I love race mornings that start like this...
The morning started out with a looming threat of thunderstorms and an announcement that the swim would not be wetsuit legal. Since I was well aware that unless I pulled a 50 minute PR out of my hat there was no way I was in podium contention, I decided to wear my wetsuit since I was after a more modest PR.
Swim: 37:09 8/53 AG
Once we were in the water, I was actually quite glad I had my wetsuit on as many of the women around me were shivering. I opted to line up on the right, thinking that it looked like the shortest line to the buoy. The gun went off, and I was surprised to be out in front swimming in completely clean water, which was very weird. I'm a decent swimmer, but it is rare that I am leading a swim. After a while I realized all the fast swimmers lined up on the left because I saw them as they passed me...I guess I need to work on estimating distance a bit better! :) It still turned out to be a good choice for me, though, because the swim was super choppy and I was glad that I didn't have to contend with people as well as waves. Once we swam into the canal, I was really able to motor since it was calm. I felt good and think that the only reason I wasn't faster overall was because of the conditions.
Bike: 3:05:26 24/53 AG
Quick T1 and I was out on the bike. I felt strong from the beginning. Just like at Syracuse 70.3, I had some pretty specific HR goals and I feel like I did a great job hitting them. About 1.5 hours into the ride I noticed some really dark clouds ahead and then started seeing sky to ground lightning. About 5 minutes later the storm was literally on top of us. It was pouring and the lightning was so close I heard the thunder before I saw the flash. There were about 4 cracks of lightning right on top of us and I have to admit I was pretty freaked out. I passed a young girl and she asked me if we should stop. I decided the last thing we should do is stand in a big field during a lightning storm and told her to keep moving. The storm lasted about 30 minutes or so, and after that I still took all turns pretty conservatively. No more crashing for this girl!! I felt strong during the whole ride and this was a PR for this distance for me.
Run: 2:16:03 36/54 AG
I had one goal on this run and that was to push myself hard. My running has been pretty slow this year since I have been doing so much aerobic work in preparation for Rev3 Cedar Point Full, and I have been finding it difficult to find that next gear in races. Despite the relative slowness of the run, it was still about 4 minutes faster than Syracuse and I know I dug deep out there. It was also a relatively evenly paced run with the last 5 miles being some of my fastest! This was also the first time in a long time I have ran the whole run of a half by myself. I usually get a run buddy at some point, and on this day, it was just all up to me. Of course, that doesn't mean I wasn't having a great time encouraging those around me and thanking volunteers. For me, that goes without saying, because if it isn't fun, why am I doing it???
No idea what I am doing here, but it's funny!!
I totally picked this one because you can see my leg muscles...
6:02:27 23/54 AG
So all in all, my effort, while not quite good enough to get me under 6 (YET), were still good enough for a PR of just over a minute! Last year I shaved off about a minute at this race, so maybe if I keep on racing that PR will keep getting lower!
It was a wonderful day for me as a coach as well. Here are some of the wonderful pictures of me with my athletes. What a day!