Whoa, what’s with all these race reports?
I didn’t set out to create such a crazy spring race schedule … there are just too many great events!
May 20 is the Columbia Triathlon. I signed up months ago, and it will be my first Olympic distance triathlon. When I found out TriRock was coming to town eight days before it, at first I hesitated.
I really wanted to participate, but two triathlons in just over a week?
And then I realized what a good training experience it would be. The distances for TriRock were pretty short, 500 meter swim, 12 mile bike and 5K run, so it seemed like a good opportunity!
The location was perfect — only two miles from home. I actually packed all my transition gear in a backpack and rode my bike to the start. I was a chilly ride at 6am, but the garages recommended by the race organizers were almost as far away! And hey, I didn’t have to pay to park!
There was a bit of a line to get into transition once I got there, which I didn’t really expect, but I still arrived with plenty of time to set up and wedge myself into my wetsuit for only my second open-water swim of the year.
Oh yeah, it was also only my second time ever swimming in a wetsuit. While this was my fifth triathlon, I’ve only ever done the Iron Girl race. In August. No wetsuits allowed!
My one test swim the week before went fine, but we were in shallow water. Much warmer shallow water.
I knew it was going to be cold. I kind of dreaded the swim (in fact, the first thought I had when I woke up was, “I don’t want to jump in that water”), but was pretty relaxed as I waited for my wave to go off. I was distracting myself by chatting with some other women in my swim wave.
The five waves ahead of us seemed to fly by, and all of a sudden we were next. I still didn’t want to go in, but at that point there wasn’t a choice! Still, I felt fine as I half stepped/half jumped off the dock into the chilly water.
My feet were cold, but it didn’t seem that bad … until they sent us off and I put my face in the water. Brr! I took a few strokes and started to panic a little bit. Not in a way that would require assistance from the support kayaks/paddleboards. I knew I could handle the swim, but I just couldn’t calm myself down. I did some sidestroke — which I haven’t done for years! — and then tried freestyle again. I’d have to breathe every stroke, still not comfortable. I did some breaststroke — slow but at least I could catch my breath. I’d flip back and forth between freestyle and breaststroke, but never really got my groove. Fortunately, 500 meters is pretty short, and was over kind of quickly even at my slow pace.
The next challenge would be getting out of my wetsuit. I had a bit of a wetsuit fail during our practice swim, when I got stuck at the ankles. I tried practicing at home, but it’s a lot easier when it’s dry! I was happy that on race day, I didn’t have too much of a struggle.
The bike ride went well. It was a bit of a hilly ride, but it was expected. Part of the course was a double loop that included going over the Naval Academy bridge and back … twice. It wasn’t too bad, though. Even though I had way too much of my training on spin bikes and not enough outdoors, I felt pretty good out there.
Still, I was happy to rack my bike and put on my running shoes. The uphill start up Main Street was a little bit of a rude awakening — my legs were definitely feeling the ride! I did my best to keep moving and ignore any protests from my legs. I felt decent enough, but I didn’t really have a good grasp on how fast I was running.
I had my Garmin on the whole race (I have the waterproof 310XT), but in multisport mode it kept my time and distances cumulative. Huh? I was sure I’d used multisport mode before and it would reset as I changed sports. But this time, the time and mileage stayed from the previous sport, and it just said “BIKE” or “RUN” in the bottom right field. Well, that’s a good way to make sure I’m not obsessing over the pace!
I had no time goals, anyway. This was my only triathlon at this distance (Iron Girl is longer), and it was a training race, anyway!
Since the run course was an out-and-back, it ended with a downhill. It was a fun, fast finish!
The finish line festival was great — breakfast burritos, two free Red Hook beers, and an AC/DC cover band playing from the top deck of a boat. I had fun chatting with both friends and strangers in the beer garden!
TriRock was a great event. I’m really glad I did it!
I’m disappointed that my swim was so uncomfortable, and am a little bit freaked about Columbia’s swim. I’m trying to stay positive, though. It always does take me a while to warm up during the Iron Girl 1000 meter swim. Perhaps I need a 500 meter warm-up, and I just wasn’t there yet!
I’m happy with my results, though. Rankings below are out of 65 in my age group.
Swim: 14:58 (45*)
T1: 4:00 (30)
Bike: 46:29 (27)
T2: 2:16 (28)
Run: 27:00 (22)
#31 in age group
*actually, I kind of expect to be in the bottom third. The swim my weakest even on a good day!
**it doesn’t say out of how many.