My season was essentially over, with two small races to go. And then the e-mail two weeks ago from Jessica, with whom I travel to most of my races, which began...
Next thing I knew I was signed up for the Santa Barbara Long Course Triathlon. With less than two weeks until the race -- 1 mile swim, 34 mile hilly bike, and 10 mile run -- I knew I had the fitness base to do it, but also realized that this would not be an "A" race.
It is also late in the season. I find it harder and harder to get to the pool and go swim. So I haven't been to the pool lately, and my swim training has consisted of an ocean swim each week of no longer than one mile. Biking is always fun, and I've continued to ride hills. But as the fall approaches, I've focused more on my running to prepare for fall marathons. So my training for race day wasn't exactly ideal.
The swim was in ice-cold water. Halfway through, my hands and feet feeling like icicles, I just wanted to quit. I trudged through it and could not have been more glad to be running on the sand pulling my wetsuit off and heading to pick up my bike.
The bike was fairly hilly, but certainly not nearly as challenging as the hills of Wildflower earlier in the season. I dropped my bike chain about a mile into the ride. After what happened last year, there were a lot of people on the course cautioning us on the descents to be careful. My ride wasn't fabulous -- I got passed all over the place.
Lastly was the run. It was an out and back. The first two miles were flat, then miles 2-4 were all uphill. I love the run. For me it's the opposite of the bike. I get to pass people. On the entire run, I passed dozens of people, but only two passed me, and one was a man who I'll bet had a flat tire. My run time was pretty good -- 1 hr 31 min 30 seconds -- about 9:10 per mile.
My finishing time was 4 hours 31 min 31 seconds. 33 out of 47 in my age group.
One more triathlon, or maybe two, I may be racing with a friend who is doing his first triathlon.