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My First Sprint Triathlon

August 21, 2011

Feeling the pre-race anxiety!

On July 24, 2011, I woke up before the crack of down to race my first sprint triathlon – Solana Beach! My goals going into the race were simple:

1. Don’t drown during the 400m ocean swim.
2. Don’t fall off the bike during the 9 mile ride.
3. Run as fast as I can during the 5k.

I’m happy to report that I accomplished all those goals!!  I didn’t spend too much time training for my first sprint – approx 5 weeks – but it went really well.  Below is a little bit about each leg along with my split times.

Leg 1: 400m Ocean Swim in Fletcher’s Cove (14:27)

I’ve never been a swimmer.  Before I started triathlon training, I rarely even went into the ocean past waist deep.  Just ask my friends that went to Rio with me earlier this year.  Even in the scorching heat, I was a sand girl all the way.  Waves and current were simply not for me!  Part of the commitment I had to make with my triathlon training, however, was getting over my fear of open water swimming.  I literally dove right in and did my first two races in open water (bay and ocean) with very little training.  Needless to say I am much less afraid of open water swimming, and neither experience was traumatic. I love swimming in a wetsuit. I feel like it keeps me safe and warm!  (It essentially acts as a floatation device making it easier to swim.) I felt good getting out of the water knowing I had conquered my fear.  I finished the swim portion of the triathlon behind all my friends, but I was happy I wasn’t the last one out of the water (and that I didn’t drown).

Exiting the water during Solana Beach

Leg 2: 9 mile bike ride on the 101 (36:23)

I entered the transition area to change from swim to bike and felt a little light-headed when taking off my wetsuit. I think my body was still getting used to all the swimming, so hopefully the swim dizziness will subside the more I train.  I successfully got on my bike and clipped in without falling (success!) and was on my way for the 2 loop course.  I worked on pedaling as fast as I could and not getting passed. I’ve been getting more and more comfortable on the bike over time, and the best thing is that there is a lot of room for improvement. It’s important that I get my speed up before my Ironman. The faster I go, the less hours that my booty will be on the bike! During Solana Beach, I started gaining ground and passed several girls in my age group that were out of the water before me. My legs were pretty strong after marathon training and P90X.

Finishing the bike ride with a smile

Leg 3: 5k Run (23:41)

I was very excited for the final part of the triathlon because it’s my strongest area of the triathlon.   I just completed a full marathon 6 weeks earlier, so I wasn’t worried about a 3.1 mile run.  It was definitely a weird feeling running immediately after riding a bike, but that didn’t stop me from finishing strong and passing more girls in my age group! I finished with a time of 1:14:31 and placed 34th in my age group.

Happy Triathletes

Solana Beach sprint triathlon is a very good race for beginners looking for a little extra challenge with the ocean entry swim.  I had so much fun the entire time I raced and was fortunate enough to have my family there cheering me every step of the way. I’m so happy they support my crazy fitness endeavours, and I bet they can’t wait to join me in Coeur d’Alene for my full Ironman next year!  Until then, I will be ramping up my training and rewarding myself with a cerveza or cupcake every now and then.

Celebrating a successful race

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From → Triathlon

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