Race day came along with a forecast of rain! Word amongst the other participants, setting up in transition, was that it would not start until about 11AM. Perfect, I thought, I should be off the bike by then which is all I cared about. The race had been deemed wetsuit legal. I had actually borrowed a wetsuit (thanks Steph!) but it was a full suit and I had really never used one before. I was worried it would be restricting on my arms plus with the water JUST below the wetsuit legal temperature it was probably going to get hot in there. After some deliberation I decided not to wear it. The water temps were fine and although they do supposedly help I actually felt OK and swam a decent time – for me! My discovery of the new Aquasphere womens’ goggles, which fit me very well, and finally did not fog up or leak really helped me stay on course which I think was a huge help!
As I came out of the water in the rain I realized that they had been wrong about the 11A rain start!! I don’t mind getting wet but I would need to be a little more cautios on the bike on the flooded roads. As I rode along in the rain I realized that my goal of under 5:15 was pretty unlikely in this weather. I chugged along on the wet roads making sure I slowed down for the turns to stay safe. Luckily this year there was no wind though which was nice after last years windy bike ride here.
Interestingly on the bike course there was a guy who seemed to think he was on a group ride and kept trying to draft off of people. I think just about all of us yelled at him at least once! I think it helped my pace as I was determined to pick up the pace and drop him every time he shamelessly tried to hang on to my wheel!
As I got close to the end of the bike course I started thinking about my running sneakers, which had been sitting out in the pouring rain all morning, along with my socks. They would all be soaked! I had a dry pair in my bag but would it be worth the extra few seconds in transition to get them out? such big decisions. As I came back in to transition i look at my shoes and realized there was a half inch of rain water in them. So much for dry socks! I emptied out the sneakers and squeezed socks out and pulled them on. Time for a half marathon.
There were places on the course with HUGE puddles. Some of them you could get around without getting too wet but being that I was already soaked it didn’t really see worth the effort so I just splashed thru them. Once you are wet you really cant get much wetter! I felt really good on the run. I never felt that exhaustion that can really wave over you towards the end of a long race like this. I had trained well but I think the slightly cooler weather (compared to last year) really helped too although as the rain had now stopped temporarily it was a little muggy but still not blazing hot sun.
About mile 11 I found myself running next to a guy keeping the same pace as me. After a little while he mentioned he was trying to finish under 5:30. We all start at slightly different times so I wasn’t sure if he started before or after me... so for the first time I looked at my overall time and realized that I was on course to do my original goal of under 5:15! We both picked it up a little and as I came back to the finish area I saw some of my ZMOTION teammates cheering for me, which was GREAT!
Right after I finished I went to get a print out of my time and found out I had finished in 5:08! I was thrilled! I also got first place masters. In triathlon you race your age as of the end of the year so I was competition in the 40-44 age group which made me eligible for Masters which was something I had not even thought about! After I finished the rain really started coming down. I felt bad for participants still out on the course. I hung out cheering at the finish line waiting for the awards. My kids were mostly excited that I got another big stuffed toy award. This year a black bear to join my elephant from last year!