Ah…a race that is close to home. We made this a family affair. So we all got up at 5:45, got ready, and went to Tullahoma. My son gave me a lucky ladybug and Ronnie a lucky 7 of clubs.
It was overcast, perfect racing weather, and water temps were low enough to make wetsuits legal.
I saw Ashley, my swim coach, as soon as we pulled in; she parked right next to us. While getting my packet and body marking, I saw TriSonq and Tom.
This race does not have assigned bike racks so I was happy that I got one up close to the bike in/out. I set up my transition and Lana showed up. She got the spot next to me. Ronnie found the swimmer on his relay team and was introduced to the biker.
The Swim 0.6 miles
I was number 230 so I got to do a LOT of standing around on the beach waiting for my turn. I heard, “Oh my God” behind me. I recognized the voice and turned around. Sure enough, it was Laurie checking out the swim. We chatted for a while and she introduced me to some of her friends. Finally it was time for me to line up. I saw Ronnie and the kids sitting on the pier and waved to them. When I got to the start I realized I hadn’t reset my watch. The starter was really nice and she saw I was trying to get it reset and asked “Are you ready?” I gave her a panicked “No”. She told me to take my time and tell her when. So I got my watch reset and was off. I passed a bunch of people in the water and felt good the whole swim.
Swim time 20:11
Last years swim time 20:38. I am disappointed that I didn’t make more of an improvement. After all, I was wearing a wetsuit this year.
Coming out of the water it is an up hill climb to transition. My legs felt rubbery and it was hard to make them run.
T1 time 2:16
Last years T1 time 1:52
I am not surprised it took longer this year since I had to deal with the wetsuit removal.
The Bike 16 miles
This is where I hoped to make some improvement. I saw Holly just as I was mounting my bike and waved to her. The route is “rolling hills”. I have meant to get out there and ride prior to the race but just never made it. I did remember some it from last year. I picked someone in front of me and tried to catch them. Once I passed them, I would pick the next person. After a while, I saw a guy in a yellow jersey. I fought the remainder of the race to catch him. I got really close a few times but he always slipped away. I got passed my 3 people during the first 15 miles and then got passed by 2 more right at the end. One of those two was a female and 3 numbers higher then me. That one hurt.
Total Bike time 51:18
Last years bike time 54:20
I am happy with the 3 minute improvement here and hope that I can continue to shave time off.
I was shocked to see Ronnie in transition still waiting on his biker. I waved to him, changed shoes and was out. T2 time 1:07
Last years T2 time 1:18
The Run 4 miles
I didn’t think I was going to make it. This run is hilly, one hill after another. It took about half a mile to get my legs feeling right. During that time 233 passed me again. No catching her. Then I saw yellow jersey guy. We ran side by side most of the time. I told him how I had fought to catch him and he told me he has a problem killing himself on the bike and leaving nothing for the run. Great!!! I saw tons of people on the run heading back. Just before the turn around I saw Lana and she told me someone I wanted to beat was just ahead of me. I made the turn around, with yellow jersey guy. Up and down the hills. As we were climbing a hill yellow jersey guy says “Where the heck is mile 3?” I said maybe at the bottom of this hill. When we got to the top, we saw no mile marker ahead. We went down that hill and up the next. Then we saw the water station and mile maker 3 at the bottom. About then, I saw Ronnie starting his run. I finally made the turn onto the road that takes you to the finish. I got passed by several people here and tried to be like Lana but I just didn’t have that much left in the tank.
Total run time 31:59
Last years run time 31:55
I am impressed that I was able to run that fast this year. Last year I had just come off marathon training with speed work every week.
Total race time 1:46:49
Last years time 1:50:00
The results show me as 5th place out of 17 in my age group but I question the second place results. According to her results she ran 4 miles in 2:14. I don’t think that is possible. Therefore, I am unofficially moving myself up into 4th place. Still no hardware, but gives me that extra push for next year.
This race has one of the BEST post race parties. Ronnie, the kids, and I hung around until the very end. The kids played in the water catching frogs and tadpoles while Ronnie and I sat on the hill drinking free beer.