today was the San Jose International Triathlon, an almost-Olympic distance. all the distances are standard except the swim, which was 250 meters shy of 1.5km. goals today were to break 2:20, finish high in the amateur standings, win my age group and maybe most importantly, finish within 8% of the winning elite time, as there was prize money for the elites, this would count towards my pro card. I picked up my bib on race morning, and found I had the luckiest number of all, #888! (FYI, if you are not Chinese, 8 means prosperity. that is why the Beijing Olympics are scheduled for the date 8-8-08 at 8am.) Surely a sign that I would have a good race today.
swim 22:08 (SWEET)
bike 1:06:53 (rocked it, 2nd fastest amateur bike split)
run 46:02 (eh.)
total 2:18:48. 3rd amateur OA, 2nd in AG but pulled out of AG awards for the OA podium.
3 elites beat me, so I got 6th OA female, not bad!
it was a great feeling going fast for the first time this season. after the slow times at Ironman China and World’s Toughest, I wanted a little confidence builder that said, no, really, you can go fast! I attacked the swim from the get go, lining up at the front, and stayed with the front pack almost until the first buoy. dropped off a little, then realized I was matching strokes with the girl next to me and tucked in behind her, drafting at least half the swim. She got a little tired and I picked it up for the last two buoys. according to the results I came out of the water 13th in my wave (29 & under).
out on the bike and I put it in the big ring and just went. GO GO GO! the course was pretty flat and I was seeing anywhere from 23 to 25 to 27 to 30mph on my bike computer. fabulous. Boss had told me I won’t benefit from race wheels until I can average something like 38kph on the bike, which is like 23.6mph, so that was my top secret goal. It was kind of fun blowing by all these guys. When I started catching college boys, I realized I was doing rather well because they had a 12-minute head start. Then I went so fast my bike computer exploded. It got stuck at 65.9mph, whatever that means! (I don’t think I was really going THAT fast… )
I don’t remember catching 12 women on the bike, but apparently I did, because I came off the bike as the first amateur. then out on the run… hustle hustle hustle. There were a few out-and-backs, so I could see that there were women right behind me…aw crap. My watch was ticking off the miles just under 7:30, and I had expected to be faster for what I felt was…”blazing.” The mile markers seemed to materialize rather slowly (ha!) and at mile 4, I got caught by a Swedish girl in my AG. (She had a small Swedish flag patch on her uni.) She wasn’t going all that blazing fast either, and I stayed right at her shoulder for a bit. But I faltered and eventually she opened up a small gap on me. ARGH ARGH ARGH. I know letting her go was part mental as well as physical. She ended up finishing 22 seconds ahead of me, and getting 2nd amateur, we both got schooled by a 40-year-old in a later wave who took the amateur title.
my run time was pretty stinky, but this was probably the fastest “workout” of the year though with all the long course stuff. On the plus side, looking at my Oly splits from last season, I had a pretty stellar swim today, 22 minutes for 1.25k when I was hitting 27-28 for 1.5k last year. and I think my bike split today might be a 40k bike PR for me. go Blue Steel! so did putting it all out there on the swim and bike hinder my running ability? quite possible. Triathlon is a balancing act between the 3 disciplines.
so overall, I’m very happy with how I did today. #888 served me well–I did end up finishing within 8% of the elite winner, with an entire minute to spare. (If I can do this 2 more times at prize money races, I am golden for the pro card.) 3 weeks to Buffalo Springs, and then another 3 weeks to Vineman. My Swedish nemesis will be at Vineman, so I’ll be looking for some payback!
Mom and G-dog were my lucky sherpas today too…although instead of taking pictures, they accidentally took little race videos…! Apparently when Mom helped me take swim videos for the Boss we left the camera on video mode…so for your viewing pleasure, here I am blazing out of T2 while Mom is cheering for me: