I couldn't find the shuttle buses in the morning. So I got to the transition area around 6:40 am. The announcer was talking about all athletes clearing the transition area. As he's saying this, I look around and see the very long lines for body marking (where race numbers and ages are written on our skin with permanent marker). As I was wearing my LA Tri Club gear, a woman comes up to me with her own permanent marker -- "LA Tri Club, can I mark you?" What a time saver! Membership has its privileges.
The forecast calling for one-foot waves -- dead wrong. On top of this, we had a northward current. Watching the waves before me, I knew exactly where I had to sight while swimming in so as not to get taken off course. I started in the back of the pack for the swim, so as not to deal with thrashing limbs in my way. I relaxed, thinking about it as one of my leisurely training swims at Manhattan Beach. Venice Beach, however, has nasty water -- yuck. I kept a consistent pace, based on the people around me. When I finished and got out of the water, I didn't feel too tired.
Transition 1 -- Swim to Bike
While changing out of my wetsuit and into my bike shoes, I hear the announcer: "The last of the under 35 women are finishing in the water and the first of the over-35 women are getting out of the water now." Thanks for the inspiration. Not.
As usual, I am slow as molasses on the bike and everyone and their 65 year-old grandmother passes me. The ride was a nice course -- Venice Boulevard to Fairfax to Wilshire to Highland to Hollywood and Sunset and then into Downtown LA to the convention center.
Transition 2 -- Bike to Run
I was nervous that my bag that I dropped off yesterday with my running shoes wouldn't be there. Maybe it's my lack of luck with checked airline luggage. But I was pleasantly surprised. My bag, with my shoes and hat, was there. I still felt full of energy. And off to run.
As I ran out of the transition area, I suddenly felt quite drained. Am I really going to now run 6.2 miles? Am I friggin crazy? And my stomach felt somewhat unsettled. Maybe I needed more fluid, or more Gu. But I just didn't feel like having it sitting there in my stomach. At the water stations, which were frequent, I grabbed a water cup from each, and would take maybe one sip before feeling the urge to get rid of the cup.
My pace was going to be an easy jog. I had no plans for speed. There were two loops. The first one took us way up the hill to the Disney Concert Hall. That hill was absolutely miserable. Many people walked it. I jogged it quite slowly. The second loop had us run halfway up that hill, which after 4 miles of running was also miserable.
But, being a club member does have its privileges. I don't know many people in the LA Tri Club, but "Go LA!" is always a good thing to hear on a challenging run. I yelled it to everyone in LATC gear, some yelled back, others ignored me, and some others just gave a thumbs up.
I finished in 3:33, three minutes off my projected time of 3:30. That's my stopwatch time; I have no idea what the official time is.
I spent my afternoon lounging on the beach. Ahh that felt good.
Long Beach Triathlon on September 23?!?!?!?