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So, I am definitely happy with the improvement. However, you know how I feel about 2nd place. There's still work to be done.
Here's how it went...
I got there plenty early and picked out a pretty good transition spot. I found all my friends, including Justin C., who was doing this race for the first time, and Tim G. - my super-fast marathon running friend who pushes me to run faster. This would be Tim's first triathlon ever. So after getting set up, body marked, and finding out that wetsuits would not be legal (first time in many, many years for this race), we headed down to the beach area and got ready to go.
There was definitely no need for a wetsuit in this race. The water was very comfortable and would have been too hot with one on. I took off when it came my turn and felt pretty good. I concentrated on long, smooth strokes, and I probably sighted better in this race than I ever had. I was right on top of each buoy, and I was outta the water in 17:49. Yeah baby! That's over two minutes faster than last year.
I ran outta T-1 and up the hill talking to The Flash. I told him it was my best swim ever there, and I was so excited I completely ran by my bike and had to turn around and go back. T-1 Time:1:33. Still not too bad.
I hopped on the bike and took off. One of these days I am going to tell you how much I love my new bike, and I am going to name it, but not just yet. Everything was going great until about 4 miles into the bike. I was really grinding it out, so much so that I tucked my head in and decided to glance down at my feet as they were spinning. Problem was - there was something in the way. My boob was hanging halfway out of my sports bra!!!! Not all the way, now...not even enough that would be considered obscene if you know what I mean...but it was definitely protruding out in a way that I would normally not allow. So after a quick gasp I tucked it back in and went back to attacking my opposition. (Upon review of the Flash's photos, this damage was done in the water, and I trotted all the way through T-1 without a clue. Nice.) Mr. Lightspeed Guy and I battled each other the entire 16 miles. This was good for my bike time, and I told him so after about the 3rd time I passed him. We had some fun with it, and I know he must have thought I was crazy because the last time he passed me I was literally gasping for air. I love this sport. Bike Time:45:49. Almost 3 minutes faster than last year.
T-2 was quick as I again pulled my feet out of my shoes just before I got there. That is definitely the way to go. I am convinced it saves at least 8 seconds. T-2 Time: 00:45.
This is where things go awry. I considered grabbing a gel as I was slipping my running shoes on, but I decided against it in an effort to save unnecessary calories. Lesson learned - when it's 90 degrees and 80% humidity, don't try to save calories. I knew this, but I have to go back and relearn things sometimes. Needless to say, my legs were dead from hammering the bike and the water on the run course just wasn't enough to revive them. I ran the whole thing feeling dead and knowing that I was probably losing the ground I might have gained on the bike, but I just couldn't do anything about it. Run Time:32:52. Over 2 minutes slower than last year. That's not going to cut it.
Enough about me. This race was worth doing just to see all my tri-friends! Congrats to all my friends...
Tim G. - first ever triathlon and nailed it!
Justin C. - first time at Mach Tenn and did great!
Mike N. - PR'd the course
Chris C. - beat me. Dangit. My streak is over. Really though, Chris had a GREAT race, and after a bad experience at GCT, I am ecstatic to see him pull together an awesome race!
Charles P. - 1st Place AG
Chris P. - 3rd Place AG
Bob Alt - 1st Place AG (70-74) - he's a legend.
David S. - 1st triathlon and did awesome!
Patrick - he beat me too, dangit! Great job Patrick!
Becca V. - 1st overall female. HUGE congrats! She was smokin' out there!
Lynn M. - 3rd overall female. She is having an awesome year and kicking my butt!
Jere P. - 7th place AG!
Missy - 5th place AG and had an awesome swim time!
Dee - 10th place AG and 1st place party girl - had FREE BEER AT FINISH written on her calf - gotta love it!
Larkin and Katherine both placed in 1st in their age groups...but they almost always do! Congrats!
Tammy R. - 2nd place AG. I just met Tammy at the race - she is an awesome triathlete!
Kevin S. and his relay team - 1st place out of all relay teams!
Ryan S. and his relay team - 2nd place out of all relay teams!
Tom, of course. He couldn't compete, but he and Connie were there supporting every one and helping out.
Joe - Joe has been working out in California, but came back was there cheering us on!!
Michele - Out of town for a friend's birthday. Don't worry, though, she'll be back!
Leslie - Leslie is almost 6 months prego now and you'd barely know it. But as you would suspect, she was out there volunteering.
Stephanie - wearing a boot and can't run. Get well, Steph!
Ashley - Volunteering her time at a youth tri. Can't knock her for that!
Holly, Amy, Don, Eric, Kevin, Heather, and Lee - you guys better be doing this one next year!
So I'm standing around afterwards and I hear "Hey Blondie, do you write a blog?" And I'm like, "Yes, have you seen it?" And I proceed to carry on a conversation with this guy named Chris Pastina and his friend Bill who has done IMFL before. Way cool!
Later, at the food tent, another guy comes up and recognizes me from my blog. How cool is that?
This is a really great race. Big thanks to the Mach Tenn Running Club, and especially Melissa, Al, Denny and Joanne, who all work their @sses off to make the best triathlon in Middle Tennessee.
Now, more pictures for your enjoyment: