After almost 10 months of not racing a full triathlon, I jumped right back into action yesterday at the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis. This race is a big deal every year and is part of the Toyota Cup Series. Fortunately, just days before the race, my foot started feeling normal again, which gave me the confidence that I could swim, bike and then run a full 10k. Also, the soreness from my first long run (1 hour. 15 min.) last Sunday went away by Wednesday, so I was able to go into the race feeling pretty good.
This year's pro field was small and packed with top athletes, but I knew my biggest competition was going to be my plantar fascia tear. I'm happy to report that I won that battle and couldn't help but smile the entire 10k run. Don't worry, the game face will be back, once I'm able to run my regular pace again. My run split was a good 2 minutes slower than last year, but I managed to swim fast and bike over a minute faster (same course & conditions). And, I did outrun my predicted time, based on the few tempo workouts I've done...it's still February here!!
Back to the race...the water temp was about 80, which is warmer than most pools. All this training in cold water and my first race is bathtub like! I swam on Sarah H.'s feet for the first 2/3's of the race before taking my turn at the front for the rest of the way in. Sarah and I got to the mount line at about the same time but she took off as I casually made my way on the bike. I managed to keep her in my sights for about the first 15 miles of the race, until we hit a section full of potholes and I lost concentration and ended up coming into transition about a minute behind. Sarah had a great run, defending her title. I finished less than 2 minutes back, in second.