This past weekend was the Dallas Toyota Open, The Championship of the lifetime triathlon event series. I raced in the elite amateur division as a qualifier (from Chicago). As soon as I racked my bike, I saw the other girls I had raced against from the other Lifetime events ( I have also done Captex earlier in the year). The only reason I did this race was because I had the free entry into it, and I felt I had to show up. I did this race last year and absolutely hated it. It was chilly last year (I hate being cold), and its just a Hard, very Challenging, course (As a championship race should be). But to me, that equates to me hating it. haha
This year we were lucky enough to have even COLDER conditions, and a changed course from last year that made it even more Hilly and challenging.
Race start was a mere 47 degrees. I knew the swim was going to be the best part simply because it would be the warmest!!
My swim was so-so, I didnt really get moving until the last couple 100m, which was a little too late to get moving. I absolutely hate wearing a wetsuit and for some reason just cannot move in it. I swam 22 which is not terrible, but it left me 6th female out of the water and a not so good start.
Running into T1 was quiet the realm of emotions, freezing feet, wetsuit stuck, piercing cold air ~~~> All of The Joys of triathlon, #saidnooneever. After 3:30 in T1 (how embarassing) I finally got my jacket, gloves, and socks on and headed out to the monster hill that we had to mount on. Remembering what I learned from last year, I knew to have my bike in its lowest gear, and I actually mounted amazingly and zoomed right on out to the course.
The first couple miles on the bike were brutal. Adjusting to the wind, the hills, and just the freezing cold was hard. I am a warm weather kind of girl and its really hard to get your legs moving when they are turning purple. All the hills + plus the cold was a total knee (IT-BAND) killer!! At the turn around point you could finally start to see where you were and I knew that I just wasnt having the bike I normally do. Not gaining much ground, and getting colder by the moment. I tried to take my gu, but struggled to get the tape off with my gloves on. I tried again and finally got it, but again: wasted time. By the time I got back to T2 my feet were completely frozen and I have never been more ready to RUN! Since my hands were so frozen I couldnt get my straps off my shoes so I had to come to a complete stop and do a not-so "pro" dismount. I came to find out I biked a 1:07 which wasnt TOO bad, but also not my best. I thought I had lost alot more time on the bike, but it was again: so-so.
After ripping my helmet off my head (couldnt get the straps off) I headed out onto the run: Right up the T2 hill with ice bricks on my feet. Ouch. It. Hurt. The course was SUPER hilly and we had to do two inner loops in the neighborhood which happened to have mountains in it. Running up and down mountains with ice bricks on your feet is not a great feeling. For once, I didnt have any stomach problems and I actually felt pretty good, but I just couldnt move them frozen legs of mine!! The last mile was probably the fastest I have run in a while because I was finally de-thawing.
Down the final hill and straight Into the finishers chute I went. I finished 4th overall elite and only 30 seconds behind my teammate Grace who got to take the podium in 3rd. She did awesome!
I learned alot in this race and after reflecting on it, I really didnt have a terrible race, but I just wish I couldve defeated my mind a little more and battled the cold better. BUT I like to believe that what does not kill you, only makes you stronger...and this race certainly did that.
Thanks to all who came out to support me!! Looking forward to my next weekends race: Try Andys Tri, as I try to crush my ultimate sprint course record :D