The culmination of this blog happened this past Sunday with the 31st annual River Cities Triathlon.
I was disappointed that Scott, Tammy and Gwen weren’t going to be racing with me but did have other friends who would be. I’m still amazed that I can do a triathlon that has over 1000 participants and STILL run into people I know. So very cool!
Scott and Tammy did take me out to a nice pasta dinner on Saturday night as well as show up bright and early on Sunday morning to cheer me on. Between them, my mom, my kids and my boyfriend, I had an awesome cheering section throughout the various points of the tri.
I woke up Sunday morning with an upset stomach but thankfully, that feeling quickly disappeared among the loud upbeat music and high energy of the other athletes at the park.
I did get in the water for a short pre-race swim – which I highly recommend. I’ve done that the past few tris and have found it really helps me to wash away some of the nervousness of the swim. This time, my kids enjoyed swimming with me too.
Soon it was time to go. The cannon blew LOUDLY and off we went!
The first thing I noticed was how I wanted to be IN the pack of swimmers instead of behind them. The race announcer said something about drafting and how it saves energy so I wanted to try it. I was proud of myself for not being scared of being kicked, shoved or, as it happened, swam over! Literally, a few over zealous swimmers swam right over the top of me!
As my norm, I panicked in places (read: swam on my back) on the way out to the first buoy but as I made the turn, I found some calm and trudged on through to the end. I actually shaved 4 minutes off of my previous River Cities swim time!
Swim: 30:31.3 (pace 3:28) vs. previous 34:47 (pace 4:21)
Out of the water, I ran up the beach and to the transition area. Note to self: ALWAYS remember to bring a towel to transition. I’d forgotten one but thankfully, my friend Jenn had an extra one for me to borrow. Even still, trying to slip into cycling gloves and socks while still dripping wet is quite the challenge. I appreciate Scott and Tammy being there to encourage me during my transition.
T1: 3:57.2 vs. previous 3:28
The bike portion of the tri is a relatively flat 18.2 miles. I really enjoy the biking because it feels like a vacation to me in relation to swimming and running. I felt like I was able to maintain at least an average of 15 mph… sometimes I was up to 21 and others I was down to 10 on a few hills. I seemed strong after ingesting a mini-Clif bar during my transition. I also had a few peanut butter crackers and drank an entire bottle of Gatorade to stay hydrated while riding. Note to self: wear my Camelbak if at all possible during one of these triathlons in 90 plus temperatures. That way I wouldn’t have to worry about reaching down to grab a bottle while cycling.
Bike: 1:13:09.8 (pace 14.9) vs. previous 1:12:20 (pace 15.4)
My legs were jello after the bike ride but I did my best to rush into transition and get ready for the run. In my head, I was getting excited that I only had 3.2 miles left to the finish line.
T2: 3:22 vs. previous 3:22!
I didn’t really feel up to running even though I did run out of transition. I ran for about 100 yards and then settled into a comfortable walk. I tried jogging but just didn’t have it in me. Then I came upon my boyfriend and kids who cheered me on. When my youngest daughter joined me for part of the run, it inspired me to push it harder.
I noticed that there were not many who were running at this point in the competition. I had an idea in my head of my time and wanted to beat my last course record so I ran as much as I could, only stopping to walk when they handed out water along the run route.
I passed a few people who were exhausted from the heat or dehydrated. I was proud of myself for still feeling strong. I drank Gatorade at every stop and poured ice into my cap. I ran through sprinklers and grabbed the ice cold towels to stay cool. I had a feeling that I must have done well at staying hydrated since I had to pee during most of the race. I’m guessing you wouldn’t have that feeling if you were dehydrated. (I’d also been drinking at least 8 oz of Gatorade every day all week long and a TON of water too.)
I couldn’t wait to cross that finish line just to stop moving! I didn’t enjoy the final 50 yards being all sand because my ankles were pretty weak by that point but the finish line was a welcome sight.
Even better was being greeted by my family and friends!
Run: 36:31.3 (pace 11:47) vs. previous 34:44 (pace 11:13)
Total triathlon finish time: 2:27:31.7 vs. previous 2:28:39 <- a full minute off my previous time!
I’m still a little body weary from the weekend but pretty excited about the possibility of beating my time again next year! Looking forward to racing with Scott and Tammy for sure! And whomever else we can talk into it.
So, how’d you guys enjoy the tri goodies? A race jacket, socks, t-shirt, technical shirt, and a most excellent triathlon backpack… good stuff, eh?
And what’s that you say about kicking my ass next year? Bring it!