The weather treated us much better for the second annual Adrenaline Triathlon. Last year, we had snow. OK, that might be a little exaggeration, but it was darn cold. 50 degrees, wind, drizzle. I froze last year. This year, a pleasant 70 degrees and overcast.
We left the house at 5am, arrived just before 6am. I set up my transition area, and then headed over to get my chip and body marking. At 6:45am the transition area closes and we head over to the swim start.
Our swim caps are color coded for our age/gender and we need to line up with our division. Standing in the staging area with other F40-49s, we all do what all women our age do. We chat about our kids, and mom things.
Let me tell you, these women all look harmless when standing around waiting to go into the lake, but once you get these women on a bike, they are FIERCE.
We enter the water one at a time, and swim the quarter mile through murky, weedy Little Cedar Lake. At times, you could not see 6 inches into the water. Gross.
I felt more comfortable with the swim this year. I signed up for P3's open water swim 'camp' as I call it, swimming in open water once or twice a week since the beginning of June in Pewaukee Lake and Lake Emily. If you've swam at Pewaukee Lake, you know I have plenty of experience with 'gross' this year.
Like Pewaukee Lake, Little Cedar Lake has so many weeds, that you can get covered and tangled. Any given arm stroke you can come up with an arm load of weeds. But Little Cedar Lake also adds mud/silt. Enough that you can taste it. Though I didn't know it at the time, a lot of mud had accumulated in my swim suit. Chunks of mud came out when I took my suit off after the finish.
I improved my swim time by about 30 seconds from last year. With the swim done, I head to transition. My T1 time this year was nearly a minute slower than last year. Looking back at last year, I wore the bike shorts during the swim. I forgot that I did that, and should have done that this year too. The other reason for the longer transition time is that the timing mats were moved to the top of the hill that we have to run up with our bikes. Last year, the mat was at the bottom, so the bike time included the hill that we had to walk/run our bikes. So, some additional time would have happened anyway for the transitions.
I had my biggest improvement on the bike. First, the hill climb was part of the transition, rather than the bike course. Second, I have new clippie shoes which help deliver a little more power from my legs to the pedals, and third, I have done a ton more biking this year than ever.
This is where I credit my dear running friend Dennis. I was getting out for some hilly bike rides and long bike rides (up to 40 miles) earlier this summer. A few weeks ago, Dennis got injured and had to take a few
weeks off from running. Still wanting to maintain fitness, he wanted to do long bike rides. This worked perfectly into my training schedule. The last few Thursdays and Saturdays we have done bike rides up to 91 miles.
Out on the bike course, I am passed by women in my age group. I try to keep them in my sights. These women are TOUGH. I also get passed by guys in other divisions, as they go soaring by.
I improved my bike time by nearly 3 minutes, which is really cool considering it is nearly 2 miles longer than last year.
With the 14.4 mile bike done, I transition for the run. My T2 time was only seconds different from last year, which I am pleased with, since it also includes running with bike down the hill to the transition area, and this year, I have to change
from bike shoes to running shoes.
I head out for the 5K run. As local ultra legend Mary Gorski has said, ultra runners have a huge advantage on the run portion of a triathlon, because we are very familiar with running on tired legs. Though my legs were tired from the bike, I still felt strong on the run. Not one person passed me, and I passed several men and women. I improved my run time by 40 seconds over last year, which I was not expecting at all. I haven't been running as well this year as I did last year, so this was a real treat.
My improvements also translated to better placing. First in my division out of 10 (F40-44), and third female overall out of 79. Among
females, I had the fastest run this year, about 20th in the swim, and 16th or so on the bike. Last year, I had the second fastest run, 36th and 47th in the swim and bike. 22nd female overall out of 123.
This year's total time was 1:23:41. Nearly 3 minutes faster than last year's 1:26:33 which had a shorter course.
I also have to give credit to husband Bill for being so supportive of all my training.