A couple weekends ago, I competed in my 2nd Rocketchix triathlon 🙂 (I wrote about my first one in Trying a Tri). The race last Saturday consisted of a 200-meter swim at the LSU rec. center, a 12-mile bike, and a 2-mile run along the LSU lakes. This women-only sprint triathlon is beginner friendly and super fun, while at the same time pretty competitive and challenging.
I ended up seeding myself in the 3-minute group for the swim as we lined up at 7 am. I’d had my cousin time me in the pool a few days before, and my 200 time was 2:30–not bad considering I hadn’t swam much the last couple of years. After discussing swimming experience and best times with the other triathletes, it was decided that I’d go first. So out of the 300 or so women present, I was the first one in and out of the pool (as if I wasn’t nervous enough already!). But that was actually awesome because I felt like a superstar as I jumped in to kick off the race.
I started my 200 at a sprint pace, but since I haven’t trained much in the sport of swim since college, I ran out of steam about halfway through. Regardless, I still finished 1st place in the swim with a time of about 3 minutes (yay!).
The bike is the part that killed me. I’m still relatively new to biking, and my bike is a hybrid–not a racing bike. I got passed by so many women on the bike portion of the race, my mom was starting to worry about me back at the transition area!
I finally finished up the bike portion, and I was ready to run. I told myself I wasn’t allowed to walk at all. It’s just 2 miles! I kept thinking. The thing that really kept me going was the volunteers cheering and handing out water along the run route. A local group called Girls on the Run–which helps young girls get healthy and fit while training for a 5K–sent some of their girls to volunteer at the tri. These girls were precious and inspiring, cheering “You can do anything through Jesus!” I think for a lot of the athletes, this was the favorite part of the whole race.
I was very burnt out by the time I got to the run, so it was more like a jog. But I managed to catch up a good bit, and crossed the finish line with an overall time of 1 hour and 17 minutes. This placed me 64th overall and 4th place in my age group (20-24). I was a little disappointed that I didn’t place in my age group and that I was so burnt out by the end of the race. My ultimate fitness goal is to finish an Ironman Triathlon, and this sprint tri is only a small fraction of that distance. Basically, I have a long way to go.
After the tri, I felt a new wave of determination and motivation to improve my performance. I can’t afford a fancy racing bike anytime soon, but I can improve my training and diet. So I started going to spin class to improve my biking, I started reading a triathlon training manual (educating myself on technique, nutrition, and proper training), and I’ve managed to avoid fried food for the last 2 weeks. I registered for another tri that takes place in 4 weeks; this one has a 1/2 mile open-water swim, 20-mile bike, and 5K run. It will be my most challenging race yet. The only way I can improve is to push myself, so that’s exactly what I’m doing. Stay tuned…