Chasing Chicken Race Recap

I’m sorry for disappearing for so long! The race last weekend really took it out of me but I’m here with the race recap.

My mom and cousin Allison joined me for the race this past Sunday, which was a reverse format triathlon – run, bike, swim. I was apprehensive but race morning I was so happy not to be swimming first.

I started off the morning at 530 so I could shave and get ready. Yes I shave before races and wake up early to do so. I don’t think it makes me faster but it makes me feel good and starts the morning off right. I ate my two pieces of bread with peanut butter and washed it down with water. Then the Beast and I drove about 30 minutes to the race location, jamming in the car the whole way.

We ended up arriving at the same time as mom and Allison so we headed to setup together. Setting up transition took about 15 minutes then we just had to wait for the start at 8. I used the bathroom approximately three times and kept going until the start pretty much.

The men started first then at 8:10 Allison and I went off. Mom was after us for the final wave. I wasn’t sure how to pace the run with two disciplines afterwards but I just did what was comfortable. The course has some nice steady inclines but I just kept going and chugging along. I ended up doing the 5k close to my PR at 29:54.

Transition one was such a flurry of limbs and putting on bike shoes and going I didn’t notice it.

Then began the bike. I was worried about the first half because it’s kind of a windy back road. I shouldn’t have been worried about that part. I cruised through the first six miles and was doing amazing. I didn’t even feel cold although my red thighs told me it was pretty chilly.

The second half was miserable. I knew there were rolling hills but I wasn’t prepared for this. I know they always say what goes up must come down. But not this course. For every bit of up then was much less of a down so it felt like it was just up up up. And unfortunately I wasn’t prepared for it so my right hip flexor started tensing up and the last two miles I was almost in tears. I just kept going because I knew I could do it.

On the way I also passed this man who is a Richmond legend, Gene White, who at 81 years old still competes in triathlons. A car had blown through two cop cars at an intersection to hit his back tire. Luckily he ended up only bruised with no broken bones. I have never been so relieved in my life.

I finally finished the uphill battle of the bike in 53:51. I know I can do better next time, just need more hill practice.

Transition two was even more a flurry. So much so that I didn’t take off my socks. Yep. I wore them down to the pool. Oh and I wore them in the pool.

The swim was easily the worst. I could only think of breathing. There was nothing else to think of. There were also two people who were behind me and then I let go ahead because they were chomping at my heels. But once I let them go past they lost their speed. One girl even stopped in the middle of the pool. I was furious. So my swim time was much slower than I expected and I want to crush it next race. 8:13.

I rolled onto the finish mat and completed the first triathlon of the season. I felt relieved and anxious and thrilled. I knew it wasn’t my A goals but I did do much better than last year and so I am very pleased. I looked forward to seeing my final time and ranking.

Then the drama started.

I found Allison’s time (second in her age group!) and my moms. I knew I was somewhere in between but I couldn’t find my number. Then the panic set in. My mom is friends with the race director so we went to talk to her. She talked to the timing guys and I heard over the walkie talkie “she didn’t cross the finishing mat”. I was crushed. She sent me down to the pool to see them.

I walked out of the building to go find them and couldn’t hold back the tears. I tried so hard and I was so proud of myself so I wanted an official finish. This wasn’t even something I thought could happen. Mom, the Beast, and I hurried down to the pool and fished my disposable timing chip out of the trash (thankfully sitting at the top). We found the guy and thank goodness the Beast took a photo of me and the clock as I finished (even though he almost didn’t because his camera was fogging up so much). The timing guy used the picture to verify my time and then I had officially finished.

I have never been so relieved to be 7th in my age group.

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