I finished my final race of the season yesterday - the Giant Acorn Sprint. I was coming off of Chicago, a week with a cold, and a total of an hour and a half of "training" in the week prior. Oh well! I was very relaxed, had zero pressure, and was ready to just have a good time!
We got SO lucky with the weather. The forecast called for rain...they didn't even bother to give a percentage chance...they just said RAIN. Fortunately at about 7:30 am on race day, the rain stopped, and we raced under cloudy skies but in cool and dry conditions that were nearly perfect for racing! (I did break out my fleece hat for the chilly morning air and I had just shed two jackets.)
The water was in the low 70's which was a nice change from the low 60's of my last few races. I actually got hot in my wetsuit.
I had a good-for-me swim and noticed there were not too many from my wave (the over 40's) ahead of me. It turned out there were seven ahead of me, fewer than usual. I could tell in the swim that my head was in a good happy place.
In transition I had trouble buckling my helmet strap. I'm realizing now, looking at its position on my head, that it was probably twisted and half the clasp was upside down. Duh! No matter! I also had trouble getting my feet into my bike shoes once I smashed them down to pedal up to speed. That's been an ongoing problem the last few races and I need to figure that out.
Then it was time to head out on my run, which starts up a hill, and continues up-up-up for the first 3/4 of a mile. I felt pretty decent and knew at some point we'd enjoy the down-down-down. The course rolled up and down before it finished on a running path through the woods that spits you out onto the sidewalk along the lake and into the finish chute! Very fun!!
I finished 20s behind second place but I was a swim wave behind her so there was no opportunity to try to chase her down. Nothing inspires a little extra effort like seeing competition up ahead!
I had a really good time. It was the perfect happy ending to leave me looking forward to next year. Better to finish wanting a little more (which I do, believe me) than to be burned out.
Next year it'll be top 'o the age group for me.
As we saw from the overall podium, age is but a number, with the overall winner Parker Albright at just age 13, second place Aimee Reeves at 38, and myself at 48. (race results here)
All the best to my family, friends, and coach as they deal with me transitioning to "off season*."
* - possible side effects of "off season" may include century rides, pub runs, trail runs, and other activities that are not technically training or racing. "Off season" should be avoided if races remain on your calendar. "Off season" should not be used for extended periods of time. If symptoms of training and racing remain (obsession over pace/volume/distance/structure), consult your Coach and Sports Psychologist. For best results with "off season" get adequate rest, eat a healthy diet, adjust caloric intake appropriately, and get hooked on a Netflix series.