Sprint Tri Recap

Some people run a race to see who is fastest.  I run to see who has the most guts.
– Steve Prefontaine

You know I wouldn’t leave you hanging, right?  I did it. The Richmond Tri Club Sprint Triathlon.  I did it.  I can still hardly believe it, but it’s true:

Crossing the finish line

I finished in well under my 2:30 goal, despite all my angst beforehand when I discovered there was a 2:30 cutoff time on the course.  And, I didn’t even come in last!  I came in 19th of 22 in my category (Novice Women).  My official time was 2:02:19, with this breakdown:

Swim (300 yards): 8:10

T1 (transition from swim to bike): 4:54

Bike (20k/12.4 miles): 58:06

T2 (transition from bike to run): 2:04

Run (5k/3.1 miles): 49:07

The swim situation cracks me up.  Remember this post?  Where I was worried because my “fastest 300-yard” time was just under 15 minutes?  And 15 minutes was the cutoff when I signed up?  Two nights before the race, I was lying in bed trying to visualize my race to calm myself.  And I was imagining the pool, up and back, up and back, up and back, up and back, up and back, up and back, up and back . . . and I thought to myself, “Wait a second.  They sent me a diagram of the pool swim, and there aren’t 12 lanes in it.  But 300 yards is 12 laps in a 25-yard pool . . . Isn’t it?”  Yeah.  Math isn’t my strong suit.  Somehow, very early in my training, I got it in my head that 300 yards was 12 laps and so I just trained that every week, and 20 laps on Tuesdays.  Really, of course, 300 yards is 12 lengths, and so I was actually doing 600 and sometimes 1000 yards in my training!  I have never been so glad to be bad at math in all my life.

This, however, led to another problem:  When I signed up, I gave my 100-yard swim time as 4:30.  Really, it’s more like 2:30.  This meant I’d been seeded with much slower swimmers; in fact, I was slated to start fifth from last.  This could cause lots of problems, so I managed to finagle myself a start time 20 minutes earlier, and I still passed two people.  Unfortunately, my earlier start coupled with my low expectations for myself caused my cheering section to actually miss me at the finish line – I told them to come around 10, but because I started early (and wasn’t able to tell them because who wants a text at 6:15 in the morning) and did better than I thought on the bike, that was too late.  That’s ok, though.  They were all super happy for me when they finally got there a few minutes after I finished:

My biggest fans

David must have told me a thousand times how proud he was of me, and my sister-in-law called me her hero.  Ha.

I’m not going to lie: This was hard.  Physically, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  That I did it at my heaviest weight ever boggles my mind.  When I got off the bike and had to run to my station to get ready for the run, I nearly fell over.  My legs were like jelly.  At one point during T2, out loud to no one, I said, “Sweet holy Jesus, this is hard.”  I could barely run – my feet were numb from the bike ride.  I couldn’t figure out why, but then I realized that the water from my tri suit dripped down into my socks and then the wind from the bike ride made my wet feet super cold (it was not a hot day).  My ass was also numb, but that’s to be expected.

Everyone — other racers, volunteers, spectators — was so nice and super encouraging to everyone else.  Everyone who passed me on the bike (and there were a lot of them) all said “Great job,” or “Keep it up,” or “You can do it.”  And the run was out and back, so everybody I passed on their way in said “Almost done, don’t quit.”  There were lots of high fives.  As I came down the chute at the end, I was alone, so the whole crowd was cheering for me.  I cried, as you can see in the first picture above.  They were tears of joy, though, that’s for sure.

All in all, it was a great experience, and I’m so glad I didn’t punk out.  I would do another one, and I’d like to improve a lot.  I might also like to take on a sprint tri with an open water swim.  That’s going to have to wait, though.  We’ve got plans.

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3 thoughts on “Sprint Tri Recap

  1. Every time I hear a tri story, especially a FIRST tri story I tear up. Yours is no exception. I’d say I was proud of you, but it’s not really my place to be proud of you. YOU must surely be proud of yourself! You are awesome!!! I’ve never done a tri…though I grew up on a lake and was a lifeguard for awhile I’m afraid of the swim part. And now of the run part as I haven’t run in years…so that leaves the bike part and I haven’t biked in two years…so that leaves. . . well…there you go…You are AWESOME!!

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