April 27th + first triathlon of the year for this girl = GREAT DAY!!!
I woke up at 6 – love low key races with later check in times! – and got ready quietly and left right on time. I had a great drive to get there and sang along with the music. At a stoplight, I happened to check my emails and saw that I had an email from “See Jane Run” I have been chosen to be an ambassador!! It’s still pending though, while I find out if it is required that I travel to one of the races. I would happily do the fall half, but right now I shouldn’t promise I can get there. So anyway…back to the race.
I got there and found a parking space and headed over to the check in place. I was surrounded by college students – expected being as though the race is at a college. But, every single one was nice and friendly. I got checked in and got my shirt and body marking done.
I was so nervous on my drive that I didn’t really eat much. I am always amazed how nervous I get before races. So, I ate my banana and relaxed a little bit. I had a student show me the way to the pool. I hung out there a little while and then wandered into the hall. I found another “grown up” and started talking to her. Her name was Erin and she is the Athletic Trainer at the school. She was super nice and we visited the whole time we waited. She introduced me to some students she knew and all of the sudden I had friends there – good stuff.
Erin was in the heat before me, so I watched them start and then I did something new to me – I did a warm up! I only went one lap, but it was a little and maybe it helped. We had our little meeting explaining how our heat would go – pick a lane, probably 2 per lane. I picked one in the middle and was lucky enough to get one all to myself! Before I knew it we were swimming. There were students there counting lengths of swimming instead of laps, which was different, but they had counters that they put down in the lane each length so you always knew how far you were. I looked up at the clock on the 20th lap (500 yards) which is how far the pool swim was last year and it said 10:44 – last year was 12:06!! Yea!! So I kept swimming the next 250 yards and successfully made it out of the pool in 16:03!! Yes – I was hoping for less than 20!!
I was out of the pool and off running toward my bike. I got out there and really hoped it would feel easy – it did not. I had gotten an email saying they shortened the course, which maybe worked in my favor, but I’ll never know. Before too long and after many bumps in the road, literally, I was back at transition.
Erin had told me that the first half of the run is uphill, but if I could make it up, down was fun. So up I went, and up and up. I saw Erin on her way down, we high fived and wished each other luck (she had started 20 minutes before me). I started seeing girls ahead of me, then the game began – real them in. I had played that game on the bike and it worked with all but one person. I never got passed by a single person in this race once I got out of the pool.
Anyway, back to realing in runners…I was running up the hill and I usually try to say something encouraging to people out there. The first girl was clearly struggling. I asked her if she was ok and she was having terrible side stiches. I gave her a few tips and carried on my way. Next was the next girl and maybe one more. I visited with the volunteers as I ran by and just enjoyed the run. I gave it what I could down the hill and rounded the curve to the finish line.
It was great!!
I hung around the area for a while and had some fruit (see race title). I visited with some of the girls I passed who all congratulated me on a good race – it was pretty awesome. Erin came back over to the finish area and was saying she was sure she was the first place female. I was looking around to see if there were results posted, but didn’t see any. They announced that they were doing awards in 10 minutes – I decided to stick around and see them.
They started with 3rd, nobody I knew, 2nd….WAS ME!!!!!! 1st was Erin. I couldn’t believe that I got 2nd place with so many young athletes there!
I got a gift certificate for a bike shop in St. Cloud for my prize. I was so excited to win!!
So, if the ice is off the lake (questionable) my next triathlon is May 18th. Let’s hope that I get my bike out some more between now and then so I can feel better about that leg of the race.