The smell, you know, that I-eat-gators-for-breakfast smell, the whole place. Smelled like ... Victory.
But I was only spectating. Four of my tri club teammates were racing, two doing their first-ever triathlon.
In the first wave was one of the first-timers, a guy who I used to be faster than in swimming two months ago but he now can kick my butt in the pool. His 750m swim time, an incredible 12:24. Faster than my fastest 400m swim time in a tri. *Cry*
And fast on land too. So fast that every time I clicked my camera, he was already out of the frame. And the same for all but one of my teammates who I managed to get in the swim-to-bike transition. I don't know how the heck Dave gets any pictures of me racing!
But it sure was fun to be out there cheering for them (I'm the dork wearing the lei).
My fellow teammates all finished well with three of four placing in their age group categories. Being sorta one of the co-captains of the tri club, I felt like a proud mama.
Dave and I also went out for a bike ride last weekend, the first one together in *gasp* nearly two months. It was short (only 30 mi) but it felt so good to be spending quality time together on the roads, to feel the wind on my face, and to be back on Genie, my road bike, who has probably been wondering whether I still loved her having not ridden her much lately, my tri bike, Cali, too.
Man, how I miss riding and tri training. I thought I'd be happy to return to running marathons this year but the truth is I'm not. I want to be doing more with my tri club buddies and Dave, especially now that it's hot & humid again. Ick! Running long is really no fun when you're drenched after just one mile and would rather be doing something else.
So, I whined to my coach, who was also at the tri last weekend (with the biggest skateboard I've ever seen, nearly the size of a small surfboard!). And guess what?
He's going to let me finish my 50 states marathon quest this year but allow me to focus on tris after the Casper Marathon (WY) on June 6th. Woohoo!!!
But not half irons (1.2mi swim, 56mi bike, 13.1mi run), where I can rely on my endurance and a strong bike and run to pull me through. No, for me, that'd be too easy. Besides, my tri club buddies are focusing on short course tris, sprints and olys, so training for a half iron would still not allow me to do much with them.
So the decision: this summer I'll be gearing up for an Olympic tri. Big gulp!
My target race will the Health First Oly Tri (1.5k swim, ~43k mi bike, 10k run) on Oct 3, a race I've done twice before in 2006 & 2007 and have always stunk up the non-wetsuit legal swim and died a slow death on the hot run. To meet my goal of breaking 3 hours, I'll have to lop off 15+ minutes (!), which means a LOT more time spent swimming and doing shorter, faster bike and run workouts.
Who knows, I might even get faster running marathons (last year I ran a 3:38 in Fargo while focusing on tris). But the main thing is I'll have friends and Dave alongside me who will make training and racing a lot more fun. This is supposed to be a fun hobby, right?
As my brave new friend K told me recently, "The worst thing that could happen is that I'd throw up." And if I flop, well, I'll still have four marathons in the Fall as comfort food ;-)