The Olympic distance race started at 7:30 am but the sprint didn't begin till 10. That gave us a lot of time to set up and sit around talking, until suddenly we realized it was 30 minutes to start time and raced around to warm up and use the restroom.
The 39 and under women's wave was first to go off. I lined up near the front and chatted with my new buddies there. Quick countdown from 10 and we were off!
2.17 miles later, I was back into transition, running around 4th in my AG.
I hurried through, with the 2nd fastest T1 in my AG and headed out on the 10 mile bike. I felt the best on the bike for the day and really pushed it as hard as I could. I averaged 13 watts higher than I did last year on this course!
My T2 was fastest in my AG. It's good to win something!
As expected for a duathlon, my legs didn't feel all that hot heading out on the 2nd 2.17 mile run - in fact my calf cramped right as I stepped out of transition. But I held it together and pushed as much as my lungs would let me to the finish. At the end you run back through transition to the finish line - I was just glad at this point to be done.
Of course the best part of racing is getting to see friends! My aunt raced the Olympic distance, while my uncle and cousin did the sprint. I got to race with Kristi for the first time since IM Canada. And of course best race buddies Mary and Meredith were there as well.
Kristi left before we could take the obligatory shot of all the ELF athletes in attendance but Mary and I got one for sure :) Mary had a HUGE PR over last year!
Despite not feeling 100%, I managed 2nd in my age group, one spot higher than last year (yes there were more than 2 of us (11 in fact) but 3rd didn't show up for awards). And this year I won booze (and an awesome plaque and warm knit hat)! I don't drink wine but I'll find someone that does (it also came with a free VIP tour of the winery). 1st place may have smoked me but when we went up to the stage, SHE didn't have the announcer look at her and say "wow, you must be mistaken for 20 all the time" so at least there's that...
Post-race recovery went pretty well as I wasn't able to shell myself enough to be super sore afterwards. Training was back to normal by the end of the week and my coughing has gradually diminished. You even get a bonus photo as I threw a local St Patrick's Day 10k into the middle of my long run on Sunday (I know the race director and wanted to support her event - besides, they gave out awesome technical tops and FREE BEER in the goody bags). I did NOT "race" it and let people in tutus and bare feet pass me early on in order to stay in my assigned heart rate zones and do my workout. Thankfully they didn't pace well, so I passed them later as I negative split the run. :-)