lake wilderness sprint triathlon
I competed in the Lake Wilderness Sprint Triathlon over the weekend, my first triathlon race! This race was primarily a learning experience. Figuring out setting up my transition area, figuring out how my body will respond doing a swim, bike, and run after one another.
Now, being my first triathlon, I wasn't expecting much from the results. To be perfectly honest, going in, my expectations was just not to come in last, haha! So, it was a pleasant surprise to see that I actually performed great! I struggled where I knew I would struggle, and that's fine ... for of that below. So let's get into it.
Age Group (30-39): 6th
It really show where my strengths are, haha!
Not disappointed with my swim result, and it pretty much shows/tells the truth ... I'm clearly not a swimmer 🙂, and I'm perfectly fine with that. Going into my training for Ironman, I knew my swim training is to merely survive the swim, and get me to the bike. Pretty straight forward.
I'm very happy I didn't come in last place for the swim, so that's showing me my hard work is helping me, and maybe I can be a little better.
This was my first real open water group swim, so the nerves were already high. There was also some confusion on the swim course, and which buoys to swim around. Everyone swimming was asking each other where we were going. I think everyone just kind of followed whoever went out first. Being surrounded with all these other swimmers, and once we started, I knew I was in trouble. I started the swim way out of my normal swim pace, and I quickly paid the price. I exhausted myself too quickly.
Let's face it, the swim was horrible. I'm still not really used to swimming in open water. I have issues breathing in a wetsuit, and still trying to get used to just see black when I have my head in the water.
I kept going, and kept pushing. Telling myself, "just get to the bike." That helped get me through it.
Swimming is hard, probably the hardest sporting activity I've ever done. It's going to be a struggle, I know this. I just need to keep working at it. I just need to survive, and get to the bike. I was happy to finally hit the beach!
Wow, it's hard to find where your stuff is in all that madness. Took me a little bit to find where my bike was ... I'm lucky it was a unique color, so it can stand out in the sea of bikes 🙂.
Didn't have any issues getting the wetsuit off. I got my arms out, and pushed to my waist as soon as I got out of the water. Getting it off the rest of the way at my bike was easy.
To help speed things up, I decided to go with no socks in my cycling shoes. I still haven't decided whether that's worth it or not, as I put socks on regardless with my running shoes. So, does it make more sense to just put my socks on at the bike, or do it before the run. Who knows.
All my setup prep, made getting going with the bike quick ... at least it felt quick. I did waste a little time to wipe some parts of my body with a towel. But, I just grabbed my bike, and rolled out of the transition.
The bike felt awesome, and left a little in the tank, because I didn't know how it would affect my run, so I was a little conservative. I know the bike is where I can make up time, and I was quickly passing people on the course. Triathlon's are funning compared to bike races. You really don't know who your competition is. Despite passing people, they might have a completely different time than you. But, as I road, other racers were becoming fewer and far between, so I knew I was making up time.
The bike course actually suited my skill set great! Loved it. I really wished I did a recon ride of the route before hand, so I could have taken downhills and turns a little more aggressively. It had good punchy hills that threw other riders off guard, and long fast downhills. It was a really fun course, especially in the closing miles. I was so focused, I barely looked at my bike computer, and all the important data you should be looking at; heart rate, power, etc... Turned out to be a good strategy, so my data was pretty good ... not to mention having a VI number the closest to 1 (which is the goal) I've ever had on a bike.
Being a short bike ride, I wasn't too worried about fueling, but made sure to keep on my traditional fueling schedule, just to set me up right for the run. That fuel strategy was right on, because felt good fuel wise for the run.
I knew my bike was great before looking at the results, but was shocked to see where I stood when I did look at the results. 2nd place for the bike. I didn't know it was that good, but it made sense. Midway through the course I wasn't seeing other women.
Getting into the transition area off the bike was a bit annoying. Felt like a long walk on grass just to get to the transition area. Once I got there, a sudden realization hit me hard ... where's my stuff! The first transition, it was easier, because I just looked for my bike. In this transition, I don't have a bike to look for! It was a little more difficult to find my area, but I was able to find it.
Like I mentioned in the first transition, I really don't know when to take the time hit for putting socks on. It seemed easier to do it before the run, because my feet were a little more dry, so easier to get socks on, etc... But who knows.
I got my socks on, and shoes and headed out.
The run felt good. I went out a little too hard, but nothing too crazy that would cause issues with the rest of the run. The course was interesting. Transitioning off the trail, you had to go down a staircase, which really messed up my pace, and took a chunk of time. I really wish they found a way to not have to incorporate stairs on the run course, but it is what it is, you just have to deal with it. I wasn't expecting a bunch of steep hills, and one pretty steep downhill ... I managed. I should have mapped the run out to get greater elevation details Knowledge is power!
- Keep working on my swim, and in open water.
- Need to figure out how to not have my goggles fog up to the point where I can't even see the buoys.
- I could have pushed more on the run.
- Get faster in the transition. First was 4 minutes, and second was 2 minutes. Looking at the top 11 competitors, I need both transitions to be in the 1 minute range, or faster.
- Figure out ways to make my transition area pop out more. Maybe have a bright colored towel or something. Need something, so I don't waste time looking for my stuff.
- I need to find a better bag to hold my stuff, equipment ... especially in the transition area. There has to be a tri specific bag to hold everything.
- Keep expectations in check! Despite having a fantastic result in this race, especially my first tri. Other races are going to be harder and much longer distances. So I can't expect the same performance/placing in an Olympic, or full Ironman.
- Keep doing what I'm doing.