I wasn't sure what to expect at a short distance race with all the Ironman training building up to Coeur d'Alene, but figured it would be good to participate in this fun local race again.
I packed everything the night before, woke up at 5am, had the usual breakfast of english muffin with Nutella and some coffee and headed to the start. Coach Ben said that I belong in the Elite wave, so that's where I set up my transition spot. There were only a handful or other women who self-selected into the elite wave and we had two full bike racks dedicated to us so there was plenty of space and it was right by the bike exit. Score! I got into my wetsuit and went to the beach for a quick warmup swim before the start. Really only had time to get into the water and take a few strokes and then I had to line up.
Swim - 7:10, 5th elite
The water was pretty cold. Don't know the exact temperature, but it must have been 57-58. Since I didn't get a chance to warm up too much before the race, once I started swimming hard, my body reacted with somewhat of a shock. After the initial 100 yards, I felt like I was about to start hyperventilating, so I backed off a bit and swam in at an easier effort.
T1 - 2:44, 5th elite
The run to the transitions was longer than in previous years since they changed the course a little this year. In the morning I noticed that the paved path had too much gravel on it and was worried that it would be an issue in T1, but my feet were so numb, I didn't feel anything - just ran as fast as I could now that I was finally out of the water. Getting out of the wetsuit went ok, was quick at putting my shoes, helmet and glasses on and ran out with my bike. It took me longer than it should have to get into my pedals and start riding, but I was finally on my way.
Bike - 41:06, 5th elite
My power sensor was broken at the time of the race (I was waiting for the new sensor harness to arrive and be installed), so I raced by heart rate, which basically meant I just rode as hard as I could the whole way. Other than a couple duathlon guys who could not believe that a girl was passing them and tried to pedal a lot harder, just to eventually let me pass anyway, it was a rather uneventful ride. Tried to keep my heart rate above 170. At the turnaround, I saw all four elite women that were ahead of me. They were not far, but we were all riding at about the same pace, so I wasn't gaining on them much. I eventually caught one of them in the last 2 miles.
T2 - 1:01, 5th elite
Neither my feet nor my fingers really warmed up during the ride after getting very cold in the water, so putting on my running shoes was a struggle despite the fact that I was racing sans socks on and that I had quick laces. In fact I was so slow that the woman that I passed on the bike passed me back in transition.
Run - 20:55, 1st elite
I was able to get my legs turning fast right away and passed the woman ahead of me again. At about half way I passed another elite woman. I saw the first and second girls at the turn-around and thought I might be able to catch them. I ran as hard as I could and passed a few guys but I never caught up with the next woman, even though I did close the gap a bit.
Overall - 1:12:54 - 3rd female
I am happy with getting 3rd overall in a sprint triathlon 3 weeks before my Ironman, but I do think I could have been faster in all 3 legs. I wish I got there earlier and had time for a longer swim warmup - this way I could potentially have avoided hyperventilating and could swim hard the whole way. Bike was a solid effort, but would have probably done better if I had my power meter working. The run was good, but I could never get my heart rate above 170. Not sure if I was still cold from the swim and ride or if it's just the fatigue that's been built up for weeks and months, but I should be able to race a sprint closer to 180s for my heart rate.