I'm back from participating in the Spa Girl Tri in Bastrop, TX!
There were some snafus with the organization of the race. It seemed as though it was put together by people without much race directing experience. Mainly, there were some issues with things not being quite as advertised. Some people reported problems with timing, but aside from chips showing up a little later than expected, I didn't have any problems with getting my times accurately recorded (I remembered to start my watch this time, so I know!). Overall, it was a fun race though. It was nice to do an all female race. I found my fellow racers incredibly supportive and fun to be with. The camaraderie and conversation while we waited for the start was simply different than my experience at the last tri, which was co-ed. On the bike portion, in particular, there were constant shouts of encouragement to other competitors. At the end of the race, we were treated to mimosas (where they did not skimp on the champagne...I went back and asked for the bartender to "water" mine down with more OJ), and more food than I've ever received at the end of a race. I was told at the end of the race that we had a choice between getting a medal or a racing hat. I'm not sure if this was part of the plan, or if it was a poor planning choice of not ordering enough. I took a hat because I don't have one yet and was considering buying one before my marathon anyway. We are supposed to get charms and a bracelet as well, but they said when they received them, they looked cheap, so they returned them, ordered a better product and will mail them to us. I have to update here. It turns out the medals offered were leftovers from the last spa girl tri, only the hats were specific to this tri. Some of the participants complained (quite rudely in some cases) and we've been informed that the race organizers have designed and ordered finisher medals that are being mailed to us! I have to really respect their actions there. We've all gone home, they've got our money, there's no reason for them to do this other than they feel it's necessary to make things right.
On to my experience in the race! The swim went way better than I expected. My times had really sped up recently, so I knew it'd go better than last time. The first 50m or so were a struggle. I haven't done any open water swimming and this was in a lazy river with the jets turned off. It was still a lot easier than open water, but having to sight and stay on course was new. I inhaled way too much water at first while I got my technique down.
About halfway through, I heard the girls screaming "go momma!!" They get SOOO excited to see Josh or I in races. So here's me waving to them while swimming
This should be the end of triathlons for this year since the marathon is coming up, but I'm definitely on the lookout for a race (or three) to do in the spring.