I had some knee problems early this year, and was not sure I would be able to continue my streak of participating in at least one triathlon every year since 2002 (a couple of those years, I did a swim leg in a relay). I promised myself that if I could, I'd be happy, no matter what my time.
I signed up for the Women's Only Tri knowing that I would not have much run training in the bag. The Fitbloggin' 5K was the first run of that distance I had done in quite a while, and most of my training runs were less than 30 minutes. I had done quite a bit of swim training, and some bike training, so I was really figuring the run would be the hard part.
Last night I went out with my husband for a prerace meal. I ordered a salmon entree that came with a side of marinara pasta, but for some reason the salmon just didn't appeal to me that much once I got it, so I mostly ate the pasta. I even had a glass of wine.
I was pretty nervous about the race, as usual. I had gotten a big triathlon backpack from Jesse for Christmas and I made a checklist of all the stuff I needed to have. I got all wrapped up in looking for a spare pair of goggles that I never needed.
For the race I wore my new trisuit with an Enell bra underneath. I pinned my race number to my Team Toledo shirt and slipped that on for the run.
Setting up the transition area always makes me nervous. I got there early and was worried that some latecomer would squeeze in and mess up my careful setup.
We seeded ourselves for the swim. There were stairs with different time labels. The stair for the time I thought I would do, 9-10 minutes, was completely mobbed. I decided to put myeslf at the end of the line for the sub-8-minute swim. It turns out that I passed 2-3 people during the swim, so I think I seeded myself correctly. My swim time, 10:48, includes a run up concrete stairs and into transition, so I think I was probably out of the water in less than 9 minutes.
It was a cold day so I took a little extra time trying to dry off before getting on the bike. Riding the bike while wet was chilly. I did not have my bike computer working so I paced myself completely by feel. Because I had gotten out pretty early, I didn't have a lot of people riding around me. I got passed by a few people but I also passed quite a few, mostly duathletes, who had started before me.
Everything else was pretty uneventful. The run was hard. I had biked pretty aggressively so my legs were tired, and my feet felt like lead. I walked the water stops and a few other stretches but mostly kept up a jog. I caught myself and realized I needed to stop and enjoy the experience. I got passed by a lot of people on the run, many of whom I recognized from the bike. I did manage to enjoy it anyway. A woman passed me and said, "this sucks, doesn't it?" and I was puzzled. It was a pretty typical 5K course, other than that we went through a parking lot and around a soccer field for part of it. I just wished I had more energy. It was also hard to tell how much further I had to go.
I saw that if I pushed it, I could finish before the clock turned to 1:31. I figured that would give me a sub-1:30 race time since I wasn't the very first to start. I pushed it in with what little sprint I had left.
My goal for this race was to finish feeling good. I had gotten the Skratch Labs sports hydration and had some before the race and some on the bike. During the 5K I made sure to only take water, no sports drinks, so I could see how my body reacted to the Skratch. I'm happy to report that I had no GI distress at all.
Below are the race results for my age group, 40-44. I'm number 96. For the purposes of USAT age groups, I am 43 years old. I finished 15th in my age group and 92nd overall. I was especially happy with my performance in the swim. I finished 6th in my age group in the swim and 37th overall, so I think I seeded myself correctly. I was 13th in my age group in the bike and 63rd overall with a time of 39:05 for 11 miles. My 5K time was 35:23, for a pace of 11:25 per mile. I was 23rd in the run in my age group and 132nd (out of 166 finishers) overall. My final time was 1:28:47, so I met my goal of a sub-1:30 race.
I'm happy with it. My goal is to stay injury-free and continue to improve on the bike and especially the run. I think that I did well, especially considering my training challenges.