Fri. evening we went for a short trail run that ended at a swimming hole. It was hot. Really hot, close to 90. The reward was jumping in the water which felt great then running home soaking wet.
Sat. afternoon, we drove to Keuka, which is about an hour away. The race was staged at Keuka College and we stayed in the dorms. This was Loren's first Olympic distance tri and my first olympic in several years. It was also the regional qualifier for the national age group championships. It was an outside goal to qualify, seeing that my age group is usually really tough and I had not trained the way I normally would for a race like this.
The weather was hot. It was just going to be hot all morning. Luckily these things start early.
Our swim wave was last. I had what I felt was a really good swim. I was relaxed and comfortable. And for most of it, Claudia, who I've trained with for years, was right next to me. What are the chances? This is the 2nd time that's happened. I got out of the what and my watch said 30 minutes. I was happy with my time for the swim (1500 meters, just shy of a mile). The water was a bit choppy, but tolerable. Claudia was a step a head of me going into transition.
I pulled off my wetsuit, put on my helmet and shoes and said lets go as I left for the bike. The bike course was a nice rolling course, 40k (just shy of 25 miles). There was a 2 mile climb at mile 10 which was interesting. I caught another friend during that climb, Rachel. She's a great swimmer. I think maybe 1 or 2 women actually passed me on the bike. I came in at 1:23, averaged close to 18mph. Now for the run. It was hot by this point. I didn't feel it on the bike so much since I was creating my own breeze by moving. The run was a different story. I just couldn't get my legs going. Rachel passed me back in the first mile. Then by mile 3, Loren came speeding by me. I put 8 minutes on her in the swim. And there she was. She didn't think she was going to catch me, I did, I just didn't think it would be that soon. (the run is 10k, 6.2 miles).
After that, maybe 2 other women passed me and a lot of people we wallking. I was picking them off as I kept myself moving forward, dumping ice water over my head and putting it in my bra.
Around my 4.5, I saw a woman in my age group ahead of me. I tucked in behind her for a few minutes to get her pacing. Then I passed her. I wanted to make sure if I passed her I stayed ahead and I did. Coming in the home stretch, I could see Rachel, though she wasn't close enough for me to pass her back. This run was a true death march. I crossed the finish line in 2:57. I was happy to get under 3 even if my run was not what I wanted. The heat was just too much.
When all was said and done, Loren took 2nd in our age group, 11th over all. I was 4th in age group, 22nd over all. We both qualified for nationals, as did Rachel who took 4th in her age group.