I did this event last year and had a crummy start to the day. The women in my racking area had racked poorly (took up too much space and wouldn’t move to accommodate more bikes) which had started the day off on a bad note. I decided in a show of good sportsmanship I would come bearing gifts for my rack-mates. Since SBR Sports sponsors me I asked for extra samples so I pass them out to the ladies. Much better vibe this time around!
My goal for the race was to podium. I said it out loud the week before and I was not being shy about my goal. My training has been hard and focused thanks to my Coach Jen. I also have been doing much more open water swimming thanks to joining Tower 26 for coached ocean swims in Santa Monica.
Swim went well. I started at the front but I don’t like to sprint out in the start. I like to settle in and pick up swimmers as race goes on. No major issues. There was a large patch of kelp at one point so when I came through for the second loop I avoided it. At the start of the second loop I came in behind a new wave of swimmers, which meant I had a bunch of people to navigate through. At T1 I surprised to see a lot of women there already. There were three of us in transition at one time. I knew this was going to be tighter than I had hoped. I got out as fast as I could and started my ride… Garmin swim data here, 23:03.
My goal was to ride between 20 and 21 mph for the ride. Originally I was going to ride with Stuart’s fancy race wheels. I rode them twice prior to the race. They scared me! I was so uncomfortable on them that I couldn’t ride aero. I decided that aero was more important than better wheels so I put my wheels back on (actually, Stuart did) and that was that. It was a good choice. The course had some pretty strong head winds so I would have been terribly uncomfortable for the ride. I was doing well for the first 18ish miles. I seemed like I was clicking them off at close to 3 min per mile. Then it got tough. I wasn’t really tired but I didn’t feel like I could push the pedals hard enough to keep the pace up. Also, by this point the sprint racers were on the course and it got congested. One of the four sides to the loop was kind of sketchy (bad road and small shoulder). I knew I was most likely in 4th at this point based on who passed me and who beat me out of transition. When I was coming in from the bike I made sure to watch the runners going out to see where the other ladies were on the run. The girl in first was booking, the girl in second looked strong, but the girl in third looked like she was struggling and not that far ahead of me. I got in and out of T2 ASAP and was on a mission to catch people. Garmin ride data here, 1:19:57.
My goal for the run had been to run consistent and shoot for an 8 min/mile pace. The course was an out and back so I was keeping an eye out for the ladies coming back. Stuart was out on the course cheering and taking pictures. It was so nice to see him out there. I couldn’t do this with out him. I finally saw the girl in third not too long before the turn around so I knew I was getting close. I finally caught her with about 1.5 miles to go. I got her coming thru an aid station. I wanted water but I took the opportunity and passed her instead. Then I was so worried she would catch me I pushed it as hard as I could. I kept an eye over my shoulder every so often to watch out for her. I didn’t want to get caught at the end. The run was actually a little long (6.58) miles so I was pretty pooped by the end but I finished strong. Garmin run data here, 52:21.
I knew I was either in 4th or 3rd but I doubted that I made it to the podium just in case I hadn’t. I had a hamburger and waited to check the results….3rd!!!!!! YAY!!!! 2:39:55 (official results here) and that is a PR! 3/12 for my AG.
I did what I set out to and I am very proud of my race. I wish I could have biked faster but I think my bike performance allowed me to have a great (for me) run. The race was great! This is a very well run race put on by a fun group of people. Awesome BBQ and beer garden after makes it even better. My only complaint of the day was about two male cyclists. They were riding side by side at the end of the ride and then passed me right before the dismount, one on each side of me! I almost said something to them (as I passed them on the run). That isn’t safe or by the rules. But overall it was a good day!