Happy Rainy Sunday!
Yesterday was my 2nd triathlon of the season. Blaine, MN ~ 2nd annual traithlon. I participated last year too. I really enjoyed the event, so I went back this year. The packet pickup volunteers were very nice, there was no line because they have Friday night pick up too. I waited until Saturday morning because it was an hour and a half drive to get there.
I set the alarm for 4:45. It’s always easier to get up early on race day than it is to get up for work. I headed out the door into the pouring rain and was off to the race.
I stopped for a quick cup of coffee and was driving on in the rain for the hour and a half. I watched the lightning as I drove and just kept thinking how I was afraid of the swim.
It was still raining when I arrived at Lake Commons Park. It is really a great venue for this race. I easily parked and was amazed how many people were already there. I decided to take just my bike for now and leave the rest of my stuff in the car to stay dry as long as possible. I picked up my packet and found a place to put my bike. Decided to use the porta potty before the lines got long. I walked back to the car to get my bag of equipment and get my transition area set up because apparently were are going to race in the rain.
At 7:35 transition closes and there is a meeting being held in the gazebo instead of on the beach because we are still not sure if they are making this a duathlon because of the lightning.
7:35 – announcement! 1 hour rain delay! Honestly, I have to hang out for another hour in the rain! Ugh! So at this point, I’m happy I didn’t put my wetsuit on yet (MANY people were already in theirs). I went back to the car to stay dry and tweet some whining to my twitter friends. I honestly thought “if they give me my medal now, I’d go home!” I never feel that way about races!
So, I waited, tried to get excited and waited.
Finally it was time to get my wetsuit on. Just in case you missed the discussion – the water temperature was 59 degrees. My wetsuit is sleeveless and it was COLD rain. I sat under the gazebo and whined a little more. BUT, once I had the wetsuit on I was all “Let’s do this!!”
I headed down to the beach and checked in with the volunteer for my wave. There were 2 others checked in – but 4 others checked in before we started. The women in my wave were all really nice. I know it sounds crazy, but the water actually didn’t feel that cold seeing as though I was freezing already. Before I knew it, we were off. I started out and just tried to keep the bouys in sight. They were just the regular swimming orange and white markers, which were actually kind of hard to see. Usually they are large and bright colored. There were 3 on the way out, then turn right and there were 5 and then turn right to the shore. I just kept swimming. I did backstroke just a few strokes 2 different times. That is like my safety blanket – I always try not to do it, but sometimes, you just need to clear your head. The listing at the end of the event showed that my swim was 2 minutes faster than last year!! I still haven’t seen the official breakdown of my times, but I feel really good about my swim!
Out of the water and run up to transition. I did have to ask a spectator to give me the rip cord from the back of my wetsuit, I couldn’t make my cold hands/arms move quite right to get it. But, to make up for that, I helped 2 different guys who were stuck in the same situation. 🙂
I got my bike stuff all on and off I went. I have never biked in heavy rain or on rain covered roads (wet yes, puddles, no). As I was getting on, I said outloud “shoot, I was gonna wear a sweatshirt” a lady standing there smiled at me – what to do – bike anyway. As it turns out, I’m glad I didn’t remember to grab it. My body wasn’t cold, my hands had a hard time, I had to shake them out a lot to keep them alive, but it worked out. The bike was actually really fun. I smiled the whole time, mostly because I couldn’t believe that I was out racing in this rain. I felt great the whole time.
After the 2nd lap, it was time to start running. As I was making sure my shoes would unclip from my pedals, I realized how waterlogged they were. I couldn’t believe how wet they were!
I made it into transition and 2 of the really nice ladies that were volunteering were they cheering and they encouraged me along – that was nice. I got back to my bike rack and realized that the umbrella I had left covering my stuff had tipped over, so things weren’t as dry as I’d hoped. I set it back over my backpack, got my running shoes and my hat on and off I was running.
Last year during this event, it was HOT, I spent a lot of time looking down and just wishing the run would be over. I realized after it was over that I never looked around and enjoyed the run – I vowed that was the goal this year. Oh my goodness! The neighboorhoods that we ran through had some of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen. I looked all around this time. I really enjoyed my run.
When I has a half mile from the finish, I remembered last year there was a guy that was really struggling and I remember encouraging him along. There was nobody else around me this year, so I picked up my pace and headed to the finish.
The announcer announced my name and complemented my running form “Penny, you have really nice running form, really smooth and steady”. That was kinda fun!
I crossed the finish line and got the medal I had been waiting for. I’ll be honest and tell you I was more than a little sad that it was the same (not great) medal as last year. The year is different, but it is boring.
The shirt is the same too, except last year had black writing instead of blue.
I found some gatorade and a banana and waited for some results to be posted.
When I first saw the results, there were no age group breakdowns. I realized there weren’t that many females before me, so I started looking at ages and thought I had placed 3rd in my age group! Last year I was 4th. I was so excited!!! I went up to see if I would be allowed into transition to get my sweatshirt, because now I was cold!
We could clear out everything but our bikes, so I took my backpack back to the car and headed by down to the beach to see if I could find out if I was right about my age group place. The age groups lists were up – I was really nervous that I had looked wrong and I didn’t place……I was wrong…..I didn’t get 3rd…..
I GOT 2nd PLACE!!!!!!!
I was really excited about the list showing I was 2nd!!! I was then told that they would not be doing an award ceremony because so many people had left because of the rain. One of the voulnteers assured me that they would work it out with me to mail my award. Thank goodness! I’ve never earned a plaque of my very own – I have a team one, but not my own!!
So I went to get my bike and took it to the car. As I put it on the bike rack – the sun came out!! Go figure!!
I don’t know that I will ever forget this race, mostly because of the rain, but also because they really do a great job. Thank you Blaine Triathlon!!
I’ll post a picture when I get me plaque!