First things first about this morning’s Y Freedom Tri: I finished 6 minutes faster than last year, repeated as 1st place Athena, and averaged more than 20 miles per hour on the bike for the first time ever! Yee-ha!
Since my mom is in town, I even have photos of my race. I think she enjoyed watching the race — it was the first time she’d ever been to a triathlon. And I definitely enjoyed having a cheerleader! We had to get up just after 5:00 and left my apartment at 5:30 to drive over to Pearland. We got there with plenty of time to walk over to the park and set up my transition area. I’d made sure to get there early because I had a box of BAM jerseys to deliver to some racers, but I managed to immediately pass those off to a BAMmer who wasn’t racing.
Mom took a photo of this guy’s shirt — his daughter had made it for him and on the front it said “Go Jen Go” or something like that. I guess I need to make one for my mom the next time she comes to a tri! Since she only visits once a year, that won’t be for a while though. Still, cool shirt.
Here I am mere seconds away from starting the swim. It was a pool swim (obviously) held in the 50-meter public pool at Independence Park in Pearland. It was nice that I’d just swum in a 50-meter pool last week at the Sugarland Women’s Tri, so I expected the wall to feel far away. There was a lot more congestion on this swim than there was last week, and I passed 3 or 4 people in the water. There were stairs at the end of the pool that made it very easy to get out of the water, so that was nice. I ran out of the pool, through the grass, and finally crossed the timing mat into transition with a time of 6:34. Actual swimming time was probably about 6:10, which is exactly what I reported (which put me at #106).
There I am running into transition. I got in and out of there in 52 seconds. There was carpet down in the aisle of transition to make it easier to run in bare feet (the parking lot was very pebbly and uncomfortable), but it make for some slippery running in bike shoes. Thankfully I made it out unscathed and hopped on my bike. The 12 mile course is flat and fast, but there are four U-turns that force you to slow down. Still, it’s fairly easy to get a good rhythm going. What I couldn’t do was break free of a pack of three other women! We leapfrogged each other for the entire 12 miles, none of us ever really breaking away. We maintained enough space between us so as to not get penalized for drafting, but that was it.
I finished the bike in 36:22. Now, if the ride was exactly 12 miles, that’s an average of 19.8 mph. But my Garmin measured 12.26 (and last year it measured 12.25), and tris are notorious for rounding the distance to the nearest whole number. Assuming 12.25 miles, that’s an average of 20.2 mph! This agrees with what I saw while riding — I hardly ever saw my speed drop below 20 or 21. And since I didn’t give myself credit for 20+ last week since Garmin read 9.5, I’m going to stick with Garmin and pat myself on the back for my first race where I averaged greater than 20 mph on the bike! Woohoo! Next goal: average 20 mph on both the Garmin and the official results!
I got through T2 in 50 seconds and headed out for the run. Not much to say about it. The first mile follows a crushed gravel path along a bayou, so that’s a scenic route. The next two miles are through a neighborhood, and there was the occasional homeowner outside cheering, but other than that it was pretty quiet. I was not wearing my watch, and I actually felt like I was running pretty solidly, but my time shows otherwise. 33:56. Ugh! I really thought I’d covered the distance about a minute faster than that, so I was a little bummed.
Nonetheless, I finished the race in 1:18:34, which is more than 6 minutes faster than last year. The difference is entirely due to a faster bike. My swim and transitions were slightly faster, while my run was about a minute slower. I repeated my title as 1st place Athena and got a cool pint glass with the race logo and “Athena Winner” on it! I liked the award a lot.
All in all, another fun day at the races. We had more than 20 BAMmers out there and many of them placed in their age groups, so it was a successful day all around. I’m not actually sure what my next race is — but it will probably be the Webster Duathlon at the end of July. Oh, and I’ll probably show up at one of the 4th of July 5Ks on Friday.