I simply LOVED participating in the Portland Triathlon! My two friends - Rebecca who is a superb runner and Rachel who can swim like a fish convinced me to do the cycling portion of a marathon triathlon (40km). I've been biking but nothing hardcore... so I wasn't sure how I'd fair in the race. All I knew is that I had to give it my all and that it'd be over with in just over an hour. I researched times from past relay teams and figured that if I could complete 40km in 2 hours, I'd be doing well since the results for the female relay bike portion ranged from 1:23 to 1:54.
We had a bit of a hiccup when Rachel couldn't find me coming out from the water (I later found out she had puked en route)... so our transition time lacked; however, I felt strong taking off and was confident we could make that up. The route itself is interesting - a slight uphill for 1/2 with a steep incline right before a long descent. The rain held off but I was well aware of any man-holes (= slippery surfaces) going around turns. We then had to loop back to the start and take off again on the same circular route. For the marathon, I had to go 3 times around. By the 3rd loop, that steep incline felt like it was ripping every muscle fiber I had in my quads. Oh the relief to finally hit the descent!!
When I finished, I frantically looked around for Becca - the runner. I later learned that the rest of the team had gone to breakfast as I cycled thinking it would take me well over 2 hours. They were shocked to see me pulling into the exchange corral and Becca had to run frantically behind me to catch up! She undressed as quickly as she could considering the circumstances and then took off for her run. I was amazed to discover that I had finished 40km in 1:21:41:022!! This time was 2 minutes UNDER the first placing team in 2009. Maybe it was all the running I had done this summer or maybe it was the break from running in the last couple of weeks that gave my legs a refreshing break - but I have to admit, I'm quite pleased with myself!
We ended up finishing 2nd for female relay... super happy and pleased with our superb efforts!