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My second sprint triathlon is complete, and I again have to say that I love the triathlon! I felt like I had prepared very well, and had tapered really well… until Saturday. To understand the triathlon you have to understand how I came into the day. On Saturday I took an hour Pilates barre class, but tried to decrease number of reps and intensity. Now, I wouldn’t ever encourage you to do this class the day before a race, but I didn’t have too much of a choice, so I tried to deal. Well, in the middle of Saturday night I woke up with pain in both of my legs, and when I woke up to get ready for my tri, it hurt to even stand up straight. OUCH! So much for going easy on myself! So, there was no “racing on fresh legs” or anything of that sort. I was immediately glad I hadn’t signed up for the Olympic distance!

The weather also had a chance of getting really really nasty, and I was just hoping that the race wasn’t cancelled! After I had set up my transition zone we were notified the race would be delayed 15 minutes as a line of storms was coming through. I immediately ran back over to cover up my shoes so they wouldn’t be soaked, and then after those 15 minutes I re-set up the Tzone. We got delayed another 10 minutes standing out at the beach, but then we were off, but not without the rain. The rain really messed up my bike, but let’s start at the beginning:

Swimming (1/4 mile, 11:28): I really enjoy the swim, which I know is atypical for many people doing triathlons, but I do realize that I could get faster. I do the breaststroke which is definitely a slower stroke, but I was still expecting to come in about a minute faster. Like I mentioned, the wind was really strong, and that led to really chopping waters and it was definitely much more difficult to move forward than in the lap pool! Of course there was the typical being kicked or hit a bit at the start, and I think it’s so important to stay calm and keep your breath even when that’s happening. Three times in this short little swim I took a breath and was met with a huge mouthful of water. Again, not what happens in the lap pool, but definitely something to be prepared for in races! I kept swimming and coughing as I went, and it was just fine. The swim was fun and it went far too quickly for me.

photoRunning out of swim to transition zone

Transition 1 (2:55): On of my big goals for this race was to decrease my transition time. My last T1 time was 4:20, so Sunday’s tri was a huge improvement! There was a long hill to run up (some of it was sand, some was pavement), and I had my goggles and swim cap off before I hit the bike rack. I threw some water on my feet to rinse off the sand, and threw on my shoes, socks, helmet, and sunglasses. I had debated not putting them on because it looked like it was about to storm, but decided to anyways. This was a great decision! I ate 2 shot bloks and was off!

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Biking (10 miles, 46:03): This leg really disappointed me, as most of my training rides had this portion coming in 6-8 minutes faster at least. Right when I hopped on the bike the wind picked up, and a few miles in it started to rain. At this point I was so happy that I had my sunglasses on because the rain was coming at a fast speed and smacking the glasses, and it would’ve HURT to not have them on! At one point it felt like tiny bits of hail were hitting me- ouch! I’ve never ridden my bike in the rain, so this was a new experience. My gears on my bike are pretty shotty on a good day, and with the rain, ever time I changed gears my bike would slide a bit on the road. This was the scariest bike ride I’ve ever been on in my life, and I knew that I needed to go slowly if I didn’t want to fall. Someone wiped out right in front of me at the turn around point, and I just barely missed crashing into them! The wind was also blowing really hard on the second half of the course, such that there wasn’t much coasting down the hills. I had to pedal hard to propel myself up AND down hills. A tough ride, and I was happy to have it over!

photoRunning my bike into T2- see the puddles on the road!

Transition 2 (1:17): I was so thrilled when I looked up my results and saw this number! I knew my transition was fast, but I had no idea it was this fast! I didn’t wear cycling shoes, so in this transition I just had to run my bike to the rack, take of my helmet and sunglasses and grabbed 3 shot bloks! My T2 time from my last triathlon was  3:19, so I cut 2 minutes off this transition! Awesome!

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Run (3.1 miles, 35:51): This was only a few seconds different than my 5k time from last summer, and while I would’ve loved to cut time here, I was still happy with the run.  I brought no garmin or phone with me, so there was no 3:1 method going on here, which is different for me. I kept up the pace I had wanted though, so that was good. I felt much stronger this run than last year, and didn’t have heavy legs like I did in my bike/run bricks during training. This is where my calf pain from my barre class the day before really came out. I remember thinking a few times that it felt so tight that I was worried it was going to tear. haha.

photo_2Finish Line!

Total Time: 1:37:30

photoIn the transition zone after the race

The weather and barre class definitely brought some factors against me, but I really had so much fun in this triathlon. My biggest focus on training was doing quick transitions during my bricks, and I mentally ran through my transitions over and over again, and it paid off! I shaved a number of minutes off my overall time by cutting time here, and I’m happy about that! I learned that it would be beneficial to bike a bit in the rain to get used to it for race day, and I also learned that I need a better bike:) My free road bike isn’t ideal for racing! In terms of what I wore, you can find a post on that here (All the gear was the same except I wore a different tank).

In terms of my POTS, things went pretty well today. Of course my run pace is slow, and I have to take walking breaks to bring down my heart rate. I consumed lots of salt the day before the race, and I ate 5 margarita shot bloks that have 2x the sodium in them! POTS can so vary from day to day, but today was as good of a day as I can ask for with racing and my health! At the end of the day, I recognize that I am so lucky to be able to even be able to exercise, and even more lucky that I can race with POTS.

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