My, oh my. I felt good about todayâ€™s sprint tri, but I didnâ€™t think it would go THIS well!
Now â€“ I havenâ€™t changed my training at all in the last month â€“ three days of running and three days of swimming. Practically zero bike rides. What made the difference in my race times? Visualization and motivation, yo! I wanted to PR so badly; I dug deep and pushed through moments that I wouldâ€™ve normally viewed as an excuse for a rest.
I actually wrote all my times from my last tri (swim / transition, bike / transition, and run) on my arm in permanent marker when I woke up. I was THAT determined to crush them. I knew that I could do better in the swim and especially in transition (5:23 and 4:43 is seriously laughable â€“ a good transition time is under 1:00).
But â€“ first things first â€“ I woke up at an ungodly hour and had breakfast:
Standard pre-race fare â€“ peanut butter and banana sandwich with coconut water. And coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
And then I headed to the park.
I actually went to this race all by myself. No friends to race with and no support (the Husband worked the last six days and I didnâ€™t want to wake up him up at 5:00 AM). I thought it would bother me (Iâ€™ve never done a tri alone) but it was actually kind of nice – I just got to focus on doing what I needed to do. Plus, I ended up running into some casual friends at the event, which was nice. The tri community is super friendly.
I checked in, got my chips, and got body marked:
And set up my transition area. Thank goodness for the Sprint Triathlon packing list; Iâ€™m always so afraid that Iâ€™m going to forget something important.
So â€“ then it was time for the swim.
The swim was a 750-meter rectangle. Water temperature was about 85 degrees â€“ bathwater! There was a treading start, which I actually prefer to a running start. My goal was to come in under 20:00, so I focused on even, thorough strokes and steady breathing. I noticed that I kept veering right; I did this in my last two races, too. Any tips on how to stay straight in a lake!? I try to sight!
I flipped to my back a few times, but otherwise, I was strong. No freaking out in the lake. I think Iâ€™m officially over my fear of open water.
I blasted out of the water in 20:45 â€“ I saw the clock and was pleased because I knew that I had taken a minute off my time, according to my arm. Heh.
Into transition we go!
I knew I could make up a lot of time in transitions if I actually tried. So I focused on getting in and out as quickly as possible. The raceâ€™s transitions were very well-organized, so I got on the road quickly.
Ate some gel on the way out:
Now â€“ the ride. The ride is definitely my weakest area. It was 16 miles, and it took me 1:01:39. The girls above me finished in 49 â€“ 53 minutes. I really need to figure out how to get faster. I wish I could blame in on my shortie legs, but I think I Just need to train harder. Any tips on getting faster?
AND my chain popped off in the middle of the ride. Ugh.
I was happy to see the dismount area.
Again, I tried to transition as quickly as possible. Based on some advice from a few readers, I decided to take another gel packet (so 200 calories total). I do think it helped me maintain my energy through the end of the race â€“ so thanks! T2 took me 2:12.
The 5K was mostly on the road. It was SUPER hilly.
I passed a woman and two guys in the last 0.25 to the finish line. I came across in 29:41, a little faster than last time. Wahhoo!
My final times:
- Swim: 20:45
- T1: 2:59
- Bike: 1:01:31
- T2: 2:12
- Run: 29:41
- Total: 1:57:06
And then I drove 45-minutes to my house, making the car stink like a dirty lake. Heh.
Sunflower buttah, protein powder, almond milk, and frozen banana smoothie:
After a long, hot shower and a little nap, I woke up and devoured lunch. I had a refried bean and goat cheese sandwich (truly amazing! try it), some almonds, and greens.
In closing, this was an awesome race experience. It feels nice to cross a finish line and feel proud, ya know? It really motivated me to get competitive with triathlons. I think, if I put a little effort in on the swim and bike, I can maybe even place in my age division. I came in 5th out of 8 today, so Iâ€™d have to move up two spots and probably lose another 13 minutes or so.
Iâ€™ve definitely come a long way from my Olympic triathlon last year, huh? I had a panic attack in the water and nearly quit, and now Iâ€™m already daydreaming about my next tri. Iâ€™m glad I stuck it out because now I really love it.
Any advice on swimming straight? Or speeding up on the bike? Iâ€™d love to learn a few tricks!