Saturday July 12th, I did my second sprint triathlon…AND placed third in my age group! This Tri for Fun race was #2 of 3 for the summer series (only one more!). Read to find out how this race went in comparison to my first!
Pre Race: Driving, Packet Pick-up and Set-up
This time I knew where I was going and DID NOT have to do the detour again since the road was done with construction. I left a bit later than last time and without the detour, I pulled up early around 6:40am. Again I opted for race day pick-up, which was a walk up. Got my green swim cap (start wave 8:15), race bib, ankle timer, shirt and swag bag (yay for no flapping bike number!).
I dropped off my bag and shirt at the car, pumped up my bike’s tires (brought my own floor pump), added some dry lube to drive train, grabbed my race backpack and walked my bike up to the transition area. While setting up, I overheard a couple down my row doing some basic bike maintenance (like I did at my car). I didn’t think anything of it while I was spraying sunscreen all over, trying to avoid my body marker numbers from wiping off when I heard, WHAP! The guy blew out his tube in his tire. His wife said something like, “Do you have a spare?” and some other excerpts like “the pump was sort of broken and I pumped too hard”, “need the keys to go to the car”.
Since I am super paranoid about having a flat during my races, I have a saddle pack with 2 spare tubes, CO2 cartridge with the breaker, and tire leavers. I pulled one of my spare tubes out, walked over to his wife (both around my age) and asked her what kind of valve/tire size he had. When I told her I had a spare that he could use, she said her husband went to the car to check for a spare, but would take me up on it if he couldn’t find one. So I got some water, changed into my tri clothes and soon after I noticed two shadows behind me at my bike. Sure enough they took me up on my offer. While they thanked me, I smiled and said “Just pay it forward to someone else”. I’d hope that someone would do the same for me if I were in that situation. I also told them that they have a bike station here with some floor pumps that would probably be best to use instead of their broken one. I secretly hoped that I would get some race karma for my good deed 🙂
After donning my skin suit, defogging my googles and putting on my swim cap, I headed down to the lake.
0.5 mi Swim + T1: 20:10
There were less people in my wave and less people in this tri for fun race in general, which was nice. We didn’t have the mass of frantic arms and legs everywhere when the start horn blew. I didn’t go out quite as fast as last time, but I did feel like I was starting at a good pace. Plus the buoys didn’t seem as daunting and I had a better breathing rhythm this time. For speed training, I’ve been going to the pool during lunch 2x/week for sprint intervals. I had no idea if it would pay off, since I’d have to wait until my split times were posted, but I did have a good feeling about this leg. Finally I rounded the last buoy and swam toward the beach. When I got out, I felt ALOT less dizzy and used the same technique of stripping as much as I could while running to the transition zone. I put on a bike jersey (to avoid another shoulder sunburn), helmet, gloves, race bib/belt, socks, bike shoes and hit the ground running alongside my bike to leave the transition zone. I did feel slower during this transition with the added clothes, so maybe next time I use a regular shirt instead of a zip up.
16 mi Bike Ride + T2: 1:05:36
Last time my shoulders were sore from the swim, but this time, I felt great all over starting this leg. Again, I was annoyed at the 5 speed bumps and the unpaved road, but at least I knew to expect these “challenges”. Overall I felt less tired during this leg because having real clip in bike shoes made a HUGE difference. It was a bit windier than last time, so even though my legs were more fresh feeling during the entire bike portion, I wasn’t sure if I shaved off any time. When I was back at the transition zone, I had to change shoes which took longer than I expected and I knew I’d have to make up time during the run if I wanted to beat my previous finish time. Then it was off to the hills to do the final leg of the race.
3 mi Run: 31:21
Before I had bike shoes, the bike to run transition was my biggest hurdle to overcome. Now that I have bike shoes, I am able to utilize more of my entire leg, meaning I am less “lead legged” when I start the run. My legs felt much less fatigued this time, so I was able to keep a decent pace that would make up some extra time taken during the bike leg and transitions. I did take a couple walk breaks at the water stations, but didn’t feel the need to do more than that. Also, I didn’t experience the #twomilesuck! Instead I experienced the #threemileawesome! Once I approached the finisher’s chute, I saw my time and thought that maybe I had beaten my previous time. But if so, only by a little.
Finish Time: 1:57:08
Overall, I felt MUCH less exhausted than my prior race, so I suppose I could have pushed harder, but I still have some races coming up and I don’t want to chance an injury. However, not only did I beat my prior race time by 6 seconds, but I placed 3rd in my age group! Apparenlty there were only 6 of us, but still, yay! I got a cute wooden plaque with a nice metal “Tri for Fun 3rd place” logo design and got to stand on the podium.
While I was waiting for my award (had an hour between finishing, stretching and standing on the podium), the couple that I gave the spare tube to came up to me and handed me a $20. The guy said “If you hadn’t given me the spare tube, I wouldn’t have placed 2nd in my age group. Please take it, even if you don’t need it to at least cover the cost of buying a replacement tube.” Since I couldn’t talk them out of the $20 I did accept it and just asked if they could take a couple pics of me on the podium (yay for making friends!). In summary, I had a BLAST at the race!
Post Race Fun
A coworker found out I was going to be doing this sprint triathlon near her house and she offered to have me come over afterward so I could shower, change, and eat a huge lunch she was willing to prepare for me. It was so wonderful having somewhere close to go after the race (since it would have been about an hour drive instead of 15 min) and to have super delicious food waiting! She and her daughter made some heirloom tomato salad (balsamic vinegar and EVOO), chicken croissant sandwiches, cucumber salad, prepped lots of fruit, bacon chunks, and even made a delicious meringue fruit dessert! She and her family were very welcoming and they said I could come back after my third race for this series in August. I look forward to it! (sorry no pictures of food since I just ate it all). Perfect end to the race!
Swim: So happy my sprint interval training paid off! Shaved off 2 min of my time!
Bike: Wind is wind, even in bike shoes. Plus the added challenge of changing into/out of bike shoes means added time. Need to work on that so I can shave off more time. +3 min of time compared to last race 😦
Run: Legs felt SO much more fresh with bike shoes, happy with losing 54 sec!
Overall Time: PR’d by 6 seconds even with the longer transition/wind issues!
Post Race: Loved the hospitality of my co-worker, she’s awesome!!!