It’s 4am and I HATE the sport of triathlon. Triathlon is that annoying co-worker that sniffles next to you. Triathlon is the hair in your food after you’ve eaten most of it. Triathlon is that Nickleback song that always plays just before you get out of the car. Triathlon sucks.
Let’s rewind a little shall we? Sometime last summer we (SMO, Kelsey and myself) decided a road trip to Ironman 70.3 St George Utah would be the perfect early season race to get our butts in gear. After we signed up, we looked at a map. Turns out St George is at the bottom of Utah. Huh, who knew? So after a bunch of trainer rides, a training trip to Maui and a few tune up half marathons, we loaded up the truck last Wednesday and hit the road.
We arrived in St George on Thursday evening with enough time to do one of those pre-race jogs that is just hard enough to scare the crap out of you. It also didn’t help that it was still 33degrees Celsius at 6pm, what is this place? The desert or something?
Pre-race day went as planned for the most part:
-sleep in (without an 11 month old waking me up!!)
-go to the athletes meeting to get some incorrect information
-head out to the swim for a dip in the chilly waters
-spin out the road for a while to make sure all is in order. Blow out a tire and have to hitchhike back to the car, take the wheel to a shop and spend even more money on another tire. Wait, I guess that’s not quite the best pre-race plan, but thankful we went for the ride!
So now it’s 4am Saturday morning?> and I hate my sport. Somehow I get out of bed, have a coffee and feel the dread of my day lift ever so slightly. OK, hate is a strong word. I now think triathlon is just kinda annoying. It gets better as we shuttle out to the start and I get prepped to hit the water. Triathlon is actually kinda neat.
I’d never done a deep water start before and with only the other 102 women in my AG it was a wee bit of luxury. Maybe too much of a luxury. Without the washing machine terror of most starts I swam calmly and probably a little below my potential. I got out of the water in 32 something, but feeling awesome so perhaps those lost 2 mins were worth it. Triathlon is pretty cool.
I’d been doing a lot of riding in Maui for the month of April so I was excited to see what I could do on this course. I put my head down and pedaled looking up occasionally to admire the amazing vistas and smile at spectators. Just before km 75 I lost focus a little, in time for the Snow Canyon climb. I lost a little time with a side-stitch up the big climb, but coming off the bike with a 2:48 was A-OK. Triathlon is really fun.
Coming in from the bike you overlap with the run course, giving the view of the shade-less inferno that is the hilly run course. Everyone talks about how hard the bike course is; ummm, hello? Do they not notice the run? Easily the toughest standalone half marathon I’ve ever done. Maybe the dry heat sucks the memory out of people’s heads. The first few k were slow. Then we went up hill and they didn’t get any faster. Then I think I focused for about 6 mins on running and did ok. Then we went up hill again. Etc. I was surprised to see that I was running decently by half way and even more surprised with my 1:45 run split. I had really wanted to run sub 1:40, but that course just wasn’t going to let me. Big smiles down the finishing shoot. Triathlon is the best sport ever!!
So there you have it. 5:11:31 is more than satisfactory for the first big race back post-bebe and landed me in 8th in my AG, 23rd amateur female. Super duper to have a day where things went well and I didn’t fret about anything. My bike worked, my shoes didn’t give me blisters and my Coeur Sports kit never crossed my mind except to make me feel fast and awesome (most amazing shorts ever I’ll tell ya).
After some beers and a good night’s sleep it was back in the car for the long drive home.
Oh and yesterday they announced Ironman 70.3 Victoria. Guess who already registered?
I love triathlon.