What a difference a month makes! Last month we froze our butts off doing the June Splash & Dash. This month it was sunny and 90 degrees out. Instead of putting our wetsuits on to stay warm while we waited for the start, we put them on so we could jump in the water and cool off! I opted to race in a swimsuit this time because it seemed like the cooler choice for the run. Nigel signed up for the race this time so I had someone to float around with while we waited.
Having learned a bit more about what I’m capable of, when it comes to swimming hard, at the 1 mile race a few weeks ago, I was determined to carry that over into the swim this time around. I think the new wetsuit has made a difference for me because my shoulders no longer hurt while swimming open water. So my goal was to draft the entire 2-loop swim and go as hard as I had to in order to stay on a pair of feet.
I’m thrilled to say I did it! I stayed in a pack for most of the first loop, trading off feet as needed but always surrounded by others. This turned out to be especially beneficial for one leg of the square course that put us swimming directly into the sun – I couldn’t see a buoy AT ALL! Instead of popping up to look for it, I just stayed on the feet of the pack and ended up swimming right to it. I literally never saw it till it was a hand’s length away, that’s how hidden it was in the sunlight. On the second loop, things became slightly more sparse so I stuck to drafting off the same 2 girls. At one point I was bumping with someone for my share of those feet and glanced over at her purple cap thinking “wouldn’t it be funny if this is Jill (a friend who’d asked me about my plan for the swim and drafting) I’m fighting with?” Lo and behold, I exit the swim after the 2nd loop and I see her heading out of transition, it WAS Jill!
In any event, the plan worked and my swim was 3 minutes faster than last month!
Transition also went much more smoothly as I asked Jeff to cut 2 inches off my wetsuit legs this week. They still extend to my ankles but now I’m able to get them over my heels without 2+ minutes of frustration because they are stuck. Knocked 30 seconds off transition right there.
And then it was off to the hard hilly 5k run, with my HR sky-high from the swim. As I headed down the first long hill and was just passing Jill, a passing car honked loudly and Jill laughed “well someone really likes your outfit.” I looked over to see it was actually Jeff, coming to see Nigel and me finish. I told her, “He’s married to me, he has to like it.”
I knew the course this time around, where to take the speed of the downhills and where the big SUCKY-STEEP climbs were. I still had to walk part of the 2 big climbs as my HR was around 197bpm, but I got through it. And though I was certain it was slower this time around, I ended my run 35 seconds faster than last month!
In the end it was a race PR of 4:26 over the same course last month – woohoo!
Happy at being done!
Next up is – EEEEK! – a 2.4 mi swim race. I’ve only done one of those once and it was followed by a long bike ride and a marathon :)