Well, since it was almost two months ago, I guess it's time I blog about the Lewisburg Triathlon. Held on Saturday, August 16th at 8am, it starts at the Lewisburg Area Community Pool. This sprint distance tri includes a 300 yard pool swim, a 15 mile bike ride, and a 3.25 mile run. This was my first ever triathlon, and I LOVE the sport!!! Mostly, I love training for it. It was a much-needed break from all my running. I started training two days after completing marathon #3, River Towns Marathon on May 3rd. That first workout consisted of a short swim and a spin on the indoor bike. At that time, I wasn't registered for the tri, I was just thinking about it. Ultimately, I fell in love with the variety of the workouts and decided to go for it. My swims became longer, and I didn't feel like I was drowning anymore. I rode only the spin bike until about August 3rd, because I didn't have an actual bike until then!!! I bought this bike off of a fellow triathlete training for her first Ironman (Go Laurel!!!) Then I had to quickly get over my fears of riding on the road.
Heading out for my first ride since childhood!
I only got to ride on the road four or five times until race day, but it would have to be enough! I did have a chance to do the whole race (kinda, sorta) with a friend. We swam the distance in his pool, transitioned to bike and did the course from his house, then ran the run course, again just from his house. Transitioning, by the way, is a whole new "sport" for which to train! I had been tracking my training times, and I reviewed other racers' results from the previous year, then set a goal for myself. I wanted to complete this tri in under 100 minutes. The morning of the race I was pretty nervous. My husband wasn't able to come, so I would be alone, or so I thought. Right after I got out of my car my friend Kathy and her husband got out of theirs. It was a relief to see a friendly face! Then I bumped into my training buddy, Steve, who was also having the first-timer jitters. While racking my bike I ran into Lorin, a really strong athlete that I've run with a time or two in the past. And I was so nervous that I had forgotten my new tri team, Team Taper, would be there! So I got to see their friendly faces as well! With Kathy's help, I got my transition area all set up, and Lorin helped me set up my bike.
I was pretty excited/nervous as the race director was going over everything. Imagine my surprise when she called my name! At packet pick-up the night before there had been an issue with my number being assigned to someone else, so they gave me a new number. They had straightened everything out and wanted to offer me the chance to start in my original spot. I accepted, because being a pool swim, all racers entered the water one at a time, twenty seconds apart. And I wanted to get started sooner rather than later. So they crossed out the wrong number on my arm and wrote the new one!
Just a little excited
So the race gets underway and I still have time to perfect my transition area, eat a snack, and use the bathroom. It was actually kind of nice to have a chance to watch how people were getting into and out of the water then making their way to their transition area and bikes.
Pool & lounge chair chute!
I felt great during the swim. I am not a strong swimmer, and I was tired when I was done, tired but energized. I know that doesn't make sense, but that's how it was. Officially it looks like I spent 10:24 in the water and only 00:29 in transition. I know I spent every bit of three minutes drying off, putting on socks and sneakers, helmet, glasses, watch, etc. So those times are skewed and I estimate I spent more like 8:10 in the water. Then it was over to the bike. I felt a bit wonky at first and noticed I was only going 10mph. I thought, "Snap out of it!!!! Get moving!!!!" I started moving and managed to pass several racers one by one. My time for the fifteen miles was 57:06, average pace 3:48/M (15.8 mph). Transition from bike to run was as easy as dismounting the bike at the entrance, run/walking it to my rack, racking it up, losing the helmet, and running out the exit. I felt extremely awkward at the start of the run. But actually I did pretty well finishing the 3.25 mile run in a flat 27 minutes, or a 8:18/M pace. My overall time to finish was 1:35:38 (or 95 minutes, my 100 minute goal surpassed!) That time was good enough for 98th of 163 overall and THIRD in my AG!!! (And no, there weren't only three in my AG, hahaha! I was third of nine.)
Just a few notes about this race. This was the ninth year for the event. The course has changed over the years, and it will be required to change again next year. At least the bike course will have to change, per the township folks. It is well organized by Tara from A Fit Event. Post-race food is great! The shirts are a dri-tech style but a little on the cheap feel, as were the medals. The absolute best volunteers EVER were at this race. They had command of the traffic in their posts. Not once did I have to slow down because they had traffic stopped and the road cleared for the racers. They were verbal as you approached turns and all were majorly supportive and enthusiastic. Kudos for a job well done! And I think it's safe to say that I have a new love in my life. I'm contemplating an olympic distance tri in the Spring and a half ironman distance in the Fall. There is a lot to learn about this sport, but fortunately, triathletes are willing to help out us newbies. Nobody expects you to be an expert when you're first starting out. But I think there is the expectation that you will seek out the experts to help get you going. I'm lucky to have Team Taper in my hometown. But if no such group exists in your area, there are a plethora of blogs and online resources on the subject. Happy training!