Sunday, August 07, 2011

Triathlon for Hope 2011

I had signed up for an "olympic" triathlon for today (I put olympic in quotes as it was not an official Olympic distance). On my schedule from Coach it said, "if you're not 100%, skip the race." Well, I haven't felt 100% since ironman training started, but I had already paid for this race, so I was going to do it. On Saturday we went up to the race start to do a practice swimbikerun. I had a great swim, but once I got on my bike my legs just wouldn't move. With all the miles I've put on my legs in the last couple of weeks, they just said no. I thought and thought about it, but I knew if I did the olympic I may coming in dead effing last. When I woke up Sunday morning, I was so nervous about it that I was sick to my stomach and really didn't want to do the longer race. As we picked up our race packets I inquired about switching races. There was a sprint which was a 750m swim, 12 mile bike, and 5K run and there was a women's only sprint that was a 400m swim, 12 mile bike, and 2 mile run. I switched to the women's sprint. Sucker!

The swim was a straight shot from one end of the beach to the other. Because it's a beginner-friendly race, walking the swim is okay, so they gave us the choice of swimming between the buoys if you were a strong swimmer or swim/walk on the right side of the buoys if you were not such a strong swimmer. There were three waves for the race. Mine was 30-39 and all relays. There were all of about three of us that lined up between the buoys. 3-2-1-go and we're off. The girl to my left took off fast and I tried to stay on her toes. That lasted about three strokes and then I was all alone. There was NOBODY swimming in my wave. Not even halfway through the swim, I had already caught the walking swimmers from the previous wave. It was hard to keep a straight line as the buoys were not in a straight line and you had to play dodge 'em with all the walking swimmers. I came out of the water around 8:45ish. Dave yelled to me that I was second in my wave. I already knew that, but it was good to know what I was chasing.

Transition was one of the quickest ones I've had onto the bike and I was off.

The stiffness and tiredness in my legs from weeks and weeks of training were still there on the bike, but I just went with it. I couldn't get my speed up to where it should be for a sprint race, but I was doing well against the field and that's all that matters. I played cat and mouse with a couple women for a while, but they were friendly so I was friendly (if you know me, you'd understand that statement) and just had fun. On the back half of the course I could see the police escort and could count back and see I was the sixth biker. And, I was not in the first wave, so I knew I was doing well. I did my best to have a good bike, but it was what it was and I'm okay with that. I'm training for ironman not sprints, so my speed is just not there. I finished the bike course around 40 minutes and according to my Garmin was around an 18.6 mph average. Honestly, that's the best average I've ever had in a race, but what I should be able to do is better. And I was doing well against the field.

Transition two was a whopping 53 seconds (word!!!) and I was chasing those chicks ahead of me from the bike. I think I might have already passed half of them in transition.

The run was uphill in the gravel to the dam, halfway across the dam, and then back down the same path. Still no speed in the legs. In fact, I've run marathons at a faster pace than what I averaged on this two mile run today. It didn't matter though as I passed everyone ahead of me. As I came into the finish, I was announced that I was the first finisher. Of course, I had my number upside down and inside out, so they didn't call my name, but pretty cool to be the first finisher. I was sure I was going to have some hot-shot 20 year old come out to beat me.

But you know what? It didn't happen. I freakin' won this race today. I had absolutely no business winning the race, but a win is a win and I'll take it.

Next race....THE BIG ONE!!!!!


Kiersten said...

Awesome job! Love the quote "but they were friendly so I was friendly"

mtanner said...


Erika said...

Congratulations!!!! I would love to someday win a race- must be a great feeling!

Melissa C said...

Great job Meredith!