As I was thinking about yesterday's race, I realized there were several things that happened for the first time:
1) First race since the distaster at Ironman Louisville--it felt really good to start and finish a race.
2) First race of 2009 season. Didn't know if I would race at all this year.
3) First race--EVER--without contacts. I did my first race in 1985, and have never not worn my contacts. I am really blind, so I need glasses/contacts to see. I used inexpensive prescription goggles, and it was a very short run to my bike out of the pool. It worked out really well.
4) First race driving the CRV. We've always taken the Town & Country, mostly because we can fit my bike and all my junk and four people. Since the car needs new tires and we still don't know why it sometimes won't start and the 'Check Engine' light comes on, I decided to see if I could fit my bike in the CRV. It works OK--it's a tight fit, and only two people can ride in the car. Since the kids stayed home and really aren't interested in watching me race anymore, it was a wise decision.
5) First time I drove home after racing. Jerry usually does all the driving. But he worked much later than planned Saturday morning, and only slept 1.5 hours, so it only seemed fair for me to drive home--it was only about 1:45 drive and I was fine after a sprint.
6) First time I messed up on the course. It's a long story, but I was an idiot. I thought I was done when I still had more to do (we had to run past the finish line and do part of another loop before the end). Jerry told me I wasn't done, so after I went through the chute and turned in the tag on my number (not a chip timed race), I kept going. I was upset because it cost me about 1-2 minutes, but it really didn't matter in the end. Jerry retrieved my number from the spindle and handed it to me before I crossed the finish line. I should have listened to him--he's ALWAYS right about that stuff. I felt like such an idiot.
7) First time doing this race. It was the first time this race was held in this particular venue, but it was a rebirth of the Rockton Tri, so I don't know if that counts or not. In any case, I don't think I've done a tri in that area before.
8) First time since 1991 I swam in an indoor pool as part of an outdoor triathlon. The Schaumburg race is in a pool, but it's an outside, 50 meter pool. This pool was 25 yards long. I have to say I really enjoyed the swim. Each athlete started 20 seconds apart, and I did a good job seeding myself. I guessed it would take me 7:15 to swim 350 yards, and my time was 6:49. I was happy!
9) First time I've been up at 4 a.m. since Louisville. Nuf said.
10) First time I raced with my disc wheel since 2007.
11) First time in a long time (only the 2nd race ever) the race didn't provide bathing caps. At least at this race they weren't required (in a pool swim, not necessary--but since I always swim with one, I remembered to bring my own). One race I did caps were required but not provided. What a mess. Now they provide caps.
And...I finished first in my age group. I know there were at least three of us, because they gave three awards for women 50-54. The race director said there were about 144 people racing. Jerry tells me I finished 6th overall female (according to results posted at the race), 19th fastest overall bike time, and 39th overall finisher.
Jerry said my swim time was right about in the middle of the pack, which makes sense. We won't talk about my run. I thought I was running faster than my actual pace. Suffice to say it felt like the longest 3 mile run ever. I think because I usually run longer, I thought 3 miles would feel short. Not so much. It was getting warm, and I really pushed the bike--averaged about 20 mph on a course I thought was mildly challenging. Many of the racers (including the director) thought it was a really tough, hilly course. I didn't really think so. I loved it.
I'm probably forgetting some other "firsts" I was thinking about....
I was chatting with the winner of the 30-34 men's age group. He is a veteran ironman finisher. He did Louisville the first year, said he probably won't go back. Not only was the air hot, but he commented on how warm the water was too. Yeah, I remember. He encouraged me to go up to Wisconsin and sign up for 2010--don't think I'm ready for that on so many levels! I'm going to stick to my sprint and olympic races and worry about next year later.
Happy Father's Day to all. Hope you're having a great day!
Tracking a friend at Coeur d'Alene...glad it's not me!
Until next time--God bless!