"Why do I have to have one?" I replied. Then I simply recited our ol' time VT Triathlon team motto:
"My goal is to survive the swim, beast the bike, and rock the run. Does that work?"
While I had some idea of what time range to expect to potentially finish, this was my first international distance triathlon in FIVE years. I had no clue what to expect of myself, nor did I care to set that sort of numerical expectation for myself in the form of a goal finish time. Rather, my goals for this race was to get out there and enjoy being a triathlete, get my feet wet in the racing scene again, race relaxed yet strong, enjoy the process and to gain a better idea of my current fitness level.
As we arrived at packet-pickup late Saturday evening (5 minutes to spare!), I realized we had traveled from one side of the country (Pacific coast, California) to the other side (almost...Potomac River, eastern shoreline of VA) within less than a week's time! Yikes! I knew I was still tired from our trip the previous weekend as I napped twice in the car, and napping these days is a rare occurrence. After getting my number and gear, I spent a good while chatting and catching up with friend (and wine-buddy) Janie before hitting the sack for bed.
Race morning preparations were simple and relaxed. for once, I was organized (with my new transition bag!) and we camped on site. Janie opened up her camper as a our temporary home which was a huge blessing (no long port-o-pot lines for me!)
|Taking in the view as the pre-race meeting was taking place...|
|Of course I wanted a pre-race picture with the dog :)|
|Hanging out at the swim start.|
|Wave 2: Age Group Women 1-39, starting the swim!|
|Swim finish... this time T1 went much faster without a wetsuit to deal with...|
|I've had this aero helmet for about 5 years and used it for the first time in this race. Mainly because it fits better and more comfortably than all my other helmets!|
|I enjoyed the novelty of running along the ocean!|
I know I could have run faster in that run, but on this day I was lacking the racing mentality to achieve it. Racing the 10k at the end of a triathlon is very different than racing a 10k or any road race by itself, and that's something I will aim to improve upon with each race. Having three sports in one to master in triathlon presents plentiful opportunities for improvement, and the desire to improve that keeps us motivated and moving forward. While I could be disappointed with my run, I'm instead looking at it as motivation to continue to work hard. Racing is not always about the final outcome, but instead, and opportunity to identify areas of strength, areas of improvements and the lessons learned along the way :)
|Right before the finish line.|
At the end of the day I finished with an overall time of 2:34:55, 19th female overall and 3rd place in my age group. Again, those are just numbers and don't mean too much to me right now. I have a solid base of fitness and am looking forward to building upon it in the coming months. I am committed to the process: to each week of training that will make me a better triathlete overall, to the small details of life that will keep me healthy and happy throughout, to developing the mental skills I will need to race even longer distance triathlons in the future. I'm excited to be back out in the triathlon-scene, and it should be a fun ride ahead with plenty of challenges along the way.
|Our little family hanging out post-race :)|
|Kenya modeling my new transition mat... I'd say they picked the right color!|
|Celebrating properly post-race! A little indulgence does the body good...|
Wishing you a happy and successful weekend of training!