The transitions for this race were 5 minutes each, which I knew would be tight for the swim to bike section as I had to get from pool to locker room, change, and then get to a different building for the bike section. I hustled out of the pool and ran to the locker room where I had my stuff laid out on a bench. The three other racers in my heat were all in the same area and were chatting as the dressed. I periodically checked my watch and announced how much time we had left. The other racers looked at me like “what’s the hurry?” and went back to chatting as they slowly and carefully combed their hair into ponytails.
I, with wet and uncombed hair, was the only racer in my heat to make it to the bikes within the 5 minute window. Take that skinny college girls! I win!
The bikes were positioned in the middle of the basketball court, with one at 12 o’clock , one at 3, one at 6 and one at 9. I chose the 6 o’clock bike and started going. I decided pretty early on to go hard on the bike section. I figured that I was for sure going to be last on the run (spoiler alert: I am so very right sometimes) so I’d try to beat at least one person on the bike section.
I spun and spun the peddles and moved the resistence up. I could feel the burn starting in the center of my thighs and radiating outwards. The bike section was also 15 minutes and I just kept reminding myself that I can handle discomfort for 15 minutes.
The thing that was a bit frustrating for a competitive fool like myself was that you couldn’t tell at all who was winning on the bikes. You could look at someone’s cadence, but not knowing what resistence they were using made it impossible to compare.
“90 seconds!” The race director yelled out the final warning.
I moved into the hurt zone. I could feel my heart pounding and sweat beads forming on my forehead, dripping down with the water from my hair onto my bike.
I looked at the monitor. Just under 4 miles. I had no sense of whether this was good or not.
We had 5 minutes to get upstairs to the 90 meter indoor track, which was plenty of time. I drank some water, stretched a little bit and then got in line to start the run. While we waited to start I learned that 2 of the 4 runners in my heat were on the school track team. I reminded myself that my main goal was to just run the whole 15 minutes. I settled in for 15 minutes of being lapped. Being a slow runner on a short track means getting passed on almost every lap, and I was.
I did 19 laps, so just over a mile, which I am fine with.
After the race I didn’t feel the euphoria I’ve felt after more challenging races, but I did feel satisfied and like I could say honestly “that was fun”.
So, big reveal: how did I do?
Swim: 700 meters in 15 minutes, 5th place for women
Bike: 3.65 miles in 15 minutes , 2nd place for women (hence why my brother, the cyclist of our family would be proud. I did better on the bike than the swim. Never thought I’d ever say that!)
Run: 19 laps in 15 minutes, dead last place. No surprise there.
overall: 8th place out of 17. Not too shabby! actually this is my best finish yet. I’d totally do this one again next year.