A little over a week ago, I participated in the Santa Barbara Long Course Triathlon. This race has a special place in my heart because it was the first “long” race that I did (in 2010), and I’ve done it every year since then. My goals for the race this year were to have fun, and improve on my time from 2012.

Adrienne and I headed to the starting line.

The first part of that goal was fulfilled right away. I signed up for the Elite wave (along with my speedy friends Adrienne, Brittany, and Jason). It was a lot of fun seeing these familiar faces during warmup and on the starting line. The SB Tri has a beach start (my favorite – I love running into the water to start the swim). It wasn’t long after the start of the swim when I found myself swimming stroke-for-stroke with another girl – my friend Brittany! We raced next to each other for the entire swim. I have never had the opportunity to do that in a race before, and it was SO much fun being able to push each other the whole way.

Brittany and I, all smiles after swimming together for a mile!

Out of the swim, and onto the bike… I was pretty sure Adrienne would be catching up sometime soon. Sure enough, she passed me around mile 7 of the bike. We exchanged a few words of encouragement before she sped past on her way to the fastest female bike split of the day. I was happy with my performance on the bike. My split was a little faster than last year, and I finished feeling ready for the 10-mile run.

Finishing the bike…

The run went pretty much exactly as planned. I started out at a conservative pace, with the goal of speeding up as the race went on. My running form felt nice and smooth (for the first time since my Ironman in June), so that was very exciting! The run course is an out-and-back, and I enjoyed the opportunity to see and cheer for a lot of my friends who were also racing. The last 2 miles of the run were a little tough for me, but I still managed to clock a time that was faster than last year – Goal #2 fulfilled!

Faster than last year!

Once again, the Santa Barbara Triathlon lived up to its reputation of being a fun-filled weekend of racing with friends at the beach!

Hugs from Adrienne after the race

Photo op with Brittany after finishing

For some more perspectives on the race, check out the race reports from my friends here: