Race: Oktoberfest at Cross Creek in Fulshear, TX
Sprint Triathlon – 400 meter swim, 15 mile bike, 3 mile run
Race Group: Athena
Number of participants: 360ish
Weather: 54 degrees, windy, overcast
I rolled out of bed at 4:15, made some toast, took a Motrin and drank a little water. I grabbed my gear and loaded up the car, second guessing what I’m forgetting as I ran through my mental check list one more time. My sweet husband wrote me a little confidence note and set on my towels – not going to lie, I got a little teary.
I got to the race site just after 5 and waited in my car for a few until they opened transition. Given that this race has open racking, I wanted to be there early to get a great spot. It never takes me long to set up, but this time I had to really think about how to set up my transition. Nerves were setting in, for sure! I got set up, marked up, chipped up, ate my banana and hung out until my friend, Cherish arrived. It took everything I had not to freeze. It was so windy and cold – I had my tri suit on, a light jacket and flip flops. People were wrapped in parkas and heavy blankets, long pants, sweatshirts… and here I am in flip flops. I’m tough people, tough! And yes, I complained like a baby, lol
Swim – 400 meters
Cherish and I took off for the pavilion for the start and noticed that the smart people were standing inside a building to keep warm. We decided to follow suit to thaw out. Just after 7 we took the plunge and headed out. Go timing on that, I think her group was called shortly after we got there! I on the other hand, had some time. To freeze. And chat with some peeps. And freeze. Did I mention it was cold?
Last year we started in the water, this year we had to start on the pavement, go down three stairs, muddle through the rocks and mud, then swim. I don’t know which was worse. Moving on.
There were 5 Athena’s, three of us started together, and we were intermixed with the Clydesdale’s. It was a small group, so I wasn’t worried at all about the mass start. The horn sounds and off we go. I felt great, the water was so warm and calming, I could have swam for days (ok, maybe not). I had total control of my swim, I kept my eye on the last buoy, and did my thing. Once again, there were no helpers to grab us as we exited. Not cool at all.
Athena Place: 2nd <– bummer!! out of 5
Age Group: 7th out of 20
Transition 1 (T1)
There’s not a lot I can say about this. I got disoriented putting my socks on for some reason. I decided to unroll them? I don’t know. I had an extra body towel so I opted to wipe my legs down. It was windy, I knew I wasn’t in for a fun ride dripping more than necessary. I walked my bike out and again, got disoriented getting on it. I couldn’t get my shoe in the cage, then I ran over a cone… Just a mess. Once I got it together, off I went.
Athena Place: 2nd out of 5
Age Group: 8th out of 20
Bike – 15 miles
This will definitely go down in the record book for the worst bike ride. Ever. I started off great, there was headwind but I thought, hey, this isn’t so bad. No, not bad at all, until I got out to the countryside with nothing to block the wind at all. It didn’t matter which direction I was going, there was headwind. I was able to do I’d say the first quarter at 18 mph, or higher. Unfortunately I was not able to hold that and quickly dropped to 13, 12, 11 mph. It was brutal out there. I also forgot to reset my mileage on the computer so i really had no idea how far I had left. I swear every turn I took I told myself it was the home stretch. Imagine my disappointment! I had to make the decision to fall back some and save my legs for the run. My whole goal leading up to this was to run the entire 5K. I was also just exhausted and very under trained on the bike. I did the best I could.
Athena: 4th out of 5
Age Group: 15th out of 20
Transition 2 (T2)
My T2 is usually pretty quick. I don’t have cycle shoes for racing just yet, so I don’t have to spend a lot of time changing gear. I unlatched my helmet, grabbed my water and off I went. There is not much room for improvement here.
Athena: 1st out of 5
Age Group: 1st out of 20
Run: 3 miles
It took me a while to get feeling back in my legs after the bike. I tried to run it out in the beginning, but I also started to feel faint. I decided to walk a bit until I felt comfortable running.
The run course was the same as last year; through the neighborhood, in to the gully and back. Overall I felt ok about the run. I wasn’t able to run the entire way, but I did the best I could considering the conditions. Next year I will defeat this course.
Athena: 5th out of 5
Age Group: 19th out of 20
Total Time: 1:52:17
Athena: 3rd out of 5
Age Group: 18th out of 20
Overall: 65 out of 85
I was greeted at the finish line by my parents, sister and two friends from The Y. It’s always nice to have a cheering section, and even better to see them at the finish line!
Overall, I felt like this race was a base line post baby. I had zero expectations, other than to finish. Of course placing is always a nice plus! I have a ton of work to do for next year, so it doesn’t end here. I have a goal list a mile long, not only for training, but for my physical self as well. I am proud of my accomplishment, but I know I can do better, and I WILL.
Until next year…