I wasn't planning on doing this race, but a lot of my friends were doing it and the weather was promising to be gorgeous on race day, so I decided what the heck and signed up for the race last minute - at 3pm on Friday the day before the race. Unlike before most of my races, I had a pretty normal Friday evening: went out for dinner with some friends and had a couple beers. Not having to worry too much about nutrition and going to bed early prior to a race is a luxury - I love sprints! :-)
I got my stuff packed the night before. In the morning I got up at 5:30, had some oatmeal and headed to Lake Sammamish State Park. It's quite a big event for a local tri - almost 1000 participants in the tri, plus duathlon and 5K/10K folks, so there was some traffic near the park, but I still made it to transition by 6:30 or so, 50 minutes before my start.
I set up the transition area where I ran into my friend Rebecca (who also signed up last minute with me). Then I headed to the beach via the Honey Buckets. They did a good job with the number of bathrooms given the number of people at the event - there was no line. At the beach I ran into a few more friends and wished everyone good luck.
As I was going into the water for my warmup I saw my boss (who also races triathlons and is actually training for the same Ironman as me). As we chatted about the race ahead I mentioned that since he's starting 5 minutes before me I shouldn't see him during the race unless he has a flat or something. Sure enough, turns out he got a flat on his ride. Oops.
I swam about 100-200 yards to warm up. Water was nice and toasty; it felt even warmer than on the day before when I swam in the same lake. Finally, Women 29 and under lined up at the swim start.
Swim - 400 meters - 6:20 (1:35/100m)
The swim course was short for a sprint - only 400 meters, so I knew I could hammer it pretty hard. Even though I am an average swimmer, I lined up right at the front. I feel that it's a good experience for the Ironman to be right up there. Indeed, the first 100m was the most violent triathlon swim experience in my racing history. I got pushed and elbowed, nearly swam over a couple times, but I survived. After the first bouy, I was passing a lot of those girls who were so eager to swim over me in the first 50 meters, but realized that they went out too hard... Oh well, noobes :) The rest of the swim was pretty uneventful - I swam hard and kept a close eye on the buoys on the left. It was over very soon and I ran full speed back to the transition.
T1 - 1:56
Pretty good transition, no issues taking off the wetsuit and getting into my bike shoes. Still, I am certainly on the slower side compared to the other girls in the top of my AG. Need to work on it I guess.
Bike - 15 miles - 39:58 (22.5mph)
I believe the bike was short. I've never hit 22.5 before even on a TT, but I like this number, so I'll leave it up there :)
The bike was an out and back on the E Lake Sammamish Parkway. During the first and last mile both ways were on the same side of the road sharing a shoulder, separated by cones. Naturally, this created some congestion as it was very hard to pass and there were folks of all different abilities out there. I went as hard as I could when I could. I maintained good form and only had to swith to the smaller chain ring once for the last hill at mile 9 or 10. There were a few times when I got stuck behind slower people in the first and last mile, but it wasn't that bad.
T2 - 1:21
Again, I felt that it was pretty fast, but it's one of the slowest in the top 10 women, so I could certainly work on it... If I shaved off 40 seconds combined from my T1 and T2, I would have placed 3rd in my AG instead of 5th... But then again, during an Ironman, transition times are a much smaller portion of your total race time percentage-wise, so I guess, it's not as important.
Run - 3 miles - 19:35 (6:31 min/mile)
It was a cross-country style course with some trails, grass and a little bit of pavement. I love that kind of terrain - reminds me of trail running. Felt awesome and charged the whole way. I just kept passing people and setting my eyes on the next *victim*. Pretty happy with my performance. I had the fastest split amongst women.
Overall - 1:09:11, 5th in AG, 9th in Women, 82nd overall
Great local race to kick off the tri season. It's great to go out there and see so many familiar faces. :)