First Tri of the season has come and gone! It was a great day in many ways, not so great in others. Even though this is a triathlon I haven't done before, it is in the same location with same course as last year's Women of Steel tri, so I used this as a progress measuring race.
We all got up around 5:45 so that we could get down there for packet pick up that opened at 8:00. With this race being an hour and a half away, I hadn't picked up my packet earlier in the week. On another note, I almost didn't race as I had come down with a nasty cold with a wicked sore throat that is the worst I have ever had. I didn't even know till I woke up if I would be racing or not, but I have always said that I would have to be dead to miss a race, and I could either be miserable at home, or miserable during a race, so I chose to race. Maybe not the smartest idea because I still feel like crap as I write this report, but I am glad I went anyhow :) We were able to warm up in the pool if we chose to before the race so I did a few slow and easy laps.
This was a pool swim in a 50 meter pool with a time trial start. They did it differently though than Women of Steel in that everyone entered at the same end of the pool every 5-10 seconds and exited on the same side, giving you the whole lane, which was awesome when it came to passing people and having more room. I felt really good the whole swim, I only got passed one time and passed other people at least 6 times. I left the water feeling great, not water logged or dizzy like I sometimes do coming out after a hard swim.
Final Swim Time was 6:40. This is a 3 second improvement from last year.
I had a good feeling heading out of the pool and running towards the transition area. These are pics Ken got of me as I was headed for T1. I had gotten there early enough that I was able to get a prime racking position on the third from the front rack on the very end. I had no problem finding my bike and quickly putting on my socks, bike shoes, helmet, and grabbing my bike and getting on my way. Even though it seemed to take me a bit to get my socks on my wet feet, my time was pretty good. Final time for T1 was 1:26, which is a HUGE improvement from last year, which was 3:30
I headed out onto the bike and was able to clip in quickly and the course goes down a quick hill, then to an uphill that continues for most of the first part of the loop, that you have to do twice. This was hard in many ways. I am not a climber. I don't particularly enjoy it either. I have never quite mastered the whole standing-while-climbing thing, so I just put it in a low gear and grind my way up, and then go faster where the course even outs. I had people pass me on the bike, but I felt really good. I always want to know what division they are, so I was sure to check out their ages written on the back of their legs as they passed and if they are not in my age group, no big deal, right? Probably evil of me, and I know that we are all supposed to do our own race, but I hope that one day I can make it to a podium, so I always check out those that pass me to see if they are in my division or not :)
When I was turning into the final turn off of my second bike loop, that is the same place that people are heading out on the bike, as well as coming in from the run. This really was poorly planned and is a recipe for disaster. I almost had a collision with a guy, and hit my brakes and fell to avoid hitting him. Good thing I was able to get back up and head in! a I was grateful for those volunteers that came to my aid and the spectators that clapped when I was able to take off again. It makes a person feel good!
The bike portion seemed to fly by, and apparently it did! My final bike time was 42:19, which is an improvement by 5 minutes from last year's time of 47:18.
This should be a fairly easy transition as you are simply hanging your bike up, changing your shoes, and hat. I was able to fly through compared to last year's time. My final T2 time was 1:08, and that is a huge improvement from last year's time of 3:12!
I started the run feeling like crap. My cold was catching up to me, and my throat hurt, and my legs felt like lead after coming off the bike. I felt like I was moving at a snail's pace! This 5k loop goes down the same slight down hill, and then uphill that the bike course does, so that was just adding insult to injury with how I was feeling. I did the best that I could do, but I felt awful. I could tell that my heart rate was way too fast and I focused on controlling my breath and finding my rhythm, which is hard to do on an uphill when your legs feel like they aren't moving. I could hear a whistle in my breathing which was my cold and congestion showing up. I was so grateful to hit the half way point where there was not only an aid station where I took some water, but the course leveled out before starting the downhill to the finish line. I tried to make up for time on the second half and went as comfortably hard as I could with out overdoing it. I enjoyed the second part of the course probably because I was so ready to be done. It was great coming around that final turn, but I almost collided again in the same place with a kid heading out on the bike course. Not well done!
I did sprint to the finish line and had a final run time of 27:46. This is an average of an 8:54 m/m! Shut the front door! I don't know how that was possible based on how I felt, but this is an improvement over last year's time of 28:01.
My total time for this sprint tri was 1:19:16, which is an improvement over last year by 8 minutes! I made up the most amount of time this year on the transitions and the bike. I am pleased with this time, but I was slightly disappointed, as I was hoping for greater improvement on the swim and the run as well, as I have seen huge gains there in my training, I wanted that to translate into more of an improvement at race time. However, I was racing this sick, so I don't know if that was a factor or not, but I definitely know that I was not at 100%. I felt like crap before and after the race, and during the race as well. However, I have many more races this year where hopeful I will feel better and can train harder for those, and hopefully I won't be sick for them!
This was the first time that I have done a race with this company, Racetri. I was very pleased with them and the only change that I would make is that part of the course where bikers are coming in, going out, and runners are coming in as well. It was a disaster to navigate through that. They did have great shirts, a nice medal. and the race director was a hoot! I am glad that I was pleased with them because they are the ones that do the Utah Half and the Rock Cliff tri, both of which I will do later in the summer.
This is me, one very happy girl ready to go home. I crashed as soon as I was in the car!