There are 2 really great things about having gone to do SOMA. First of all meeting with all of the bloggers was more fun than can adequately be described but I’m sure you are all getting the picture by now. Second of all I am DONE with triathlon for many, many months. This is a good thing. Also – I sort of came to terms with some stuff as a result of this race and that’s good, too.
Swim – I was in wave 3 and, as always, was nervous about this swim. It was a water start which I prefer because it gives me a chance to get in the water and
pee in my wet suit get used to the water. I think I figured out in this race that I need to use the time to swim 100 yards or so because I had my second minor anxiety attack in the water. I was stunned. If there is one thing I seem to like it is crazy swimming and I had just done an SF Bay swim and here I was in 70 degree water in a full body water wing thinking I just couldn’t do it. Later in the day I figured it out. In any case I did the normal “breast stroke to get things under control” thing and the “swim way off course to add some distance” thing and eventually was out of the water – yay!
Swim stats – 29:17 for 2:56/100 meters (thank you anxiety). Overall place 438
T1 – 2:33 which was great considering how far I had to run to get to my bike and then get it out of there. Of course the swim time probably includes the wetsuit stripping time but I’m not sure. Anyhow I’m glad I figured out that sitting down to put my bike shoes on works much better for me than standing up and wobbling around.
Bike – I was a little nervous about my bike because when we unpacked it the brake cable had come undone and we didn’t know how to fix it so I had to take it to the bike tech tent and have them do it. Also, I had trouble finding the marks on the seat post and had the seat up too high and had to adjust by feel. Then I had to test drive it in my jeans and flip flops because we had to drop the bikes on Saturday and I was not dressed to test. This was not ideal. The good news is that on race day while setting up in transition I finally found the mark and fixed the seat height.
My bike performed flawlessly and I felt strong. I even managed to drop a few people on the ride but sadly, they were not in my age group – they were younger. That was good but not good enough as we will soon find out.
The course was this crazy loopy thing with a lot of u-turns and crowding. The Half people were doing 3 loops and the Quarterman people were doing 1 and 1/2. As I came back by the finish I got totally confused about which way to go and started going in. Someone yelled “One and Half loops!!???” and I yelled “NO!” so she said “go back out and follow the signs for the quarterman”. Okay fine.
Now the pre-race newsletter said they had changed the course and it would be 25 miles instead of 28. I rode and rode and rode and as my bike computer turned to 25 miles and I was nowhere near the finish I was sure I had gone the wrong way (which would be quite impossible on this course) or missed a sign and I was worried. Very worried. I probably rode for 3 miles just being worried before I realized there was nothing to be done but keep going and oh, by the way “SPEED UP!” This was where a woman in Tribe kit with “45” on her leg passed me but I had passed her long ago and I was not happy. I started to let her get away and then I thought “not a chance”, got up on the pedals, called, “ON YOUR LEFT” and dropped her like last week’s gossip. That felt good. Finally I could hear the finish line and decided everything would be fine. Here are my bike splits (click for a bigger view if you care).
I felt like i was working hard and doing well and, according to Garmin I was going 15.8 mps avg and according to my bike computer I was going 16.6 mph avg but according to SOMA – not so much:
1:52:42 15.5 mph avg 542 overall (losing ground by 104 racers. No news there).
T2 – 3:28 which seemed okay since it was a long run to my spot and I got a little fumbly with the helmet and hat and all that.
Run – Hot, Hot, so freakin’ hot. I guess I was only the high 80s by then but running on white concrete in the blazing sun is not fun. Not fun at all. I started out doing exactly what I had intended to do – run the run and walk the water stations. I was good for the first couple miles but then I started to overheat. I don’t think I took an unauthorized, intra water stop walk break until at least mile 4 but there was this shady part going under a bridge and I just had to walk it. And that set the stage for more walk breaks. I pretty much lost it on the run although it never got worse than a jog/walk 30 seconds on/30 seconds off sort of deal toward the end. What really did me in was being passed early on by a woman with a 53 on her leg who was running at a good clip. I never saw her again. And then, at about mile 5.5 a very, very thin woman with a 51 on her calf ran by me. I was sure she would tank soon enough so I kept her in sights for a while but then she got away from me. If only I had known in that moment that I beat her at the Tri for Real it might have helped. Then again, I was really, really hot and there isn’t a lot that will get me moving fast in the heat so maybe I would have just sat down and had a good cry instead. Hard to say.
Finally I was close to the end and I was very happy about that and I ran… and ran… and ran… because it was along distance from ‘almost done’ to the finishers chute. When I got there, there were Momo and Stronger cheering me in and that was the most fun ever. I’ve never had friends at the finish line cheering me in like that and I’m guessing I’ll see my best finisher pics ever because I was smiling like a loon!
Run Stats: 1:24:33 12:55/mile (ugh!) 527 overall so I picked up 15 spots from people who hate the heat more than I do. Here are my run splits
Total time 03:52:31 9/9 in my division 512 Overall.
I’d like to take a moment to thank Coach Bold for suggesting I do the Quarterman and have some fun rather than trying to kill myself doing my first half. Excellent advice.
After I finished I spent the rest of the day cheering with Stronger and Momo. We wandered over toward the run course to find Duane and I finally got to meet Benny which was great. I had missed him and Nytro on Saturday because I had to pick up my packet and rack my bike. Bold came along, too and hung out for a while shucking and jiving with us and just trying to cool down and then he took off to chase down Nytro. Duane came along with Comm and we walked with them on the last 1/2 mile of the course. I almost made it to the finish but I was in very desperate need of a porta-potty at that point so I went in a different direction and then caught up with everyone at the finish line. I was there to cheer in Nytro and Bold. It was a great day.
Conclusion – I came in last in my age group which was NOT the plan. This was NOT a Personal Best although it was my best ever bike speed. I had so wanted to end my triathlon season with a race Personal Best but instead of getting a race Personal Best I had one of the best times I’ve ever had doing a race and had a People Personal Best and that’s the very best kind of best to have. Good times.
DPR and me in our awesome sushi hats.