Last year, I did my first Olympic course triathlon at Green Bay. I was so nervous leading up to the race last time. This year, I’m just pumped! I did not think I could feel this ready to race so soon after having a baby. Since the beginning of 2013, I have swam over 190,000 yards, ran over 400 miles, and biked about 2,000 miles, putting in about 225 hours worth of training. Oh yea, and I had a baby somewhere in the middle of all of that. Details. If I wouldn’t have had to slow down for pregnancy, I would have had a lot more run miles in, that’s for sure!
Green Bay has a great course, and with it taking place the first Sunday in June, it’s a great one to kick-off the triathlon season with. Except it was a big tougher this year. The temperature was around 50 degrees, and there were about 10-15mph winds. Cloudy, windy, cold. Doesn’t exactly make me feel like taking an outdoor swim, or hopping on a bike. The swim is in a shallow man-made body of water. We have to take two laps in order to get 800 yards in. Despite the long-lasting winter, the water is fairly warm. I was able to borrow a wetsuit from a friend, which also helped to keep me warm while waiting at the swim start. Quite a bit of the swim is dolphin diving, due to it being so shallow for a chunk of the time, so this race isn’t the best test of how much faster of a swimmer I’ve become. I dropped about a minute from last year’s swim time. I practiced removing the wetsuit the day prior, so by the time I got to T1, I just had to pull it off my legs. I felt like I was wasting time with it, but my time doesn’t really show that too much.
I hopped on the bike and headed out. The first 20 miles (of a 29 mile ride) were brutal. I kept telling myself there had to be a tail wind at some point. I felt overly cautious with the wind. I’m not sure if it was due to the accident, or just the inexperience with race wheels in the wind. I definitely could feel the pull on the bike. There was a lot of mental anguish when I was out there. I slowed down too much for curves, and every time I touched the brakes I would scold myself. My feet went numb. My fingers were freezing, but it was bearable. Finally we got some tail wind on the way back and I tried to use it to my advantage. I had surpassed my swim goal, but my bike was not where it should have been. I was hoping to cut the most time on the bike (from last year’s results), and I ended up coming in at about the same time. I flew out of T2 and out onto the run.
My feet felt like bricks, and I kept telling myself that they would eventually warm up while running. They started to tingle, but it took until I was about 2.5 miles into the run to finally feel a hint of warmth in them. Not far into the run, I fortunately met up with a man also doing the long course, and both of us had a goal pace of 7 min/mile, and he was wearing a GPS watch. We stuck together for the rest of the run, and actually held a sub-7 minute pace. Despite my frozen feet, I felt really good on the run. My 10K time for the triathlon was 42:44, faster than what my 10K time was, though this course seemed short and the other long. Either way, I held a good pace and felt great! I dropped about three minutes off of my run from last year’s race there, which I was not expecting, but it did make up for my poor bike split and I was still able to beat my overall goal time for the race by four seconds. I was also the first female finisher, winning the event by over eight minutes!
|My friend (3rd female finisher) and I|
I knew going into the race that I had wanted to be a contender for first, and that I have been training well to set myself up for that position, but it is also crazy to believe that I not only won the race, but I won it only three months after having a baby! This was my first win of a triathlon, and I am hoping that it is only the beginning! You’ll never know what you are capable of if you are never pushed to your limits.