Another unbelievably gorgeous day for a race. Albeit windy, we had mild temps in the 70's, which is almost unheard of this summer. While I was excited about this race for myself, I was more excited for four of the athletes I've been working with this summer - Piper, Patti, Tyllie and Elisabeth. They were ready to go.
When we arrived at the race we were welcomed by a VERY choppy Lake Michigan. In all honesty, I think it is the choppiest swim I have ever endured during a race. But I tried to downplay that to my ladies and send them into the water with confidence. I felt good about all of them doing fine, except poor Patti, who despite all my urging, had never done an open water swim. Tsk, tsk;).
The swim- never have I had to stop during a swim and get my bearings as much as yesterday. The water was quite shallow and a couple times I stood up to take stock of where I was. One of the buoys washed in towards shore, so everyone swam into it, soon realizing the final buoy was out a good 25 yards, requiring them to swim back into the lake. Relief is the perfect word to describe how I felt when I turned around that final buoy.
Relief is also a good word to describe how I felt when I saw Patti pass by on the bike :) The bike- fast and fun. A short out and back then a straight shot up and down Lakeshore Drive. Thankfully for us we rode into the wind on the way out and got pushed home on the second half of the bike. Overall pretty fun and uneventful.
It is always a good feeling to get off the bike and start the run. I had been having tired legs all week and not great sleep and was a little worried about finishing the race. However, with the cool breeze and shady path on the run, I managed to turn in a 7:30 pace, which is decent for me. I was excited to cross the finish line and cheer in all my athletes.
And here they came- Piper, then Elisabeth, Kevin (a friend), Patti.... And finally, Tyllie! I had been looking for Tyllie the whole race but had no idea she had thrown on a white shirt so I was looking for the wrong color all race. Coach must know your race outfit beforehand, it's a rule.
At the end they were printing out little tickets with your race time summary. When I got mine it said I had a 5:17 swim, which I knew was wrong. When I went to talk to the timing table I found out that Piper and I had started with the wrong wave! What?!?! Apparently we had started with the pink caps instead of the purple. For those of you who know me, you know I don't have a hard time identifying pink. These caps were practically the exact same color!!! Thankfully they fixed up our times and all was well.
All my ladies managed to get within a couple minutes of their goal times, which was great considering that swim. I landed second in age group despite the wave snafu. It was a beautiful morning and I can't think of a more fun way or more fun people to spend it with. Way to go everyone!!
-Coach A www.sparkmultisport.com