(600yd Swim / 15M Bike / 3M Run)
June 28, 2014
Age Group: F30-34, 9/9
Swim: 17:11 Pace: 2:52 Age Group: 7/9 G: 57/69 Overall: 177/203
T1: 2:19 Age Group: 8/9 G: 50/69 O: 153/203
Bike: 59:54 Pace: 15.3 Age Group: 9/9 Gender: 64/69 Overall: 186/203
T2: 1:55 Age Group: 9/9 Gender: 61/69 Overall: 174/203
Run: 24:06 Pace: 8:02 Age Group: 3/9 Gender: 27/69 Overall: 118/203
The Morse Park Triathlon was at the end of my first week of Olympic triathlon training so I was definitely in a rhythm. I had swam three times, ran twice, went to computrainer and hot yoga classes in the week leading up to the race. My legs, especially hamstrings, were feeling tight from computrainer class, but not enough to keep me from racing. I had two goals in mind: average at least 15mph on the bike leg and ride in arrow position. I was one for two. Overall successful.
Bryan and I arrived at Morse Park really early to get my gear set up. Probably a little too early. I was starting to get intimidated by all the amazing bikes and fit looking athletes. Looking at my bike you would think I am a badass triathlete, but I’m an impostor. I look good, but in reality I’m below average when it comes to cycling. And there weren’t very many people racing at this triathlon so I knew I would definitely be towards the back of the pack. The water temperature was a “balmy” 79 degrees so no wetsuits allowed. I flash backed to my first triathlon last year in the canal. I didn’t wear a wetsuit then and my swim was a disaster. Hopefully I wouldn’t repeat that performance.
Stepping into the water for warm-up, the water felt cold. Didn’t feel like that 79 degrees they were claiming. I inched in slowly and finally told myself to just start swimming. I started off with breast stroke to get warmed up and then switched to freestyle. I was calm and collected and my breathing was good. I didn’t feel nervous. Once I was warmed up, I didn’t want to get out of the water. The air was cold compared to the water.
I got in line for the swim somewhere towards the middle to the back of the line. As it was my turn to start, I ran to the water and started to run in the shallow part of the water and realized I should probably start swimming because people behind me were diving right in. I told myself to not worry about the others around me and to swim like I do when I’m at LA Fitness. I did my typical breathing every 2 strokes on the right side and sighting about every 10 strokes. I kept counting my strokes to keep my mind from freaking out so I wouldn’t have a repeat swim panic like my previous swim at the Indy Sprint Tri #1. Concentrating on my breathing definitely helped. I didn’t panic and got into a rhythm. I didn’t swim breast stroke until I had to go around a buoy. Somehow I managed to swim in a zigzag pattern though. There was quite a bit of wake from the nearby jet skis so I was definitely weaving. I should have sighted more often so I didn’t waste so much energy weaving back and forth. I felt as if I was swimming strong but when I looked at my time when I got out of the water, I was slightly disappointed, I thought it would be much faster. However this was my longest open water swim and without a wetsuit so I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Plus there were still plenty of swimmers behind me and I actually passed a few people in the water during the swim.
I managed to be a little quicker during my transition this time. It had now started to mist a little so my pedals were wet. I clicked in my left to start and then when I took off and tried to click in the right, my foot slipped a little so I started pedaling anyways with one foot clipped in. After a few attempts I finally got the right foot in. I had two goals for the bike leg: to average 15.0mph and to ride in arrow position. The course was less hilly and less curves versus my previous races so I should be able to get into arrow. There was a slight breeze so when I would get into arrow my balance felt off and I was uneasy. I would put one arm in arrow and then switch arms. But I found that when I was in arrow I was concentrating so much on staying balanced that my speed slowed. So then I would raise up and pedal hard to get my speed back up. Sadly, I was actually getting passed quite a bit during the bike leg, so I was basically riding solo with no one in sight. Not so good on my confidence, but I kept pedaling away. I did manage to get up to speed quite a bit. Every time I looked down at my speed it seemed to be around 16mph. I only fully got into arrow a few times, which I still need to work on but at least I increased my bike speed to 15.3mph average and on my longest bike leg during a race! Towards the end of the bike I was ready to be off the bike, my but was sore and my ego was a little deflated. Seeing all the people already on the run and finishing the run was a little disheartening. Oh well, at least my dismount was flawless this time!
Again my second transition was quicker than previous races. It was time to start taking it a little more seriously and shave off time where I could. And it was also time for me to go to work….the run leg. This was my time to shine. My legs didn’t feel tired, they felt warmed up. So I immediately started passing everyone in sight. I didn’t get passed once on the run. It was an out and back course so I ran passed Bryan twice. He said I didn’t even look tired compared to everyone else. Some of Bryan’s triathlon friends (who were the top finishers) were running a cool down and cheered me on twice during the run. Seeing so many familiar faces definitely helps keep the momentum up. I ended up averaging an 8:02 average pace which was my quickest run pace thus far for my triathlons.
Overall, I consider this race to be a success. It was my longest sprint thus far and finished around the time I was hoping for, I increased my bike average to over 15mph, and I quickened my run pace to an 8:02 average. The only thing I wish I would have done differently was attempted riding in arrow position more, but I got scared. Bryan says I need to ride more so get more comfortable on the bike. When I get more comfortable on the bike, everything else will follow suit. Bryan told me something else that put me at ease. He said it’s easy for someone that is really good at all disciplines and has been doing triathlons for years to go out there and race. But it’s difficult for people like me that are putting themselves out of their comfort zone and doing something that scares them. Anyone can do something that is comfortable to them, but to do something that scares you or do something new is an achievement and deserves respect. Yes, I’m a slow swimmer, yes I’m the worst person ever on the bike, but you know what, I’m out there doing it. I’m out there racing with everyone else. I may be coming in last in my age group every race, but I should give myself more credit because again I’m still racing and not giving up.
My next triathlon is the Indianapolis Sprint Triathlon #2 mid July. My second chance at this course. I know what to expect this time, so I should not be intimidated by the swim or bike. My goal is to shave off a few minutes on the swim, average 16mph on the bike and run an 8:00min ave pace on the run. Overall, hoping to break 1:25. But until then, it was time to finally go out for once and celebrate one of my bestie’s dirty thirty!