My First Tri: Super Sprint Tri Race Report

I’m so behind on this race report it’s embarrassing. It’s been a busy week+. So…here is how the tri went:

Splits & Rank:

Swim – 6:22, Rank: 1
T1 – 1:04
Bike – 26:57, Rank: 6
T2 – :36
Run – 16:38

Overall time – 51:34, Rank: 3 – I got a medal!

25-29 year old rank: 3/15
Overall rank: 21/148 women

Originally I was ranked 2nd and received a 2nd place medal at the awards ceremony, but later the official results came out and both the girl in 1st place and I were bumped down to make room for another girl who pwnd both of us.

RACE DAY
I stayed at a friend’s house the night before so I made a sprouted grain eng. muffin with PB and bananas for breakfast and ate it in the car on the way there. I ran out of time to get coffee and “process” it before the race started so I took an Excedrin instead. Had some water and a few sips of Gatorade. Filled and chilled bike water bottle with a water/Gatorade mixture the night before.

The race was to start at 7:30 so I got there around 6:40. Wheeled my bike over to my transition area, which was assigned to me and quite convenient, and racked it. Laid everything out and was all set. Hit the bathroom, then picked up my timing chip and got marked. The one person I “knew” (met on a triathlon forum and exchanged race #s for a possible meetup) happened to be right behind me in the marking line so it was nice to meet him. It was his first tri, too. I met his wife and kids later and they were all very sweet.

Jogged in the grass and stretched a lot beforehand. The weather was pretty good so I was about as comfortable as someone who gets cold easily could be at 7am.

SWIM – 400 yard snake swim
I was so glad that “my” event was first because I knew what to expect. It was like a pseudo swim meet, except without the starter, dives, flip turns….okay, so not much. I managed to stay ahead of the rest of my age group (AG) and was only passed by one guy seeded a couple of spots behind me. However, I went out much too fast for my own good and was thrilled when I got to the end of the lanes. At this point my heart was GOING. My final time is a lot slower than my entry time of 5:45 but I think it’s due to the lack of flip turns and having to touch twice at each end.

T1
I hauled ass to T1. No wetsuit since it was a pool swim. I had decided at the last minute to forgo socks so my wet feet gave me some difficulty slipping into my running shoes (no bike shoes, sneakers had elastic laces), but otherwise the transition went smoothly. Threw on mesh shorts, helmet, sunglasses. I had 2 Shot Bloks laid out so I ate one on my way out and stuck the other under the edge of my swim suit near my shoulder. I had trained once with Shot Bloks and they seemed to digest well.

BIKE – 8 miles
Because I’d gone out too fast in the swim and am already not a great biker, I was a little fried at this point. I struggled to keep my avg. pace above 15 mph. The course was mostly flat with very gradual inclines/declines and I actually found myself wishing for hills so that I could at least recover instead of mashing pedals the whole time. I took one sip of my water/Gatorade mixture.

T2
Walked/jogged my bike in to get my heart rate down, racked bike, helmet down, grabbed race belt, go.

Run – 1.8/1.86 miles
If I’d been able to catch my breath better in the first mile, I would have established a nice albeit slow pace. Finally got a decent one established during the second mile and was able to sprint home. I would definitely have liked to reach a faster comfortable pace. My calculated pace was either 8:55/mi. or 9:13/mi. depending on which distance is used. I didn’t have my Garmin with me. Walked through a water stop and took a bunch of other quick walk breaks.

After I finished and finally caught my breath, I did some light jogging, stretching, drank lots of water and Gatorade, had some snacks, and my second Shot Blok. Mmm, wet, sweaty Shot Blok. Cheered for my tri buddy, watched the kids’ tri, and hung out until the awards ceremony and door prizes. I thought I perhaps had a chance of placing in my AG since I hadn’t seen a ton of people pass me. Turns out I was right and it was awesome. I also won a door prize – $15 Road ID gift cert. I already have one so I gave the cert. to a friend.

The limiting factors in my race: the facts that I went out too fast in the swim and that I’m not a strong cyclist.

The bottom line: I think I had a good start into the adult tri world but I really really really need to work on my bike. That makes it or breaks it. Either way, I had a great time at this race when I wasn’t dying and would love to do another. Perhaps something a little longer to allow me to pace better.

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