So I participated in the August 18th Iron Girl Sprint Tri. It was my second sprint triathlon (did the same time last year but it was Danskin).
I trained with 2 co-workers (who also ran it last year with me) and we had a fun time!
Training-wise, I really stepped it up earlier than last year focusing on my swimming in the spring and biking more in the summer. In the last month before the event, a co-worker graciously loaned me her light weight road bike!!
My goal was to be faster than the year before and I met that by 10 mins! That is right, I shaved 10 mins off my total time.
The break down?
20:50 on the 1/2 mile swim (was 3 mins faster than last year's)
41:09 on the 12 mile bike (10 mins faster than last year's)
31:35 on the 5K run (pace of 10:12/min/mile (2 mins slower than last year, although I don't know how I ran last years at a pace of 9:30!!)
I also was 1 minute slower on my first transition (few additions the transition and maybe position of my bike in the transition area?)
The morning of? Was so early. I got up at like 3:50am, left my house at 4:30 am to meet up with the other girls at 4:50am at one's house. We drove down and parked and walked to the transition area to set up. It was still dark out!
The difference between Danskin and Iron Girl as the event planner/coordinator?
Danskin wasn't as 'hard core' ? is that the way to put it.
Iron Girl shut the transition area at 6:15am, everyone out.
The first wave didn't start until 6:45 am!
My wave wasn't until 7:20 am!
Iron Girl also had all these rules about the biking (drafting and passing etc) and you could get 'penalties' with each one adding 10 mins to your time and after 3 penalties you are disqualified.
I'm sorry, but this event didn't even have an 'elite' wave, so why be SO serious.
Danskin had an elite wave and then age groups and then a general group for people who wanted to start with their friends (like us last year).
I really focused on learning to do the crawl/freestyle, and I'm proud to say I did it 98% of the time, with the back stroke as a recovery phase for 15-20 strokes. I had a small panic moment in the first part of the swim due to all the people in close proximity, but I found my groove and it ended up being OK.. only have 2 buoys you have to round, so each leg gives you something to focus on.
Loved my loaner bike, felt fast and strong, made it up the one 'steep' hill that is the entrance to the I-90 bridge across Lake Washington without having to stop!
The course is more challenging than my training rides. Although I would train with some hills (usually only 2 hills) the bulk of my mileage is on a fairly flat path. The I-90 bridge is a series of slow sloping hills, go up, go down, go up, go down.
If i do that same course in the future, I will do more training sessions on something similar!
the legs took a long time to recover/warm up into the run portion, but I found my groove. They marked our legs with our # and our age! so I could judge people passing me if I should be able to 'keep up' based on age! ;)
Nah, not really, but it gave me some motivation.
No music allowed on the course, so no ear buds, so I had to set my pace myself, but my own 'internal' music (songs I usually run to). I was running hard enough to feel it, but not so hard it killed me either.. it was sustainable.
There is one steep hill on the run near the end, made it up that thanks to all my hill running. Finished really strong at the end after recovering from the hill!
It was a great event! In the beginning, the anxiety before starting leaves you wondering why you signed up for it, but in the end, you are so happy you did it.
I think in the future, it might help to do other 'smaller events' even if only a 5K or 10K run, to get used to that feeling at the beginning before the start? I have only done one event a year and it is stressful!!
I'm not sure if I will do it again next year or something else. I'm pondering a Marathon in May 2014. I guess I would like to do the sprint distance again and see if I can get better and be more comfortable with the swim portion. I know one co-worker said she probably wouldn't do it again (although she said that last year afterwards too!) and I know the other co-worker would love to take it to the next step and try maybe an Olympic distance triathlon... hmm, something to think about! ;)
I'm on the left in green, the two other girls with white nike visors are my co-workers, the girl in purple is a friend of one co-worker that also trained with us!
Of us 3 that did it last year, we all shaved time off our total! One co-worker (she's a great athlete) placed like 36th over all out of 1146 people and 7th in our age group.
I placed 61 out of 176 in our age group and 327 out of 1146.. but it doesn't really matter to me, I'm just excited that I was better than the year before and still have room to improve if I choose to go that route!