Or so says the pint glass that I won at the Encinitas Tri this weekend. I'm not so sure....
This tri holds a special place in my heart as it was my first official triathlon back in 2007. This is also the first race I remember racing with Jen and where I met Tim for the first time. The best part was I was aging-up that year to 30-34, but knowing very little about the sport I raced as a 29 year-old. Went off ten minutes early and my time was all messed up. Ended up with results in the pro field until I informed them of the mistake. Ah... memories.
I decided to do this race on a whim about a week and a half ago. Wanted to do it, but was not sure what shape my body would be in after Wildflower. As soon as I realized I was actually feeling pretty good, I paid the way too high race entry fee, and had another race to look forward to. Coach didn't try to stop me, so I figured I'd be OK.
By Saturday I was not so sure it was the best idea to be racing for the third straight weekend, especially after a hard week of training. Saturday I did a mellow ride with the tri club and the ladies. Felt like I was asleep the entire time! I was totally napping in the aerobars. Never really woke-up all of Saturday. Did try to nap at home, but failed! Luckily I am getting used to the packing part of triathlon, so I was able to throw a transition bag together without too much problem.
Sunday was up at 4:30 and trying to get down a PB&J, coffee and Chocolate Soymilk. Stomach really not interested in food, but I figured I could get away with less food for a sprint.
Got to transition pretty early and set-up in a good spot. Learned from WF that it is better to be close to the Bike Out, esp since we were not allowed to start with our shoes on the bike. Jen still had not shown up, so I decided to go out for a little warm-up run. The weather was really foggy, but I was actually hot on my run. Felt good to stretch the legs and remind myself where the run would take us. By the time I got back, Jen and Elizabeth were cruising into transition. Social time! Jen and I did another little run and then on with the wetsuits and down to the water.
The water is actually starting to feel a bit warmer to me. Did a quick little warm-up and then hopped out before I could tire myself out. The waves were bigger than I would have liked, and I have not been practicing surf entry, so I was a bit nervous.
Time to line up for our start. Everyone was hanging back from the front of the start, so I made a move up front and center, hoping that I could pull off a good entry if I had a clear shot in. The gun sounded and I took it out hard. One... two... splat was how my entry went. Hit a hole in the sand about two feet in and fell flat on my face! Felt like I was lying there forever trying to figure out what to do. Up I got and ran another few feet and fell again! At this point I decided to start swimming so I grabbed the sand, launched myself forward and off I went.
I really don't remember that much of the swim. Think I had to duck one wave and then was trying to find the yellow buoy. Hard to see around all the swim buddies and lifeguards, plus it was still really gray out and I had the super tinted goggles on. Saw the orange buoy which I knew was directly in front of our yellow turn-around buoy so headed for that. Not sure how I got so far south... Also saw in front of me the lead pack of girls. How I wanted to be up with them, but really too far away. Would have to make up time on the bike and run.
Hit the yellow buoy and started in. Wanted to sight off the swim exit flags, but could not find them, so I just followed the pack in, hoping they were on course. Kept looking for waves to come, but nothing but a few swells passed me. No breakers to ride. Finally got sick of swimming so I stood up and ran in.
Hopped out of the water and got the wetsuit off. I like to get it off as soon as I can because I think running in it tires my legs. I knew we had a steep run to transition, so in this race it had to be off ASAP. Once it was off, I set off up the hill. I knew I could make up time on those lead swimmers. This was going to be a "quadrathon" for me... swim-run-bike-run. Smoked T1!
Jumped on my bike and out of T1. Had to make sure I really kept my head in it however, as the road was really wet and there were a bunch of people already out on the course. This is a great ride for me, as I do it as part of my coast ride so often. Knowing where the ups and downs are is a huge advantage. Just tucked into aero and tried to drop as many people as possible. Had no idea at his point where I was in my AG. All the while I am just waiting for Jen. She is super fast on the bike and was rolling her disc, so I knew I would see her any moment.
Lots of twists and turns through the city part of Encinitas made it a bit dicey, but managed not to crash. Quads were burning pretty much the entire time, and I kept thinking I should save some for the run, but then I just kept pushing. By the second out turn around I saw Jen was only a few seconds back... I knew I was toast! She flew by looking fabulous as always. I decided then the name of the game was to keep her in my sights... no matter how small she got. Follow the pink bike! Right after Jen passed me, I passed a guy on a fancy Felt. He yells out "What's with you girls?" All I could do was smile.
Wove back through Encinitas and to the Bike In. Right as I'm going to dismount the guy in front of me stops dead and asks where the turn around for the second loop is... Dude you missed it and I need to get in to T2.
Another super speedy transition and I follow Jen out on the run. Really excited to see what the legs will do as I have been working on running a lot lately. I had a plan and was ready to execute.
Spent the first few minutes just getting the legs used to the idea of running, then I was able to open it up. The run turn around was a steep, short hill. I made my first surge there. Up and around. Used some new downhill running skills too. All the while I have that little Scottish voice in my head.
Pretty uneventful run. Skipped all aid in favor of just getting it done... 3.1 miles is just not that far. My favorite part was seeing a guy running along and then someone runs out into the street and squeezes honey into his mouth. Brilliant! I have never been able to do Gu or stuff like that, but I love honey. I am so getting packets to try it out!
Surged the hill again and took it strong on the way back. I knew it was a left and then a right and then the finish would be in sight. After the left I picked it up. Once I made the right I put everything I had left into making it to the finish. Legs felt great!
Grabbed some water and went back to cheer on Jen as she finished. We had a plan to run after the race as we both had on our schedules to get in another hour or so of running. On the way to clean up our stuff, we ran into Marit. I had never met her before, but I know her name through some other friends and as I admitted to her, I am her blog stalker. I love reading her blog and seeing what she is up to. It is funny how cyberspace can make you feel like you know someone before you even really meet them... Scary too! She was super down to earth in person and told us that she fell on the swim entry as well. She had an awesome race placing third overall woman. Gotta get out and ride with that one.
Then Jen, Elizabeth and I headed out for a chill run and chat of course. Elizabeth turned around early as she was starving. We made a plan to meet back at the race awards. Elizabeth knew she won her AG. She is super fast and one of the nicest people I know.
When Jen and I made it back to the expo, we decided to look up our race results. At first I could not find mine, but then realized there was another area. Scanned for my name and found it. All I saw was a 1 by my name. Jen looks over and say "You won our Age Group!" So happy I forgot to even look at my time. And that is how I won a pint glass that say "I'm Really Fast!"
Thanks to Jen and Elizabeth for a really fun morning! And thanks to all the TRULY fast girls for being in another Age Group and thouse in my AG for not showing up!