Here is how the race played out: 10-minutes from the park (20-minutes from home) I discover that I have forgotten my bike helmet. Which normally wouldn't bother me any other day except that I was participating in a race and would be disqualified if I didn't wear a helmet. So after a quick prayer, we were gently guided to the right exit which just so happens to have one of the three Walmarts in the whole metro Portland area. And it was open! So I ran in and begrudgingly paid the $25 for the needed helmet.
There were a line of cars about a half-mile long waiting to get into the park about 30-minutes before start. So in order to be at the start line on time I took my bicycle out of the bed of Wyatt's truck, hopped on, and rode into the park. And already at that point I had one bicyclist pass me. This is what I like to call "foreshadowing".
I organize all my gear at the transition station, throw on my wetsuit and get to the start-line at the same time the first wave starts. Finally it's my wave's (women 25-29 years) turn to go. I strategically place myself on the side closest to the shore at the back. I knew the swim was going to be hard but I really had no idea. Seriously, 2-minutes into it I had the thought in my head, "what were you thinking?" and "I don't know how I'm going to swim a half-mile". It was NOTHING like swimming my half-mile in the pool. Most noticeably there weren't any lines painted on the bottom of the lake. Which is a nice segway into this video:
Yep, that's me cutting across all those swimmers. Imagine my surprise when I finally did stop to see where I was and found no one in front of me and everyone behind me. Wyatt said he was going to yell "you're going the wrong way!" until the lady next to him said aloud, "what is that women doing cutting across all those swimmers?" He made no indication that he was related to me... :)
Next was the 12-mile bike ride. In a nutshell it was 12-miles of seeing the backsides of fellow contestants as they raced pass me on their road bikes. Did I mention I had the crazy idea that I really could do it on my bulky mountain bike? The worst part is that everyone had their age written on the back of their left calf, so I saw the last little bit from my age group pass me, plus the 30-year-olds, then the 40-year-olds, then the 50-year-olds...you get the picture. And yes, there were some 60-year-olds passing me by too. At one point one passer-byer suggested I raise my seat two inches and I would find better results. I didn't take his advise, not because I didn't believe him but because I was already lagging and didn't want to take the time to fuss with adjusting the seat height of my bike. I think the frustrating part was I was peddling just as hard as the people passing me up. I knew I was because I was measuring my revolutions against theirs and it was the same. I was just driving a suburban and they were driving a fancy sports car.
Last was the 3-mile run. FINALLY something I knew how to do! Sure my legs felt like jello at first but it felt so familiar it didn't seem to phase me. This time I was the one who did all the passing - where's your bike now?! I am pleased with the run and even feel like I could've shaved off another minute or two. I was in my element.
Here's the deal. Comparing my results to myself I did quite well. Especially for only swimming maybe a total of 5-hours before the event took place. Compared to everyone else, I think there is room for improvement. Wyatt thinks had I used a road bike I could've shaved off 10-minutes. I don't know if I could lose that many but perhaps a few.
And the results are...
Total Race Participants - 609
Total Division Participants (women ages 25-29) - 47
Race Ranking - 461/609
Overall Division Ranking (1:42:05) - 33/47
Swim Division Ranking (21:55) - 42/47
Bike Division Ranking (48:18) - 44/47
Run Division Ranking (26:19) - 13/47
Yeah, I think I'm going to stick with running races...