We had a blast at the Stoneman Triathlon in Springfield, IL on Saturday. Set by beautiful Lake Springfield, the swim began at 8:30 a.m. as the hazy, humid sun began to take over. It was a 500 yard out-and-back swim. Everyone was very nice. There was definitely a lot of kicking and hitting as we swam into each other in the murky water but also a lot of "oops" and "I'm sorries" which made it very sportsmanlike. After swallowing a lot of lake water and running into a bunch of people, I found my groove and just swam. It was fun--I didn't miss the chlorine at all.
After emerging from the lake, I slowly trotted up the bank to the transition area, huffing and puffing. I think T1 is underestimated--I always have a hard time adjusting. I was disoriented and dizzy but I had no problem locating my bike since the woman next to me had tied a large butterfly balloon to the rack. I headed for the butterfly, ripped off my goggles and swimming cap, fastened my helmet, and put on my sunglasses, number, socks, and shoes, and trotted off to the road. I took my time and carefully clipped in (usually I end up missing and banging my shins against the pedals, leaving a nasty bruise), knowing that I was still slippery from the lake.
The bike was an out-and-back 12 mile course---mostly flat with a few rolling hills. After a screaming stitch in my side subsided, two miles into it, I found my pace and got comfortable. I passed some people, which was awesome. I have definitely improved on the bike thanks to the trainer. I averaged 17.2 mph (Jason did 18 mph--go him!) and was very happy. Normally, the mean-lean-big-assed female cyclists tear past me and leave me in the dust (I don't know m*a=F?), but this time, I hung on.
We all reached T2 about the same time. I threw on my shoes and took off, tearing past all the big-assed women that passed me on the bike. Their advantage on the bike was a bigger disadvantage on the run. The first mile-and-a-half of the run was nothing but painful. That's it. Pain. Stitch in my side, my stomach, cramps in my legs, my feet. I just focused on moving; keep moving forward. At the turn-around, I hit my stride and zoned out...finally. I finished strong, managing an 8:30 min/mile pace on average.
I finished in a total of 1:18:38--I was very happy. I had just been out for a good workout and a good time, and I got it all! It was great! I may feel like I've been hit by a truck today, but it was great. I'd do it again.