For a while, the racing was more nerve-racking than fun because I kept doing longer distances, and I really wanted to put the fun back into tri-ing. It was a festive, well-organized race and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Swim: 21.11 min
My fastest time so far. I interchanged between freestyle & breastroke (blah), because I encountered a tonne of hydrilla along the way. When I got out, the volunteers who gave me a hand teased, "here comes the seaweed monster!" because I was covered with stuff! I was more calm and relaxed during the swim, and only occasionally nervous when other swimmers came in my way or kicked me. After the swim, I felt awesome & energized.
Bike: 57:47 min
Inspite of the hilly course, I did surprisingly better than any of my previous times. The race director did cut off 0.5mile off the course because of construction, so psychologically, I felt it was going to be easier. Plus I did not expect it to be an easy course, so I had managed my expectations well. I could have hydrated better for sure (ended up with a pretty nasty headache later in the day). I pushed through ALL of the hills and didn't walk once. I also got a little teary-eyed (in a happy way of course) along the ride, as I thought about how far I've come on the bike. It helped immensely to stay positive and to encourage myself along the way. My bike mantra was "last TRI, last TRI, go, go, go!" :)
Run: 39:54 min
Certainly not my best pace. The run course was pretty deceptive, winding through in and out of the park. The turnaround was very close to the finish line so mentally I was getting ready to finish when I realized I still had another 1.5miles to go! Doesn't sound like a great distance but I was feeling quite beat. On hindsight, I would have trained on a hillier course for the run because I was not very prepared for the slopes in the park. Still, I had a strong finish, and sprinted the last 100-200m.
The Sprint Distance turned out to be a good choice for me for this season. There are core habits I need to develop before I can compete in an O-distance - doing freestyle all the way to conserve quad energy and hydrating on the bike are two of the most important things I need to work on. More practice, I suppose.