Nearly everyone had tri bikes at this race! Honestly, I think that maybe 50% were tri bikes and 30% had clip on arrow bars! It is a long, flat bike course so being in the aero position is a big advantage here.
Swim: .5 miles, 14:43 (16:40); 7/38
The horn blew and we were off swimming. It felt like the water was much warmer than last year and I was able to put my head down and just swim. I sighted on every or every other breath and stayed on course well. I spent most of the swim with one or two guys near me which probably helped me stay on track. When I rounded the buoy and was heading back I got a little messed up because when I was sighting I realized that the swim caps and the buoys were the same color so the people that were still swimming in the opposite direction were confusing me. After I figured that out I spent a little less time sighting and just tried to stay straight until the other swimmers were gone. I kept looking around for any other green caps (women) but didn't see anyone.
I thought I was the first female out of the water but it turns out there was one other woman in front of me. I cut about 2 minutes off my time from last year. I think a lot of this was just being more comfortable in the water and knowing to position myself at the front of the pack.
Transition 1: 2:20 (4:18), 26/38
Transition 1 was uneventful. I tore off my wetsuit, tried to get some sand off my feet (you have to run up a sandy beach to transition) and got my shoes. When I left transition I noticed had taken me about 2 minutes. I remember that last year it took me four. What the hell was I doing for four minutes last year?!
Bike: 24 miles, 1:26:16 (1:26:42), 34/38
The bike felt pretty good but I was a bit disappointed with my time. Only a 30 second improvement from last year. There was definitely more of a headwind this year, however it was that big of a deal. I felt like I was keeping good mental focus and trying to keep up a decent average. The last four miles felt sooo long and I just wanted to be done with the bike. I'm hoping that I can put in some serious bike time this summer and try to make some improvements in this area.
Transition 2: 1:05 (2:18), 21/38
Twice as fast as last year! This is what I like to see. I forgot to grab my belt with my race number but I don't think anyone noticed (or cared).
Run: 4 miles, 36:58 (43:23), 32/38
The run was hard but it was awesome! I am so, so proud of my improvements here! I cut more than six minutes off my time from last year. My first mile split was 8:59, followed by 9:17, 9:18 and 9:24 for an average of 9:15. I really pushed in the first mile and tried to get into a fast group. The run is on a trail through the woods so it has a lot of uneven terrain and a ton of sand. I would estimate that a quarter of the run is through sand. With about a mile to go I saw another woman through the trees who I estimated to be about a minute behind me and she looked to be in my age group. I really, really did not want her to pass me so I picked it up another notch and gave it everything I had. It turns out she was in my age group but she never passed me. I finished about a minute and a half ahead of her.
Sam grabbed my camera and took a few pictures of me coming out of the woods.
Sam improved 15 minutes on his time from last year and won 3rd place in his age group.