Last weekends race can be pretty much summed up in one picture 🙂
We were warned ahead of time that it was going to be windy on race day. But, It never crossed my mind that the wind would be so bad that they might actually cancel the race! When we woke up on Sunday the race directors had sent out an email saying they would decide by 6:30 am if the race was going to take place or not. It didn’t seem that windy at our hotel, but when we got to Lake Cahuilla it was howling. All 6 porter potty’s had been blown over, the buoys to guide the swim had blown away, and all the expo tents were enjoying a swim in the lake!
Luckily by around 7:30 am the wind was dying down and we got the news that the race was ON! But, we needed to get it moving since it was supposed to pick back up at around 11 am. While we were waiting for the start we calmed our nerves taking some goofy group pictures with our NCTT team mates.
Marjan and I were in a wave with all women under 39. I started off a little too fast and it took me a good 10 minutes or so to find my groove. I haven’t swum in a wet-suit since last July and my arms felt really fatigued and constricted. But after the first 1/4 mile or so I started to feel better and get into a rhythm. The lack of training started to show towards the end and I had to dig in, but as always I came out smiling 🙂 Everyone agreed the swim felt longer than 1500 yards, probably thanks to the measured out buoys blowing away and the last minute set up right before the race. Kelly’s watch said 1.2 miles when she came out of the water, but she thinks she went a bit off course.
The 24 mile bike course was a boring 2 square loops around some farmland. Luckily the wind was not AS bad as I had expected and I managed to maintain an 18-21 mile pace the entire time. The bike is definitely my weak spot and I saw two girls in my age group zoom by. I was nervous to push too hard to keep up with them in case I burnt out my legs. I didn’t really do any brick workouts prior to this race…so I was worried how I would hold up for the 6 mile run. For some reason the tops of my hamstrings/glutes were on fire by the end of the bike so I was happy to see the transition.
The run course is where things started to get interesting! The first loop around the lake was a little windy but manageable. My heart rate was through the roof for the 1st 2 miles and it wasn’t until I managed to get my watch working (I ALWAYS press something I’m not supposed to and mess up Triathlon mode) that I realized I was going a 7.10 pace. I had felt like I was going way slower! I slowed my role a bit and finally got my HR under control. By the 2nd loop the wind was going NUTS! I watched an entire aid station of mini cups blow off a table into the lake while the teenage girls that were manning it squealed. Then as I was approaching the turn around; running head on into a huge dust and dirt cloud the sign telling you where to turn blew into the lake as well. The final stretch to the finish line was like running in a wind tunnel. I was glad to cross the line and call it a day!
My final time was 2:33:45 which put me at 4th out of 17 in my AG. Marjan came 7th and kicked ass on her swim, as did Kelly!!! I cannot tell you how much the two of them have improved in the water, they are killing it!
Overall it was a good warm up race for the season ahead and a fun weekend with friends! It also made me realize how much work I still need to do to get back to where I was last year. But, that’s why I love this sport…it always keeps you coming back for more 🙂