Last year I referred to this race as "tri-ing times" because I'd used it only as a measure to get the season started. This year I actually trained for it. This year I cycled and swam twice as much as last year. This year the weather was glorious. This year I was determined to have a slightly better time. It wasn't until hours after the race that I got a text message from a friend with all of my times . . .
Lake Berryessa felt like a freakin' spa this year. 62 degrees instead of 54. I laughed at the people who said the water was "so cold." The swim worried me a little because I hadn't swum in open water but one time, but I had been working on some serious speed (for me) in the pool. It seemed like a pretty typical swim for me: I couldn't see the first buoy so I swam a little out of the way, I questioned my existence on earth, I swallowed too much water. . .
Swim course: 1500 meters - 2013: 36 minutes, 45 seconds. (4+ minutes better than last year!)
I didn't have to really decide what to wear on the bike because the outside air temperature was in the 60's. I just whipped off the wet suit, and changed into socks, shoes, gloves and a helmet. Last year I was in this transition for over 6 minutes, wondering, "What to wear?!" I can be such a girl.
Swim to Bike Transition: 2 minutes, 57 seconds.
I was prepared for the hills this year. I had climbed Metcalf, dangnabit, (!) and had worked up to 60 mile rides. I convinced myself that 25 miles was child's play. I noticed that there were more people than last year, which I attributed to the event being more popular. Really, I had just swum faster and was now in a group of faster people on the bike. This probably pushed my bike time too because I tried to catch each person in front of me as best I could. I "chicked some dudes" as someone explained to me recently. A new phrase to me. I guess this is a more exemplary term on the bike, since cycling tends to be more of a "dude" sport. There was a guy on a really expensive Cervelo tri bike that tried so hard to keep up with me -- yeah, I "chicked" him.
Bike course: 24.8 miles - 1 hour, 23 minutes, 52 seconds.
I don't remember much about transition #2 except realizing that my feet were cold.
Bike to Run Transition: 1 minute, 48 seconds.
Wow there is really nothing like running after you get off of a bike. It doesn't feel that great. It was nice to be upright, but dang, my calves were killing me. It does get better after a few miles though. This run course is pretty hilly. There was a woman in front of me on the bike course that I was hoping to pass on the run, but she was very consistent. I kept her in view though. Just. Can't. Run. Any. Faster.
Run time: 6.2 miles - 52 minutes, 19 seconds.
2012 total time: 3 hours, 22 minutes, 12 seconds.
2013 total time: 2 hours, 57 minutes, 44 seconds.
Or if you like the gobbly-gook version: 00:36:45.851 - 00:02:57.483 - 01:23:52.568 - 00:01:48.234 - 00:52:19.969 - 02:57:44.105
So, holy guacamole my time was almost 25 minutes better than last year. It certainly did not feel that way, and I wasn't wearing a watch, so I had no idea of how much time had passed. It still felt like a hard 3 hours of work and lovely scenery. I noticed more people on the course, which I attributed only to the event's grown popularity - really, I was just further ahead.
I had a few takeaways from this event: #1 - If you swim faster, you don't have to work as hard to catch up. #2 - Don't be intimidated by people's expensive bike or gear. It don't mean a thing. #3 - I need to work on bike to run transitions.