(This blog post was previously recorded. LOL). Just like that, tri season is over (sniff, sniff). This has probably been my best tri season ever and I'm sad to see it end! Thankfully, I have the NYC marathon in 11 days to keep me focused! Try Andy's Tri is a race I've been doing on and off since 2005. The last time I raced it as an individual and not part of a relay team was 2009 and I finished in 1:18 and change. This year, I was just over 1:06. A huge improvement!
Race morning was chilly (ok, cold). It was wetsuit legal but I opted to go without since the swim is only 300 meters. The day before the race I got the ok from my coach to hammer so I knew I was going to push from the very beginning. I went out hard on the swim and with about 100 meters to go, I was slowing down but was still pretty much middle of the pack. As I stepped out of the water, I looked at my Garmin and saw 7:12....only 12 seconds slower than my best swim there. I was very pleased. In T1 I was trying to be fast but had some trouble with my glasses. As soon as I put them on, they were fogged up. I decided to not jack w/ them and stuffed them down my tri top. Before I knew it, I was at the mount line and headed out on the bike.
Pre-race I was hoping to go over 20mph but ended up at 19.8. I'm not complaining or anything...just really want to get that 20+! As soon as I cleared the start line, I settled in aero and just rode. Hard. When I started catching dudes, I giggled as they started 10 minutes ahead of me. Yes, this made me smile and wish I had on my "you got chicked" shirt. My overall goal going into the race was to be under 1:10 and I knew I was in very good shape. After the second u-turn on the bike course, I went as hard as I could. I looked at my watch and saw I was coming up on 30 minutes for the total race time and was very close to the bike dismount. I knew that I would be close to 20mph. I finished the bike in 30:14, just missing that magic 20mph mark. I was in & out of T2 quickly (I love sprints) and took off as soon as I hit the timing mat.
When the run started, my legs felt heavy and I didn't feel like I was going fast. This is normal and I've done enough of these to know I just needed to run. The cold temps didn't help and I could feel a cramp coming on in my right calf but decided to completely ignore it. After a mile, it was gone and everything was loosening up nicely. I couldn't tell what my pace was as I didn't have my watch set to see it. No big deal. I could see the total race time was under an hour and knew I was going to make at least 1:10. As I started the 2nd loop, I picked up the pace a tiny bit. I started looking for girls with my age on their calf. If I saw one, I did whatever I could to pass her. I kept telling myself it could be the difference between 11th and 10th place and I REALLY wanted to be in the top 10. Right when I felt completely warmed up and really good, I got to the point where you turn for the finish line. I hit the gas hard. I knew it was around 1:05 and couldn't believe it!
Once the results started scrolling, we made our way to the van where I saw I was #8 in my a/g. I was SO happy!!!! Not only that, my run was 25:58, good for 8:39min/mile. WTF? I didn't think I was that fast! I couldn't have been happier. A great, great race the day after running 16 miles. Yes please!
So I ended the tri season on a very high note. Next year I'll be in the 40-44 a/g and am still having trouble believing it. I had a lot of big PRs this year and know that next year they won't be as big and that's ok. It will be nice to take some time off and relax before getting back into it. I've got lots of goals I've been thinking about and just need to figure out what my priorities will be next year. I really do want to focus on my swim for a bit (without losing the progress I've made on the bike & run). It's always in the back of my mind that IMTX 2015 is on the distant horizon so I want 2014 to be spent building my base for that race.