Sunday was the Finger Lakes Tri. I picked up my packet at Midtown Athletic Club on Friday afternoon. I got my Zipps on and my bike all ready to go on Saturday, and my transition bag all packed up. I woke up at 4:20 am Sunday morning, had a bowl of cereal, and Andy picked me up at 5:15. I wasn't planning on putting my bike on his roof rack because I didn't know if my wheels would fit, but they did, so I had to take off all the stuff that is normally on my bike. I broke a rubberband on my aerodrink so I couldn't use that in the race. I had to go back inside and get a different bottle for my rear bottle cage. Annoying, but oh well. We got to Canandaigua at about 6, and there were already a TON of people in transition. I found my row and racked my bike, Andy and I both got bodymarked, and he went off to try to find his Wegman's jersey. I walked down my row in transition and there were WAY better spots open at the end nearest the bike out (I guess people weren't filling in from that side? weird) so I moved my bike. I'm so glad I did because transition was really congested where I originally set up. It was freezing out and I didn't want to get in the water. I was going to jog a warmup but it was already after 7 and I knew transition was going to close soon so I skipped it, grabbed my wetsuit, and walked down to the swim start where I found Andy.
He went off in Wave 3, and I was in Wave 4. I was a little worried about him because he's never done an open water swim, but I figured he'd be ok. The swim start was a little crowded but it thinned out by the first buoy and I was just swimming against the current and getting some waves in the face. Not too bad though. The way back was much nicer, with the current! Swim was uneventful. The water was much warmer than I expected (maybe just because the air was so cold). My swim time was 29:03, which is almost 2 mins faster than last year. I think this also includes the ridiculous barefoot run on gravel from swim exit to transition which I HATE. Now that I look at the swim, I was 15th out of all the women which is better than I usually do - I'm normally a MOP swimmer. So that's good!
I had a quick T1 (1:27), 2nd fastest T1 for the women! 18th faster overall so apparently men are faster in T1 than women.. who knows! Andy beat me into transition (I must have almost caught him in the swim) and I was out of transition before him. He needs to practice!
At the bike mount line I was blinded by the sun and I heard Travis (I only figured out that it was Travis 5 mins after this happened) yelling about my new coach Mary and I got really confused. And then proceeded to almost fall on my ass trying to get on my bike because of the stupid water bottle and my slippery bike cleats! After that the bike went smoothly. I passed a lot of dudes (which is my favorite thing ever) and only one woman passed me right near the end. I decided not to push it and just waited to see if I could catch her on the run. I ate some of those GU Chomps on the bike and probably didn't drink as much as I should have due to my aerodrink not being there :(. My bike split (1:13:39) was actually slower this year by over a minute which is a little disappointing, but oh well.
Once again I had trouble getting off the bike (I'm usually a little dizzy at this point) and I'm clumsy. I racked my bike, took off my helmet, change into socks and shoes, and grabbed the rest of my stuff. I've found that my T2 has been sucky in the past, and I've been able to make it better by just grabbing all my shit - my hat, race # belt, Garmin (which I turn on during T1), and gels and getting all of that situated while I'm already running. It's annoying but it's made me a lot faster. I still stink at T2. I'm not very good at changing my shoes! T2 = 1:20.
Even though the bike is my favorite, I love the crowds and the cheering on the run. I saw Andy's family a bunch of times, I saw Andy's (and now mine also) friend Debbie who is probably the most enthusiastic person I know, and my parents were out there although I didn't hear them. I was determined to not let the run kill me like last year, so I tried to run conservatively - between 7:30 and 7:45 min/mile. I did pretty well with this. I had 1 gel that I "sipped" because I think gels are gross. I had a swallow of water at maybe 2 water stops. I kept expecting Andy to pass me on the run but he was too far behind me. He's a faster runner, but I'm a faster cyclist. I saw a bunch of people that I know on the course which is always exciting. I did end up passing the woman who passed me on the bike somewhere between miles 3 and 4. Normally I get passed on the run so this was nice! I finished feeling pretty good! My run split was 47:54, a good 4 mins faster than last year.
I ended up PRing by almost 5 minutes. My goals (I think I listed them in the previous post) were a top 10 finish (women), an AG award, and a PR. I hit all of my goals!! I think I was 9th place woman, 3rd in my AG, and I definitely PRed. So I am VERY happy!
I ended up beating Andy by 7 mins. He did great for his first tri! I know he had fun so I don't think it will be his last race. He needs to get faster in transition though!