This past weekend I did my first and last triathlon of the year. It was a sprint and it was one that I did last year. When I signed up I was excited cause it was the first time I would be doing the same triathlon 2 years in a row. Which meant I would be able to see how I was doing. Then my goals changed. I’ve been working on my weight loss and running and completely forgot that I was doing this race. It was really one of those, where did those 8 weeks just go?
I went into this deciding I was just going to be a “participant” instead of a “competitor”. I just wanted to finish and enjoy myself. Which is always a goal at a race but normally there is an “ideal” goal but not this time.
We could totally call this the Ladies Hurricane Sprint. Cause it was held on Saturday right after Florida was hit by Hurricane Matthew. Now, although the Tampa Bay area came out pretty unscathed, other areas were not so lucky. There will be more on this topic on Thursday’s post.
Anywho, Jon and I met Karen around 6:30am on Saturday. I had to pickup my packet because of storms. It took all of 5 minutes to setup our transition area then we just ended up chatting with others and hanging out.
Due to rough surf and rip current warnings the swim was moved from the gulf to the lagoon. I wouldn’t have questioned the swim except there were a large number of dead fish all around the water. The lagoon is actually WAY smaller than it looks but you can see it was pretty calm.
I had a really good swim. I half swam and half breaststroked it. A majority of it was walkable to I found it quicker to kinda push off the bottom. It was one of my fastest swims. I think it was in the ballpark of 6:20. I say this because the timing mat at the water exit didn’t work and then it was a half mile walk to the transition. So my swim and T1 times are combined. Jon said it was the first time he saw me come out with the middle of the pack instead of in the back of the pack.
2016 – Swim + T1 = 13:01 (half mile to transition)
2015 – Swim 7:16 + T1 – 4:22 = 11:38 (shorter distance to transition)
Then we were off to the bike. This was where I knew I could get a good idea of my training. I’ve been on a few long rides but I’ve felt way more comfortable handling my bike. The bike is a super flat 10 mile out and back. Last year there was a really strong headwind going out and coming back. It was one of the hardest rides I had ever done. This year it was quite nice. There was a slight headwind coming back but I was able to let it rip on the way out. I got passed by a few people, I passed others, all in all it was a good ride. I forget how tired it is to do completely flat rides. There was very little coasting opportunity. I was happy that I had no issue clipping in or out. It was a pretty fluid bike ride for me!
2016 – Bike – 40:07 (15mph)
2015 – bike – 43:07 (13.91mph)
I cut 3 minutes off my bike time! I know last year had a crazy headwind but this makes me happy!
2016 – T2 – 2:44
2015 – T2 – not recorded
Then it was off the bike and onto the run. I’ve been working on improving my run big time! More so working on getting used to really running in the heat. I knew the run for this race wasn’t going to be super pretty cause they pushed the swim start back to 8am which means by the time I got to the run it was 9:45am and there is ZERO shade on the run course. To say it was a hot run would be an understatement. However, I had my watch set to 1:1 intervals and I stuck to them. As I started out I met a lady who was doing her first triathlon and was struggling a bit. I offered her to stick to my intervals with me and we finished the 5K together. It kept my mind off the heat and helped her to finish!
Starting out on the run
All in all I had a great run. It didn’t hurt, I felt good, and was smiling at the end. The boys running the water stop coming into the finish line were offering to throw the cup of water at you and I said yes! It was cold and felt AMAZING!
Finishing the run
2016 – Run – 44:13 – (14:16mm)
2015 – Run – 47:58 (15:26mm)
I cut my run time by over 3 minutes!
2016 – Total time – 1:40:06
2015 – Total time – 1:42:40
total time cut in 1 year was more than 2 minutes! I’ll take that improvement! I’m thinking I’ll skip this race next year but who knows!
Now, I did have some issues with this race. The course is great! However, the coordination leaves something to be desired. I’ll have more on customer service and common courtesy in my Thursday post. One of the most disappointing things was timing. I finished and checked the posted times. Now, this race does awards 5 deep.
If you look it says Athena overall winners. The bottom is Athena female 39 and under. You will see my name at number 5. I got all excited! I thought I had done really well, my best race ever, and I got an award. UNTIL we found out at the award ceremony that 4 of the overall women were under 39 and counted in the awards. So I was actually 9th out of 9. It doesn’t take away from my awesome race but it does take the wind out of your sails! Why post it like this??
Also, most of the women don’t have swim times. I was so excited to see the timing mat at the swim out. Last year it wasn’t until you got to transition so your swim time was swim exit plus 1/4 to the mat. I saw the mat at the water and was glad to get a real swim time/T1 time. Since it was a 1/2 mile back to transition. Instead, it didn’t work and I still only got a T1 time.
For this race I also switched up my gear a bit and it was awesome!
Swim – I use my favorite Aquasphere Kayenne goggles. I love these googles. Fit great and huge sight range!
Bike – Typically I use the Andy Potts Nathan Pro. Jon and I share for races but he forgot to mention the O-ring when I was cleaning it so I ended up not being able to use it for my race.
Run – LOVE my Boco Trucker hats! This was my Iron Girl one but I collect these! LOVE to run in them! I also have a sweet pair of Under Armour Sunglasses. I don’t think they make mine anymore but I really want some of their new women’s styles! I recently switched to the Brooks Launch for short runs. I use the Ghost for anything over 5 miles. I have also started carrying a handheld for short races. I fell in LOVE with the Nathan Speed Draw insulated. These insulated bottles are pricier so I’m saving to switch all my nathan bottles to insulated cause Florida! This bottle is a great size and kept my water cold even sitting in transition!