Saturday was my last triathlon of the season, and I have to say I am quite distraught! :( I had no idea that I would enjoy triathlons so much!!! This triathlon was in Lake Geneva, and originally it was going to be my first triathlon ever. My cousin and I were going to do it together, but once I joined the VCS Tri Team, I was quickly encouraged to have more than one race on my tri radar for the season, and I am SO glad I did. My first one, the Naperville Women's Tri (which is a perfect first tri for any woman getting into Tris), followed by the Chicago Triathlon 2 weeks ago and then Lake Geneva on Saturday.
After doing the Chicago Triathlon I very seriously contemplated going backwards and going back down to the Sprint distance, as opposed to doing another Olympic Distance. But it just didn't seem right to do that, so I signed up for the Olympic, knowing that I could atleast complete it, even if I didn't get close to my time goal! The weather forcast all week long predicted rain and Thunderstorms and I kept my fingers crossed hoping that the Weathermen were all wrong. So on Friday my Dad (who also raced), my brother (who was a great spectator) and I all made the trek up to Lake Geneva and met up with my Cousin Michael, his wife and their adorable Baby. We went to the Expo, which is probably the smallest "expo" I have ever been to, we listened to the Course talk and at no point did they even discuss the horrible weather our way, kind of odd... Then we went back to my grandparents cottage in Pell Lake to spend the night rather than coming back to Chicago or getting a Hotel room. I was definitely in semi-panic mode because it wasn't even 70 degrees on Friday, it was windy and overcast... the storm was on it's way!
Saturday morning, of course came WAY earlier than I ever like, but that's how these races go! We made our way over to transition at about 5am. We were standing in line waiting to get into transition and get our body markings when it started pouring rain! NOOOO.... Of course the Sharpie markers do not work in the rain, so we didn't even end up getting our body markings, so instead we were told "Just don't loose any body parts!" Ha! I certainly didn't plan to!
We quickly ran into transition and threw on some rain gear to try and stay as dry as possible. At this point I am already shivering and my teeth are chattering! Great...already a bad omen since I didn't have a wetsuit. Thankfully it only poured for a little bit. It was getting close to the start time, so my cousin and I who were doing the Olympic distance quickly got ready and bid goodbye to my Dad (he registered for the Supersprint and was going to do the Supersprint swim and then join me and do the Olympic Bike and Run with me) and my Cousin's friend who was doing the Sprint distance.
I think I could count on one hand the number of people that weren't in wetsuits, of course I was one of them! So I gritted my teeth and prepared to enter the water! HOLY COW! The water was way warmer than standing on the shore waiting to go in. I had a great swim and felt very strong, by the time I got back, my Dad was still standing in transition by our bikes with his poncho still on! I was shocked that he was already done and waiting for me... ohh but wait, he still hadn't even gone for a swim! So he decided to blow off the swim and head out on the bike with me. Thankfully it wasn't really raining at this point, just drizzling. My cousin showed up in transition about 2 minutes after I finished my swim.
Now anyone that knows me, knows that I am terrified of the bike, especially when it is slick out. All because of my wipeout a few months ago... boo! Within the first few miles, we had to cross train tracks, but by the time we had gotten there, someone had already wiped out and was laying on the side holding his head in the grass. They had called an ambulance and there was a nurse on a bike behind me, who hopped off to see if she could help at all. Because of this man's wipeout, they were making all of us dismount and walk over the tracks, I was fine with doing that! The rest of the bike course was really hilly and it never failed there was always a turn at the bottom of a downhill! Talk about tricky, considering our bikes were really wet and the breaks don't work so well when wet! My Dad LOVED the downhills and did whatever he could to really get going, I on the other had was a little more reserved... About 1 mile out, from transition, it started to downpour and I mean DOWNPOUR! Now naturally the last leg of the bike course is this really large downhill, under normal circumstances it would have been an awesome down hill... yeah not the case! At the bottom of the downhill, we had to turn into a single car lane to get into transition. No matter how hard I gripped my breaks, I wasn't slowing down, people are shouting for all of us to slow down. I wanted to shout right back and tell them to try it and then let me know how it goes for them, but I refrained! :) In order to avoid a crash at the bottom, I had to swerve into the other lane, where cars could technically be... but I survived! I do have to say, my wrists really hurt today and the only think I can think it that I was holding onto my bike so tightly thinking that the tighter I held on, the less likely I was to fall... I know, weird logic...
Then we got into transition, dropped off our bike and headed out on the run. The run was by far the hilliest course I have EVER run! It was crazy! There is one hill that they call "Killer Hill", umm... yeah I understand why it get's its name! But we survived the run... As a rule, I always sprint into the finish line, whatever that means at the end of any race! However, I failed to mention that to my Dad, and I just took off! My Dad, quickly matched my pace so that we were right there next to each other crossing the finish line! Right by the finish line, were members of my Tri team who cheered me on! I gave them a High Five and ran through the finish! Another successful triathlon completed!
My official time was 3:15:10, which means I shaved off 30 minutes from my Chicago Triathlon time! YAY!!! I'm pretty excited about that!