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Race the River Sprint Triathlon 2012

I think I like racing long. When people told me that sprints hurt worse than 70.3s, I didn't believe them. Yet that was before Lake Stevens, and now, after last weekend's "sprint 'til you can't breath" kind of race, I second their statements 100%. I don't know exactly where to go with this post, so I'll probably keep it short for more reasons than one.

  1. One, my creative juices aren't quite running the way nimble legs should in a sprint distance triathlon.
  2. And two, I have to study.

The walk to the swim start a half mile from the exit out of the water gave me some time to relax. My classmate and fellow elite competitor, Danielle Slaughter, sparked conversation that navigated to the topic of her wedding. I asked if she really wanted all white dishes, as was listed on her wedding registry, only to be interrupted by the announcer that our wave would start in less than 4 minutes. I guess it was time to stop talking dishes and start thinking swimming.

I hopped in the water along with the other elite competitors and with the blast of the gun, was off to chase after the lead woman swimmer, Gretchen Rose-Wolf. The current left much to be desired, but the short distance surely made up for it, as I quickly found myself at the ramp and running the long transition to my bike. The Blue Seventy wetsuit Jessi Thompson loaned me slipped right off like butter, and I hoped my new Rudy Project helmet made me look faster, more intimidating, than I felt. I hoped the three loops of the bike course flew by, and I remembered how to count to three.

At this point, I held lead woman. I watched with every lap the guys ahead of me fly by. The section that took us out to the turnaround felt smooth, but coming back along Seltice Way somehow made me ride harder out of anger. Rough road, slight incline, and a headwind. I hate that feeling when you feel like you're working harder than you should, when your speed is slowed and it feels like you should be cruising. This feeling made me angry, times 3.

It turns out I did know how to count to three and made it back into transition in just over 30 minutes. That meant I had successfully multitasked and performed my bike test to update my heart rate zones. What I had not done, however, was successfully create a big enough lead on the next woman behind me, because Susan Endsley proceeded to rack her bike just as I was leaving mine.

I'm pretty sure the elite guys were done before I had even started the run. I never spotted Brian Hadley or Roger Thompson, and all I heard were Susan's footfalls getting louder and louder until finally, at the first turnaround, she overtook me. I had no excuse for my pace. Compared to last year, I ran about 30-40 seconds slower per mile this time. This was perhaps my greatest disappointment as I crossed the finish line, but I am happy with my second place finish. Putting it all into perspective, this year is about 70.3. Having the mental capacity to remind myself these smaller races serve as training opportunities, still eludes me. Quite frankly, I'm a little concerned with how CDA Olympic Triathlon is going to feel. And Wunderwoman. I guess it'll hurt...twice as bad.

It would be a shame to forget to thank the volunteers. Just like at Lake Stevens, Curt Dupois contributed time in what seemed like all aspects of the race. Also, thank you to Scott Ward and his Across the Line Timing company for providing us with the split times we triathletes seem to obsess over. Finally, to the many other volunteers who came out to make this race an event for us competing to remember, thank you.

Hope to see you out at the Longbridge Swim this Saturday and Troika on Sunday!


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