Sprint Tri #2 Comes EXACTLY Five Months After Pregnancy

This race recap comes as our fam is embarking on a cross-country road trip. Some have said we’re a little nuts, but its soooooo much easier than when we did this as kids. Can’t be too hard if I’m writing blog posts, right? Back to racing. On my son’s 5 month birthday, I raced in the Atheta IronGirl Sprint Triathlon in Pleasant Prairie. This also came on the heels of the Naperville Sprint Triathlon, so wasn’t sure if things would be way easier or tougher. On to the recap!

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The Race – 2013 Atheta IronGirl Sprint Triathlon

This is a women’s-only sprint triathlon held in Pleasant Prairie, WI at Lake Andrea. Very flat course and a lot of first-time racers. This event has been going on for a number of years, previously known as the Danskin Triathlon series, but this marked the first Athleta event at Pleasant Prairie. The feel and tone among the event participants and volunteers is one of encouragement. Not to say its not competitive but many people are there to just say they’ve done a Tri. Overall, a nicely organized race. Race day parking is ALWAYS an issue given the logistics, so I knew going in to expect a pre-race hike and wasn’t disappointed. I chose this race in large part due to timing and location. This was my very first triathlon experience over seven years ago (which I did with my mountain bike). Definitely a lot of reflecting on my part, thinking about how much life has changed and wondering what’s to come next.

The Swim

Unlike last week, this swim had assigned wave starts so I knew I wasn’t going anywhere until 7:35am. The swim course goes straight across Lake Andrea (half-mile) and its a very clear, clean lake….also very warm. When I first arrived, the air temp was ~60F and I was pleasantly surprised during my warm-up swim to find it warmer in the water! Chatted with some of my fellow white cap wave members and before I knew it we were off! By ~250 yards in, I just hit a wall. Felt exhausted, zapped…whatever you want to call it. For a minute, I thought I’d need help. I ended up rolling to my back a bit to regroup. Overall, my pace was slightly improved from last week. Just not the sub 20 minute time I was hoping for. At the end of the day, I made progress, didn’t drown and can continue to work on it. Swim time – 20:11.

T1

Much better over last week! Shaved almost a minute and a half off time. T1 – 3:00.

The Bike

I usually try to do a gu as I exit transition and this was no different. As I hopped on my bike, my legs felt totally dead. Wiped. Out. I hoped the Gu would kick in and tried drinking my G2, but nothing. Wiped. Out. I could see on my bike computer my pace was off by a good 3-4mph. With no hills to help me pick up some speed I just tried to stay steady and finish out strong. At this point, I knew I probably wasn’t going to break 1:30, but didn’t want to go over 1:45 so tried to conserve some energy for the run. Bike – 39:22.

T2

Also an improvement over last week. T2 – 1:46.

The Run

My coach has told me to focus on breathing after you transition to the run. Your legs may feel rough but if your breathing is ok you can tough it out. Very important advice…because my legs definitely felt shot. I tried to ignore it and got moving. After doing another Gu around mile 1, I walked for 45-ish seconds and then got moving as best I could. I had hoped to do a sub-30 on the run. As I rounded the 2 mile mark I was ~22 minutes. Doubtful I could do an 8 min pace for the last mile, but again since I was trying to do my best (and my kiddos were WATCHING), it was important to me to keep moving! In the last 100 yards, someone tried to hustle past me…not UP IN HERE! Managed to finish ahead of her and grateful for whoever she was for pushing me the last bit!
Run – 31:31.

Overall – 1:35:42

This week’s time was a few minutes slower than last week, but the swim was double the distance. My goals heading in were to finish under 1:30 (nope) and in top half of my age group (yup!). Still a little disappointed but, yes…trying to keep in mind it’s been five months since #3’s arrival. At least I did improve over my very first Tri time. Same course seven years ago, I was 15 minutes SLOWER. I guess pregnancy can make you faster! I’m aiming for one more race before I say goodbye to the 2013 season…just not sure which one yet. Happy to take any suggestions!

Finally, a big shout out to my family. Without their support, I could not have even suited up. When they saw me on the ride, I tried a little harder because of them. When my daughter cheered for me on the run, I stood up a little taller to show her you can do more than you think you can. Even if I fail to hit my goals this year, I know my training has had an impact on them and sparked their interest and that’s more important than regaining my pre-pregnancy shape!

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