The above image is what a pre game face looks like, Ladies and Gentlemen. lol. The hair sticking out just makes me more aero. Thanks to Michael Blades for the photo.
I spent Friday night checking (and rechecking) my Tri bag, drinking water and going over my race day plan of action: Get there early, warm up properly, remember all my swim training, quick transition, bike hard, bike fast.
Wellll………most of that happened.
My Coach decided that I should do this race as a swim/run biathlon because I have Escape to Miami Tri this weekend and only (gulp) 3 weeks between this race and my Half (gulp) Marathon. I woke up super relieved that the weather forecast was wrong. Though still a little breezy, there was no rain in sight and more importantly, no thunderstorms which would have shut the swim down. I had half a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and chased it down with some watered down Gatorade. This seems to be the best combo on my stomach. I put my Tri kit on and, of course, decided that I didn’t like my Tri shorts. We got new Key West Tri Club uniforms and the shirt fit fine (though snug) and though the shorts fit, they kind of stretch to their absolute limits. I put on my regular workout spandex shorts, threw my uniform shorts in my bag (I figured I change before the start) and went to head out the door. D’OH. I actually almost forgot to pump up my bike tires. For reals? Yup. I pumped them up and went down to my car. I was about 15 mins behind schedule. Still plenty of time. In my carport I ran into my next door neighbors Tahina and Eduardo loading up their car for the race. Tahina is 8 months pregnant and has worked out all through her pregnancy (modifying as needed). This girl is nothing short of amazing. Her plan was to do the Swim/Bike too! Eduardo was planning to race right along with her (talk about a great support system). And btw, this was her baby’s 3rd Triathlon/Biathlon!
In my rush out the door, I forgot to grab my game day Coke. I became a little obsessed at that point wondering what store would be open when, der, this is Key West. What’s NOT open all night? I ran to a gas station near the race and grabbed one. The last minute fussing with my uniform, coke and bike had me feeling a little anxious about the race. All that dissipated when I got there. Everywhere I turned, there was somebody I knew that was either racing or volunteering. It’s a great, supportive community and the FKCC Sprint is a great community race.
I got to transition and set up then got to chatting with everyone. Before I knew it, it was time to warm up and get down to the dock. I was down on the dock when I realized: I forgot to put on my uniform shorts!!! ARGH!! oh well. Move on. I jumped in the water and waited for the start. Usually I start at the very back and wait a beat before I start to let the whirling dervish of swimmers get ahead. This time, I started towards the back and when start was called, I took off. I kept up with the pack until the first buoy and then, after a kick in the face, I started to lose them. I tried to stick with my training, but found myself at times bending my knees when I kicked or not completely my stroke properly. I had to keep reminding myself to focus. That maybe slowing down and smoothing things out was better than flailing about like I was in Jaws. I got to the big triangle buoy and headed around it getting hopelessly tangled in some random small lines hanging off of it. I was really irritated that I was swimming well and then got all tangled up like but whatevs, I looked around and realized I was last. again. But wait! There was one swimmer not that far in front of me! Hope!! maybe I wouldn’t be last! I started to focus on that swimmer. I thought I’d catch him but by the last turn, hope was lost. I just couldn’t catch that 8 year old boy. little f-er.
I came out of the water into T1 and Amy Bradshaw and Liz came over to see how I was. They were very psyched for my performance in the water and very encouraging when I really needed to hear it. I clumsily put on my bike shoes and hopped on my bike and took off. It was probably my smoothest transition to date. For some reason, I have ALWAYS had trouble clipping into my bike in a race. It’s like I’ve never ever done it before. I’ve almost fallen off, I’ve pulled a muscle trying, you name it, I’ve looked like an ass doing it. What was the key this time? Practice. I even kept clipping in and out of both sides on my little shake it off ride on Friday.
The bike course was 3 laps around College Road. The first part was into the wind. 3 times. Into the stinking wind. Whatevs. Just makes me more ready for the bridges to come at Escape. I did have that moment on the first lap when I felt like no matter what direction I was heading, that it was into the wind. Which I guess I was catching a lot of wind as racer after racer went by me. “on your left”. Nice to know my Indian Racing Name was alive and well. The only part of the bike that really got to me was making the turn onto US 1. That is some super rough road. I felt like I was going to fall on the second lap. Shout out to Scott Greager for yelling at me every time I passed him. It was just the right amount of cheering/ass kicking I needed at the time. The third lap was fun because even though it sucks I’m so much slower, I actually get a chance to root on all my friends in the run which makes the last lap go by quicker. ish.
Big mistake I’m still paying for? Forgetting to change into my Tri shorts. hello chafing.
I finished fairly happy with my race. I raced hard, I’m just a little slower than everyone else. I took 2:30 off my swim time! which is huge for me. My bike was a few seconds slower than last time. Officially I finished almost exactly 2 minutes faster and PRd in the swim. Nothing wrong with that race. I took second in my division behind Tahina (and Baby V) 🙂 I had a blast racing with my friends.
I’ve got Escape to Miami this weekend and I feel ready for it!