I had warmed up by riding 4 miles over to the race and running a mile, and I topped it off with a very short warm up swim. I looked like an actual swimmer. Feeling good, I lined up near the front and quickly got away from the main group and right on a lady's feet. I weaved around a bit but stayed right with her through probably three quarters of the way back. That's quite an accomplishment for me! I came out of the water around 6-7th female. This was my first open water swim with the Garmin, and upon analysis, I found that I actually swam about 660 yards, and averaged about 1:30 per 100. This, for me, and for swimming about 3000 yards every 10 days or so, is outstanding. Sad, isn't it, that I would get so excited about it?
And that was pretty much the highlight of my race. I did have a longish transition since I had to extract myself from that tight suit and then find my helmet that somebody had knocked around. The bike went something like this, minus all the team cars:
At least it went like that in my mind. I never actually threw my bike, nor did I lie down in the grass. I might as well have, since I'm not sure I have actually ever seen that low of an average pace since I've had a bike computer (which has been for like the last decade and a half), except a couple of debacles on the Queen K. I'm not even going to write out that number. I know it's posted on the internet.
If I could call in some asterisks for these race results? Something was up with my bike. Jeremy said my brake was obviously rubbing. Maybe a little. The real problem seemed to be that my chain could not manage to agree with my cassette, and I was constantly trying to adjust my front derailleur to stop the grinding that was going on. At least, in between the changing of gears. Good grief, the rollers. It could just be that I'm terrible at hills. For 13.5 miles we climbed somewhere around 1000ft. Ug. Just when I'd convinced myself that it was equipment failure that killed my race, somebody posted this article with a guy setting records on a bald rim, entitled Remember That Equipment Excuse You Used This Weekend? Thanks for that.
Deflated from being passed by so many women on the bike, I tried to forget what had just happened and think about running. The rolling hills on the run are just my style. I loved them, despite walking up two short steep ones. And I had to, because that nasty cough that Hunter had? Yeah I got it 3 days before the race. There was no going even slightly anaerobic. I passed several women, and was coming up on one that looked just like me from a distance (the swinging ponytail, white top, kicking out legs), right as I was getting to the last steep hill. After that was a turn into the finish area, where we went around transition in a series of sharp turns, then to the line. The last hill left me coughing a bit, and a guy running out of T2 made me swerve, and I didn't catch her. If I'd known she was second place, then surely I could've closed those 4 seconds. The OA female had been minutes ahead of us, and even though I outran all the girls, there was no making up that much time from the bike.
So. Now I'm definitely not swimming more than once a week, and I may stop riding altogether, since that doesn't seem to work out either. There is a fast 5k on the 4th I may suffer through, as long as I can get some running in. I have gotten closer to figuring out my hip problems, although I'm starting to be increasingly sad about what those problems may be. I'm headed back to the doctor next week for a test that will hopefully rule out where the pain is coming from. Fingers crossed.