Saturday, September 29, 2012

Iron Soldier Sprint Triathlon 2012

Today was the big day, and I did better than I expected.

J and I got up early and made smoothies for an easy breakfast (frozen fruit, greek yogurt, a little bit of Naked juice, and some chia seeds). We gathered up our stuff and walked over to the pool. We were some of the first ones there and had our choice of spots on the bike rack. We picked one and set up our gear in between the bikes. It was actually chilly this morning, so we spent a while around the pool staying warm.

As it got closer to start time we wandered outside, and realized why it's good to come early. There was no line for us to get our numbers written on us and pick up our chips, but there was quite the line now. And the racks were filling up.

So the race is starting. We lined up by swim time (they ask for it on the registration), with late registrants and those who didn't put a time toward the back. I was 113. J was 160. I kept going back and forth between nervous and excited.

They keep 3 people in the water at the start point. As one person starts, a new one gets in the water to keep the line moving. I took off and was even able to see (and grin at) J on my first length. It got crazy after that. I passed quite a few people in the water, which isn't easy. So many people swimming together churns up some waves and makes breathing a little harder. I finished the 400 meter swim with a time of 10:23.7, slower than I wanted, but not too slow considering I hit a couple traffic jams in the pool.

I jumped climbed out and jogged to my bike. Had to dry off a bit, focusing mainly on my feet. On went the socks, shorts, shirt and shoes, while sucking down an energy gel. Make sure I have my helmet, grab bike, and jog it to the "mount" line. Then I was off.

The bike part went much better than I expected. My pace was faster than I think I've ever kept it. I did reach a point, I think around mile 13 or 14? where I slowed my pace a bit. I was afraid I wouldn't have any legs left to run on if I kept up the pace I was at. So I slowed to my usual riding pace and finished pretty strong. Time was 59:02.4, which means I averaged a pace of 17 miles an hour. I'm usually lucky to average 15 mph! Wow, way to go me.

Hopping off the bike and jogging it to the rack wasn't as easy. Legs were tired. But I made it, changed shoes and shorts, remembered to take off the helmet, and left for my run. This transition took me a little over 7 minutes, but hey, I was tired!

For the run I was able to settle into a pace that felt easy enough for me to maintain. And maintain I did! I only walked for a few seconds at the water station because I tried to swallow too much and choked. It was on the run where J finally caught up and passed me. That was early on, like in the first half mile. Didn't see him again till the finish. But, like I said, I kept a steady pace and ran the whole thing in 30:35.9! I honestly didn't think my time was that fast. It felt a lot slower! That's an average pace of 9:52.

I pulled out a little kick for the last corner of the run and finished strong. J was waiting at the finish line with my phone to get a couple shots of me.

Yay! I made it!
We walked around to cool down, drank water, talked to a few folks, then grabbed our gear and headed home. The shower felt great, and lunch at Smashburger tasted good. The frappucino I had tasted even better. It's been years since I had one because they are so high calorie, but I felt I'd earned it today.

Overall time, including transition times, was 1:51:09.8. I came in 183 out of 224 overall, and 4 our out of 5 in my age group. I'm thinking next time I might invest in some tri shorts to make transition times shorter. Shave off a few minutes.

The next Bliss triathlon is in May. I think I can get my bike time a little faster, and maybe my run time. I'm going to try to do 1 race a month if I can. Only 2 weeks now until the Transmountain Challenge!

Yeah, I'm that good. 

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