This morning I was fortunate enough to have been able to race in the Adventure Gallup Triathlon. If you've followed along, I signed up for the race only 4 days in advance and almost didn't make it due to some personal logistical issues.
It's only a sprint, but the race venue is at 6600 ft above sea level. That's high altitude even to us folks who already live a mile above sea level. Also, there are hills-a-plenty on the bike and the-hill-that-would-not-end on the run.
Yikes!! What had I gotten myself into?!?!
My friend (same one that went to Lubbock with me) and I arrived in Gallup at 6:45pm or so on Friday night. My daughter came along. We checked into the hotel, picked up race packets, drove the bike and run course, had a bite to eat, then back to the hotel for sleep.
First impressions as we drived the course: Um....that bike course is really hilly. And there is road construction debris everywhere. Where are we supposed to ride?!?! And what is up with the hill on the run?
Morning came quickly and we were off. Daughter thought about coming along to cheer us on and take photos, but when we were ready to leave at 5:30am, she opted for more sleep. Can't say that I blame her.
Racked my bike, and was greeted by Misty; I had racked right next to her. It was nice to see a familiar face. :)
Checked out the pool. It was to be a 375 pool swim. Up and back in each lane, then over serpentine style, working our way to the exit. They seeded us by estimated swim time. I had submitted 8:40 as my conservative estimate. After the past few swims, conservative seemed the way to go.
I was really nervous and the event was postponed 30mins or so as they waited for EMS to arrive. Finally the first swimmers were off. WoooooHooooo.
We were instructed to pass at the wall due to the way we had to navigate the pool. By the middle of the second lane, I was right on the heels of the woman in front of me and had to slow down rather than pass. I passed her at the wall and then just swam my own pace the rest of the way. My swim split including getting out and over the mat was just over 8mins. Yesssssss!!! I think I could even have come in under 8 if I could have passed earlier. But, coming in way under my estimate was enough for me to count it as redeeming myself in the water. Goal 1 accomplished!
T1 was rather uneventful. I think I cleared it in 01:02 or something like that.
Then to the bike. Right off the bat the road was bumpy and uphill and I hadn't gone a half mile before the little yellow poofy think in my aerobottle bounced out. Crud! Stoppped and laid down my bike, ran back to get it, then back off I went. And the bike just got worse after that. Up and up and up and bumpy and rough road and road construction debris and nowhere really to ride comfortably. In my mind, some parts were just plain scary. It was an out and back and at least back was better than out. Finally that was done. Bike split too disgusting to post. But I did manage to stay upright the whole time. We'll count that as a check mark in the Dont Get Hurt category. Another positive...never used my aero bars, but loved the aero bottle (other than the yellow poofy thing bouncing out).
Into T2. Racked bike, took off helmet and sunglasses. Took off bike shoes. Took off right sock. Crud! What am I doing? Put right sock back on. Put on running shoes. Watched rack fall down when someone else came in to rack bike. Grabbed my race belt and hat and took off. T2 time was something like 58 seconds.
First mile was okay, but I think it was slightly downhill. Then we came upon the-hill-that-would-not-end. Second mile, not so good. Got a really nice view for a bit as we started a slight downhill, then across the park, over the river, through the woods to grandmothers house we go...oops, i mean onto the track...and we're done. Run split...33-something. Ouch. My slowest in well over a year. Good think i didn't have a run goal this weekend. :)
This was the first year for this particular event and the race directors did a nice job. I'm really glad it worked out so that I could go. I feel so alive and refreshed when I do these things. There's so more to it than how long it takes to get to the finish line. This is a race I would do again.