I enjoy a women's only race now and again b/c it really encourages new women to the sport. In these races, you have a higher percentage of newbies and most people are just celebrating the process of the sport. It really is a love fest.
However, this love fest started with torrential downpours at the start. Rolled into Naperville at 6ish with transition closing at 6:30. When i pulled into the lot, it was pouring and saw on social media the race was pushed back a bit and transition was staying open a bit longer so i sat in my car, listened to a few church devotionals, had a powerbar and then reluctantly, got out and made my way to transition.
In retrospect was happy i put everything in bags.. it kept everything dry while I wasn't wish the stuff but next time, I would rather have a Bike Trash Bag and Run Trash bag so i can just open it and get what I need vs. worrying about re-closing the stuff after T1 so it would be dry for T2.
Walked down to the water to see the first waves (Elites and Cancer Survivors go off). I happened to find my friend Darcy in the crowd and chatted with her a while before we got started. It was nice to kill 20-30 minutes with her while we were standing there in the pouring rain. I opted for my sleeveless wetsuit which kept me warm while we waited so it wasn't horrible except I actually thought about wearing my goggles b/c I kept getting water in my eyes. I held back my geekiness though and waited for my wave.
Another 20 minutes past, chatted up with some more old and new friends and I was off. The swim is perfect for beginners and nice change up for vets like me. The water isn't clear but NOT pitch black and it essentially in a huge pool. I don't know how they treat it but it definitely gives off a huge pool vibe. Got settled into a groove fairly quickly but there was more contact than I was expecting for a women's race. Got out of the water and ran up to T1 while rinsing my feet off along the way.
For the bike, I used my Giant Road Bike ( i may or may not have ridden more around the block prior to the race). I did manage to put on my Selle Italia seat and got adjusted for my height.. however, after a few quick cycles, I realized that it was too short.. like 3-4 inches too short. So, the plan at that point was to just stroll along. Kept a 15 MPH pace which was slow for a sprint time but considering the conditions and my ill fit on my bike, it was fine.
Run: Ugh- my legs were dead. Even though the bike was short, I was pooped from it. I think it was because I was lower than I was supposed to be, my legs were very isolated and shot by the time I got off. But alas, I had 3.1 miles to go. I slipped on some new socks in T2 (somehow my bike socks were soaked) and was off is clean socks and soaked sneakers (wore my run shoes instead of bike shoes b/c I didn't have an extra set of Look pedals)
Run was slow but supported a few strangers along the way. This was a great race to do that with since many were newbies and needed the extra push. Did a 12 min/mile run walk for mile 2 with a lady who said she promised her daughter she was going to get in shape this year. She had to go to the bathroom so i dropped her and picked up another younger girl who signed up on a whim earlier this year and made this her big goal. LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing these stories and being amongst the stories! Also, b/c the race is so spread out, the person running next to you could be 30 minutes faster or slower than you which makes it feel more communal for newbies or people like me who just enjoy being out there.
Crossed the finish line to see a few more friends, hang out in the post race area (it was huge) and was on my way home by 10 am.
Fun race for beginners. Good swag (Moxie Jersey) with lots of post race goodies. Only issue I have with this race is having packet pickup day before. It is a 60 mile round trip which sucks up the Saturday. Other than that, love a good ladies race.. will be back at some point!
|Per usual.. repping Challenge Tri Team and Headsweats!|