Saturday August 2nd, I did my third sprint triathlon…AND placed third in my age group AGAIN! This Tri for Fun race was #3 of 3 for the summer series. Read to find out how this race went in comparison to the prior two!
Pre Race: Driving, Packet Pick-up and Set-up
Saturday morning, I ended up leaving later, around 6am, because the last couple of races I’d had LOTS of pre race time to kill. However, as soon as I got to the freeway entrance (about 5 min from house) it just spontaneously occurred to me that I had left my bike water bottle (special one way valve sport top) in the freezer. You better believe that I did NOT want to have to deal with unscrewing a regular water bottle during the race, so I decided to turn around and drive home. Fortunately it only put me about 15 min behind schedule. Luckily I still had plenty of time to pick up my bib and set up my transition area. Just before the race, I did some yoga and then headed into the water to swim for about 8 min before my wave start.
0.5 mi Swim: 18:37
There were more people in my wave than the prior July race, so it was another arms/legs frenzy. I started out a bit faster than both prior races because I went into this race with a slightly different strategy. Just finish. I’d been working on adding more running miles before my Dumbo Double Dare at the end of the month (so not fully “tri training”). Plus I was also sore at the start of the race. Three days before I ended up pushing myself to do deeper squats during my Body Pump class and the next day went to my second Massage Therapy appointment (to help work out all the bad kinks!). I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel during the bike and run, so I figured I’d bust it out during the swim, which is lower overall impact on the body. For the bike and run I told myself, “I’ll just take it one mile at a time”.
It was during the beginning of this portion of the race that I spotted one of the girls in my swim wave and was able to confirm that she was in my age group. Looking back now, I still find it odd that I decided to fixate on “beating” her, but it gave me motivation to push harder. When looking at her attire, I noticed that she was wearing regular running shoes on a road bike. My instant thought was “she’s going to have REALLY tired legs by the run portion if she pushes it on the bike” because I’ve been there and DONE that exact thing. I passed her early on around mile 2, making sure to keep a steady pace and knew that if she did pass me, I shouldn’t worry because I’d catch her during the run. And that’s EXACTLY what happened. She passed me on the bike portion around mile 9 and I didn’t see her again till the final leg.
3 mi Run: 29:39 (and it was the fastest time in my age group!)
Again, my legs felt SO much less fatigued than the first race I did the bike portion in my run shoes. For the first minute, I did walk just to rehydrate, refuel and catch my breath before starting the last leg in the hot sun. But for the rest of the distance, I was running, not only to finish, but to just be done. It was around mile 1.5 that I saw “that girl in my age group” again that I was “competing” against during the bike portion and she was walking up a hill. Prophecy fulfilled. I ended up passing her and decided that no matter what happened, my goal was to stay in front of her. It helped keep up my motivation to continue running till the end. When I running toward the finisher’s chute I was SHOCKED when I saw the official time showing that I was going to PR from race #2 by about 2 min!
Yep PR’d by 2min 14 sec! Holy moly where did that come from? AND I ended up placing 3rd in my age group again! Had I known that the girl in 2nd was only 30 SECONDS ahead of me, I probably would have pushed it on the swim or bike a bit more (no way I could have pushed more during the hot run). The girl in first finished about 1.5 min ahead of me and the girl I passed finished 4th and about 1.5 min after me. TIGHT race in comparison to the prior two!
Post Race Fun
One of my coworkers offered to have me come over again after the race to shower, change, and eat another huge lunch! Another wonderful visit! She made burgers from local beef (she said she knows it came from one cow) with blue cheese, avocado, lettuce, whole seed mustard and toasted wheat buns. Had sides of pasta, some sort of grain like barley but not barley and ice cream sundae’s to top it off! Yummy! Another perfect end to the race!
Swim: So happy my swim sprint interval training continued to pay off!
Bike: Since this was my third time on the bike course, I felt like I had a better intuition of all the challenges this portion of the race presented. Overall, I felt comfortable because I was better able to take advantage of speeding down the downhills, downshifting to prep for the uphills and avoiding the uneven road hazards (numerous). I felt like I was going faster and still less exhausted than last the last couple races.
Run: Legs felt SO much more fresh with bike shoes, happy with losing 2 min! How did I manage that?