This was great race! It is actually the only local tri I did this year. Come to think of it, I have actually only done two different local tris since moving here- this mini (2x) and Ironman. That's kind of funny that my longest and shortest tris have been here, and they are I think my smallest and largest. This is a 400m swim, 10 mile bike, and 3K run, with only around 110 people. It sounds like just a fun time, right? Well, it got really interesting for me this year when with a couple weeks of registration left (after I was already signed up), they announced that there would be prize money for first male and female overall. Like a lot of prize money. $500 each winner!!!! Wow! The last time I did this race in 2011, I was second, I think, and I knew I would have to be under an hour to be in contention. Its a pool swim, which means its a time trial start, and that means its really hard to tell where you stand, especially since I am not a strong swimmer. Also, someone could start 10 minutes ahead of me or after me, and finish faster, and I not see them at all on the course, so you really don't know at all how you do until the very end. I just knew I would need to go as fast as I could and see how everything shook out, and make sure I was under an hour. I made sure to get there very early to get an end spot on a rack for fastest transitions. The spots were first come first served.
The swim. The air was cool enough that the pool water felt pretty comfortable. It was around 60 degrees at the start. I opted to not use my garmin at all just to save precious seconds in transition. Everything would count here. I was the 33rd person into the water, and it was 8 laps that would serpentine through the pool. Everyone is supposed to check a swim time range on the entry blank. I had hoped to swim under 9, but I don't think I did it. There was one point where I got passed in the water in sort of a 4 person collision at one of the walls where I lost a bit of time, but once that was resolved, I had pretty clear water the rest of the swim. Also, I don't think I did a good job of pushing off the walls at the ends because I was too rushed to get under the lane lines. Those are the things you don't think you need to practice, right???? Thankfully, I passed the lady who passed me in the swim collision in the run to transition. I always find it funny the number of people I pass running from the swim. Perhaps I am a slow enough swimmer that I finish swimming with the people that aren't in it to be competitive or something? Muncie was a wave start, so there should have been people constantly finishing that were fast, so I just don't get it. Maybe it is because I am a runner and take every chance I can to run. I looked at my watch at some point, not sure if it was right out of the water or how far along I was on my run to transition, but it said 9:47. I just am a slow swimmer!!!
I tried to be a fast as possible in T1. I had picked a decent spot and I think I passed someone else there too. I did have a little trouble getting clicked into my left pedal on the bike, but I started in a decent gear so that I was at least moving during it.
The bike is HARD! Its only 10 miles, but it's very hilly. It is an out and back that is U shaped. I didn't see another person in either direction until I think I was just about to make the second turn, when I finally saw the leaders coming back. I saw a lady or two ahead of me coming back, and I passed another one before the turn around. After the turn around, I just tried to go as hard as possible, and caught another few people. I wanted to be back in transition with at least 15 minutes left for the run, and just kept my eye on my watch and the mile markers since I had no computer. I think I was faster than 17.5mph, just because I was somewhat less than 35 minutes for the 10 miles.
Again, I tried to be fast in T2, and made sure I was running as much as I could through transition. Since it is a pretty low key event, I nearly ran over a kid while I was trying to rack my bike who I honestly have no idea if he was a participant or not. It seemed like everyone should have been out on the bike or run by then, and not coming back from the swim anymore. Thankfully there wasn't a collision.
The left for the run with around 15 minutes to go before the hour mark. If this was on the road, it would have been cake, but it was on a lumpy hilly cinder trail. We had been warned in the pre-race announcements that it was freshly spread and hadn't yet been packed in, so we would need to watch for holes. I tried to stick to the edges where I could see the ground, but there were some decent hills in this loop. I saw a few familiar faces out on the run, but it is a big loop so still, just pretty much was with the same couple of guys. As I made the turn for the finish, I could see that I had less than a minute to get there!! I finished with an unofficial time of 59:53!
Ryan had brought the kids to the end. Since it was a TT, the results wouldn't be done until everyone had finished, and this race has some great door prizes worth sticking around for, and Ryan needed to do his ride while I hung out. Its funny because a lot of the time, Oldham County doesn't get along well with triathletes, unless it is there event I guess. It is more some of the residents than the county officials themselves and all the bike traffic and road closures from Ironman. Ironman was a sponsor for this race, and had given $2500 in prize money, with $1000 of it being in cash doorprizes, and you had to be present to win. I didn't win any of the cash, since I ended up being 3rd overall (I think). I can't find the official results posted anywhere, so I am just going from memory, but two ladies in the 40-44 (I think, maybe 45-59??) finished ahead of me. Wow, that was a fast AG!!! Both ladies ahead of me were in the same AG for certain, though.
Now this was not the end of our day of sporting events. This was just the end of the madness we knew. Keira joined her school's cross country team as a second grader. She had a meet about 40 minutes away and we had to dash off there. We were asked to be there an hour before the first group of runners from her school were slated to start. However, that meant she needed to be there 1.5 hours before her race. I told her coach we would likely be late due to my race, because she said as long as she knows people will be late, it is ok, but said she really wants everyone to be there when she said to be there. I was really glad we had an excuse to be there late. It was so hot, and not shaded. It was also a HUGE meet. It wasn't like anything I have ever seen before. I think there were 18 teams? Craziness. It was 90+ degrees, and in the middle of a huge field. The course snaked around with lots of hills, and was the most miserable thing you could think of for a kid to do. Keira wasn't super pleased with the whole situation, but did a good job. Some of the parents were horrible, though, yelling, not cheering for their kids. It was sickening. Way worse than soccer. I yell at Soren at soccer, but that is because he is not paying attention, and if you don't say something to him, he would stare at the ground, be digging a hole in the dirt, or pretending to be a superhero (usually), pretty much just being off task. It was crazy hot and parents were screaming at their crying kids. I nearly burst into tears watching these last place kids with the golf cart sweeper behind them, just looking so defeated. If it was an adult's race, you know darn well that there would be a ton of people walking and running with them, getting them through, but we weren't allowed. If that is ever Keira, I have no problem being kicked out of the meet for finishing it with her. I will be really surprised if we do another season of this. Fun runs are a lot better, and Keira really doesn't like that I can't run with her at the races. Also, since there were over 200 kids running in her event, open girls elementary, she didn't get an award. Its so different than what I do, getting huge @$$ medals for just crossing the finish line. Keira refused to talk about cross country to me, but seems to have a good time for the first half of practice, until she is really hot and tired. At the age of 7, I don't feel the need for her to learn about pushing through the pain yet. She has been fortunate to not really see me when I am struggling with running, since she just sees mostly the finish. She is funny, though, like me, and knows to pull it together for the camera (except pre-race, when she was super nervous and hot).
We got to see her in several spots on the course. Ryan was really funny at the race. He commented on how he couldn't think of a hotter less shaded place except maybe in the middle of Texas. It was miserable to spectate. I am imagining Keira's mile run to feel somewhat like my second half of the run in Muncie, or maybe those last couple miles of the Boston Marathon when I baked. Those really are the things I think I can liken it to, and was glad that I did have an appreciation of what it was like, because some parents obviously did not.
I'm at least having fun with cross country. Today, I nearly burst out laughing though, at a serious point in the coaching. There is an issue with kids not going to the bathroom before practice, or drinking all their water too quickly and needing to leave practice. Coach asked, "Do you think there are porto potties out on the course?" Um, for me, yes. For you kids, NO. HAHAHA!!! However, since they only run a mile, my courses do not have them more often than a mile either, though. It would be like a whole marathon of no porto potties. I'm not allowed to tell them about port o potty stops, and that is fine.
I'll have some training advice and more news coming soon! Do you have any interesting or unusual cross country stories. Am I out of line thinking cross country at this age is nutty? Any advice here would be appreciated. I don't get it. I get 7 year old gymnastics meets because you retire at 16, but not running, because heck, I got my butt handed to me by a bunch of master's athletes!!!!