I saw my swim time, I was shocked. It was a fast swim for me! I guess my Forrest Gump arm braces did work!
I prepped a pull over for the bike and run. I am so glad I did. It was comfy on the bike and had the fastest T1 in my age group.
I love to bike. I am in my happy place on the bike. I push as hard as I could on the bike to try and make up what my run lacks. I was a little disappointed in my final bike time but it was still 19 miles an hour, my goal was 20. I did end up 2nd place in my age group on the bike.
I was SO happy to see my friend Jeanette. She grabbed my bike while I ran in. THANK YOU! She saved me time for sure. My friend Mary, who was racked right by me, was in T2 getting her running shoes on. It always gives me a boost to see my friends during the race! I had no idea my friend Katie was right behind me out of T2. My hubby captured this awesome picture of us.
Ohhhh the run. This is where I tend to fall apart. I spent the off season working on my run. I don’t hate the run like I used to. I am actually learning to embrace the suck fest. Coming out of T2, I settled in quickly. I’m so grateful for all the bricks in the off season. Running the hill, I thought my heart was going to burst from my chest, but I kept my pace and my heart rate finally came down. My friend Katie ran up behind me and passed me. She’s been training hard for the short course. I knew I wouldn’t be able to pace with her, but I knew if I could just keep the distance we had I would be happy with my pace. The last mile I busted out in to full sprint, which was a good idea because I ran a 8:07 which was my fastest mile run split on that course ever.
Crossing a finish line is the best feeling ever! Regardless of the distance, the moment you realize you are minutes/seconds away from being done you have a burst of energy, you didn’t think you had, to FINISH STRONG!
I took 4th in my age group. I’ll take it! I never thought I’d ever be in the top 10 among my age group. It’s an honor to rank with these ladies. Those women are tough competitors… you have to bring your game every time.
My cute hubby was taking pictures and cheering me on through out the whole race. I sure love it when he comes to my races. And of course, no race of mine would be complete without blisters. I chose to run without socks in 32 degree weather with wet feet…. I was asking for it. They are healing, but I will be using mole skin this week at Oceanside to make it the 13.1 miles on the run.
First 2016 race down, so many more to go this year. Next week Ironman Oceanside 70.3.