Over the weekend Bryson & I raced in the Bear Lake Brawl at the sprint triathlon distance. It was a fantastic day for a race.
We decided that we really needed to complete a full sprint triathlon (750 meter swim, 20K bike, 5K run) before the season ended, since Salem had been shortened up. We love Bear Lake, it is simply gorgeous country– an oasis of turquoise in the Rockies. I trained really hard all summer long, and was excited to see how it would pay off.
The race got off to a near-shaky start… I almost missed my heat wave at the start of the swim. I thought they still had one wave to send before mine, and then I heard the announcement over the speaker that my age group should be ready in the water. Ack!!! Thankfully I made it out there fine, and in plenty of time. But my heart skipped a few beats in the process, I’m sure. One positive thing about that, though, was that the adrenaline pulsing through my veins made the cold alpine water a complete non-issue.
The swim went fairly well. I took it out pretty fast, and by the time I got half way through the 1/2 mile swim I had a pretty sizable lead. That’s when things got difficult. I tried to spot the buoy to mark the next turn, and I could not find it. Anywhere. The glare of the sun off the water totally limited my vision, and since I was leading I couldn’t just follow the pack. Finally, after doing breaststroke for what seemed like months, I saw a small pack of swimmers headed for–you guessed it– the next buoy. Irritated at myself, I caught up to them and the rest of the swim went well. I was the first swimmer out of the water from my age group. My transition was SLOW, though. I definitely need to work on that for the next time around.
The bike was fantastic. For the first time, I actually felt competitive. (I guess that’s what a new road bike in your life will do ya!) I averaged 18.2 mph, which was a PR for me.
Coming into T2, I felt pretty good, and the transition went fairly smoothly despite a slight hang up with one of my clip-ins. I expected to hit the wall a little as I began the run– and sure enough, I did. The first 1/2 mile was pretty intense– the urge to walk was really strong. But after I got through that, I found my rhythm, and felt really strong.
750 meter swim – 14:01
T1 – 5:21.5 (Yikes!!!)
20K bike – 39:35.6
T2 & 5K run – 27:57.1
There was a major malfunction with the timing company at the race, and that’s why I don’t have separate splits for T2 & the run… It was also really frustrating, because the timing problems interfered with the results. The preliminary results had me winning my age group at first, however the final results place me at 5th. Talk about a little let down! I know I shouldn’t let it bother me, because going into the race I just wanted to crack the top ten. But when you see your name at the top– well, there’s a little high associated with it! : )
(Just ask Bryson, he ended up winning his division!!! And yes, I’m a teensy bit jealous!)
Out of all the women that raced, I placed 17th. I was pretty pleased with that, when you consider the number of athletes competing.
Triathlon has become almost an addiction of sorts for me now. When I think of where I was just a few short months ago and where I am today, I am so grateful that I took the leap and registered for that first tri. The sport has brought so much fun and athleticism back into my life. And I’m sure that if I can do it, anyone can.