July 7, 2007. Hagg Lake. The day of the obligatory yearly sprint triathlon. Sigh. My least favorite distance, but also the one that I inevitably podium in. The irony. Yes, I am a huge whiner for no reason.
I knew this day would be a good one, though. The date was 7-7-07 and our wave had PINK swim caps. PINK.
We were the second wave in the sprint event. I took off like my ass was on fire. Since I only breathe off of my ride side and couldn't see anyone, I had not idea where I was until the first buoy. At the buoy, I saw one other pink cap and though "holy s#*$, I'm in second!!" Turns out I was really in third, but hell yeah. Swim-ming-mach-ine.
I busted through T1 and got out on the bike before the two women that beat me out of the water. It was the first time I've ever lead a race (although I know it isn't a real lead, but work with me here). The ride was hard. Up the hill, down the hill. Up the hill, down the hill. Not my favorite thing to do. The course itself is already tough, but I had a hard time getting into the sprint mentality on the bike. I kept settling in until someone would pass me and then I would remember to pick it up. I'm sure that annoyed everyone around me. Two women in my age group passed me at mile 8 and I stayed within spitting distance of them until T2.
Had a great T2 and felt great until the first downhill out of the boat ramp. The a massive side stitch took up residence in my right side. I could only breathe deep enough to maintain about a 8:30 pace and watched the two women in my age group quickly pull away from me. My frustration probably didn't help matters, as did my refusal to stop and try to stretch it out. Which culminated in my all time favorite race photo. Its like I've just realized that I actually have to get myself to the finish line.
With a half mile left, one more person from my age group passed me. She wasn't moving too fast, so I made up my mind to try and stay with her as long as my aching side would let me. Up the last 300 meter hill, the stitch miraculously cleared and I was able to sprint up the hill, past age group lady and into the finish area.
Third in my age group. Eighth overall female. Good results even with the log roll/run.