After making our way to transition and nearly toppling our entire row of bikes, I ran into Glenda. I'm glad to know she has pre-race nerves as well. After a bathroom stop, Glenda and I made our way down to the water to pull on our wetsuits. We met up again with Dionn, Stacey, Bibiana, Malinda, and Mark Enstone for some photos and last-minute well wishes. (These races have really become quite the social scene, as further evidenced later on in this report).
I also saw my parents and sister, Jaye (she lives in Houston). Jaye seldom gets to come to town for races, so this was a special treat. She brought her Karma-look-alike dog, Kinsey. Naturally, they were all decked out in their Team Shorey gear.
I won't go into all the details of the race, other than a) the water was a mucky brown so I'm glad I wore a wetsuit; b) my shin splint didn't hurt too bad; c) my belly was sorta sloshy toward the end of the bike and start of the run; d) I really DID feel like I was going to puke on the run - especially the last 1/4 mile (I always say that, but this time I really felt like it was going to get ugly); and e) I love my family and friends who were out there. It was a pleasant surprise to see Panther out there on Congress cheering us all on during the bike. It was also nice to see Wiley, JJ, and Missy on Cesar Chavez during the bike/run, and then Panther and Ostrich on the 1st Street bridge during the run. Throughout the entire race, on every street there was someone I knew. Between family, friends, and other racers I either train with or know, it was amazing. At one point, a girl riding near me on the bike said "You're sure popular today." But really we all are - we have this awesome support group of athletes, and it makes all the pain worthwhile. Plus, the anticipation of the post-race breakfast and drinks with my friends is also a big motivator.
So, how did I do? Well, this course was slightly different from CapTex 2 years ago, but not by much. I have improved in all 3 disciplines this year, and was only 3 minutes behind Dionn! Lots of folks were egging me on - even Dionn - to chase her down, and if I thought I could have done it without her squashing me by springing into an all-out sprint as soon as she saw me, I would have tried a little harder to catch her. Here's a breakdown/comparison of my times: You read that right, 22 minutes better overall than last year. This was a great race, and I look forward to it next year.