As soon as I finished the race, I was in the "recovery tent" sculling back cups of coke- recently it's been all about the cola for me, both during and post race. Boy did that taste good! There was an impressive array of food, but I couldn't face anything other than orange slices, so I ate a couple, and took an apple for later. Then I made my way outside for hugs from my husband, and to thank my awesome race supporters. Phil had finished in 4:47- a massive PB and a great time. After a few minutes, we headed back to the tent for more cokes and waters- we were thirsty as, and those little cups didn't go far!
Then we headed into the sea for a cooldown and swim. Damian and I (the true water babies of the bunch) stayed in for a fair while, despite the jellies. It was a little chilly, so just perfect for some post race recovery.
By the time I finished, transition had opened for bikes to be taken out, so we didn't have much waiting around to do. I felt a bit bad that we didn't stay around for longer, as it really SUCKS when there's no-one there for the last finishers, but since it was a blistering hot summers day and we were at a beach 3 minutes walk from town, I thought there would probably be enough support for everyone. Plus, our awesome supporters who had spent a whole morning standing around in the sun were HUNGRY (...and we knew that we'd be hungry soon too!)
With our faithful pack mules, we were able to get everything back to the car pretty easily. I stuck a t-shirt over my tri-suit, applied some more sunscreen, and changed my shoes for jandals while Phil got changed. We walked down to the other end of the main street for Pluto Smoothies (us) and sushi (them), and sat in the sun dissecting our races.
Then we did a little shopping, Phil and I had sushi, and we headed back to our cabin, where Jenn, Damian and I went swimming, while Phil played around with data, and crashed asleep on the floor (...a post Half IM tradition, it seems!)
Prize giving was huge, and one of the best I've been to. Free food and beer (my vege burger was just what I needed to see me through til proper dinner), and they really ripped through the prizes, so it didn't take too long. I won a spot-prize; a $100 voucher for a nice restaurant in town, and we quickly decided to use it for a celebratory brunch the next day.
Then it was fajitas and margaritas at Mundo Mexicano (the pineapple margarita was amaazing), an evening swim at Pilot Bay (calm but cold), and gelato and coffee around the corner, before heading home to bed.
I woke up early (5:53am) on Sunday feeling bright and cheerful, and decided to get some air. It was a little rainy, and the kitchen wasn't open, so I got changed and went for a walk with Jenn. I'm always awake early and quite energetic after a big race, so a hilly walk was perfect.
The official results look like this:
Swim: 39:50 (128th female)
T1: 2:39 (129th female)
Bike: 3:00:53 (149th female)
T2: 2:20 (100th female)
Run: 2:03:06 (96th female)
Total time: 5:48:48
Place: 118th female, 18th F2529
This really shows just how much my bike (especially) is letting me down (my swim also, but less so). I finished 96th on the run, but 149th on the bike, and several of those who finished well behind me in my AG beat me on the bike. 96th overall was 10 minutes faster than me. I only needed to take a minute off my swim to place 96th in that leg (something that's eminently doable), but needed to take 12 minutes off the bike.
Of course, to get anywhere I need to get better at all three. To qualify for LD Worlds, I thought I needed something around 5:25 (obviously never going to be doable, but useful as a benchmark), but as it happened, I'd have needed a 5:11. Holy crap!
I am so glad we did Tauranga. It's a much bigger event than the other halfs we've done, and it was great fun (in hindsight...) It was fabulously run, and the tech officials and volunteers were amazing.
I had quite a few "why do I do this?" moments during the ride (and, to an extent, the run), and seriously felt ready to "retire" at times, but it didn't take long for excitement and enthusiasm to kick in again, so I can't wait for New Plymouth, and the rest of our season. I'm really glad to have a few weeks now to get a teeny bit more fitness, nail some of these bike issues, and maybe drop a little excess baggage.
If I play my cards right, New Plymouth is a totally sub-6-able course!