Monday, August 17, 2015

YWCA Women's Triathlon Race Recap

My first triathlon is in the books and it was a great experience!  I have a lot to say about the experience (warning - long post to follow!) but will start off with the night before.  I biked over to Phil's in the afternoon and we stayed in that evening and made one of my favorite pasta dishes which is chicken with a white wine sauce (with GF pasta, of course).  It was really good!


After dinner, I laid out everything that I was planning to bring to the race.  There is so much to remember so I am glad I had made a list last week!  I got everything to fit in my bag, though, so that is good!


After that we watched a documentary about how Champagne is made and I obsessively checked the weather forecast.  It was not looking good and the race director had sent out an email saying that the race may be cancelled if there was lightening so I was kind of freaking out a bit.


Luckily I woke up to overcast skies but no rain on Sunday morning!  I was so relieved!  My friend Courtney picked me up which saved me from having to bike to the race.  It was only about 3 miles away but I didn't need to bike any extra miles that morning!

We got to the transition area, got set up and took some pre-race photos.  Courtney is the person that talked me into doing this race as she's done it twice and loved it. However, she is 7 months pregnant so instead of doing the full race, she did the swim leg of the relay.


I was in one of the later waves so had a lot of downtime between when they closed the transition area and lined us up but it went by fairly fast.  The first wave started at 8 am and my wave started around 8:39.  I was soooo ready to start and just have the swim behind me as I was very nervous about the swim since it's my weakest sport.  From here on out, I'll break down the race by sport:

Swim:  500 yards. Goal = 15 minutes; Actual = 12:40.  The swim actually went better than I was expecting.  It's definitely the weakest of the three sports for me but it went better than I thought it would.  One thing that helped is that it wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be.  When they released the waves, they had 4-5 swimmers start at a time, with 3-4 seconds in between sets of swimmers which meant that the swimmers were way more spaced out.  I was expecting to be kicked and hit and swam into but I only had one little collision.  That said, I was soooo happy when the swim part was over!

Courtney snapped this shot of me running out of the water to the transition area.
T1:  2:14.  The first transition took the most time as I had to put on socks and shoes.  I had rolled my socks which made it easier to put them on my wet feet quickly but it's still time consuming.  I had worn a water proof watch for the swim but I threw my Garmin on at this point so I'd have an idea of how fast I was biking and running.

Bike:  15.5 miles. Goal = 1 hour; Actual = 54:41.  I was really happy with how the bike went as my pace was 17 mph which is faster than I was anticipating.  I ate an applesauce within the first mile which gave me some extra energy. Those were the only calories I had during the race.  I probably should have had another applesauce during the run but all in all I felt pretty well-fueled.  I passed quite a few people during the bike ride and pushed it pretty hard on the pace, which made me nervous that I might not have much left in the tank for the run.  In the last mile I saw Phil so that gave me some extra energy and made me smile.

T2:  1:23.  This transition went really fast as all I had to do was dock my bike, ditch my helmet and throw a hat and my race bib on (which I pinned to my spibelt).

Run:  3.1 miles. Goal = 28 minutes; Actual = 26:31.  I saw Phil right away at the start of the run and he ran with me for a little bit.  He asked me how I was feeling and I told him I was tired but he gave me some encouragement and said to remember that running is my strongest sport.  I definitely needed that pick-me-up.  My legs felt pretty tired and if I had to guess, I would have said I was running slower than 10 minute/mile pace, so I was shocked to look down and see a pace of 8:30-8:40.  I was definitely very ready to be done at this point but I powered through!  I was so in the zone that I did not hear Phil, Courtney, and Courtney's family cheering for me at the end.  Those 3.1 miles were tough so I was shocked to look at my results and see that I maintained an 8:34 pace during the run!

Courtney's husband snapped this photo of me as I was coming into the finish.  You can tell that I am pretty 'in the zone'.

Total Time:  Goal = 1:50; Actual = 1:37:28.

Officially a triathlete!
Phil and I at the finish!
I was really surprised and very pleased with my time.  I ended up finishing 246th out of 935 participants and 44th out of 155 participants in my age group, which I feel good about.  My ultimate goal for this race was to finish and have fun and I definitely accomplished that!

So the big question that always gauges how good the race experience  was is - would I do this again?  And the answer is yes!  I think I would stick to this race, though, as it's really well-organized plus I think the sprint distance is the right distance for me.  And honestly, I liked that it was women-only race.  I feel like that made for a very supportive and positive environment.  I will say that my next triathlon will be done at a time when I'm NOT training for a marathon, though!  Training for two races simultaneously is too much.  Lesson learned.

Have you ever or would you ever do a triathlon?

22 comments:

Karen said...

Congrats! All your hard work paid off - sounds like you did awesome!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Wow, you did awesome! I love that you were passing people during the bike. I am always passed during this portion haha. I really need to work on biking but I hate the process to do it :( The best part is that you loved doing it and would do another one! I have done a womens only one and am doing another- I definitely like it. Even with the mens sprints I haven't encounter too much craziness except in one that I did. However, the weather was bad for that one (they had to turn the swim into an additional run on the beach) so I think the only people that showed up were the hardcore people and they were really not pleasant haha.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Great job! I knew you would do well! I think having prior marathon training brings that element to the table where you know you can perform even when you are tired out. This is why it's especially good that the run is the one at the end! It's just like the end of a long road race!

I have never done a tri, but always did want to try a sprint tri! I know I could do it, but I have a pretty old bike, so I would have to get some new gear, which I am just not ready to do at this point in time. However, on Saturday I ran 13, biked 7, swam maybe .2 (but my arms were pretty darn tired!) and kayaked about .2, so I know I could do it! You didn't say how long the swim / bike distances were and I always forget...

Marisa A. said...

Dang you totally crushed that tri! I'm pretty positive I saw you, but I think I picked a bad spot to spectate. I was on West River Parkway and it was a hill so everybody just had their head down trying to get up it. It looked really fun though and I met another lady spectating and we commiserated about the miserable long run conditions on Saturday. Knowing how the swim portion is set up for this race I might look into doing it myself! I am terrified of being kicked or swam over but with so few people in each wave doesn't sound like thats a big issue.

Stephany said...

Goodness, Lisa, you CRUSHED this race! You had fun AND finished with an amazing time. Way to go!!

Marlys said...

BRAVO! You passed your goals and that is so exciting! Sounds like you had great support and we were cheering you on from a distance! I'm happy the weather held out.

Caroline said...

Congrats!! You did awesome! I'm glad you had such a great first tri experience :) I never pass people on the bike haha my weakest sport..

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Wow - congratulations girl!! That must feel so good to have beaten all your goal times!!! Also your transitions were speedy!!! I don't think I'd ever do a triathlon, but I'm super impressed by those who do them.

J and A said...

Good job Lisa!! You did so awesome. Congrats!! Tris are so impressive to me.

Carolina John said...

Outstanding! Those are really quick transition times, most people have to practice a lot to get under 90 seconds. Next you'll be looking for a race belt and speed laces like Yankz.

Sprints are how you get hooked. After the marathon you'll be checking out longer distances. it's ok, embrace it.

Gracie said...

Congratulations, Lisa! I'm so impressed! To come out and soundly beat your expectations for your first time at an event is rare and certainly speaks to your preparations. Great race.

Jenny said...

Fantastic job! I'm so pleased for you - you achieved all your goals! :D You did great and I'm so happy that the swim portion went well as I know that's the part you were most concerned about. Ah, it must have been a great feeling crossing the finish line and knowing that you totally stepped up to the challenge and can add triathlete to your list of titles!

Jeanie said...

Congratulations! Your results are fabulous -- I love it that you were under goal in everything! And you look terrific! How great to have such wonderful support. I'm just thrilled that your first event went so well with very good placements! Onward to the next -- it will be fun to follow you!

Charis Faith said...

Ok so I totally got tears that Phil ran with you and asked how you were doing!!! That is really incredibly sweet!!! GIRL... YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!! Way to go!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!

Nora said...

I got all teary at the part where Phil ran with you; what a sweet boyfriend you have! I am so glad that the encouragement from Phil and your friends helped you through but obviously you're a strong athlete as YOU did the tri all by yourself. Congrats and way to go. So happy that your first experience went so well :)

missris said...

Oh my gosh you did it!! Congratulations!! You are amazing and should feel so, so proud of yourself :)

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Awesome job! I always love the photos of people running out of the water in triathlon. It just looks pretty hardcore to me. So far I've only done a sprint tri with a pool swim. Maybe someday I'll do the open water swim. :)

Amber said...

Whoo! I had a feeling you would blow your time goal out of the water but I know it's so hard to know especially when you've never done that kind of a race before! I remember my legs feeling really dead at the end of my tri too and being surprised by my running pace because I felt soo slow!

I have yet to do another triathlon since the one I did in 2011! There aren't a lot of triathlons in my city and I just haven't felt the urge to sign up for one but maybe I should again!

Becky said...

I'm SO SO proud of you!!!

Abby said...

You did AMAZING! You crushed every single goal! And look at your smoking pace on all 3!!! Way to go, Lisa!

You are a rockstar on your bike! Holy cow!!

Wow, I really like how the did the swim for you. The 2 tri's I've done - they released 1 AGE GROUP at a time. Holy kick in the face.

You always feel way slower on the transition to bike to run than you think because your fatigue is all in your hamstrings. It's pretty cool!

Wow! I am so proud of you, rockstar!!

Shoshanah said...

Congrats on meeting all your goals! You did awesome and most of all it sounds like you had a great time!

A said...

Hurray! Congratulations!