It was a day of firsts for me! First race of the season. First race under TB3 colors. First race since I seriously upped my training game ahead of this season’s maiden Ironman. Lot on the line for such a small local duathlon… After months of injury-free training in miserable, bitter cold temps and treacherous terrain, I went and tweaked my hip on an easy taper brick a day before this race. Needless to say the Mother’s Day Du was the least of my concerns. “My first Ironman is 7 weeks away!” was the only thing on my mind while biking over to Prospect ParkSunday morning…
The freak-out moment quickly faded when a few expertly led group dynamic stretches (Thanks, Erik!) and a quick jog to the bathrooms at the rink and back (thanks, Prospect Park, for sparing us from porta-potties!) revealed no pain! Ready to go!!!
TB3 looked freakin’ PRO at the start line. Lot of slick lookin Capo kits and fit lookin athletes ready to tear it up! Great energy, beautiful weather, awesome people and a whole lotta lycra: what triathlon is all about! The buzzer went off, we all sprinted off and I realized I forgot to put my race bib number on. Oops.
Run 1: Not surprisingly, Mile 1 was the quickest. I was careful not to go out too strong, but still hung with the front(ish) pack. By the time we hit the hill, the quick folks ran away from me and I felt like I was leading the rest of the pack. Not bad. Held that through T1 with a strong push down the hill to transition. 7:15 pace.
T1: Fail #1: remember to pop in those new speed laces you bought… 3 months ago! Fail #2: Where is my race bib!? Dude!? What is wrong with you!? ROOKIE!? That guy in the $10K bike is totally judging you right now. Why the HELL is your race bib INSIDE your transition bag? What were you THINKING BRO!? Why are you BROING yourself?! Total time: 1:51. Epic Fail.
Bike: My general strategy goes like this: Crush the bike, embarrass the guys who own bikes that cost more than my car, survive the rest of the race. I’m working on refining that with TB3 coaching, but for now that’s working out OK. I used to think I was strong on the bike but months of work on the Computrainer and some serious soul-crushing sessions led by Laura and Erik really paid off. I flew by at least a dozen people (in a small field) including the Top 3 women (all TB3!!!) and the 2nd place guy in my AG (they all caught me on the run, but let’s not focus on that). Averaged 22mph and 91rpm and sadly no power data. All I know is I felt like I was flying but my heart rate was comfortable and I was confident. Every lap was consistent. No worries. I passed the judgy dude in the expensive bike and HE did not catch me on the run. Ha!
T2: Only slightly less embarrassing than T1. “Dude, WHY are you fixing the knot in your laces right now!? SPEED LACES!!! You should be running right now!!!” Total time: 1:01. Another transition fail.
Run 2: This is usually where I fall in apart in both short and long course. I was very careful to come out steady. Mile 1 was 8:00 which in hindsight was a little too slow. This also included a stop to tie my shoe lace. JESUS. I stayed steady up the hill and planned on pushing steady through the start of the downhill – at which point I was going to book it. Plan worked perfectly and I went sub 7:00 from Mile 2 onward. Averaged 7:30 throughout.
Overall my numbers aren’t earth-shattering but they represent real progress for me which is really exciting! I’ve never run or biked faster in any race so I’m excited to see how this season unfolds. Finished with a 3rd place in my AG and a photo on the podium with my mom who was in town from Miami to celebrate Mother’s Day with me! Awesome day!
Big thanks to TB3, Erik, Greg, Laura and all teammates without whom I CERTAINLY would not have gotten my ass out of bed to hustle nearly 6 days a week through this miserable winter. Can’t wait for the next race!