This is what third place looks like. You don't want to think about what happens I if were to get 2nd, or, gasp, 1st.
Team PPD post-race...and post gallon of PPD. Danger danger.
OMG. I got third place. I can't believe it.
I got third place at the Rockin' R Toobin Tri!! After we found out that the entire field only had 250 people in it, I thought there was a chance, but after my sub-par performance, I really didn't think it was possible. But YES!! It was!! OMG. I got a medal and everything. This is the first and probably the only time I will get an award for my efforts at a triathlon, so you can bet your arse I will milk this thing for as long as I possibly can. Sorry!!
A recap of the day...
Somehow, someway, Tommy and I convinced 10 of our friends to join us in Gruene for this race. Francis, Rebecca, Katey and Matt had never done a triathlon before - Matt and Rebecca didn't even own goggles!! Erin, Thomas, Erik and Amanda had each done a sprint before and this was Janelle's first attempt to run a 5k (she and Thoms did the relay).
I was super worried about Rebecca because I was informed the day before the race that she didn't even own goggles...which would indicate that she hadn't swum at all. I was right. But as usual, Rebecca was up for the challenge!! Matt also didn't have goggles, nor did he intend to wear them...he just freestyled with his head above water the whole time! I was amazed.
We got up early and went out to the race site. The transition area was a free for all (what?), so we were able to rack out bikes next to each other.
We went down to the swim start where the race director told us about the shallow water (ahh!) and the sharp turns on the bike (there were none). And then we were off!
Tommy was in the first wave - they always put the 30-34ers in the first wave. So jealous. JUST ONCE I wanna start in the front and see what happens. Oh well. Tommy got off to a great start...but about 100m down in the swim, all the guys in the wave got up to start walking...that's how shallow it was. The race was kind of a joke. There were several parts where the guys walked through it...the rest of us tried to develop a strategy. Is it better to walk or crawl? No one knows! Tommy had a quick swim, but looked like death coming out of the water.
Then it was Francis's turn. He went out strong and ended up having a great swim! Afterwards he said he thinks he went out too fast on the swim...hindsight is always 20/20.
Then the girls - me, Rebecca, Katey, Amanda, and Erin. I started at the front of the pack and held the rest of the girls off. During the shallow parts, I just army crawled through it. It was deep enough to do a little mini-stroke, or just grab rocks and pull yourself along, so I kicked like hell and pulled myself. Then I made the turn and pushed it hard. About 50m in, I was like, holy crap, I am soooo not a sprinter. I would rather swim for 2 hours straight than have to push it hard for 7 minutes. Ow. My heart rate does not like to be that elevated. Nonetheless, I had a pretty good swim. I definitely could have pushed harder, but it's just not my nature. I was 3rd coming out of the water and felt like a million bucks.
Swim Time - 400m - 7:32:4 Place: 3/15
[Matt swam the course without goggles. What?]
Katey met me in transition just as I was leaving, so we know she was right behind me on the swim...but her chip didn't work, so we will never know for sure. She was probably 4th or 5th out of the water.
At the pre-race meeting, we were informed that the bike course was 13 miles instead of 12, which doesn't make much difference except that my bike computer decided to break, so I didn't have speed information. All I could do is go on time...but all the math I had done was based on 12 miles, not 13, soooo, I just biked hard and hoped for the best! The course was a LOT more challenging than I would have thought. I made it to the turnaround in 21 minutes and I knew I was in trouble. Ooops. At mile 8, I got stuck behing a truck who was stuck behind a slow biker for about 3 miles, so that seriously hurt my time - I couldn't get around the truck or the biker safely, so I was stuck going pretty freaking slow for about 10 minutes. Got my heart rate down though...always the silver lining. The final mile was up a pretty brutal hill, but since it was the end, it was okay...forge onward!! All in all, it was a gorgeous ride, perfect biking weather, and uncrowded roads. Made it to transition with energy to spare (never good on a sprint race!).
Bike Time - 13 miles - 43:23:6 - 18.7mph Place: 2/15
I changed shoes and headed out for the run. IMMEDIATELY, and I do mean immediately after you exit transition, you are greeted with a mountain. A mountain. Holy crap. This thing was mean and I wanted no part of it. I did my best to run up it, but let's be honest, I'm SO not hardcore. I totally walked up that sucker. EVIL.
At the top of the hill, I was greeted by a guy who was on his way to finish, who said, "Nobody told me there would be hills!". Which freaked me out. The first hill was tough, please don't let there be more!! So I paced myself accordingly...but there were no more hills. So, I kept waiting for the next big hill, but there weren't any...so once again, I went too slow. This is Reason 2,823 why you should alway drive the race course ahead of time. I felt pretty good most of the run. I kept my eyes peeled for Francis - I really wanted to catch up with him on the run, but I never saw him. I walked for a bit through Gruene on the way back - it was too pretty to run through!! And then I ran back down the mountain and to the finish.
Run Time - 3.3 miles - 32:16:4 - 9:48/mile Place: 5/15
Apparently, I REALLY need to work on my running. Big surprise there. Ha.
Francis had just finished and Tommy had finished like 3 days ago, so the three of us went to meet Melissa to take pictures. We saw Erik and Matt finish together - we tried to get them to hold hands as they crossed the finish line, but Matt wasn't having it.
Erin, Amanda and Katey finished strong! Thomas ran with Janelle to the finish line where he may or may not have done the horsey dance [Thomas also may have improved his swim time by almost half!].
And last but not very last, Rebecca crossed the finish line, looking radiant as usual.
We stayed for awards because I had placed 3rd in my age group. OMG. I still can't believe it. I could have gotten 2nd if I had just not stopped to smell the flowers in Gruene on the run, but oh well! It was worth it! 1st place was totally unattainable however...I would have had to speed up by 13 minutes. Not happening.
It was a great day. I think everyone had a good time and we may have even had some triathlon converts. Rebecca went out and bought a new bike right after we got back to Houston. If nothing else, maybe now our friends won't hate us as much when I are antisocial over the next 6 months. Training begins June 15. Danger danger.
My total times:
Swim - 7:32.4 Place - 3/15
T1 - 1:23 Place - 5/15 (TOTALLY need to be faster here!)
Bike - 43:23.6 Place - 2/15
T2 - 0:44.6 Place - 4/15 (ugh)
Run - 32:16.4 PLace - 5/15 (TOTALLY need to just run faster. Can someone make that happen?)
TOTAL - 1:25:20.9
Tommy - 1:17:40.3
Erin - 1:37:38.5
Amanda - 1:52:07.0
Katey - 1:39.12.7
Rebecca - 2:14:32.6
Erik - 1:32:28.1
Matt - 1:32:29.6
Francis - 1:30:03.2
Thomas/Janelle - 1:50:15.1
Erik and Katey dismounting after the bike.
Amanda finishing the run...with God looking down on her!
Erin, me and Amanda before the race.
Francis's flying Dismount. This is an impressive skill. Everytime I try to do it, I completely wipe out. Ouch.
Francis's Swim - he is a BEAST!!