The water felt ColdColdColdCold when I hopped in. I was sure my feet were going to be blocks of frozen meat when I got out. But after a short warmup it was fine.
The swim consisted of me finding feet to draft on (success!), realizing those feet were going slower than I should be (dangit!), taking off to find new feet and spending the rest of the race chasing and closing on those feet, but never grabbing them. I did not swim crooked. There was some chop and I felt like I was getting blown off course a few times. Although I didn't win my swim bet of 27:xx, I'm actually not disappointed. I swam hard from the gun and worked out there. Some days it comes together, others it doesn't.
Straight onto the bike and I knew the entire ride was going to be WINDY. I was riding my Zipp disk and I do not regret this at all, the disk is awesome. That being said, there were many times when I rode for long periods of time at this angle: / or sometimes like this: \ . The winds reminded me of Kona at times.
At about mile 15 a bee somehow found his way into the side of my jersey. The wind was so strong at that point letting go of the handle bars to remove him wasn't an option. He promptly stung me. Twice. Awesome.
It was hot. And dry. I drank five bottles on the bike and I think I was still dehydrated when I came off. The QR's Shift Technology made for an easier ride in the wind and although the conditions were crazy, I was comfortable the entire ride.
Coming into T2 I did my standard flying dismount. I may have come in a bit too fast on this one though because when my feet hit the ground and I started running I realized I needed to SPRINT because I was still moving so fast. So I promptly pressed on the bike's brakes, because that's how you slow down right?! Well, apparently when you're running next to the bike and press the brakes, the bike stops, but you don't. So the back end of the QR flew up into the air and I kept moving, which of course caused me to nearly eat asphalt right in front of many spectators. The announcer on the loudspeaker said "Charisa Wernick, pro female is entering T2, and WHOAAAAAA she nearly bit it!" Classic. I'm quite sad I have no photos or video of this - I'm sure it would provide some awesome entertainment and those of you at work might spit coffee out your nose from laughing so hard.
That's Coach Dirk in the background. He's saying GET OUT! Getoutofhere! I'm laughing because of course I keep dropping my GU and can't get my shoe on, etc.
Out onto the run and a spectator tells me I'm in 9th. Oh man I have a lot of work to do because coming into this race I really had my sights set on 5th. So off I ran, hoping I could reel some girls in. By mile 4 I moved into 7th. I spent the rest of the race chasing and closing the gap, but the 1:29 run split ended up being less than 2 minutes shy of getting me into 5th and the money.
Down the finish chute I can see the girl in front of me, but not enough space to catch her... I'm still happy with the race. It was a tough day and I gave it everything I had.
A huge thank you to the people and companies who believe in and support me: Zoot, Profile Design, QR, TriSports.com, Sable WaterOptics, Rudy Project, GU, SCAPE sunscreen, Zipp Wheels, Smack! Media and MicroscopeWorld.com. I could not do this without your support.
Thanks for following my journey. I get to race the same distance again in two weeks at Buffalo Springs 70.3.