I woke up bright and early this morning for the sprint-distance Jack's Generic Tri down at the Texas Ski Ranch. I haven't followed a specific training plan since my last triathlon, so my expectations were minimal. Since I train the distances in the race as a minimum (500m swim, 13.8 mile bike, 3 mile run), I wasn't too worried about being able to finish. But I also didn't want to leave the race feeling like I had done crappy. My ego didn't need that. A good friend said "you can do anything for 1.5 hours" and I tried to keep that in my head throughout the race.
Once the horn blew, I fell into a good rhythm for the swim portion, and ended up finishing with pretty much my fastest pace to date- 2:14. I had a really quick first transition and then found myself peddling a decent clip on the bike. That was, until I hit the first of many hills. They were short hills, and nothing I couldn't handle after lengthier mornings spent on the bike. But they were hills nonetheless. I was really focused on trying to keep up the pace, knowing that it would only take me around 45ish minutes to finish the bike portion, but also didn't want to burn out my legs for the run. It ended up taking 53 minutes at a 15.6 pace. Not quite as fast as other sprints I have done, but faster than the last tri I did. At least there was some improvement.
Another short transition (1:15- a record for me!) and then I was downing a Gu and hitting the pavement for the run. At 9:30 am, the sun was already out in full force and it was pretty darn hot. The run was an out and back on a paved road, and it was pretty much all uphill headed out and downhill coming back. I found a steady pace and kept telling myself "just 28 minutes to go". It ended up being 28:25, but I was really happy with the 9:28 pace. It's not my fastest, but I'll take it.
Overall time was 1 hour and 37 minutes. I was shooting for an even 1:30, but again- not too shabby. There were 48 women in my age group and I placed 14th. The worst part of the day was getting steamrolled by several 40+ women. Those chicks were insanely fast!!! I can only hope that I am in half their shape when I reach that age. But I left the race feeling like I had done a good job, and that was all that mattered to me.
This was my first time to do this particular race, and I will for sure be going back. The course was decent, the race was well organized (as all High Five Events are), and the after party was stellar. Beer, burgers and ice cream cones, plus plenty of freebies from some decent vendors. And of course, plenty of eye candy. After all, that's half the reason I keep going back for more!
There are 5 weeks until my next tri, another Olympic distance. I have got to get my stuff together and get myself ready for it. I'm feeling ok about the bike, but I need to put together a new training schedule to make sure that I feel comfortable for the swim and run. There's no relief in sight for the heat, so it looks like a few early runs in the morning, and some swims in the afternoon. I'm struggling with feeling the need to be home for Pippi, but also to get the exercise in that I'm accustomed to doing. I'm sure I'll find a way to make it happen, I just need to get myself organized.
9 hours ago