Look—I figured out how to get my Garmin to record in multisport mode! I’m a genius. I’ve only had the thing for two and a half years. And, truth be told, I had to post on facebook, and then someone commented with how I should do it. I could have read the directions, but I’ve found that facebook is usually much more user-friendly than the instruction manual.
I got to the race a bit later than I wanted to because I forgot something at home and had to turn around and go back to get it. But, once I got there, I got my transition area set up and all my stuff laid out. I took the bike for a spin around the parking lot to be sure that I had it in the proper gear for when I hopped on after the run.
The race was set up a bit differently than it was last year. The routes were changed a bit and the start/finish/transition areas were different. Part of the change was so that the bike route would consist of mostly right turns instead of left turns.
They started the race in waves. The guys went first, followed two minutes later by the women, and then two minutes later, the relay teams.
I started out way too fast (I seem to sense a theme here). My first mile was under 8:00. The first run segment was about 2.2 miles and I finished in 17:55 (average 8:09/pace What?!)
I came into transition and quickly tried to get my shoes changed and my helmet on. I ran my bike out of the transition area and as soon as I hopped on my bike, I noticed that the chain had come off! Seriously!? I was so frustrated. It took me about a minute to get the chain back on. I was covered in grease. I then spent the next two miles shifting between all the gears to make sure that everything was working right. It took a while for it to feel ‘right’ and I was really flustered. Finally, I was able to get into a comfortable gear, and then the ride started to feel a little better.
The course is what I would consider ‘rolling hills.’ There aren’t a whole lot of flat parts. It seems that you are always going up or coming down. I don’t mind the downhill parts. I was grateful that it wasn’t very windy. The one negative about the bike course is that there is NO SHADE anywhere. So, it started to get pretty warm. There also weren’t very many fans. There were a couple spots where people would be standing in their driveway drinking their coffee, or standing along the side of the road waiting for their family member or friend. But the crowd support on the bike course (and, to a certain extent, on the run courses) was disappointing.
I finished the bike portion of 13.98 miles in 49:05 (17.1 mph pace). I usually ride at just over 15 mph, so this was pretty fast for me.
I came into transition and had to change my shoes again to head out on the last run segment. As I expected, my legs felt like lead after the bike portion. But, as usually happens to me, my legs are used to the faster turn-over from the bike ride, and I end up being able to keep a pretty decent pace…at least for a short while. And the run was pretty short…1.95 miles. I ran it in 16.31 (8:29 pace).
The second run portion started out going through a wooded area, on a trail. It was the only shaded portion of the course, and for that I was thankful. However, since my legs felt so heavy, I kept worrying that I was going to trip over a rock or a root or something. Crisis averted and I was shortly back on the road. I didn’t get passed at all during the second run segment. It felt pretty good to slowly catch up and pass people when my legs were so tired. However, there was one lady at the end who I tried desperately to catch, but I couldn’t quite make it. She crossed the finish line about 4 seconds before me.
I took about 10 minutes off my time from last year and I am pretty happy with that. It could have been more if I hadn’t had to put the chain back on my bike! I came in 12/42 in my age group (26 woman overall) and I am happy with that too. Any time I can be in the top half of my age group, I’ll be happy. Maybe I’m not as middle-of-the-pack as I thought.
This is definitely a race I will do again next year. This is only the second year they have done it and I think they are still growing into it. There are a few things that could be improved, but I have faith that as the event grows, they will figure out all the little details. Hopefully next year, I can be even faster!