Today while my friends in the Pacific Northwest are racing (Francesca and Jen at Issaquah; Eve in BC), I am too. It was plenty warm at this morning's olympic distance event, but not as hot as the Florida half was.
Before the start of the event, I saw a very fit looking woman in a race outfit labeled "Gollnick". I thought to myself "wow I wonder if that is Heather Gollnick, Ironman pro. She lives in Florida so maybe it is..." I went over and stood next to her, glancing sideways, trying to decide if she looked like the race photos I've seen. When she looked over, I asked "Hi, are you Heather Gollnick?" and she smiled really big and said yes, and took my my hand while asking my name. I replied and we shook hands and chatted about events. She said she was racing age group today and was in the area doing some hill training for Ironman Coeur D'Alene (an event she won in 2003). She wished me a good race before I had to leave for my wave start. I am so bummed I didn't have my camera with me!
Oh yeah, the race. It went well. I did a 36:59 swim, a 1:29:32 bike, and a 57:44 run for a total of 3:10:54 including transitions.
I was happy with the swim. I didn't forget to leave my bike jersey, thus saving me an untold amount of drag I had to deal with at my last race. The bike went well also, traveling over a few of the same roads as the Florida Half. That means yes, there were a few short, decent hills, and lots of minor rollers. By the time I started the run, I was feeling the heat and humidity, but managed to keep cool and even pick up my pace midway through the second lap.
This will sound whiny, but I am convinced the bike course is long. April's oly had the same layout, and my bike computer measure 25.8 miles, exactly 1 extra mile over 40K. This time the turnaround at one of the out-and-backs was a little earlier, and I thought "aha - they figured out the bike course was long!" But back in transition my computer read 25.3 miles - still a half-mile too long. That is better, but we need another 1/4 mile adjustment (so that for the out-and-back we'll get the correct 1/2 mile shorter course). I am sure it isn't my bike computer, because at the Florida half it measured 56.0 miles exactly.
This is race 1 in a series of 4, and I hope the course stays the same. I'd like to compare my time at the end of the season, after I get back to some regular swim and bike training.
P.S. Heather wound up winning the event, coming in 1st place for women. I bet she held back too, since this is a warmup race for CdA.