|Do I look a little scared here? I think so...|
|Sunrise over Lake Houston|
They did wave start by age group, starting with the 30-34 ladies and ending with the 20-29 so I had to wait until about 7:20 for our turn. We're having a little cold snap (for Houston, for August, anyways) so I was a little chilly before the start (it was about 68 degrees... I'm such a wimp, I know) and worried that the water would be cold. Nope. The water was magnificently warm, even warmer than being out in the air.
I knew this was going to be my long transition and I decided not to rush too much and screw something else (a DQ would really ruin my day!). I did run from the water to the transition. Then I threw down my beach towel and took a seat. Whatever. I wiped off my grassy, dirty, wet, gravely feet and pulled my capris up to my knees. Then I put on my socks and shoes, stood up, hoisted up my pants to my waist, got my sunglasses and helmet on, and headed off.
Time: 2:45 (actually, I was expecting like 4 mins, so this isn't bad)
11 mile Bike
I started the bike feeling pretty good, despite the swim being a battle. I passed a few people early on, but got passed plenty on the hills that came later. I felt the burn for sure on those hills, but overall the bike was pleasant. Based on my training rides I was expecting close to an hour for the bike, so I'm pretty proud of my time even if I did come in 30th out of 40 in my age group.
Time: 46:16 (avg speed 14.3 mph)
I didn't have that much to do, but it was much harder to rack up my poor, short bike with all the others around me. I wasn't changing shoes (no clips for me) so I just had to drop my helmet and my (thankfully unused) spare tube. Then I grabbed my shirt and hat and walked out of transition while putting them on. I also grabbed a gatorade from the water stop that was right at the transition exit and drank it before running.
Whew, almost there! As I exited transition and saw that I was just reaching an hour, I realized 1:45 (which I thought was my pipe dream goal) was well within my grasp, which I was pretty excited about. So I headed off on what I hoped was a steady pace (I decided to forego putting on my non-waterproof Garmin in transition and just used a regular sports watch, so I didn't know distance or pace all day). The run was lovely- half pavement, half trail, mostly shade. I train at a 13:20 pace on the treadmill (4.5 mph) but I already noticed in my bricks that the numb biker butt makes me run faster than usual and then I get tired out because I can't sustain that pace. I think I did a good job of trotting along at a pace slightly faster than training, and when I saw the finish line I still had enough juice to pull out a pretty decent sprint.
Time: 37:14 (12:25 pace)
Total time: 1:39:03. 35th overall in my age group, 295 of 400-something overall.
Finally, a huge thank you to my husband for getting up at 4am with me, loading and unloading my hefty bike from the bike rack, holding my crap, taking all these pictures, cheering for me, and being right there when I came back from each leg and giving me a reason to smile.