This is the most fun I've ever had doing a race! I'm sure that is in part because it lacked my least favorite component- the run, but it was really a blast.
Pre-race- It was amazing how many CTC members were out racing and volunteering. It felt like a club reunion! As we lined up for the swim and spotted the buoys being set down I think most of our eyes got wide. This was for sure to be the longest 1.2 mile swim of all time! You could barely see the end buoy it was so far away, and it was also right into the sun. Not that again! I need to get dark goggles for sure.
The swim was a litte bit delayed because the buoys weren't all out when the race was set to begin at 7am. I think it ended up starting closer to 7:30. I felt bad for the people that had jumped in to warm up because it was a very chilly morning. The water was definitely warmer than the air.
Oh, and I finally found a goo that I Like! Chocolate. This was a very exciting development for my future ironman training and racing :)
Swim: It was a beach start. Good practice for Ironman, except that there were only about 10 people in my wave. I was disappointed that it wasn't a water start because I had to pee so bad! I had never peed in my wetsuit not to mention while swimming so that was to be a first. (I know, TMI). So I ran in and tried to get into my swimming groove. Kind of a bad swim for me. For one, it took me about 10 minutes and a lot of concentration to be able to pee while exercising. And then ewwwww! warm. Gross. But it was such a relief I didn't care too much. Then the other thing that held me back was spotting. Since the sun was so bright I couldn't see the turnaround buoy so I kept having to stop to try to sight. Since the start waves were so small, there weren't many people around. Then on the way back I swallowed a bunch of water and then slowed me down again. Finally, when I got to the shore I decided to try to take off my wetsuit in the water. I have been told that is the quickest way- It just slides off! Wrong! I looked like a total fool when I had to sit down in the water to yank it off my ankles. Oh, well. Maybe next time.
Swim time 41 minutes. If I had to honestly extimate the distance it was probably 1.4-1.5 miles based on mine and some very consistent swimmers I know. (Rob did a 25 last week and a 33 on this course)
Transition- Forgot to put on my gloves. Oh, well
Bike- This is such a challenging and beautiful bike course. I don't think I'll ever find a 58 mile route that I like more than this one. Flat for the first 10 then hilly as HELL for the next 36 with 10-12 of flat to downhill to end up. At the first hill (which is also the worst) I passed 3 men who were walking their bikes up. Don't know if that will ever happen again. Halfway up the monster hill I heard my new CTC friend George yelling- keep it up 28! push it! His encouragement really did push me right up the hill and I rode with him for a couple minutes at the top. Fun! I might seem totally crazy, but I really like hilly rides. The challenge really keeps things interesting and gets the heart pumping. I had taken a Gu right before hitting the hill and was feeling great
Then at mile 22 or so I hit the CTC aid station. I had gone through an entire bottle of Endurance between 10 and 22 and was glad to see Carly holding a new one out for me. Also great to see Brooks there with a smile on his face as I nearly wiped out from the force of the gatorade being handed to me. How embarrassing! Need to work on that.
The rest of the bike went very well. Nutrition and hydration were great and I never felt weak. Ran into Suzi with about 12 miles to go and stayed with her to the end. Unfortunately when we were 5 miles out some police officers were very misinformed and had been told that all the bikers were through (which wasn't close to the truth) and had stopped directing traffic at a light. We had to clip out and wait for them to figure it out. Oh, well.
I really hammered the last hour because I knew there was no run to contend with at the end. What a great feeling!
My final bike time: 3:21 for an average of about 17.4 miles per hour. On that course I am so happy with that! And it is officially my last race with the Cannondale. She performed well.
Total time- I think it was about 4:09 Great fun, and since there were only 3 women in the aquabike I got sweet plaque and pair of sunglasses. :)