Yesterday was my first race of the season–Oxbow Triathlon in New Roads, Louisiana. Boy, do I enjoy race season. It’s fun to be out at the local races a couple of weekends a month either as a racer or volunteer. The camaraderie of the multisport community is like no other sport. Sure there is competition, but at the same time there is a common shared experience of putting together three sports that each alone would be a fine endeavor for a Saturday morning.
New Roads is on the other side of the Mississippi River, about a 45 minute drive away. I woke up early to eat some breakfast (one egg scrambled with brown rice) and drink a bit of coffee and to make some last minute decisions about what to wear before heading out. It was a bit of a chilly morning, so I threw on my parka–love my parka! During the drive I began to contemplate why I was doing this today and then the sun began to rise over the “river” and my thoughts were silenced. It was beautiful! My picture does not even begin to do it justice, but I had to try and capture the colors. Getting out of bed before the rest of the world has its privileges, and this is one of them!
Did all the normal pre-race stuff–get chip, rack bike, set up transition and chat with other racers. It was a small field with only about 100 people racing and of those only about 20 women. Heard chatter about the water being 63 degrees–oh boy! Pulled on my wetsuit and walked over to the start and slowly walked down to the water’s edge to wade in. Glad I did, because it really was cold and I needed every minute I had to get used to the water. Got in over my head to try and get the shock over with and continued to do that several times before the start of our wave. And then we were off. I started at the front of the wave and fought thru a little congestion at the beginning but eventually the pack thinned out. At some point things went numb so I was no longer thinking about the cold. Rounded the third buoy and low and behold found a couple people to draft off of–swimming in someone else bubbles is so much fun!
Out of the water and on to to transition. I have to admit I wasn’t in as much of a hurry as I should have been, but my T1 time was actually not that bad. Hopped on the bike, geared down to get up the hill, warmed up my legs and it was on. Got in my big chain ring and pushed it on the bike. It was at this point that I realized that I had stopped my Garmin instead of lapping it when I left transition–oh well. If that’s the worst thing to go wrong, it was going to be a good day. While the roads were better than last year, there was a lot of wind on the course and a road crew putting in new mailboxes on the road. Could feel it in my quads early on. But I was out to have a fun race, so I enjoyed the scenery–it really is a pretty place to race. Reset my Garmin on the way back into town so I had something to give me feedback on the run. Racked my bike in transition changed into my Newtons and it was time to run.
We all know how much I struggle with running, but I have been putting a lot of effort into run training this season and I wanted to see how it was paying off. Running off the bike just hurts, plain and simple, and you just have to run thru the pain. I started to get feeling back in my toes that had gone numb in the swim and stayed that way on the bike which made my footstrike feel a bit weird. At mile one, I looked down at my garmin to see that I had run a 10 something mile–I was pleasantly surprised! I just kept running. Slowed a little that second mile, but when I hit 2 miles I turned on the speed (or what I call speed) and clocked a sub 10 minute mile for the third mile (that has never happened in a race before!). The last little bit of the course is down a hill and then to the finish line, so gravity helped me pick up some more speed. My official run time was 33:19–2 minutes faster than last year and not too far from my stand alone 5K PR.
All in all it was a good day! Finished at 2:01:49 with a Personal Best on the run and on the course.
Next up is Gulf Coast Triathlon on May 11…