I’m happy to report that my PR streak remains unbroken. Since October 2012, I’ve had a PR in every race I’ve done. I know this streak will come to an end at some point but for now, I’m really enjoying it!!
I wasn’t nervous going into Bridgeland. Sprint races are so much more fun after you’ve raced the longer distances. You know you can swim the distance (mainly b/c it’s the same as your Ironman warmup). While I wasn’t nervous, I wasn’t going into the race as prepared as I would’ve liked. After Shadow Creek Ranch, I vowed I was going to focus more on the swim so I could tear it up at Bridgeland. I’ll get there in a minute though. Two weeks leading up to the race I worked over 60 hours and the week before I was just over 50 hours. My body was tired, my mind was tired and I was just plain down in the dumps. I contemplated not racing but for how much this race costs, I wasn’t about to miss out. Nope, buttercup was going to suck it up and race.
Race morning was uneventful. Because my original number had been given to someone else in error, I was assigned a higher number and racked with a hodge podge of folks. The plus was I had lots of room on my rack. I got in & out of transition quickly, made it to the potty before the line was too long and then headed to the swim start with Keith. One hour until I start.
Getting in the water, I knew I wasn’t going to post a significantly better time but I knew I wouldn’t post worse either. I got in the water 2 minutes before my wave (the 2nd to last wave) went off. I felt calm and ready to go. We were on our way and I just focused on my stroke…finishing my stroke specifically. At Shadow Creek Ranch I tried to go out hard and it didn’t work so for this race, I just tried to pace myself. I felt good. My stroke felt good. Whenever I sighted, I saw lots of red caps. I passed a few orange and a couple yellow. I of course got passed by a few speedy white caps but expected that. As I headed to the exit, I felt really good. I felt like I was faster. Well, I got out of the water and glanced at my watch and immediately saw a 16 (last year I was 15:21) and said, “WTF”. I saw Keith and just shook my head. I was pissed. Royally pissed. There was absolutely no time to sulk though. I needed to stay focused and get in & out of transition as quickly as possible.
I got in and out of T1 in just over a minute. I hopped on the bike and just rode my heart out. My goal was to hit 20mph (I was 18.6 last year). The good thing about coming out of the swim slow is that you get to pass a lot of people on the bike. Seriously, I’m not bragging, just let me enjoy the one thing I’m good at. I passed one person after another and tried to make up everything I gave away in the swim. This was going to be hard. The course was a little more crowded than I thought it would be and found myself having to yell, “ON YOUR LEFT” more than once to the same chick. Seriously, there was this one girl who would NOT move. I was coming up fast on her wheel after yelling the warning a few times. Finally a yelled it even louder and thought about tacking the F word on at the end but thought I should be nice. When I passed her I couldn’t help myself and shook my head and said, “seriously”. Right at that point, I was passing by Keith and heard a girl yelling for me too. I couldn’t see who was with him. Hannah was out of town and I didn’t think my family was coming. I passed the 10 mile marker in under 30 minutes so knew that at this point, I was going more than 20mph. With 3 miles left, I needed to keep the pressure on. As I headed towards the dismount line, there was Keith along with Stefanie & Avery!!!! Yay! As I rolled to a stop I glanced at my watch and saw 38 and change. I crossed the timing mats and hit the lap button at 39ish. So my Garmin told me my pace was 19.7 but I knew it was probably faster and would check the official results. Yeah, right. As luck would have it, my swim, T1 and bike time were all lumped together so I have no idea what my official pace was nor do I know just how much ground I made up on the bike. Damnit!!!!
T2 was about 1:50 for me as I was clear across transition from run out. No problem. I started the run and got to see my support crew. Keith knew I wasn’t happy with my swim but also knew I just posted a very solid bike time. This race is hot. I mean come on, August in Texas?? I pushed as hard as I could and got my HR higher than I think I ever have in a race. I wasn’t as fast as I was at CB&I but I was able to squeak out a 9:35 min mile. I took as much water as I could at aid stations with most of it going on my head. Did I mention it was hot? I finally heard the crowd at the finish and just held my pace. I crossed the finish line in an official time of 1:29:07 (Garmin said 1:28:55) and was quite pleased. A 5 min PR at a sprint. I was very happy to be under 1:30 although I would’ve loved to have been even more under (damn swim).
All in all, I’m very happy with this race. My next race is just under 4 weeks away, a half-marathon in Wisconsin. I haven’t checked the weather yet but expect it to be less humid than here. I’m really hoping the conditions will be right for me to maintain my PR streak and finally get my sub-2 hour half!
After Lake Country Half Marathon, I’ll be tackling 10 for Texas and expect to have a great race there. And then after that, I will tackle my last triathlon as a 35-39 age grouper. Come January 1st, I will age up and be part of the F40-44 group even though I don’t turn 40 until November 2014. Shenanigans. Try Andy’s is also my last chance to post a Top 10 finish while I’m still in my 30’s. Fingers crossed!
A great racing weekend makes for a happy Monday. I’m ready to get back to training and get ready for my half-marathon. I think my long run this weekend is 14 miles and I can’t wait!!!!!!