Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tri-It-On Triathlon!!

A last minute sign up for the Brett Robinson Alabama Coastal Tri-It-On Triathlon in Gulf Shores turned out to be a good thing!  Initially my three other training partners and I were considering this race, but it turned out that only Lesley had signed up.  I was on the fence about this one.  Logistically it was a little difficult.  I wanted Bill to go with me, we haven't had any beach time since NC.  But we had Phoenix and Bogey to consider..  this meant finding a "Pet Friendly" hotel in Gulf  Shores.  Our plan was to spend Friday and Saturday nights so we could leave the boys in the room for the race and then take them to the beach afterwards. 


We got to the hotel - it wasn't a very nice place.  A Days Inn with really bad customer service.  Change of plans...  one night and get the you know what out of Dodge. 


Lesley was racing the "Intermediate" distance race (this used to be known as an Olympic Distance, but not all of them are the same 1500, 40K, 10K so the name has been changed.)  She's getting ready for a Half Ironman distance race in Amelia Island in October. 

Lesley giving me a high five as she headed out on the 10K!

I'd raced Gator Bait a couple weeks before and didn't know how my knees would feel after that so I signed up for the super short Tri-It-On sprint distance race.  300yd swim, 10 mile bike, 2 mile run!  Oh fun... let's redline it for just under an hour.

Time trial start, I was the 17th in line of over 400 triathletes.  The line up was based on your predicted swim.  Had a great swim, it was straight out and back in the ocean with a run from the beach.  There was a little east to west current but I corrected for that.  On my way back in though, a girl on her way out had drifted into the oncoming returning swimmers and we ran into each other.  A quick run up to the beach to transition and it was off on the bike.

I had a bit of an issue on the bike when I was almost hit by a car.  A police officer waved a big black SUV onto the course and instead of moving along with traffic he drove diagonally from the intersection toward the condominium complex across the street - right in front of me.  I was screaming "STOP and NO!!!!" as loudly as I could but he kept moving.  I was braking but my bike just wasn't slowing fast enough.  I ended up in the parking lot for the condo complex when the SUV finally came to a stop right across the bike lane and his grill in the parking lot.  A little scary - my closest call with a vehicle on the bike.  Averaged 21.3 mph on the bike!

Made it back to transition only to find my towel soaked through. A lot of people had brought gallon jugs of water to rinse the sand off their feet and one apparently was up hill from me. Gross. On to the run - my plan here was to take it out gently and bring it back fast. It apparently worked - I negative split the run (a first for me in a race) and had a strong finish!  Really happy with my run - averaged 7:18 pace - I think this is a personal best for me.

I found Bill and we hung around and waited for results to be posted.  Had some breakfast that The Hangout provided and got my stuff out of transition.  Once they posted the results I found out that I finished first overall female!!!!  The next girl was almost 2 minutes back!  At the awards ceremony they called me and the men's winner over to say something to the crowd - can you say "mortified??"  Bill assured me that I didn't sound bad but I felt like a doofus!!

Then we went back to the hotel, loaded up the boys and drove down to Morgantown - close to the Dauphin Island Ferry.  The beaches are dog friendly there!  We set up our umbrella and beach chairs and spent a couple hours playing in the ocean with Phoenix and Bogey.  They have figured out that they love to hang out on the boogie boards floating!  They were so excited to be back on the beach and swimming in the ocean!  We've got to take them again soon!!!