Saturday I completed the NJ State Sprint Triathlon… it was perfect weather for a tri, cool and a cloudy. My friend Gordon completed the tri with me and my husband was there for cheering, support, and of course photo taking!
Swim: The swim took place in the lake, water temp was 82 degrees (a little warm, but better than freezing). It was a different swim start than I had done in the past and it wasn’t my favorite. Each corral (age group) had to swim out to two buoys and tread water for a few minutes until the director gave the okay for time to start for that group. I didn’t mind a little treading water as a warm up, but was not a big fan of swimming next to guys. Guys are more aggressive than girls in the water and some of them don’t care if they are running over a guy or girl. Boo. Another con was that a girl in my age group had a panic attack in the water before we started so the lifeguard kayaks and boat had to come in and rescue her… delaying our groups start and causing more energy to be spent treading water. Really I shouldn’t complain too much because the swim was so short, but it’s more a nerves thing. Anyways, so they pulled the girl out of the water and a couple minutes later we were allowed to start! I knew the swim would take me 10-15 minutes and was a short distance… I started strong and didn’t panic too much although I had to pull my head out of the water a couple times after being trampled into by other swimmers (so disorienting). The swim was 400m straight and then a left turn… once I got to the turn I had passed most of the crazy diagonal swimming people so I felt like I had a strong finish. Note: you don’t find out the breakdown time of each leg of the race including transition until the results are posted later online (unless you time yourself, which I don’t) but I will include each of my times in my synopsis. I finished the swim in 11:05, Excellent! My swim rank was 305 out of 1198 (including women and men!)
Run: The run was an out and back course along a paved trail in the woods. It was shaded and mostly flat with a couple tiny rolling hills. After the bike fiasco I was pretty sad, but told myself that if I couldn’t do really well on the bike because of the issues I was having, I would at least try to push myself on the run and do well. Running is my best event of the triathlon… I’m a much better runner than biker, and swimmer. Running is easy…. I’m better at pacing myself for longer distances but a 5k is nothing so I tried to push myself. Note: running any distance after biking is painful for at least the first half mile… your legs feel like jello and its really hard to get them to work smoothly. Usually after a half mile the jello feeling starts to wear off and you hit your stride. I didn’t practice too many brick workouts (bike followed immediately by a run) but I knew the jello effect would happen no matter what. I enjoyed myself on the run, cracking some jokes to volunteers (mostly children) and of course saying thank you! I finished the run in 25:03. My run rank was 363 out of 1198!! Out of men and women! I should note that while there are a good amount of runners that do triathlons, many triathletes are non-runners and suffer through 3.1 miles. But it is by far the easiest for me… I thought it was a good time for an 5k, even more so considering the swim and bike I had just completed.
Overall I was proud of myself for doing well on the swim and run and holding it together on the bike. It was extremely frustrating and discouraging to be having those chain issues and having to stop my ride but I held it together and pushed myself to stay positive and finish. My overall time was 1:31:37… which actually wasn’t terrible. Women’s rank was 324 out of 542. Overall rank 859 out of 1198. You can clearly see how much the bike ruined my overall time, but it could’ve been worse, and at least I wasn’t injured. I know I could dominate that course another time, and I will!
Have you even done a triathlon or thought about it? Does reading this make you more interested? (or less, haha)? Ever completed a triathlon before?? Any tips (especially on bike maintenance?)