Remember when I said I was racing a Super Sprint Triathlon last weekend? Well, I did it! And guess what?! I got first place female! (It was a VERY small race).
Writing the race recap was delayed until now because I spent the day after the race preparing for a special evening for a friend (more on that later) and then traveled to Peoria, IL on Sunday for a fun-filled (sarcasm) week of training for work! All that time and I still don’t have pics! Those will (hopefully) come later.
I spent the evening before the race getting my bike cleaned up and everything ready for the next day. It has been a while since I raced a triathlon, so I had to do some brainstorming to remember everything I needed!
Since I was leaving Sunday, for dinner, I cooked all of the vegetables left in my refrigerator (spinach, broccoli, green beans) and threw them into some pasta with olive oil. After chatting with my neighbors for a bit, I ended up staying up past 11 p.m.! Why do I always do this before races?!
The alarm went off at 4:45, I got dressed, packed the car and was out the door by 5:15, with Nuun and messy bagel w/almond butter & honey in hand. I freaked out a little on the way there because I kept watching the temps drop as I went further north. By the time I got to Rock Hill, at about 6:45 ( for the 8:00 a.m. start), my car thermometer read 45*!!
I easily grabbed my race packet from registration. Since I was registered late, I ended up with bib #56…which meant starting 56th for the pool swim!! I found the race director (who has now become a buddy) and convinced him to move me up so I ended up starting #3.
I got my transition area set up quickly and like the good blogger that I am, I grabbed my camera to take a pic. And like the bad blogger that I am…my camera was dead. So no pic.
I waited until the absolute last minute to warm-up so that I wouldn’t have to stand around freezing. I did a 400 m. warm-up in the super-warm-old-lady-pool, then finally, they let people in the regular pool so I hopped over there and did another 100 to get acclimated to the cooler water.
At the pre-race meeting they said they were pushing the start back a little so that the temps would be over 50*. This gave me a little more time to make sure my goggles would stay on since they were allowing a diving start.
The Swim: 250 m
I felt good and it went by quickly. Both the #2 guy and I passed the girl who started first within the first 150 m, then at the final turn I passed the #2 guy. By the time I got to the ladder to get out, the guy who started #5 had caught up and all three of us climbed out of the pool at the same time.
I looked at my watch when I got out and it said 3:20. A little quick math told me that was 1:20/100 m which I wasn’t entirely unhappy with, considering doing all the flip turns under the lane ropes, but I know I should be going faster in such a short race.
Including the time to get out of the pool area and across the parking lot to the swim finish, my official swim time was 3:35. 3rd overall, 1st female.
T1 – 1:11
This could quite possibly be my slowest T1 ever! I decided before the race that I would put on gloves and a long sleeve zip-up jersey because it was so cold. It took me forever to get them on and I didn’t even end up zipping the jersey because I already had the gloves on and didn’t want to fumble with it. In the end I am sure I would have been fine without both, but I was definitely glad to have them.
The Bike: 10 Miles
I pushed really hard from the start, telling myself that this short race is supposed to hurt. I rode on my “big ring” and focused on keeping the cadence around 95 rpm.
At about 2.5 miles, I saw a turn arrow painted on the road. I thought the race was a straight out-and-back so at the intersection, I pointed to the right and yelled to the cop, “Turn?” he nodded yes, so I did. Then as I turned, he yelled “You are supposed to go straight!” Huh? I was confused, but I slowed way down, went around a car and turned around to get back on the course. I doubt it cost me a ton of time, maybe 20-30 seconds? But it definitely was a momentum killer!
As my Garmin hit 5-miles, just before the turn around, I realized I hadn’t drank anything yet and took a sip of Nuun. As I reached down to put the bottle back in the cage, it slipped a little, so I glanced down to make sure I got it in all the way and when I looked back up, I was veering off of the road. I was super wobbly and on the gravel patch on the outside of the shoulder, then all of a sudden was up a driveway and onto the grass. I gripped my handles tightly and just kept repeating, “Don’t crash. Don’t crash. Don’t crash.” Finally, I was under control again on the grass and slowed down enough that I could unclip from the pedals, get off the bike and roll it off the curb and onto the road again. Finally, I hopped back on, clipped in and was on my way! My adrenaline was sky-high and I was just so glad that I didn’t crash that I wasn’t even concerned about the time I lost!
I finally made the turn around and rode hard back to the finish. The last 5 miles were *thankfully* uneventful! I did notice after the turnaround that the 2nd place female wasn’t super far behind me though.
My Garmin read that the course was a little long (10.2 miles) and that I averaged 20.2 mph, but I think it also probably stopped the time when I stopped with the near crash.
Official time: 30:57 (19.4 mph), 9th overall, 1st female.
T2 – 0:31
Much better transition in T2!
The Run: 2 miles
When I got off of the bike, my legs felt extremely wobbly, as they always do for the first 100 yards or so. My feet were numb from the cold and I felt like I was sprinting, but once I settled in, I felt pretty good. I don’t use a Garmin for short races, but I knew that I was keeping a solid pace. The route was a flat out-and-back and the two miles went by very quickly. I was surprised at how strong I felt, despite my lack of bricks this spring.
I did a little check on the 2nd female by noting my time at the turn around to see roughly how far behind me she was. I knew I had to beat her by a minute because she started a minute behind me in the pool. I passed her around 1:30 after the turn around, so I knew that if she was keeping my pace (or slower), I had at least 3 minutes on her.
I pushed hard to the finish and before I knew it, I came back up on the start/finish/pool/transition area and was in the chute!
Official time: 13:37 (6:49 min/mile), 8th overall, 1st female.
Overall time: 49:53, 7th overall, 1st female.
I am obviously super happy I won and I am very glad I raced to get the bugs out for more races coming up this summer. I definitely think I should be going faster in the pool and on the bike for such a short race, so I will probably try to include some TT’s and sprints/tempos into upcoming workouts. I am especially excited about the run time! I definitely think I could have kept that pace for another mile to make it a 5k around 21 min. (which maybe means I didn’t push hard enough?).
Next race: maybe a duathlon this weekend?! Otherwise, a “regular” sprint on May 5th!