|Swim start in front of the Boardwalk.|
|Hiding nervousness before the swim.|
|sea lions, doing it right on Sunday morning, while I swim.|
|Having a blast at the end of the bike.|
In T1, I had difficulty getting my wetsuit off because my fingers had gone numb. Eventually, I wriggled out of my wetsuit and into my bike shoes. I had to run up a long hill before mounting Torch but soon enough I was off and riding. Torch rode like a dream after his recent tune-up. I wound along Sea Cliff Drive and then onto the rollers on Highway 1. I had a blast. I felt strong from some recent climbs in the redwoods along the peninsula. The Bay Area is unbelievably hilly and it hasn't been taking much to increase my strength on the bike! It was a wonderful feeling to spin uphill and actually pass people. The 24 miles whipped by, and I was actually disappointed that the bike wasn't longer. It was, after all, very scenic with the ocean to the west. The rollers reminded me of Camp Pendleton. I was able to pull off about an 18 mph average.
Then, it was time for the 10K run. As I headed out of T2, I noticed two homeless people shooting heroin in the park. I guess we were all getting high in some sort of way. I nervously scanned the path for needles. Not too long prior, I had been running barefoot on the path next to them. I shuddered. I much prefer my endorphin high to theirs.
|feeling strong and relaxed on the run!|
I noticed my tempo was way too high to be sustainable. I was running off the bike too fast, about 8-minute miles. I've only been running about 15 miles/week so a 9 minute mile is good for me right now. I focused on slowing down and settling into a rhythm. I absorbed the sights around me, which isn't difficult to do in Santa Cruz. I stared at the glittering ocean to my left, watching the surfers, the sea lions, and the pelicans. The miles cruised by. I high-fived a smiling homeless man, who was cheering us on. I drank Gatorade and water at the aid stations. I felt like I was doing more of a speed workout, rather than racing. I was thoroughly enjoying myself. I urged people on that I passed and congratulated runners that passed me. I was happy. I was exactly at the right place at the right time and was in no hurry to be anywhere else. Soon, I was headed towards the finish line.
Midst a pack of runners, we all positively encouraged each other to "bring it home" and I could feel the adrenaline start surging through my veins about half a mile from the finish. My knees became weak and my legs became wobbly. I was frothing at the bit. I let myself go, trying to sprint towards the finish. It was a great fartlek, and I valiantly tried to pass the other runners in my pack. I wasn't successful but I pushed myself and burst strongly across the finish line. I felt amazing. I was honored to be among so many fit and talented athletes.
My average run time was about 9:30 minute/miles. Definitely room for improvement but also not too shabby. I was very content. Overall, I finished in about 3 hours and 9th in my AG. But none of that matters. I had an amazing time, felt relaxed, and finished strong. I recovered quickly and can't wait for the next one! The last triathlon of my 30s was a great one. I can't wait to bring in the first triathlon of my 40s on my birthday next month at the Marin Triathlon!