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Trying Another Tri

March 15, 2011

Well, it’s that time of year again. Triathlon season. And you know I’m going to have to take part. I told you guys how much I really enjoyed my first triathlon in this post here. I’ve actually completed two sprint triathlons. I thought it would be fun to recap each one.


Summer Time Blues Sprint Triathlon– September 6, 2009, Freeport, TX

Originally, I had my heart set on doing the Austin Triathlon this weekend, but I waited until the last minute to sign up and registration closed. Luckily, I found this race that was kind of local and I’m so glad I did! I’d also had some bike issues to work out, I had a hybrid bike I had planned on riding with but after much training I realized even if I was trying my hardest to ride as fast as I could I couldn’t break 12-13 mph on this bike. My competitive self couldn’t bear to ride at that speed and burn my legs out trying to ride fast on this bike before the run.  I ended up borrowing a road bike from a friend and it was too big for me. I learned the hard way that riding a bike not sized correctly to you is a BIG no no. I ended up having a pretty bad wipeout that I still have some cool scars from.

I trained pretty hard for this race. I didn’t really follow a set training plan but I did each sport individually (swim bike and run) 3 times each per week. I also did a lot of brick workouts (bike then run back to back and swim then bike back to back). I was definitely ready on race day.


The Swim (500 yards): I had heard there’s nothing scarier than your first triathlon open water swim, but I managed to stay pretty calm before the start. It felt like forever waiting for the start of my wave. We waded about waist deep in the water until the gun went off for my wave and I was off. The swim was a salt water swim through the river basin. It wasn’t a huge race so the water wasn’t too crowded. I got kicked a few times but I stayed calm and kept my pace. I finished the swim portion in 9:02 a pace of 1:48/100 yards.

T1: When people ask me what the transitions are like I don’t really know how to explain it. It’s kind of a blur, you do what you need to do and get out. I took my cap and goggles off as I ran toward my bike, put my race shirt on, put my socks and shoes on, grabbed my bike and took off. It took 1:15.


The Bike (15 miles): When I got on my bike I realized I probably should have grabbed a sip of water at transition. My mouth was so dry and salty the entire time. I had just purchased my road bike a few weeks before so I was still figuring out the gears and handling. The ride was really nice through the town of Freeport and I pedaled decently hard. It was an out and back course that took us down to the streets by the ocean which was really nice but pretty windy. And the bridge. We went over a HUGE bridge. I’d never ridden a hill that steep before. I  finished in 54:32 a pace of 16.5 MPH


T2: I was so excited to hit this transition. I was ready to run. Running was my thing. It only took me 35 seconds to drop off my bike take off my helmet and take off. I later found out I had the fast transition 2 time out of the WHOLE race. Pretty cool J


The Run (5k): I took off at a pretty decent pace and stayed consistent pretty much the whole time.  The run took us through the old town of Freeport, over a smaller bridge, and then on a dirt trail around the river bend the swim was in. When you do a triathlon all your race numbers are written all over your arms, and your age group is written on your calf. I was so focused on reading everyone’s ages on their calfs and trying to pass people in my age group. I think I passed about 3 people in my group, and it helped me get through the run pretty quickly. I finished in 25:38 a pace 8:33/mile.


Total Time: 1 hr 31 min 03 sec.


Cap Tex Tri- May 31, 2010 Austin, TX

I was so excited to do this triathlon with 2 of my friends! This triathlon was actually the “finale” to my 3-day weekend bachelorette party (we are brave aren’t we?). We all 3 had planned to do this race a few months in advance and I thought it’d be perfect since I’d already be in the Austin area for my bachelorette party.



I can’t say I really trained for the race. Don’t get me wrong, I was still running about 20 miles per week, attending the occasional spin class, and doing Jillian Michaels work out videos like a mad-woman to get in tip top shape for my wedding. I swam one time, ONE TIME, from triathlon 1 to triathlon 2. That’s like 9 months people. I only biked on my real bike twice between these two races too. I had confidence I could get through the race though because I was still keeping up my fitness.

The Swim (750 meters): 750 meters is quite a big jump from 500, especially when you’ve done no swim training in nine months. I took one look at the buoys I was to swim around for the swim course and it looked so far. I was instantly terrified. I kept thinking to myself there was NO WAY that was only 750 meters. I already was not in the right mindset to even want to do this triathlon because I was so tired from the bachelorette weekend. Then my wave was called to get in the water. They had us swim out about 10 yard and tread water (ugh- for 10 minutes!) before the gun went off. It was so crowded. I tried to line up in the front of the pack but girls were pushing and bumping and hitting each other that somehow I ended up somewhere in the middle. As soon as the gun went off I just panicked. I don’t know what was wrong with me. It was too crowded, the water was pitch black, I was already tired. I seriously contemplated throwing in the towel after the first 10 strokes. I might have quit if it wasn’t for my friends being there. I couldn’t get my breathing right; I couldn’t even put my face in the water; people were kicking and swimming on top of me. After I rounded the first buoy still panicking I decided to just do the backstroke. I never.ever. wanted to look like one of those “stupid people” doing the backstroke during a triathlon but I did what I had to do. And backstroke was actually my favorite stroke on swim team and the only stroke I ever consistently won awards for, so it was working for me. The swim was taking me FOREVER. This was the worst swim of my life I wanted it to be over so bad. I felt like the LAST girl out of the water, but thankfully I wasn’t (I sure was close though). I finished in 23:14 a pace of 3:05/meter.  FUN FACT: Later the race directors discovered they measured the course wrong. They had accidently marked the lake in nautical miles and the swim portion for the sprint was actually 900m not 750m. (their bad!) 

T1: It was about a quarter mile jog from the lake to my bike. I made it to my bike, put my helmet, shoes, and socks on and took off for the bike. I was feeling pretty discouraged about the swim but I was anxious to make up some time on my bike. I was on my bike and out of transition in 3:06.


The Bike (12.4 miles): The bike was a 10k loop around the downtown streets of Austin. For the Sprint I had to complete 2 laps. It was fairly hilly and pretty crowded. I had taken a pretty strong interest in spin class and I felt a lot stronger on my bike in this triathlon compared to the other. I  finished in 40:55 a pace of 18.2 MPH


T2: Finally! The last transition. Time for the easy part! The run. I put my bike up, grabbed a sip of gatorade, took my helmet off and headed out. It took me 1:26.


The Run (5k): I took off for the run pretty fast. After about 1 mile in I couldn’t hold that pace anymore and I started to slow down. It was hot. It was nearly noon in TX, about 95 degrees, and the run was not shaded. I just kept on trucking along. At one point in the race we were asked to completely stop so this car could back out of a parking spot. WHAT?! We were running a race people! I was mad. The 5k felt like an eternity! The race wound around the streets of Austin and just when you thought you had turned the last corner, nope. There was another one. I saw the finish line and sprinted towards it (like I usually do when I see the finish). My stomach definitely did not agree with the sprinting and I gracefully puked right as I crossed the finish. Reeeeaaal classy. (My dad always told me you know you ran a good race if you puke at the end so I did feel somewhat proud of my puking lol) I finished in 29:30 a pace of 9:31/mile.


Total Time: 1 hr 38 min 12 sec.


It seemed like both of my triathlon experiences were night and day. I still thoroughly enjoyed both races and am glad I did each one. I definitely learned that not all races are going to be great ones. You just have to do what you can and enjoy the moment.

With all that being said I am so ready to kick butt at my next triathlon. I started an 8 week training plan for a local triathlon yesterday. I love convenient races that are close to home. I’m hoping to get a little redemption from my awful swim at the last one and to have a little fun. I’d even *like* to try to set a PR from my first tri. We will see.

For training yesterday I did 45 minutes of strength training from Jackie Warners Personal Training DVD. Today, I did a 15 minute swim workout and a 3-mile run on my lunch break.

 I’m ready to try another tri!

 Have you ever “tri-ed”?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2011 7:06 PM

    Our work hosts a lot of 5 and 10k’s, and I always high five the girls who puke when they cross the finish line (there are lots of them!!).
    I would really like to one day do a tri. Good luck with your training 🙂

  2. March 15, 2011 7:25 PM

    Nope, never tri-ed! Still working on my first 5k, and I probably won’t even be able to run the whole length! But I have to tell you, reading your blog makes me want to try harder! Thanks for the inspiration! : )

  3. shiningfromwithin permalink
    March 15, 2011 8:58 PM

    Wow! I’d love to do a tri one day but something’s holding me back… I guess I’m just too intimidated by the events. One day I’ll have to suck it up though and sign up for one because they seem so fun!

  4. March 16, 2011 5:27 AM

    reading your recaps makes me excited to see how awesome your tri goes in 8 weeks!!!

    I have to admit I’m curious about them. The concept of open water does scare me, but I am a strong swimmer. The idea of riding an unstationary bike scares me more, though. It’s been YEARS – like half my life. ugh. This year’s focus is on half marathons and marathon training. Next year…maybe triathlons will be next…

  5. Kalli permalink
    March 16, 2011 7:30 AM

    i have done some triathlons in college but none since then. i did do a short duathlon recently. they kick my bootie and are TOUGH!

  6. March 16, 2011 12:54 PM

    When I loved in Georgia, I could train on my bike & did 3 triathlons in the summer of 2000. I’m a runner first, but I’ve always loved to swim. I just can’t get into the biking- it’s so difficult and dangerous around Houston & I got rid of my bike a few years back. I need to find a relay partner that will bike while I swim+run!

  7. March 16, 2011 5:50 PM

    I REALLY WANT TO! but I don’t know where or how to get started! I know a mini tri in my town this summer…any training tips on how to begin?? AND YOU GO GIRL I have so much admiration for you!

  8. Sammiamm permalink
    March 20, 2011 10:09 AM

    CapTex was such a good time doing it together! Training for it with someone made it that much more motivating and fun to partake in! I hope we can do another one soon 🙂


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