Last Wednesday there was a local tri offered at the last minute. I'm not really sure when they decided to put it together, but I finally heard about it at our Tri team's open water swim a few weeks ago and despite the expensive price tag ($75) for a"mini" I decide to do it since it was close to home, on a week-night, and a good practice run of another tri I have coming up at the same venue.
They deemed the tri a mini because the swim was only 400m and the bike was only 11 miles, but the run was still to be a 5K. I felt ready to have a decent race but assumed that I'd end up at the back of my age group because I knew that there were a lot of local ladies much faster than me!
On Wednesday the sky was overcast as I left work with all of my tri gear. As I headed toward the race the rain came pouring down. It wasn't just raining, it was literally flooding the streets. The rain was coming down so heavy and so fast that it wasn't running off fast enough and cars were having a tough time getting through the water. I got to the triathlon site and checked in with all of the other soggy athletes. I racked my bike, all the while thinking that I should just go home. I had never ridden my bike in rain and I wasn't great at riding when it was dry. I really wasn't interested in crashing today!
I waited for the start and watched as 250 wet athletes set up and prepared in the rain. We all lined up for the swim by seeding ourselves by self-proclaimed swimming abilities. About 5 minutes before the start, the sun came out, the rain stopped and it warmed up. I felt much better about continuing.
Though we were going off one by one in the swim, people did not have a good judgement of their own swimming abilities and eventually there was some congestion in the swim. I ran into a few people and eventually got around them. I felt good coming out of the swim and got up the stairs quickly.
I got my shoes on and got out on the bike. I immediately felt good on the bike. I was surprised but my bike computer said I was going 18-20mph for a decent part of the first half of the bike. I did have to slow down and bit for some turns and the traffic was horrible. Cars were not slowing down and it made it very hard to pass in some places.
I made it through the bike with a 17.9mph average, which is a VERY good average for me.
I got out on to my run but forgot that I had packed my shoes without locklaces. It took a few extra seconds to tie them. My legs were tired, but I got into my groove after a bit and realized that the storms that had passed through made everything muggy. BLAH! I tried to keep my pace up as much as I could.
I finished with a total time of 1:21:38. It wasn't record setting or perfect, but it was darn good for me and I was happy with my pace and my time for the night. I didn't even begin to think that I placed any where in my age group, but I wanted to see my pace, so I went up to the boards after I got my medal and food.
There, on the list, my name was listed in 2nd place. WHAT? How could that be??? Now, I will admit, that had I been in any other age group that night, my time was not good enough to place. But, for some reason, my age group was "slower" than the rest and I ended up placing 2nd. Even if I had been in the women's 50-55 age group I wouldn't have placed with my 1:21! Kind of crazy, but I'll take my 2nd place and go home!
I drove home excited and tired. The next day, I had something even more crazy happen to me...
This appeared in my email inbox:
While that's cool and all, I somehow don't think I'll be going... I really don't think I'm up to par with those folks! I'd love to go someday, but I think I better train a bit more before I register! Pretty cool to get that in my inbox though.
I'm so glad I didn't turn my car around when it was pouring buckets and go home. I'm glad I decided to get over my fears and just go with it, as it turned out to be a great race.