On Sunday, I completed my first olympic distance triathlon! If you've read some of my other posts, you'll know that I was most nervous about the swim. But thanks to my wetsuit and some extra swim practice the last few weeks, I made it around the course without any panic! This was also my last triathlon of the season, but I'm already looking forward to doing more next year. They are so much fun, and I know I definitely have room for improvement, and can do better triathlon-specific training.
We arrived at the park for the race extra early since transition opened at 5:30am, and we needed to pick up our packets. There were three different distance races occurring at the same time, and I wanted to make sure we had time to set up with a good spot in transition. Even though we had over 2 hours pre-race, the time went by SO fast! I was glad we got there early.
Swim: Goal -- 36 minutes. Actual 32:39
We had a deep water swim start at 7:40am. As I planned, I started closer to the back of the pack -- not too far back, but not on the front line. I gave myself a little room so I wouldn't have to deal with getting kicked or swam into right away. This was the first race where I wore my wetsuit. The water was about 65 deegrees, and it felt perfect with the wetsuit on. I think the wetsuit helped me a ton! It makes it so much easier to keep your hips up and glide through the water. I was able to keep my breath steady, and stay calm throughout the swim, which I am so proud of myself for!
T1: Actual 2:33
I have never been able to time my transitions before, since the sprint triathlon I have done doesn't time all the splits. Because of that I really had no idea what my transition times would be! During T1 I struggled a little bit to get my wetsuit off my ankles -- it got stuck on the ankle timing chip. Something to practice, I guess.
Bike: Goal -- 1:24. Actual: 1:23:05 (18.3 mph)
I was hoping to finish with a pace of at least 18 miles/hr. I ended up just barely over, so I was glad about that. According to my garmin (actually remembered it this time!), my mileage was a little long (about 26.25 mile). I started a little slow, and also had to slow some at the end due to lots of quick turns with not much space. Most of the time I just focused on keeping my legs moving and getting in some calories and water throughout.
There was one confusing turn where the sprint and international distance triathletes were supposed to turn right, and half iron (long course) distance triathletes were supposed to turn left. The signage only really showed sprint and long, so several international distance racers weren't really sure which way to go. The volunteers also were a little confused. I know this made it difficult for several racers. Ryan actually ended up going the wrong way for over five miles, before turning around to the right course. I chose the right direction, but was very uncertain for a while if I made the right choice. I am so glad I did!
T2: Actual 1:26
I felt pretty quick in this transition. I had to run to the opposite end of the transition area to the run out. I think quick laces would help me be a little faster, so maybe for next season
Run: Goal -- 55 minutes. Actual: 52:38 (8:26/mi pace)
In general, I thought the run went pretty well. Since I haven't been very good about practicing brick workouts this summer, I wasn't sure what my pace would be to run a 10k off the bike. I decided to settle into a comfortable pace for the first half, and push it with whatever I had left on the way back. The run course had some rolling hills, but none that were too crazy. At about mile 4, my stomach started to feel funny and I was burping a bit, so I stopped drinking water and just put whatever I had left out there until the end.
Overall: Goal -- Finish under 3 hours. Final time: 2:52:21
There ended up being only 3 women in my age group who finished the race. I think one (who was super speedy!) likely went the wrong way at that confusing corner on the bike, and probably rode 56 miles! Because of that, I finished 1st in my age group!!
Check out the sweet swag!
My first olympic triathlon was a huge success! I am getting more and more comfortable in the water, and I finished under my time goal! I am excited to do a more focused triathlon training plan to improve my bike speed, transitions, and maybe my run after the bike.
I am really loving triathlon right now, and can't wait to complete more next year!