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Loving to Tri

You Go Girl! Race Report

It’s been more than a week, and I’m finally getting a chance to write a report about my most recent triathlon experience. On Sunday July 20, I did the You Go Girl! triathlon, and it was freakin’ awesome! Over 130 women got up at the crack of dawn and headed over to the Life Center at the Greenville Health System. Even though it’s late July, it was chilly at 5:45 (when I arrived at the site). We’re talking in the 60s! Luckily, I had a jacket with me.
If you read my goal post, you know I had a few essential goals: don’t drown, don’t crash, and don’t get lost. Check for all three! You also know that I set some time goals for how I could do, if I was having a great day. It must have been a pretty awesome day, because I smashed all of those goals!

The triathlon started with a 250-yard pool swim. All of us had submitted swim times, so in theory we were seeded in order from fastest to slowest. We all lined up by the side of the pool in order – I was #32.
Here I am (at the far right of the pic) waiting in line. No clue what I’m pointing at…

There I am on the right, just to the left of the first blue flag, talking to a very inspiring athlete.

While I was waiting my turn to jump in the pool, I had a chance to chat with #5. What an inspiration! She might not look like a stereotypical triathlete, but she is amazing! She has non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is in remission. So far, she has done three Team in Training events, including a full marathon and a triathlon. Stories like hers really inspire me as I work on my fundraising and training for the Nation’s Triathlon. Just a quick plug for my fundraising effort: you can donate here. Any amount would be greatly appreciated!
Back to the race – Eventually, it was my turn to jump in the pool. Like in the Caine Halter Triathlon, we had to snake our way up and down the pool. During the 250-yards, I passed three people! Once we got out of the pool, we had to run out the doors (this was an indoor pool), up a little hill, down a long path, and across a parking lot to get to transition. My goal for the swim (including the run to transition) was 6:30. I managed to do it in 6:06! I was 4th in my age group!
T1 has been a problem for me in the past two triathlons that I’ve done. Somehow I just seem to space out and forget that there’s still a bike ride and a run to do. For this race, I set a goal of 1:45. I managed to do it in 1:32 (even after putting my left sock on upside down and having to take it off and put it back on). Seriously, I’ve been putting on my own socks for a good number of years now. You would think I could do it with no problem by now…
I’m super-focused as I search for my bike in the transition area – not easy to do when I don’t have my glasses on.

The 10-mile bike course took us down Faris Rd., Old Piedmont Highway, and Grove Road. Definitely not the most scenic course in the history of triathlons! It was, however, very well marked and well manned with volunteers who pointed out which way to go. The police were at each major intersection so we could pass through without stopping – a great benefit since the lanes weren’t blocked off from traffic.
Headed out on the bike course. I think I was trying to smile, but my face wasn’t cooperating.

I had set a goal for an average of 15 mph on the bike. I ended up with a time of 34:51, which puts me at a 17.2 mph average! I had no clue I could ride a bike that fast! This time got me a tie for 5thplace in my age group on the bike.
Historically, T2 has been less of a problem for me than T1, but I still wanted to improve my transition time for this race. I had set a goal of 1:15, and I got it done in 1:00! I still need to get faster though – this 1:00 transition was actually 16th place in my age group.
The run course for this triathlon was a loop that we had to do twice. The loop went through a bunch of doctor’s office buildings, by a couple of houses, and through a parking lot. Like the bike course, it was definitely not scenic!
Starting the run. I’ve got my trusty Gu gel clutched tightly in my right hand.

Because it was a 2-loop course, we got a chance to see a lot of the athletes who were in front of us and behind us. Not too long after starting, I got passed by a super-speedy girl who was on her second lap. Then, when I was on my second lap, I managed to pass a couple other women.
With all the hills, this was definitely not an easy run course. At times, my legs wanted me to slow down, but based on my recent training, I knew my legs could hold out. With a little coaxing, I even managed to speed up on the second lap and finish strong!
I’m definitely breathing hard as I approach the finish. Form looks pretty decent, though.

Before the race, I thought that if I was having a perfect day, I could hold a 9:30 pace for the 2.5 miles. My official run time was 21:48, for an 8:43 pace!
The whole event took me 1:05:15, 8 minutes faster than my goal! I got 6th in my age group (out of 21) and 18thoverall (out of 133). Best of all, I got to race alongside such amazing women as the cancer survivor who wore bib #5! 
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