race report: iron girl (finally!)
A long, long time ago -- August 23rd -- I completed my second sprint triathlon - Iron Girl in Columbia, MD. And just like last year, I had a really great time. Let's see what I remember ...
We arrived in the dark, set up our transition area, and went to the swim start where we waited for our waves. The start was delayed 15 minutes, which made it even longer. At least it gave me a chance to hit the port-o-pots one more time before getting in the water!
When we were getting close, I joined my fellow pearl-yellow capped 30-34-year-olds in the lake. Rather than waste energy treading water, I conveniently found a rock to stand on. The actual ground was kind of icky. The girl I was chatting with, standing in the squishy grasses, was jealous.
Once they started counting down, I swam closer to the group, and thought I seeded myself well. I seemed to have room to swim right at the start, but then we all bunched up again. Not as stressful as the trial, but it still took me a little while to get comfortable.
When I did relax, though, I felt really good. I felt like I was actually paying attention to my stroke, trying to remember what I should be doing. I took my time and kept a steady pace. Sure, some of the faster swimmers from the next wave passed me. But I also passed slow swimmers that started ahead of me.
A friend was at the swim finish and snapped that shot. I'm glad -- the race photographers didn't get any of me alone!
Once out of the water, I took my time walking to my transition spot, and got ready to bike! No missing-helmet problems like last year, I found a spot to hang it. Everything was ready where I left it!
I have a road bike now, and it made a big difference. Sure, the course was just as hard and hilly as I remembered, but I cut nearly 10 minutes off my bike time. (I think. More on that later.) While it's a hard course, I felt strong.
After racking my bike, trading helmet for visor, and dashing out of the transition area, I was feeling great. I just remember thinking how awesome it was to be able to do this -- to drop off my bike and just start running!
I really didn't do enough bike/run brick workouts, though. Ouch. I didn't have much speed left, and I walked some of the uphills. But I still managed to finish the run about 30 seconds faster than last year (I think), so I'm OK with it!
So now we get to the results. Which I don't really know.
My chip apparently didn't work for any of my splits. I only have a finish time!
This is a pretty big disaster to a girl so obsessed with her stats that she runs with both a Garmin and Nike+.
I've been able to piece things together for the most part, but it's not the same. I can't see my standings! I don't know my transition times! (Not like I practiced transitioning, but still ...)
I used my Garmin for the bike and run portions, so I roughly know those times Once the pictures came out, I was able to figure out my swim time by looking at my age group's results and figuring out who finished before and after me. My swim time should be between 30:42 and 30:45.
While that's a little slower than my 29:57 last year, it's not too far off. And there's been some talk on the race message board where quite a few women felt like the course was longer this year. If so, that could mean I actually did better!
I know my bike time is a little off, because I started my watch when I got on the bike, not when I crossed the mat. But it should only be a few seconds. I clocked 1:14:43, average 14.1 mph. A big difference from last year's 1:24:16 (12.5mph). I was very happy with this. The bike makes all the difference.
My Garmin run time should be pretty close; I clocked 34:16 - a little over 10-minute miles. But with all the walking I was doing, that's pretty good. I was happy being able to beat last year's 34:44, even if I was faster at the trial. I hadn't biked that day!
Overall (the only official time I have), my time is 2:28:15. Last year? 2:38:58. Woo-hoo!
Registration for next year opens on Nov. 3. I've marked my calendar!