My very first triathlon back in 2012. This was my fourth time standing on the beach and crossing the finish line of this race and it felt amazing all over again.
Ellie went with me to pre-race check in on Saturday. She loved it. I had a great spot in transition too. Right in and right out.
This race, similarly to this year’s Mini Mussel, snuck up on me. I knew it was coming, but I wasn’t really thinking to much about it. And honestly, since my decision to pull out of IMChoo, my head hasn’t really been in it. There’s a post on the way about Choo. I was so eh about racing that even standing on the beach waiting for my wave to enter the water I was thinking about bailing and going home to snuggle my baby instead. This is so not me.
But they called my wave and I waded into the water with the rest of the hot pink caps. I had done one OWS in Oneida Shores a couple weeks prior, and of course I’ve swam here in previous IG races. I don’t know if I’m just comfortable in the water here, or if my mindset and nonexistent expectations for this race just gave a whatever attitude, but I had a freaking fantastic swim!
I put my head down and just cruised freestyle almost the whole swim, which isn’t super like me in open water. I did put my feet down a couple of times for a few seconds just to catch my breath and get my bearings, but mostly I just glided along trying to avoid the congestion in the water. I even passed a bunch of people from the previous wave. Putting my feet down did result in quite a few zebra mussel slices, but whatever. I lapped my watch as soon as I crossed the swim out arch and was super excited to see it chime in at 13:09 (2:12/100m) making it my faster sprint tri swim split ever. My official swim time that includes the treacherously long run from the swim out arch to transition still came in at a PR time for me at 13:56, 2:19/100m.
T1 for me was quick and easy since I opted to swim without my wetsuit. I was in and out in 3:15.
Out on my bike. Yes, I do love to ride. The first five miles were so congested. The downside to being in a late swim wave; everyone else is already out on the bike course. I spent most of the first five miles mashing my pedals hard and trying to whip by slower riders and find some space.
I adore Iron Girl, but the only draw back is that it is super first timer friendly and there is an extensively glaring lack of race etiquette. So many people riding multiple riders wide, not riding to the right, etc. No matter how loud I yelled left some riders did not realize this meant “move over to the right” and I crossed the yellow line into the on coming lane more times than I would like. But I did eventually find some space and fell into a sustainable pace. I had some stretches where I was riding solo even. It was nice.
My legs felt a bit heavy after pedal mashing in the early part of the bike leg, but once I settled my legs shook out and I had a good ride, clocking my best average speed so far postpartum at 1:03:51, 17.1 mph
T2, quick, easy, smooth. Had I been thinking more clearly I would have just changed my shoes and put on my visor and bib on the move, but alas, I put those on at my rack. T2 time was 1:28.
Out onto the run. I haven’t done many brick workouts this year so my legs were spinning pretty fast coming off the bike. I didn’t expect to run much, but funny enough, I just kept going. My watch chirped at me after the first mile and I was excited to see my mile time come in at 10:28. And I still kept running all the way until the aid station just before the turn around. I grabbed water and walked while sipping, walked the turn around, grabbed another and kept strolling a bit before I finally started running again. The walking break cost me some time and mile two came in at 12:39. I was cruising along at about a 10 minute per mile pace and I knew it wasn’t sustainable, so around the 2.5 mile mark I stopped for a 2 minute walk break. It was important to me to finish strong, so I took a quick recharge before letting out all my remaining steam. I hauled it the last half mile and by the time I hit the beach I was running at a sub-9 minute mile pace and crossed the finish line feeling great. 35:07, 11:21/mile
I was really surprised by my race. Considering I went into this race debating bailing, I honestly had an amazing race. Not my fastest, but I felt great the whole time and was really happy with all my splits. Total- 1:57:28
I had grand plans for my return to triathlon after Ellie was born, but life happened and triathlon took a back burner. And my season that was supposed to include an Ironman is concluding with only two sprints. But given how wonderful Iron Girl went for me, I think I’m okay. Do I wish I was able to still do Chattanooga? Absolutely. I’m still feeling very raw and crushed over the whole thing, but I have to be okay with it because we have so much good going on right now.
A+ Iron Girl. Amazing as always. I love this race. But now, I’m running focuses, because I’ve got 26.2 on my docket now!