June 29, 2009

I Love The Tavern Triathlon - Race Report

Sunday was the third annual I Love The Tavern Triathlon and it was just as much fun as the first two years. The Tavern Tri is one of my absolute favorite races because it was the first triathlon I ever completed back in 2007. My love for triathlon started with this race and it has carried me all the way to being an Ironman finisher. I woke up on Sunday morning with a huge smile on my face and a bounce in my step. After a quick breakfast (luna bar and coffee) I loaded all of my crap in the car and made my way to Robious Landing Park.

Once there, I set up my transition area, picked up my race chip and did the whole body marking thing. I was a little bit nervous about the open water swim because the river was pretty high and had a strong current. I haven't even attempted an open water swim since last November because the river has been high for months now. Every time I have planned to go for a swim, the river has been above flood stage and the weeks when I could have gone in the river, I was either out of town or racing. Needless to say, I knew that my swim was going to be slow and tough. As soon as I had everything in place for the race, I went down to the river and jumped in to see what the river was like.

I am very glad that I did a short warm up swim because the water was crazy tough! I knew that as soon as the race started I needed to swim hard and just keep swimming. After a 15 minute delayed start, the race director decided to shorten the swim course by a few meters and then we were off. I was in the third wave and so after a few minutes my swim began. I am not even going to lie, my swim time sucked and I am sort of embarrassed by it but oh well. I will just have to try to do better next time. I felt strong coming out of the water and was determined to try and make up some time.

I jumped on my bike and felt great. I live just a few miles from this course and I have been practicing this ride for months now. I knew that I sucked at the swim but I was determined to beat my bike split from last year. I started riding and felt so at home on the course.

I was able to pass quite a few people on the bike and even a few guys with fancy race wheels...I don't think they liked that! I made it back with my fastest bike split ever and after a quick shoe change I started my run.

I am a runner. I love running and it is where my heart is at. I was so excited to be at the run portion of the race, that I didn't even think about how jelly like my legs were feeling. The run course at Tavern is awesome because it is mostly on shaded trails with a quick loop through a neighborhood and then back to the finish line via trails. I had a small mishap with my shoe and had to stop to readjust the laces which totally sucked. I know this cost me a few seconds but things happen. I was able to pass a lot of people on the run and I finished with a new Tavern PR.

I finished third in my age group which was a complete surprise to me because I literally thought the swim had killed my race.

I had a wonderful time at the race and was wishing that we could do it all again as soon as it was over. The best thing about the race though was that I was able to see what I need to work on for the next race (swimming and transitions) and I finished with a smile on my face. I love the Tavern Tri!

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