So yesterday was my fourth triathlon, the NJ State Tri with 1,000 participants. This was my first Olympic distance triathlon--Olympics consist of a .9-mile swim, a 25-mile bike ride, and a 10k (6.2-mile) run.
I went into this race a little differently than I have all previous events. Having just done the intermediate-distance tri again last weekend, my heart was definitely not fully in this one. Well, the heat contributed too. Like most of the rest of the country, we were in the middle of a heat wave here in NJ. On Saturday, the heat index was up over 115 degrees. Sunday was predicted to be significantly cooler, but still very hot. I actually had one of my coaches phone me Friday night to beg me to reconsider participating.
I decided to go forward with the intention of just swimming. If I finished the swim and felt like doing the bike, I'd do the bike. And if by some miracle I made it through the entire bike course and felt like the run, I'd do the run too. Well, I did finish the entire thing! But because I went into it with this relaxed attitude, being easy and flexible with myself, I wound up having a really great time. I took my time in transition (a big no-no in triathlon world!), even danced around and paused to rehydrate before taking off again. And because the run was so hot, I stopped at all the water stations (and ice stations--they were REALLY well prepared to help people stay cool in the heat!) and gave myself time to ACTUALLY drink water before continuing on.
I finished in 3:13. My times weren't as good as I know I'm capable of, not as good as my performance has been lately. BUT I still beat the time goal I'd set for myself when I signed up for this race (back in April) by 17 minutes. AND I had a really great time and finished feeling healthy, not totally spent, and managed to even have a good, semi-productive rest of the day. Good stuff!
Here are some pictures from the event, snapped by my cheering squad (Dan, lol).
That's me and my buddy who did the race with me.
That's me waving just before the start of my swim wave.
There's a shot of a portion of the swim course. 9/10 of a mile might not sound like a lot, but anyone who swims understands the significance of the distance!
There's me coming out of the water!
There's me running from the water to my first transition.
Here I am in transition, taking my sweet old time, rehydrating before the bike. That water was 88 degrees, which is really exhausting!
That's me just about to start the bike. The woman behind me, whose tire you can see in this shot, wound up plowing into that group of people on the sideline right there--whoops! Never worth rushing so much that you lose control, sheesh.
And... I'm off!
This is my favorite picture from the day. I'm pointing to the banana that's hanging off of my fuel belt. I got a lot of comments on that banana, let me tell you! This was my fuel of choice, and at various points in the race, I carried it in my beltline, in my hand, or in my sports bra. But it got me through when I needed it. My sense of humor was definitely intact yesterday!
I would never normally run in this heat--it was 94 and sunny. I was at around mile 4 in this picture.
And here's me heading towards the finish.
It was a good day and a great experience--on so many levels.
Not too sore today at all, but I'm going to enjoy a recovery day and take it easy. :-)
Love and light, sparkfriends.