Triathlon Race Recap (and a Reminder!)

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Moving right along…I made it through my first triathlon, post-surgery! My knee surgery was 9 months ago and if anyone would have told me back then, that I would be strong enough to race again less than a year, I would have possibly laughed in their face. That may or may not have happened.

All in all, my two goals for this first post-surgery race were to…

1) not freak out in the ocean, avoid a flat tire, not stop during the run
2) finish in an hour & 30 minutes [or less] 

Saturday morning was an early one. It always is but I’m so glad that during my training this time around, I made the habit of getting up at 4:30am twice a week because I really think that made it easier for me to wake up on race day and not feel like such a zombie.

Breakfast was light. 1 frozen banana, a handful of frozen strawberries, 1 scoop protein powder and a cup of almond milk. That early in the morning, my stomach can’t really take much more. However, I knew that with a few hours still left until race time, my body would need more fuel. I packed an apple, another banana, 2 slices of whole wheat toast and peanut butter. To hydrate, I had a gallon of water plus my 2 bottles for the bike – one with Gatorade and one with ice water.

As soon as we arrived, I knew it was going to be a cold one. It was windy and the water felt colder than I remember it being this time of year. At least it wasn’t raining! At the last minute, I decided against borrowing my friends’ wetsuit and I’m glad I didn’t wear it for the race. Not only had I not trained with it, I wouldn’t have to worry about spending 10 minutes in transition trying to peel it off.

The swim was fairly calm in the beginning. I was holding back and saving energy for the remaining legs of the race, being a bit over-cautious. In retrospect, I could’ve swam much faster and still have had enough leftover energy. Transition was a bit longer due to a 1/4 mile distance from the shoreline to where my bike was positioned in the transition area.

Since I wear a tri suit, I just threw on my shirt which already had my race number pinned on it and I would wear for the remainder of the race. Typically, I wear a race belt but forgot to pack it so this was my back up plan. Time was ticking by during transition (known as T1) so I hurriedly threw on my helmet and shoes, not even bothering to dry off from my swim.

The bike was decent. I’m very familiar with this race course and today, it was definitely friendly – only brutal headwinds on two portions of the course but otherwise, it was pretty smooth riding. My only disappointment was that I did not beat my personal goal to complete the distance in 30 minutes or less.

For the second transition (T2), the only thing to go was the bike helmet and run about 50 yards to the actual start of the run portion. Half of the run was on pavement with no shade and this was were I felt most of the sun and heat from the early morning. The rest of the run was on loosely packed sand with some shade. It was perfect, as there was a nice breeze and temperatures were comfortable. Definitely no humidity like the July races!

I felt strong when I finished. Truly, my knee did not hurt any more than it does normally and I even felt like I had some energy left. Which leads me to believe that had I pushed a bit more in each leg of the race, I definitely would have come in under my goal. There’s always next season!

For those stats-oriented people, here are some fun details:

660 Yds swim| 10 mile bike| 3.1 mile run
Overall time  1:32:47
Overall rank 534 / 657
Age group rank  17 / 25  
Water temp  73F
Air temp  60F
Wind  9.2 mph from N
Swim  20:57   
T1  4:49
Bike  34:51   
T2  1:16     
Run  30:56

For comparison’s sake, here are the stats for the same exact race 4 years ago, pre-injury and when I was pretty much at my best physical shape. Oh, and I was also about 10 lbs lighter.

660 Yds swim| 10 mile bike| 3.1 mile run
Overall time  1:22:11
Overall rank  282 / 402
Age group rank  3 / 4
Swim  13:53
T1  2:27
Bike  36:30
T2  0:37
Run  28:45

p.s. Sorry about the quality of the photos. They are not mine. {Source}

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