Saturday I competed in my 6th triathlon and my 4th Olympic Distance Triathlon as well as my only repeat triathlon. Yay- I can actually compare performance and see if I improved. Spoiler alert: I did!
After taking 3-4 weeks off working out I was worried about building my endurance back up for a triathlon but I actually felt fine during it so that’s good news. Although I definitely lost some running speed which I need to work as marathon training is under way.
This is an extremely small triathlon about 100-150 people so you can basically show up before 8am, pick up your bib, set up anywhere you want in transition, not worry about parking, and there are indoor bathrooms! These are all positives… although one of the negatives is that it’s really not an awesome course…. I’ll elaborate later. Also my pictures are a bit lacking because my husband was up sick all night on Friday and still wanted to come Saturday morning but I said that he should stay at home and rest so he would feel better…. Off to my first solo triathlon #independentwoman So most of these pics were taken prior to the race and none are of me actually racing.
The swim was in a lake which I love and surrounded by beach which means sand. It was a mass start with 3 waves- the last one being all the women. I felt great during the swim and while I certainly wasn’t the fastest woman I felt I held my own and was pleased that my time improved from last year. This is a very impressive swim time so I should share that I’m 99% confident the swim course is short- realistically I should probably add like 3-5 minutes for a real mile swim time. Either way I improved and was in the top half of the field for my overall swim time, go me!
The bike course was super boring last year… it’s one big loop with no spectators in a very rural area. I still don’t have a Garmin for my bike so I made sure to wear my watch so I would know the mileage as I raced. While I have come a looooong way on the bike since I started racing a couple years ago- I’m still not awesome. I attribute this largely to not clipping in- huge disadvantage. I was passed many times on this bike course and I only passed 2 people- one of them was also using standard pedals. I hope I can master clipping in ASAP and will be recruiting anyone that wants to help me! So the bad news is I was probably in the bottom 10% of the bike but my time did improve a lot from last year so overall I’ll chalk it up to a win. Also I should mention the race course may have been a tiny bit short- less than a mile but I believe it was short.
2014: 1:28:24 17.3 mph
2015: 1:22:57 18.4 mph
The run sucks. It’s also boring and deserted and not to mention its on a trail composed of pine needles, sand, and some gravel. If you like trail running you will love this- if you are like me and never ever trail run you will likely hate it, especially the running on sand part. Basically you run 1.5 miles into the woods, and the run out and then do it again. You see people along the way but you have no idea if they are on their first or second loop or anything. For the Philly Tri this year I did awesome on the run, picking people off one by one. While I passed a few people on the trail it’s really just not the same. Plus it was really hard on my knees- the only time I experienced any pain during the tri. I resolved to not pushing myself and basically just finishing the dreaded course. My time was slightly improved and I finished in the top half of athletes so I’m totally fine with that.
2014: 56:25 9:06min/mile
2015: 55:31 8:58min/mile
A 10 minute improvement on the same course! Even if the course was short, I still did better this year and I really only consider myself my competition. I did however win 2nd place in my age group! However the time improvement was more a personal victory for me. The prizes were improved this year too so that was nice. This was my last triathlon of the season and although I missed out on one tri I planned on doing, both the ones I did complete went really well.
Honestly…. When I told my husband, family, friends, etc everyone was excited for my “PR” and 2nd place win but I honestly wasn’t too excited about it…. So many things in life just matter so much less right now and it kinda sucks. A few months ago I would’ve been on cloud 9 after this race… and now I’m pretty apathetic. I wonder if I had done worse than last year if I would’ve even been disappointed. Who knows. I know things haven’t been super cheery or happy on the blog lately but it’s important for me to be real. As marathon training picks up I hope my excitement will as well… I know that my dad would be so proud of my race yesterday and so proud of me for training for a marathon so I’m just trying to remind myself of that instead of the fact he won’t be right there cheering for me.