Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spring Fling Triathlon Race Report

This morning started at 4:30AM when I hauled my butt out of bed.  The puppy and feline are used to me getting up at unusual hours at least once a week, so we had breakfast together and they go back to bed. Having all my gear packed up last night meant eating, throwing on my clothes and racking up Blue. It's about a 40 minute drive to the Tri course, so I put the address in the iPad and off I went.  

I arrived at the park around 6:30, got registered, which was a mess, and headed to get my gear.  I aired up the tires, grabbed my bag and hit up transition.  One of my favorite parts of Triathlon racing is getting marked and getting the chip; somehow that makes it more awesome.  Not many people were there when I first went in, so I set up and did my thing.  I brought a garbage bag to lay out all my gear on.  All my bike stuff went in my helmet next to my cycling shoes, and my Fuelbelt went next to my running shoes.  I hung my towel over the bike seat for easy access out of the water.  I, of course, posted an update to the page, and headed to the water.

It was chilly for a swim, but nothing too crazy.  I got a kick out of people wearing their wetsuits for 70* water, but apparently it makes them feel awesome....who knows.  Athlete meeting was at 7:15 and the Olympic Tri men took off at 7:30 with the not more than 2 dozen OT women at 7:33AM.  I'll admit, the first jump into the cold water was enough to take my breath away, and it took me a couple hundred yards to stop swimming like a spaz.  This was my first open water swim since September, and it always takes me a bit to acclimate.  The course was two laps around the buoys and once I got my sighting down, I felt better.  Slow and steady I did it.  I took breaststroke rests when I needed to, and tried to stay on the feet of a slightly faster swimmer.  My total swim was 33:14 according to my chip.

Out of the water, down the sandy beach, for a 3:12 run over sand, forest brush and asphalt road barefoot into transition was my least favorite part of it all.  Into transition, dry off the sand, sit down and put on socks, headband, sunglasses, helmet, turn on gps, get some tunes going, throw on my shoes, and run to the road.  T-1 was 1:28, surprisingly!  

I mounted up and sprinted the first mile on the bike route.  It's a pretty boring course, two laps through neighborhoods in a fairly rural area.  It's a beautiful ride, though.  Immediately I felt my shoulders were tired from swimming, so I had to adjust my position a little to ease the pressure.  I'll be getting aero bars this week if it kills me because they'll make a huge difference.  Once I adjusted, I started to focus on spinning fast to get my pace going and my eating plan.  

Being that nutrition has been my epic failure in the past couple weeks, I changed it up big time today.  I invested in Honey Stinger Waffles (check them out here).  I ate my first one at mile 3, then ate two Clifbloks (check them out here) at mile 6.  Each food intake gets water, so I was on top of hydration.  I continued with 1/2 a waffle at mile 9 and 2 more bloks at 12.  This pattern continued through the race.  As I went on, I found myself going faster and faster, and my overall pacing was 15.6 MPH, which is my fastest pace split to date and very exciting considering there were smaller people behind me on the bike course.  Total ride time was 1:28:13 for 23 miles.  Into T-2, rack the bike, off with the helmet, shoes, and gloves, on with the Fuelbelt, Garmin and running shoes, out of transition for a total of 1:25.  

I decided to take the first mile of running slow, even though my legs were dying to go fast straight off the bike.  The run course is over hard packed sand roads and through a campsite, so my road legs weren't too thrilled with that.  This definitely slowed me down some.  I ate another 1/2 waffle after mile 1, then kept chugging along drinking at every mile.  Each mile got faster as the day got warmer.  I ate again at mile 3, then again at mile 5.  As I was running, I'd see people ahead of me who looked really bad, like they were really struggling.  I knew my nutrition plan was working when I was actually feeling stronger with every mile that passed.  Yes, I was running faster than I had planned to, and yes, I was hitting my open stride and loving the run.  At some point, I knew I wasn't going to finish last (although I would have been ok if I did) and started to get excited to finish.  My run total was 1:01:46, average pace of 11:42.  

My total finishing time was 3:10:52.  That's a time I'm super happy with.  There is nothing better than crossing a finish line knowing I did my best and feeling physically good.  I was the only Athena registered which meant I got a medal just by virtue of crossing the line, knowing fully I was the biggest female racing today.  Who cares?  A new medal now graces the rack.  

The biggest takeaway from this race experience today is this: set your mind to it and go do it.  I did this same race last Fall and barely survived it.  Today, I freaking owned it.  I know I'm gonna kill that 70.3 in 3 weeks because I gained so much confidence in my abilities as an athlete today. 

I wasn't last, but if I had been I'd have been ok with it because I didn't even know how to spell triathlon 5 years ago at 300#, and now I'm doing them for fun.  

Rocketman, The Heavyweight Runner is about make your her bitch.  Better get ready, dude.


  1. Congratulations! The only thing better than doing a triathlon is feeling great the whole way. Good luck on your 70.3.

  2. Awesome recap! Congrats! :) Great job!

  3. Great job lady, that is so amazing. Good luck in your next one, you're such an inspiration!