Monday, July 20, 2009

Girlfriends & Dudes Sprint Triathlon Race Report

First, let me say, I wasn't too sure about this event. This week has been a recovery week, which is good, but the day before was a long run. We had our 25K benchmark with our marathon training group. That's 15.5 miles on Saturday, the day before the triathlon. I was a bit concerned that my body would give out.

We did this same course about a month ago and it was not a good experience. The swim was a disaster, so I had that in the back of my mind. I've put a lot of distance between my swimming then and my swimming now, so I was holding out hope that things would be different this time. And man, were they different.

One main difference was the timing. The last event was at 5 pm - this event was a 9 am. I do much better in the morning! It was nice to get up a little later and take our time getting out there. We were sponsoring the event too, so we needed to get there and get our race gear set, as well as our booth.

We got to the site in plenty of time. There was time to spare! We knew quite a few people and got time to visit with all of them. Before we knew it, it was time to start.

Here is our booth - right by the exit from the swim and the finish line!

This is a down river swim. We walked 1/2 mile up river to the swim start. Here we all are.

There were three starts. A charity start, a women's start and then a men's start. There were about 250 participants. That's a lot of bodies in the water. Last time we did this course, there were 20 of us!

I got in the water, further out, away from the shore than last time. Of course, I stayed to the back. I get real nervous. I don't know what it is about the swim, but I always feel so sick to my stomach, until we actually start, then I calm down. The last two events we've done, I have really had no sense of panic. That gives me great joy, I can't even put it into words!!

The gun went off, I did a few breast strokes, then put my head down and off I went. I swam the entire way. The water was a bit choppy and there were some swells. That was a strange feeling. Before I knew it, I was standing up and making my way out of the water.

Swim time: 14:24 (1/2 mile)
That time is a bit misleading. Coming out of the water, my watch said 12:40, but the timing marker wasn't until you got up the hill towards the bikes. So their timing makes me swim look longer and my transition shorter, but time is time right?

In this picture, you can barely see me - pink cap, purple shirt - all the way at the back on the right.

There's Trevor!


Then, onto the bike. I rock it on the bike. For some reason, I think this is my strongest part of the event. I passed quite a few people on the bike. It was flat and fast and the wind was only blowing in one direction - which meant we rode into it, then we had it at our backs. Last time, the wind was blowing sideways and that was just tough the entire time!

Bike time: 40:44 (12 miles)

Pretty quick in the transition - off the bike, into my running shoes and off I went.

T2: 1:32

On the run! I was most concerned about how this was going to go. I worried that my legs would just be too tired from yesterday. Wow, was I wrong. I felt so light on my feet. I wasn't tired, my heart rate was low. I decided to push it a bit and just run as fast as I could in my heart rate zone. My per minute time yesterday was around 11 - 11:30. I ran this 3.1 miles at a 9:20 pace. For the life of me, I can't figure that out! Trevor had the same experience - he went faster andf elt better today than ever!

Run time: 29 min (3.1 miles)

Total time: 1:28:52

This was over 10 minutes faster than a month ago on this course. I was 5th out of 19 in my age group. Trevor finished 3rd out of 10 and got a trophy!

This event was unlike any we have ever done before. Sherri and Alex from NW Personal Training put on the best events. We love to sponsor them and this was the first we actually participated in. We got an awesome goody bag, a really cool finishers medal and the T-shirts are the best ever (see the picture)

Today, I really felt like I had turned a corner. My swim was calm and enjoyable. I pushed things a little harder than normal and still felt good. It was as if all my early mornings have paid off. I feel like I am in the best shape of my life and there is nothing I can't do. Just like the Hagg Lake Olympic Tri last weekend, I enjoyed every single second on this event. That makes it all worth it. That makes me want to do more. That feeling will get me through the next four weeks as we close in on Ironman Lake Stevens 70.3. I feel like I am ready. I am thrilled about that and can't wait to see what the next few weeks will bring!!!

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