What a surprising race! I hemmed and hawed about doing this sprint race that is a fun, fast, local favorite. I haven't done it since 2011. I've enjoyed being a spectator and a cheerleader for everyone else. Last year I worked packet pickup and volunteered in the body marking tent (um, hello!), then cheered on course for tri-clubbers and friends.

This year, I was worried about jellyfish and knew I had a big ride the next day. Plus, there is this lingering fear that creeps in about this time of year that I may get hurt or sick or sore from something unrelated to IRONMAN that keeps me from training or racing the big one. By midweek, though, I pushed all fears and negative thoughts away and decided I needed a fun, fast race.

I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and push extra hard. I decided that my race plan would be this: swim a hard effort + bike in zone 4 + run a 7:30-8:00 mile. That's it.

It's funny what happens when you make up your mind. I raced exactly like I planned and I was more excited about that than the results. I swam hard. I biked in zone 4 almost the entire time and I did a progressive run an 8:10/8:00/7:48. I was so excited that I did a happy dance!

Not only that, but I placed second in my age group. I had joked, when I shared my race plan with Dirty Spice, that if I made it on the podium, I'd take my selfie stick with me. HASHTAGOBNOXIOUS HASHTAGI'MTHATATHLETE.