I’m back…Yes it might have only been a Sprint but it was a great step for me. On Sunday, I had the chance to do a Sprint Triathlon. My first one in 2009 (before E was born).
It felt soo good to get back into it. I was worried about even signing up because it came the week after the Rock n Roll Chicago Half but it was so close to home and cheap considering it was a USAT certified race.
The official distances of the Kirkwood Triathlon was 400M, 10 Mile bike, 3 mile run. I was fairly confident going in about the swim and the run but, as it use to be, the bike is what I dreaded the most. It has always been my weakest link. But let’s start at the beginning.
First off, St. Louis is having an extremely unusual cold spell right now. That’s right I said cold and it’s JULY. I had to wear my Oiselle sweatshirt to the event just to stay warm. I showed up at the transition area at 6:30 for a 7:30 race. I racked my bike, setup my transition area and waited. The woman that racked next to me showed up in an Oiselle Rundelicious top so I knew I HAD to talk to her. Turns out she owns a little shop in Kirkwood that sells Oiselle. SOO, you know where I will be heading the first chance I get. Link to Instagram picture of my transition setup
Anyway, I digress. The swim was a 400 Meter serpentine swim. At the time the swim started it was 55 degrees. I KNOW! I told you…cold. I’m not a huge fan of Serpentine swims. It’s a zig zag in a pool where you hope you’ve lined up correctly and don’t get behind the only guy doing the breaststroke.
Well, as luck would have it, I managed to line up 2 people deep of that guy. When I swam a few days earlier, I had swam this distance in 8:33 and I knew from experience, that I needed to add on a little extra time for all the extra stuff that goes into an actual race swim. So I lined up around the 9:00 minute mark. Well, after 45 minutes of waiting, it was finally my turn to go. I took off and by the 4th lap, I had come up right on the heals of the lady in front of me. I tapped her on the heal and passed, then kept going. I don’t think it was even a full lap later, I ran into the breaststroker. I have no problems with the breaststroke except when you’re doing a serpentine swim and your 6 foot!!! That means you are IMPOSSIBLE to pass. I tapped him on the heals..no acknowledgement that I wanted to pass. So I hung back for a couple strokes and just go so frustrated I did the only thing I knew to do. I swam underneath him. I passed and kept going. Couple laps later, I was out. It was at this point where I really WISHED I had a Garmin 910xt. I was for sure I was well over the 9:00 mark but I had no way of knowing.
Transition 1: I can’t do anything without socks on. That’s my downfall. So at 1:40, I knew I was killing time putting socks on but oh well.
Bike: I was actually feeling pretty confident in my bike going in to this. I had done a few 15 milers with a 18mph pace but this course had two hills that did me in and it was a 5 mile loop so I got to see them twice! I ended up finishing with a 15 MPH pace. You know, as big as my legs are you would think there would be enough stored energy to push me well past the 18 mph more but I guess I need to learn how to tap into it better.
Transition 2 (T2): Another 1:42. I forgot lace locks. trying to tie shoes during a tri is challenging. Lace Locks are a small investment but they are worth every cent.
Run: I started out on the run and had pretty shaky legs for the entire first mile. I could only imagine what Michelle’s legs must have felt like after the bike leg of the ironman which she was doing at the exact same time I was doing this. I reminded myself of that every time I felt tired. 🙂 I was shooting for a 10 min/mile pace but found a grove and ended with a 9:43 pace. I probably would’ve done better too. I lost my focus in the middle of the run for a little while.
I crossed the finish line sort of uneventfully since I was there by myself. I enjoyed a chocolate milk and some stretching and headed home where I was immediately greeted by two babies that were excited to see their mama. Mommy duty doesn’t stop for anything.
I am proud to be able to call myself a triathlete again. I really enjoyed the morning and realized why I fell in love with it in the first place. I’m considering doing another small one that is really close to home again at the end of August so we will see.
My hope is to make a decision soon about next year and whether or not I see an Ironman in my future. It’s on my bucket list but I know it is a LOT of training time which I’m not sure I can find time for. I’m realistic about the demands I have right now with Work, Family, Charity Work and my life.
I’ve talked about it a little with my husband and we are still strategizing about how it would work so we’ll see. Stay tuned!
Want to send out a HUGE congrats to NYCRunningMama who completed her Ironman on Sunday. So inspiring and an amazing accomplishment.