This is actually my shortest triathlon of the year, amongst the three half-Iron distance 70.3 races and Santa Barbara Long Course which I raced a few weeks ago.
The women start after the men, and start from youngest to oldest, so the women 35-39 was probably the third to last wave. When you start after a lot of people, there are lots of people to pass, which can be fun.
Photo courtesy of my Shiggy Ichinomiya, aka GoShiggyGo.
I started the swim in the second row, and fairly close to the left since there was a current that would be pulling us to the right, or west. As we ran in to the water, there were a few significant waves that I managed to dive under. The current was definitely pulling us west, and I had to redirect myself to get to the first buoy. Once around the buoy, there was a fair amount of chop, but I felt okay.
However, getting out of the water was a different story. I'm a hesitant ocean swimmer, particularly when it comes to exiting the water. The westward current persisted, and I saw several swimmers who were way too far west. I was able to sight the flags for the swim exit chute, so I didn't go off course. In addition, there were a few waves, and I almost felt like I was being sucked back in. As I looked behind me, I saw a wave coming, and I panicked briefly, but turned around and dove under it. And then another wave that I dove under. I looked behind me, and the water looked flat and I went for it, put my head in the water and probably swam at least ten strokes without breathing in a panic to get out.
In the transition area, everything went seamlessly, wetsuit came off without any crazy dramatics of arms or legs getting stuck. Helmet on, wrestle bike off the rack, and go... but WAIT! No sunglasses! So I turn around and grab my sunglasses and off I go.
18 miles of biking and I passed a ton of people, but no one passed me. I stayed on my aero bars most of the time. I did a lot of yelling "On your left!" but I think that's a courtesy so that no one is freaked out by my suddenly approaching. My chain dropped at Leo Carillo, the turnaround point, but we were moving slowly to get through a narrow space, so I jumped off the bike, put the chain back on, and wasted no more than 20 seconds.
Other than a little drop of the chain, a good ride. Time was 55:56, so somewhere between 19-20 mph on the bike.
I saw only a couple of bikes on our rack, indicating just a couple women in my age group ahead of me. Maybe I took too long typing my shoes, but my 2:26 T2 time was too long. Maybe I need to re-take that part of kindergarten, or perhaps as I'm breathing heavy I need to be a little more speedy in getting my shoes on as I catch my breath.
Off onto the run. 4 miles, supposedly, but it ended up being 4.2 miles. I passed a lot of people, but most importantly, one of my age group competitors Abby, who I know from having run track with her before, sped past me. She said "good job", and I said "good job" to her too. She was blazing fast, so I knew I wouldn't even have a chance of keeping with her, so I let her go. As it turns out, she finished fifth in our age group, and I finished sixth (with only five spots on the podium).
My overall time was 1:56:25. Sixth place out of 107 women in our age group. Good enough to qualify me for USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals for the fourth year in a row, but just one place away from a position on the podium.
Great race, fun day. Next year I'll race as a 40-44 year-old woman, which will give me a better chance of hitting the podium -- my time would have been 4th place in women 40-44.
One more race left this season, and that is Silverman 70.3 on October 5. And then a few months off. And when I say "months off" that doesn't mean the couch and bon-bons. That means I exercise, on my own terms. Not sure exactly what that exactly will be yet. I'm thinking it will be a lot of boot camp classes and some swimming and maybe a bit of running, and a fun bike ride here and there. For me that's relaxing. :)