My husband and I joined the CNY Triathlon Club this season. For $35 total (yes, that's total for both of us), we can both participate in the weekly training mini-triathlons they have each week at Jamesville Beach throughout the summer. The course consists of a 300 yard swim (give or take a few yards), a 10 mile bike, and a 5K (more or less). It is a great way to practice transitions, and also offers a little bit of friendly competition to test the muster.
For the first two weeks of the season, Kel has raced while I picnic on the beach with the kids and cheer daddy on. This week was my week to race, and I was looking forward to it with excitement and a little bit of anxiety. I haven't actually done a whole triathlon since last September, just bits and pieces. I was also curious to see how I would stack up against the other women competing.
Here's how it went down:
(I just have total time and some estimated splits. I forgot my Garmin because it was charging, and Noah woke up from his nap in a crabby mood, and in getting everyone and everything in the car I totally forgot about my Garmin...and my socks...but that worked out okay, because I picked Kel up at Fleet Feet, our local running store, and was able to get a new pair of socks.)
The swim was not great. I kind of got boxed in behind a couple of swimmers that were a bit slower than me, and in trying to get around them, I got totally freaked out and basically started hyperventilating. This was surprising to me. I had to swim breast-stroke for a couple of strokes to pull myself together. After that I was fine, and Kel told me I was about the 9th or 10th person out of the water. I got out right behind another woman, who I passed in transition.
T1 went really well. My wetsuit came off easily, and I ran the bike up the little hill and off I went. The bike is 10 miles of rolling hills out and back. The out is quite challenging with a lot more up than down. I got passed by a couple of fast guys, I passed a couple of slow guys, and didn't see any women. As I approached the turn-around I started seeing people on their way back...and I was the first woman! Wow! (I mean, I know it's not a big race, but I was pretty excited!) I held my lead down the last five miles until about a half mile from transition. I got passed by a woman with an aero helmet and a disc wheel...so I didn't feel so bad. I actually ended up passing her in T2, but that was not the last I would see her.
My good friend, Ben, who I consider to be a mentor in endurance sports, was there doing a swim/run, and he had waited after doing one lap of the 5k course so we could run mine together. It was really coming full circle, because Ben is the person who encouraged me to race my very first triathlon. He did the first Jamesville Tri I ever did four years ago with me (which is very generous, because he is way faster than me.) He was there at my first official race, I ran my first 10-mile run with him, and started my first half-marathon with him. He is an ultra runner, and is trying to convince me to do some trail running with him...I'm still thinking about it, Ben!! (I must mention that Ben's beautiful wife, Perri, thinks we are both crazy, and is probably right! He also has two gorgeous kids, Emma and Josh, and I think someone whose name starts with an E. is starting to show a lot of interest in triathlons these days! ;))
Anyway, he was waiting for me in T2, and we attacked the trail pretty hard (for me anyway...he wasn't even breathing hard!) After about .5 mile, we got passed by the fast biker chick who, as it turns out, Ben knows, so now I know her too and can call her by name if she passes me again! She ran about 300 yds. ahead of us for the rest of the course. At the very end, I got passed again by a fast runner girl, and I just couldn't keep up with her.
Official time: 1:09:34 Third woman in!
Swim ~ 7:30ish
Bike ~ 35ish
Run ~24ish (which, if this was really a full 5K, is really fast for me...Thanks, Ben!)
This was really a big confidence booster for me, especially after the slower-than-expected run at Rev3. Next time I will hopefully remember my Garmin, so I have a better of idea of distance and speed. These are not "official" races, but it's nice just to see where I am...like a little test of my fitness in the middle of the week!!