Tri for Fun Series: Race 1 Recap

Saturday May 31st I did my first sprint triathlon, so I’m officially a triathlete, woot woot! This Tri for Fun race was race #1 of 3 of the summer series (so more to come)! To find about how the race went, check out the recap below!

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Pre-Race: Driving, Packet Pick-up and Set-up

The location, Rancho Seco park, is about 45mi from me and I’m SO glad I gave myself over an hour to get there. Why? Because the MAIN road to get to the park had a CLOSED off-ramp. Then the “Detour” signs were conflicting, so I just decided to ignore them and follow my phone (which led me to the correct place).  I pulled into the parking lot just after 6:30am and it was still pretty empty (some areas still being set-up).  I opted for race day pick-up and it was really fast! Got my orange swim cap (meaning my start wave was 8:15am), race bib, bike race number, shirt and swag bag.

TBF_T4F1After dropping the extra swag stuff off at my car, I grabbed my race backpack and bike and headed to the transition area (still relatively empty). There were only a few “reserved” rows, everything else was free for all.  Once I got my stuff laid out, I headed over to get body marked (sounds so bada$$!). My number was written on both arms, my hand and my age on the back of my left calf. I then carefully applied sunscreen all over and around the numbers (did I mention sunscreen is good at taking off marker?).

Once I was done with all the prep (so much more work than for a run!) I walked around, hydrated, put on my 1mm skin wetsuit and headed down to the lake.  Nobody knew what the water temp was, but it was actually very nice! Not too hot and not too cold.  I swam some laps just to warm up and then headed to the restroom one last time before my wave started.

0.5 mi Swim + T1: 22:28

After all the men started their swim, the women 39 and under began! I started out a bit faster than I should have, but it was a bit crazy trying to avoid other people’s arms and legs in the water. The first buoy came up fast and we started to space out more evenly. Soon after, it felt like forever getting around the other 3, especially since I had to keep doing the breast stroke between every few freestyle strokes just to make sure I wasn’t veering too much off course (no handy lane lines like in the pool!). I could tell I was going faster than my usual pace, but I was concerned when I turned the corner of the second to last buoy that I was swimming farther outside than I needed to (thinking I was therefore taking longer to finish the swim). But the shore finally came and I was thankful this bottom area wasn’t covered in rocks (like the rest of it).

I was a bit dizzy getting out of the water and running up the grassy slope, but I still managed to take off my cap, goggles, and peel off the top half of my suit.  I was thankful I only used the skin suit since anything thicker would have made me too hot during the second half of the swim (I heat up easily). Once I got to my bike, I peeled the bottom half of my suit off, quickly dried my feet, put on my helmet, race belt (bib number), socks, shoes, gloves and then grabbed my bike to run out of the transition zone.

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16 mi Bike ride, T2: 1:01:16, 1:03

My body still felt fine at the start of the bike ride, shoulders a bit sore, but legs still fresh. I was annoyed at having to go over 5 speed bumps and riding on a road that needed to be repaved.  I felt like I was biking slower than normal due to the added friction of the exposed asphalt (little gravels poking up), but I tried to just focus on little goals, like hill to hill and the turn around.  I was feeling a bit discouraged during the bike portion since I saw lots of people heading back when I was just heading out. I wasn’t sure if I was toward the end or somewhere in the middle.  Not sure why I was so frustrated. I kept reminding myself to enjoy the race because it was my first tri and it didn’t matter how fast/slow I finished.

At the turn around, I was biking into the wind. Between the asphalt, the small hills and the wind, I was getting fatigued toward the end of the bike ride (more than during training). After going over the 5 speed bumps again, I reached the transition zone chute, dismounted, ran into the zone, dropped my bike, helmet, and gloves off and traded them for my hat. I also just spun my race belt to the front.

3mi Run: 32:15

The run was along an orange dirt path that wound around the area of the lake and then headed east.  While I like running on dirt, this was very powdery dirt and there were lots of little hills (also see the shoes picture, shoes were white). I felt VERY slow and sluggish; the bike to run transition is still the hardest for me (even during training). I did take a few walk breaks, but I was afraid that if I walked for too long, I wouldn’t want to start running again.  After I hit the turn around, I passed through the water station again (this time not taking water like I did before) and managed to weakly thank the volunteers for coming out; it came out sounding like an exhausted whisper.  Since there weren’t any mile markers, I estimated that when I was around mile 2, I started to get past the “two mile suck” and was able to pick up my pace. When I turned the final corner, I was very glad to be running through the finishers chute to some water waiting in a cup across the finish line!

Finish Time: 1:57:14

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The guy with the water cups said something to me, but all I heard was “and not even breathing hard”. I think that was a compliment? Honestly, I felt about as exhausted as after my first half marathon even though I didn’t exercise for as long of a time period.  My lungs could go for more, but not my legs! After checking my race segment times, I felt better about my performance because I swam, biked and ran at a paces I had hoped to! And did well on the transition times. I am looking forward to the next race in the series in mid-July, hopefully I beat my time!

P.S. I’m only a little sore in the legs. I feel more sore in the arms (triceps!) and upper back, so I know I should do more to train my upper body.

How was your weekend?

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3 thoughts on “Tri for Fun Series: Race 1 Recap

  1. Great job on your race! That man’s comment was what was said to me a very long time ago ( middle school ) and discouraged me from running again. Strange thing to say to someone after a race though… So, take it as a compliment for rocking your Tri. You worked hard and your times are awesome!

  2. Congrats on your first tri! Isn’t it weird how there is no standard distance for a sprint? Your distances were definitely different than the one I just did.

    And it’s funny, I get the same thing where the first two miles of a run suck and then I sort of start to get into it! Looking forward to hearing about your next one!

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