swim | bike | run – San Diego sheRox triathlon
Sunday I completed my final triathlon of the season… the sheRox tri in Mission Bay, San Diego. This was the same location as my first triathlon ever back in May. I know I say the same thing after every race… but it seriously was AWESOME! I think 2012 will go down as the year of the race and thus the year I discovered that 1) I love events & 2) I absolutely can’t get enough of the swim-bike-run rush of a tri. I went into the race full of excitement & determined to push harder than I’d had in the past. I knew that I had trained more consistently than earlier in the year and since this race came a short 2 weeks after biking the marathon route and about a month after the Long Beach sprint tri, I also knew I was prepared!
The morning of the race it rained (southern california style… it was actually more of a drizzle) and other than needing a plan to keep my transition area dry it didn’t cause much of an issue. About 20 minutes before the start time the skies started to clear and with the exception of a bit of mist during the run I had perfect weather for the entire event. I’ve been lucky with every race this season… I’m not sure how I’d handle any of this in the heat (I’m a wimp) but I’m sure at some point I’ll have to figure that out.
sheRox triathlon series is exactly what one would guess… an event designed for women (though no one would actually stop a dude from signing up I suppose). I was surprised that the atmosphere did actually feel a little different on race day. I’m not exactly sure what it was, but there was this light-hearted excitement in the air & it was pretty exciting. Everything was really well organized, the announcer was fantastic and I’m certainly planning on participating again next year.
The turnout for this tri was huge. My swim wave was certainly the largest I’ve been in (well over 100 ladies in my heat alone). Typically I stay to the back of the pack at the start of the swim to keep out of the crazy water churning rush at the front, but Sunday morning I decided to take a chance at the front to see how I’d do. As it turns out the crowding, swimming over people, getting bumped, pulled, and kicked is actually not so bad… dare I say it’s more exciting up with the masses?! I kicked it into a faster pace from the get-go and did a decent job of not burning out during the entire 1/2 mile. My time was a deceptive 5 minutes faster than Long Beach last month, but I know that about 1/2 that is due to the shorter run from the water to the mat. Still, a huge improvement in my time & I’m really excited about that. I also had great transitions, cutting time off of both. My bike was a couple of minute faster, but the course was also flat, so I don’t think I actually improved much in my bike speed. I seriously just don’t know how to go fast! I will say that I felt less like I’d hit a brick wall during the transition from bike to run so my legs must be getting stronger. I tackled the final leg of the race with a 4.5 minute run / 1 minute walk method again. The course wasn’t nearly as flat as LB and was certainly working the pep-talk in my head to keep pushing along. During the last mile I paced with another girl (again… this sheRox tri was FULL of friendly supportive & incredibly strong athletes) who helped keep my motivated to keep chugging along at the end. I don’t know if it was the training, atmosphere, great weather, or familiar course but somehow I managed to chop 3 minutes off of my run time… bringing me down to a 9 minute mile pace! That’s HUGE for me!!! In the end I cut 13 minutes off my race vs last months time & I couldn’t be happier.
It’s sorta sad knowing that I have to wait until next year for tri season to start up again. I’m not sure what to do now that I don’t have a race lined up. Perhaps it’s time to tackle that other 101 in 1001 item… run a 1/2 marathon?!
Swim (0.5 mile) 13:59
T1 – 2:07
Bike (12.5 miles) – 43:07
T2 – 1:48
Run (3.1 miles) – 27:39
1:28.36 (13 minutes faster than last time!)