As my wave hit the water waiting for the gun, one of the few songs “kick my rear into gear” songs came on the speakers and we were off. I think I swallowed half the lake, but my swim time came out 0:01/100yd more than my most recent 800m TT (yeah, I love mixing imperial and metric too…eye roll). This was a shock as I came out of the water and caught glance at my watch–we estimated my OWS pace at 0:30/100yd over my TT pace. Other than speedier than expected and oh my rocky beach, I absolutely need to upgrade to RX googles–I may be able to see in a pool and kinda-sorta sight buoys with standard goggles, but I’m going to be a danger to myself in the long term. I can’t see squat. I have the info on how to get them reasonably priced…now that I have an updated lens RX, now’s the time. I felt like I spent way too much time in the water trying to focus my eyes and process on where the buoys were to sight and make sure I was swimming in a (remotely) straight line.
If you wanted a glimpse of a few of my wilder nights in college, T1 was where it was at! The speedy swim did a number on me and it took a few minutes and a lot of stumbling over myself to get it together. I did take my time, finally just sat on the ground, and got myself together. Hilarity ensued–not in the moment, but after I settled in on the bike I had a pretty good laugh at myself.
Who puts bike in/bike out on a hill?! I thought I had gathered myself together, but the first minutes on the bike were sheer torture climbing up a hill to get from the beach out to the road. I didn’t even make it to the road before I had to pull over and get my wits about me. I took a minute or so to take a deep breath, pull my HR down quickly, get my head back to where it needed to be, and employ a few other attack tactics in my mental arsenal. Got moving and hit the road–and then it was game on. The bike course was essentially a few climbs of varying degree, so some work and then some reward. Once I settled in after that first stop, it was exactly what I needed–I was full-on focused. Shocked me, but bike ended up being my strongest leg of the day. I would love to improve my speed on the climbs, but I was consistent–and I even overtook several people. There was one point on a downhill on the return that I must have had a look of just sheer exhilaration on my face because I had like three racers in the other direction yell out that they loved my smile as I flew past them while they were climbing. Had one guy biff it in front of me near the aid station, but I (nicely) called out in advance of it since there weren’t many riders near me for the volunteers to not to step out to hand me anything that I couldn’t grab it. Floated my foot well in advance of bike dismount because it was on a downhill and stopping fast–no crashing being clipped in. Nailed the estimated bike time on the head. It felt amazing. Success!!!
Nothing special. Wish I would’ve remembered to grab my chapstick out of my bike bag or put a second one in my running handheld.
…otherwise known as a stroll in the rocks with 2 miles-ish of actual running. Due to my disdain for it and severe lack of coordination, I simply don’t have a lot of experience running off-road. Add in a gut full of lake water sloshing around my stomach and a rocky “path”….yeah. It wasn’t pleasant. I attempted to recover a bit of time on the small section of paved road we got to run on, and the downhill section that was a bit less rocky where I wasn’t as conscious of every single step, but again–that gut full of lake water. I tried to focus on the scenery around me as it was really the first time that day I actually got the take in the beauty of Lake Mead and the area and just keep moving quickly. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great either. Run had some wiggle room on estimated finish because it was off-road, but I finished it 12-14 minutes longer than anticipated. It is what it is, time to practice some trails. Stupid rocks.
All said and done, even with a long T1 and crappy run, but the extra time cushion from the swim, I finished 2:44 under my estimated finish. And I wasn’t DFL. It was an incredible day. I wouldn’t trade it for the world–even the not-so-pleasant moments serve for learning. And I got to share it with my husband and was cheered on by several friends also racing. How could you go wrong?