Since my daughter would be starting her senior year at A&M in the fall, I decided to do the Tri Aggieland at least one more time while she is still there. For this race, there was no one else I knew that would be racing it.
Race morning as I was setting up transition, I was talking to some folks and listening to others talk. Perspective is always interesting. They changed the course this year and one of the other female racers said, “of course they make it more hilly the year I do it.” I’m thinking to myself, “there are no hills in College Station. I wonder where she is from?”
After I set everything up, I headed into the pool area. Tri Aggieland is a pool swim, which I’m not a huge fan of, but it’s a challenge and I get to swim in the awesome natatorium on the Texas A&M campus, so I’m ok with it.
Once again, I had entered my time as close to what I thought my actual swim time would be and I hoped others would do the same since that is the order they do the swim start. But once the swim started, I could tell that others had put a faster time so they could start ahead of others. I patiently waited my turn.
On my first lap down the pool, I could sense some commotion from the edge of the pool. It turns out, someone needed the lifeguards and the other racers who hadn’t gotten in the water yet were yelling to get their attention.
When I got out of the pool, I thought I hit the split button on my swim watch so I would know what my actual swim time was. I guess it failed, because I’m not sure, but the “official” swim time of 11:37 includes a long run up to T1. I was the 4th fastest swim in my age group.
I flew through T1 in 1:01 and headed out on the bike. My back was still tense and sore from the Lake Pflugerville Triathlon in June, so I didn’t really want to push it too hard and it was a windy day, which I knew would make it worse if I did push. The new bike course was actually kind of fun as we got to do a big square around campus. With the wind, it made a couple of the roads feel like they were steeper than they really are.
I came in off the bike in 44:10. Much slower than I am capable of. T2 was done in 1:00 flat and I was off to run. By this point, it was hot and I was just ready to hang on for 3 miles and be done. The run course is two short loops with a little incline on both loops. There had been some rain before the race, so there were still some puddles to dodge as I ran through campus. As I came to the finish line, I had to push up the final incline. I crossed and was glad I was done.
The thing about a pool swim is that when you finish, you really don’t know where you stand, because others in your age group may have started the swim way ahead of you or way behind you. The lady I met that morning told me that I had probably placed because she was listed as 4th and I was faster than her. I went to check out my time and was surprised to see that I had done the run in 26:33 for an 8:34 mile pace. That NEVER happens in a tri for me. I held onto hope that this might be the race I actually place. Alas, it was not meant to happen. My total time of 1:24:25 was 20 seconds shy of 3rd place. That’s right. Just 20 seconds faster somewhere and I would have placed.
I’m proud of my effort though and one day it will happen.
Age Group: 4th
Female Place: 52nd