Well I am happy to report that my first tri in 5 years went surprisingly well last weekend.
Im not going to lie. I was pretty nervous. And excited. But mainly nervous. Especially about the swim!
However, the swim caps they gave us for the race were PINK. YAAAAAAAY.
A pink swim cap always means it is going to be a good day!
Sooo here is a little insight into my triathlon history. I did the first one in 2002 (I think) and did several races a year for the next few years. When I started out I was NOT a good swimmer. Like, I was embarrassingly awful. In my second race I posted the 2nd slowest swim time out of about 400 people. Over time I improved, and eventually the swim became my best leg.
But then I started grad school and swimming took a backseat. Then I moved to Pittsburgh and had no where to swim, so there was a three year drought (pun intended) in my swimming. Ive been in and out of the pool a few times here in Erie, but still nothing consistent except for the past month. And even then Ive only been in the pool once or twice a week, and my longest swim was 1300 yds…pocket change for serious swimmer.
So basically, when I was standing on the boat ramp on Saturday getting ready for the swim, I felt like I had been transported back in time several years to when I just wanted to cry before the start of every race because I was so scared of the swimming.
But that all changed when the race started. I wouldn’t say that the swim was necessarily FUN, but it wasn’t as dreadful as I had imagined. The water was much choppier than I would have liked, and the algae was out of control.
My time wasn’t bad, 14:14 for .35 miles. That is actually a pretty slow time, but with the waves I still did pretty good compared to other women. The good news it was a lot faster than I thought it would be, so I was pumped to get on the bike.
The bike was fun. The course was just one giant loop around Presque Isle, and it is FLAT and FAST. I don’t have much endurance, but considering it was only 13 miles I decided to get into aero and just go. I was in a later swim wave so I just tried to pass as many women as I could. I finished the bike in 37:05, the second fastest in my age group.
The worst part of the race was definitely the run. I remembered that it really, really, REALLY sucks to run after a bike ride. What I forgot though was just how bad it sucked. I felt like I was crawling through sand for the first mile or so. I definitely wanted to walk, but kept trudging along. I don’t know for sure when I started to loosen up because there were no mile markers. Eventually I felt like I could run, and finished the 3.5 mile run in 28:20, or third in my age group. Not the fastest time ever, but considering my lack of bike training and length of the race in general I was pretty happy.
The best part of the race was that I had FUN. There is an energy in a triathlon that just doesn’t exist in running races. Music in the transition area, athletes chatting and getting all of their stuff ready…and then the race. It is definitely the most fun I have had in a race in a long time.
The best part is I got to do it with friends 🙂
And I finished the entire race in 1:22:19, which got me 2nd in my age group. And this cool award!
Normally I don’t really get too excited about placing in my age group in local race. But I was pretty stoked about this considering my swim and bike training was less than ideal. I guess Im excited because I hope it means that my overall fitness is in a good place, and that it means good things to come later this fall. More importantly I felt like my head was in the game the whole race, and that I can replicate this in my half marathons and other races this fall. But MOST importantly, I had fun. I was so excited to be out there on a beautiful day enjoying physical activity. Considering my struggles with injuries this winter, this is a great place to be.
Fingers crossed for the next few months!!! Happy training!