If you missed Part 1, I completed the Route 66 Festivus over the weekend which entailed a sprint triathlon on Saturday and an Olympic triathlon on Sunday. This was my first Olympic distance triathlon after two years of sprint distance races. I woke up feeling a little soreness in my back and neck but overall felt pretty good following the sprint race. I was extremely nervous for the race and even though I had raced the day before my nerves were still super high.
My sister tried to get me cheery and relaxed but I was fairly nervous until I started setting up my transition area. Saturday after the race I tried out my wetsuit so that I could make sure that I wouldn't panic in it in the water. The water temp ended up being wetsuit legal by 1 degree and I was taking advantage of that since almost all the other athletes were wearing their wetsuits. One thing I just don't get is why people put their wetsuits on and then get into the porta-potty line...just doesn't make sense to me. Around 7:20 we headed down to the water for Buzz's pre-race meeting and he made the announcement that the men and women would be starting together. Oh my, that was not what my nerves needed to hear. As we filed into the water, I stayed to the middle of the field of athletes but behind the men on the front.
Swim: The race started with the DG Productions shot gun blast start. This was a shallow entry start so I walked as the front men ran into deeper water. I took my time knowing that a few extra seconds to wait for open water would equate to a much calmer swim for me. I hate bumping into people and feeling like I'm under attack in the water and when swimming with guys it just seems like a good idea to sacrifice a few seconds. The swim went well and I quickly reached the turn buoy. On my return to the beach I swam really far to the left of the field which meant I had plenty of open water and was able to get relaxed and swim easy. There were volunteers at the exit point to help direct traffic down the beach to re-enter the water for lap 2 of the swim. The second lap went well however I noticed that I was chafing under my arm pits from the wetsuit. Lesson learned now on where to apply BodyGlide before swimming in the wetsuit..unfortunately this was a painful lesson to learn the hard way! I exited the water and a volunteer helped unzip my wetsuit as I made my way to the stairs and transition. There were more volunteers there to help with stripping the wetsuit off which was really helpful and it felt like it barely added any time on to my transition.
Bike: I took my time in transition to put on my bike gloves and get in a little nutrition. Because this was my first Olympic there were a couple times where I just told myself to take my time and run the race for me. The bike was a two loop course and was the same as the sprint from Saturday. I reminded myself to take water and eat some fruit snacks to keep my nutrition up on the bike. At the end of the first loop they had water and Gatorade available as a handup stop. I decided to actually stop and refill my bottle because I didn't trust that I could be coordinated enough to deal with an extra bottle on the bike while moving! The bike went faster than I expected and soon I was heading back into transition for the run. On the last 1/4 of the bike leg I definitely noticed that the temperatures were rising quickly.
Run: I entered transition and had a few things on my mind. I needed to put on a visor to keep the sun out of my eyes. The run course was extremely sunny and I had regretted not having sunglasses or a hat during the sprint. I also put on my Garmin so that I could try to stick to run/walk schedule. I added my race belt and a water belt to finish my transition activities. I had a frozen wash cloth that I stuck in my shirt to use to wipe the sweat off my face too. I started out on the run and immediately knew it was going to be tough. I had planned to do a run 5 walk 1 strategy which I did for the first 10 minutes...after that it was all over the board. I walked longer than I should have but I just didn't want to risk heat injury because it was super hot and super sunny on the course. I was surprised to see the heat affect so many people but I knew that a slow time was far better than suffering a heat illness. The run was a 2 loop out and back and the water stop was placed at the end of the out. They also had a water stop at the transition/finish line area so you hit water every 1.5 miles. I would have preferred a little more frequently just because it felt so good to dump the cold water on my head. They also had Heed on the course but I'm not a fan of that and so I didn't take any. I had a few tortilla chips with me to get some salts and then ate some fruit snacks for my nutrition. My brother-in-law was nice and brought me fresh wash cloths on the course and there is a nothing better than feeling ice cold water on your face during a hot race! It was a very slow run for me but I wouldn't change that given how hot it was.
Overall, this was a great experience and I have a much better idea of what the longer distance entails. Here are the results:
`500 Swim: 30:13
40K Bike: 1:33:23
T2: 3:27 (yep, I took my time!)
10K Run: 1:14:45 (walked a little more than I should have!)