This weekend was The Triathlon At Pacific Grove, and my last triathlon for the year. The 2011 triathlon was my first triathlon, so this is the first time I've done a tri twice. I had to go back and do it one more time just to prove to myself that I'm better than I was last year.
Last year, I finished the Olympic distance in just under 3:06. After the race, I looked through the online results to compare my swim, bike run, to other women my age and discovered that my swim time was at least 5-6 minutes slower than other women who bike and run at about my same pace. I decided that swimming was going to be my biggest challenge for 2012. I remember telling a friend, "If I really work on my swimming, maybe I could be under 3 hours next year, just by improving my swim!" (Clearly I was hopped up on endorphins. She probably thought I was nuts.)
Triathlon at Pacific Grove time 2012: 2:58:5. That's right. Just under 3 hours, you know, like 2:50-something. . . . Notice, this time is not according to the Paul Ryan Time Calculator. This time is the real deal according to official results!
After spending the last 12 months agonizing over swimming: after jumping in the pool in a 40 degree drizzle last winter, the 75-minute swim workouts for Barb's race, 3 Splash and Dash events (nemesis), 1 Dip and Dash, and oh did I mention the freakin' Trans Tahoe Relay . . .I only managed to take 2 tiny minutes off of my swim? Really?
The most noticeable difference was in my transition from swim to bike (- ~2 minutes), and my run time (- ~3 minutes). So, after complaining about spending too much time in the pool and the bike, and not running as much as I would have liked; turns out I learned how to strip off a wetsuit, and my running improved.
Who da thunk it?
That run really sucked, by the way. I've never had leg cramps like that before in my life. I knew they would subside eventually but damn - I need to eat more bananas before my next race. I could see the race clock on each loop. After loop 1 of 3, I knew I was behind, loop 2 I picked it up (and the pain started to go away), loop 3 of 3 was do or die time.
Looking ahead to 2013, I am really scared. There is no way I could have a more epic year than the past 12 months. Seriously? It would be unfair if it got any better. It's not just the tiny time improvements at Pacific Grove that have me feeling so epic either. This year my life has improved pretty much overall - from meeting life-long friends, to visiting new places with old friends, to taking on a new job, and finding a new gym. Geez.
Now what do I do?