Here we are at another race recap. If you haven’t known me long, you may not know this, but I LOVE TO RACE!!!
This weekend I took part in the Buffalo Triathlon as part of a team. Last year was the first year I did this event with a friend who is a runner – so she ran and I did the other 2 parts. Originally we had a different swimmer, but she moved away, so that left me doing 2 parts – I didn’t mind because: I LOVE TO RACE! This year, I recruited a new friend to be a part of the team – she wanted to bike, I would swim and the runner would run – perfect. Except, the runner had to work, so I was to do 2 parts again – ok by me because: I LOVE TO RACE!
The friend that went along is named Stacy. I’ve known her for a long time and run into her every now and then at races and we visit. This year, we are getting out together which is really fun. We are already signed up for a half marathon together in October.
Here we are before the race. Me in my mermaid suit as Stacy called it and her all bundled up for biking. It was of course chilly – only 57 degrees to start the morning. Being as thought this was Stacy’s first multisport event, she had a lot of questions, which I was happy to answer and get her excited about.
We hung around and watched some people and had a great time. Before the race, the race directors had declared that we were going to attempt to break a world record for the most people treading water in one place. They figured about 1000 people would be there to get in the water (I don’t know how many they had – results still pending) and take a photo, blow the air horn and everyone could get out of the water to wait for their wave. This was interesting and fun, but let me tell you in 60 something degree water, you don’t want to just hang out for very long. I destracted myself by talking with the people around me and soon we were being told to go out further so the people closest to shore could be treading water. We did that, hung out for a while, waved at some cameras and before I knew it, the air horn blew and it was chaos as those 1000 people tried to get to shore. I think that is what some of the large triathlon starts are like – I’m not sure I’d like that.
Anyway, I went up and found Stacy where she was waiting for me. We stood in the sun so I could dry off and warm up – it did work and before long I was all cozy again.
Finally it was time for my wave to start swimming. I sent Stacy back up to transition to wait by her bike where we would exchange the timing chip.
I took off and felt great the whole time I was swimming. I never once got nervous I wouldn’t make it. I kept watching for any other lime colored swim cap near me so I wouldn’t have to stop to spot bouys as much and kept swimming. It worked and I felt strong and prepared. I hope/wish every swim could feel like that. I know I’ve been practicing and I know that’s what you have to do to get faster, but I felt so good! Before I knew it, it was the home stretch and I swam as hard as I could because I knew once Stacy had the chip, I got to rest up while she biked.
I got out of the water and just ran up to transition. I didn’t worry about getting my wetsuit off or anything, just go. I got the chip on Stacy who was waiting excitedly at her bike and off she went. I took a few minutes to catch my breath and then I waited.
One thing I have never done is hung out in a transition area of a triathlon – usually I’m out biking. It was really intersting to watch all of the different people in their zones.
I hung out and waited for Stacy. I ate a banana and drank an Island Boost. I figured if I refueled now, maybe I wouldn’t be tired for running. I was actually a little nervous about going from super high heart rate from swimming my fastest and then sitting and then spiking my heart rate again. As it turns out, it did give me a moster headache later in the day, but I was fine at the race and for the drive home.
So since I was fueled and ready to go, as soon as I saw Stacy coming, I jumped up and met her at the end of the row and took the chip and took off running. I felt myself starting out fast, but I didn’t want to slow down. I felt GREAT! I kept running right past the first water stop – I was set. I rounded out toward the half way turn around and was just enjoying my run. It was a hard effort, but not so hard that I couldn’t keep it up. I was looking at the people around me and as I passed some I couldn’t help but think – I wonder how I would feel if I had biked too. Next week it will be my turn again.
At the half way point, there was a water stop, this time I took a cup – it was so warm (almost hot) I spit it back out. I’m glad I made the decision to hydrate well while waiting. So I kept going. Now was the time to reel in runners. I felt a little bad about it, but I wasn’t like we were really competing against each other, it was just a mental game. I passed a few people, gave some high fives to a few kids. I could see the finish area. There was one girl in front of me, she had been there for a while. I finally passed her in the last 100 yards. I really felt like I ran a really great split for our team. I was happy.
I crossed the finish line and went to find Stacy. She was really happy with biking – she wants a faster bike now (I knew she would) and she was telling me how fast I was at both of my parts. We found some fruit and water and hung out for a while. Then I realized we could get a printout with our splits on it. We picked those up and HOLY BUCKETS!! I was fast (for me)! I took 58 seconds off my swim time from last year and had a 5k PR!!! I have never run a 5k under 27 minutes and yesterday was 25:54!!! YEA!!
We were right in the middle of the 30 teams. Which is great. It’s a huge event that is really well run and a ton of fun to do.
Thank you for sticking through this terribly long recap. Just a warning – there will be another one next week – because: I LOVE TO RACE!!!!