Monday, August 26, 2013

iTRYathlon - Race Recap

iTRYathlon is a local women's and youth event put on by Renegade Racing. This was the second year running the race.

This was an EXCELLENT pick for my first triathlon - it's a reverse tri, so instead of the typical swim/bike/run, it was a 3.1 mile run, 9 mile bike, and 200m pool swim.

The swim has always been the piece of the tri that I was most afraid of - mostly because the idea of 1. open water and 2. mass starts terrifies me. Putting the swim last means a steady stream of swimmers, not a crazy group all at once. This was fantastic for me!

Race prep....
With a 7:30am Saturday start time, I planned on being at the race site around 5:30 for transition set up, body marking, etc. To help me make sure I wasn't forgetting anything I set out everything I'd need in a fuax-transition the night before.
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We arrived at Northwood High School pretty early - so early, transition wasn't even open yet.
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The H helped me make sure my tires were pumped appropriately, and we headed over to set up my space. When Coach Martha advised us to arrive that early, I was pretty skeptical. It was REALLY early, I don't think I even show up for runDisney races that early.

But it was 100% worth it to snag a prime transition spot for my bike.
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Here's a funny thing about triathlon. Some kids will, at some point, write your age right on your calf in PERMANENT MARKER. So that's cute.

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After spending some time horrifying The H with the number of times I can cycle through the bathroom lines in 2 hours (answer, only 3 times, which IS NOT EVEN THAT MUCH, rude), and some time chatting with my favorite volunteers....

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According to Kelly and Angry Julie (pic courtesy of Julie)

...we started lining up. The morning was PERFECTION - misty and foggy and cool. Thank heavens.

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SO lucky.

The Run

Elevation map....

My goal for the run was 28:xx. I haven't really felt great about my speed, since I was my fastest (so, really just "fastest") back during marathon training last year, and I'm not running nearly the same mileage now. When I started iTRY training, I was hoping for a 30 minute 5k. In the last few weeks, I thought if I REALLY pushed it, I could maybe pull out 28:xx. I was really nervous about the hill - I'm not great on hills. They're hard.

The run starts on a nice downhill, and then climbs climbs climbs climbs. I ran into Striding Mom's oldest, Strawberry, close to the top of the hill, and we ran for a few minutes together - my training on this route really helped out here, because I knew how far the hill went, and when I felt like it was getting rough, I knew how close I was to the end of the hill.

Thanks, H!

I only look happy because I know we're running downhill from here. Just kidding, I was psyched to see my hsuband.

As soon as I told him the course was all down hill from here!.... he took off.
Later, Stawberry.

Garmin time, appx.... 27:50ish. {I KNOW WHAT!!!!!}. 8:45, 9:11, 9:07 for the first three miles.

{Update - official time, 27:51!!!!!}

Transition 1: This is where I really jacked things up with my Garmin - instead of hitting lap, I hit start/stop and paused it. Womp. I have no idea what my transition time was. I took a second to take a drink, because drinking on the bike makes me nervous. But otherwise, I took Coach Martha's advice and had a very streamlined transition, only needing to snap on my helmet. Bring only what you need, and use everything you bring....
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More pictures from my personal transition photographer, Angry Julie
T1: 1:14

The Bike

Sigh. Oh, the bike.

My goal was to come in under 40 minutes. I was NOT confident in this number - 40 minutes would have been a 13.5mph pace. In training on this loop, the fastest I could pull out was 12.8mph. I don't know WHY I picked 40 minutes, it was totally random.

The course is 2 loops of the run course (so twice up that hill), plus an out and back on some flat roads.

I saw a lot of people passing me who had REAL bikes - like real road bikes, not my clunky hybrid. I felt pretty good with how I went up the hills - I cycled through the gears efficiently, I thought. I didn't see a lot of people on hybrids passing me, which was how I was gauging my speed.

Unofficial bike pace: 14.3mph. WHAT.

{Official time, 38:32 - 14.1mph}

Transition 2:

So, one of my biggest concerns was whether or not I should even wear my Garmin - I thought it would really help me on the run, so I could stay on pace up the hill, but I was really concerned that I would totally forget I had it on, and head straight to the pool with it. Which I did. Plus my sunglasses - and as it turns out, you cannot swim in sunglasses. Awesome. Heading into transition, I racked my bike, took another drink of water, and ran over to the pool - I kept my shoes on, because it's about a 200m run.

Once you get to the pool, Renegade has volunteers set up to collect shoes (and sunglasses and Garmins) for you when you jump in.

T2: 3:06 {ouch}

The swim

The swim was 4 lengths (2 laps) of a 50m pool - jump in one side, swim a length, duck under the lane line, back the next lane, etc. I had never practiced in a 50m pool before, so the distance was a little intimidating. The pool in my neighborhood that I use is maybe 15m? And the pool I did a time trial in a few weeks ago is 25. Also, the pool is DEEP. So I was nervous, particularly in the middle two lanes, where there's not a wall right next to me JUST IN CASE (I know how to swim enough not to drown, but I panicked a little).

So I took the swim S L O W and steady. I never felt crowded, even though plenty of people passed me, but the lanes are super wide, and there was just a steady stream of racers coming in. There was plenty of room to navigate.

dead center sticking my head waaaaaaaay out for a breath. This is why I'm slow.

I'm being so dainty with the lane lines.

{Swim - 6:38 laaaaame}

The finish timing mats are right there at the edge of the stairs - pro tip, I stopped swimming when I got to that long area going towards the stairs. Do you know what is MUCH slower than swimming? Walking through 4'6" of water.

Since I obviously didn't wear my Garmin through the swim (despite my best efforts...), I have no idea how long the swim took - I know I was passed by PLENTY of people. I am assuming it is well over my 5 minute goal.

Total time: 1:17:25 

Post Race
The volunteers are handing out medals right as you exit the pool, and then just outside the pool building, there are volunteers with water, bananas, oranges, and cookies (cookies!!).

Results were posted really quickly out at the expo area (for most people.... Hurry up, Gemini!).

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This event was REALLY well organized. There are a number of events happening at the same time - sprint tri, junior tri, 5k, etc, but things moved totally smoothly.

For a new triathlete, this is a great choice - it's really non-intimidating, and very beginner friendly. Volunteers were set up everywhere, and all very helpful.

Disclosure: I was provided with free entry to the race by Renegade Racing, but all opinions are my own. There is really NOTHING that I would have changed or thought needed improvement - it's amazing it's only in its second year, because you would never have guessed that they'd only pulled this off once before.


  1. Great job! What a wonderful way to ease into triathlon. :)

  2. Congratulations on finishing your first triathlon!

  3. Sounds like you had a fun time!! Sure hope you get official results at some point :D

  4. Congratulations! You didn't drown, which makes me super proud because it's far more than I think I could accomplish! I hope you get your results soon.

  5. You are the best! I loved this report.

    And, in related news, my biggest "fear" in Tri is getting out of the pool and biking/running in a wet sports bra. However, running in the humidity in August makes for a super sweaty wet sports bra and I didn't die, so maybe it's time to Tri?

  6. Great job!! YOu really rocked the run. Bummer that your times seems to be missing. fun race report!

  7. I was so happy to see how well you did! Awesome job - more tri's in the future? (Scary but true fact from one clunky hybrid to another- this probably means having to deal with clip in shoes).

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