Maybe I needed to use my new triathlon top more than once a year. Maybe Cecil wanted company. :-) So here I was, finding myself getting ready for the Blue Lake All-Women's Sprint Triathlon. By "getting ready", I meant locating the triathlon gear and packing my bag. Training? Not so much. Hadn't run OR swam since the Canby triathlon. The last time I was on this course, it was my very first sprint triathlon ever, back in 2003.
Packet pickup was the day before. I was attending Sock Summit at the Convention Center, so ducked out at lunch, caught a bus to Fit Right NW, collected my packet, and had a very nice visit with Marc F, a former co-worker who works there now. When he isn't running marathons. I think he runs one or two a month, at least. Then back to Sock Summit and lots of yarny and knitty goodness. But I digress.
Collected Cecil bright and early. We got there, got our numbers written on our calves (better to check out the competition during the event) set up our transition areas, and walked over to the lake to check out the swim course. Lots of colorful buoys out there, and we couldn't figure out WHAT was going on. Walked back for the pre-race briefing. The buoys were explained - we were swimming around the green ones. The third green one was waaaaaaay down the lake. 800m open water swim in murky Blue Lake. No wetsuit needed; the water temp was just right.
We ran into KRhea (Portland Velo cycling club prez) and Mrs. KRhea, doing her very first triathlon (the short intro one). Scoped out the competition (women in green swim caps). We decided our gooses were cooked; they all looked scary serious. Group by group we were herded into the start pen (no escape now!). Then into the water. Icky lake grass. KRhea was cheering us on.
Finally, we were swimming. I picked a spot to the outside of the mob; I do not like getting swum over. That swim took a very long time. I felt like I was swimming to Cuba. Finally, FINALLY, I was done, and trotted the very long way back to the transition area for the bike leg. Tried to dry off somewhat (maybe I shouldn't do that; wastes too much time), pulled on my sandals, gloves, glasses, and helmet, and I was off, trotting another long way to the bike course.
My bike leg was amazing. No one passed me. I passed all of them like they were standing still. Saw Cecil maybe 1/2 mile before the turnaround; she was, of course, already heading back. Sadly, I did not pass anyone in my age group. But it was still really, really amazing.
Back to the transition area, into my running shoes and cap, and off again. KRhea was standing there, and he very enthusiastically cheered me on for quite some time (he's got a big voice). Kept up a steady pace, and eventually saw Cecil heading the other way. Plunk plunk plunk plunk... I knew the return was not the same as the outbound route, so was not discouraged when we went the "wrong" way.
Finally, the finish! Yay! Cecil was waiting, and we went off to find snacks (there were roaming Jamba smoothie servers) and such. Found KRhea and Mrs. KRhea. She did really well.
Ate some food. For what they charge for this event, the food ought to be better. And parts of it ought to be vegan-friendly. Waited for results. Eventually we determined that we were both out of the hardware - me 4/11, 112/259. Not too bad. 49th place overall for the bike leg.
Rummaged around for my previous results on this course (athlinks.com will aggregate every result you ever had). Back in 2003, I trained - I ran, I swam, I biked. Did the course with the very same bike (it was brand new in 2003). 2011 - 3:39 faster! Yay me!
If there are pictures, I do not have any of them yet.