“The course doesn’t make it hard, the athlete does.”~Unknown
Cliff Notes Version: I GOT to race Tri Clear Lake Olympic distance triathlon Saturday, May 28! 💙💛
- the air temp at the race start was about ~60*F with mostly clear skies and strong winds (sustained at 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph throughout the race)
- the water temp was 61F
- the swim start was a wave start
- the majority of the road surfaces on the bike course are smooth
- there was no water/aid station on the bike (as is pretty typical for shorter distance triathlons)
- there were four self-serve aid stations on the run (volunteers were filling cups, but not handing them out)
- volunteers took our timing chips off of us after we crossed the finish line and put medals around our necks
- there were little insulated bags with deli sandwiches and chips for each athlete
- there were individually wrapped cookies to select from for each athlete
- there was plenty of beverage options (water, different flavors of soda, chocolate milk, and beer)
- there were lots of door prizes that were given away
- spoiler alert:
Longer Version: With the strong winds, I knew this was going to be a bumpy ride, but I was so stoked to play and test my fitness in an Olympic distance triathlon on Saturday, May 28! We parked about 2 blocks from the transition area, which was super convenient. We walked to packet pick-up (by transition), got checked-in, picked up our timing chips, then walked back to the car to get all of the stickers on the bikes + helmets and headed to transition for body marking and to set up our spots.
As we were setting up our transition area, they made the announcement that the water temp was 61*F and that it was only one degree warmer than wetsuit mandatory, so wetsuits were STRONGLY encouraged. After setting up my transition area, chatting with the USAT official (whom we’ve gotten to know from doing/directing local races), doing the neoprene shimmy in my Roka wetsuit, and taking in a gel, I was ready for a practice swim. Easing my way out into the water from the beach was a bit shocking, but not nearly as shocking as putting my face in the water. Hello brain freeze! I did a few bobs in the water to get my face and brain use to the cold water. I swam almost completely out to the first buoy as the water was pretty choppy and I wanted to make sure sighting and breathing wouldn’t be much of an issue with the rough waters. I found my Coeur Sports sisters, Jess and Char, and we made our way over to the start area after listening to the National Anthem and pre-race announcements.
Swim: (27:52 for “1500 m” at 1:51/100 m average pace…2/5 F45-49, 12/47 F, 66/162 overall)
I lined up at the front of our swim wave because that’s where I belong. As previously mentioned, the water temp was 61F with serious chop due to the strong winds, but that didn’t stop me from having an amazing swim! I swam a straight line, I remained strong, confident, and certain in the water, and put out a solid effort. ⚡️ Oh…and I put 1500 m in quotation marks above, because this was the advertised race distance, but I think the buoys may have been blown in closer to shore making the distance closer to 1200 m as this is what multiple people reported their Garmin recorded (mine recorded 1318 yards).
T1: (2:47…2/5 F45-49, 15/47 F, 60/162 overall)
As I exited the swim, the boat ramp was VERY slick with algae growing on it, so I cautiously walked up out of the water until my feet hit dry ground. I got my wetsuit off just below my hips and removed my goggles + swim cap as I was running to my transition spot so that when I arrived to my bike, I could quickly get my legs out of my wetsuit. As I was putting on my socks + bike shoes, I realized I had forgotten to take my Roka sunnies out of my transition bag, so I wasted a few seconds digging for them. I donned my helmet and Roka sunnies, grabbed Mojo, and off we went!
Bike: (1:16:24 for 24.8 miles at 19.5 mph average speed…1/5 F45-49, 5/47 F, 56/162 overall)
After crossing the mount line and getting on Mojo, we cruised our way out of town (with some turns here and turns there). This course was a relatively flat course, so I just put the hammer down and went. I didn’t look at my power output/speed/cadence at all during this ride. I was so grateful to be racing that I only focused on playing and having fun. As I played chase trying to catch different people in front of me, I kept asking myself if I could go just a little bit harder in that moment. Racing from a place of gratitude and fun removed all of the pressure, which set me up for success as I cruised into T2.
The bike was amazing! Yes, I was nearly blown off the road multiple times (hello 30 mph winds with gusts up to 40 mph), but staying aero, strong, and confident allowed me to have the fastest bike split in my AG. ⚡️
T2: (1:27…1/5 F45-49, 7/47 F, 29/162 overall)
I quickly racked Mojo, changed into my running shoes, grabbed my visor + race belt, and put these on while running out of T2.
Run: (49:16 for “6.2 miles” at 7:57/mile average pace…2/5 F45-49, 8/47 F, 60/162 overall)
This run was ~1.5 miles out and back that Olympic distance athletes got to do twice. It was fun to see other athletes and cheer them on. During the run, I continued to race from a place of fun + gratitude. I kept asking myself if I could go just a little bit harder. I spotted Mark (someone I typically see at the pool at least once a week) and had the goal of keeping him in my sights. Just after the 1/2 way point, I passed him. With about a half mile to go, he passed me back and I just focused on keeping up with him and staying strong through the finish. Oh…and I put 6.2 miles in quotation marks above, because this was the advertised race distance, but I think the turn around may have been inaccurately located as multiple people reported their Garmin recorded closer to 5.9 miles.
That wind on the bike felt amazing on the run! I remained strong, confident, and present in the mile I was in while chasing down one athlete after another all the way to the finish line! ⚡️
Overall: (2:37:46…2/5 F45-49, 7/47 F, 49/162 overall)
Testing my fitness by doing an Olympic distance triathlon at the culmination of peak Ironman training was AMAZING! I’m SO DAMN PROUD of my effort, execution, and mental endurance! Taking 2nd place in my AG, setting a new bike split PR, run split PR, and overall PR for the Oly distance (previous was 2:49:04) was icing on the cake! #LFG ⚡️
Gear: Coeur Sports triathlon shorts, Coeur Sports triathlon aero top, Roka X-1 Goggles, Roka Women’s Maverick X Wetsuit, Specialized Transition tri bike, Specialized S-works Evade helmet, Specialized Torch 2.0 Road Shoes, Coeur Sports visor, Newton Gravity running shoes, Roka SL-1X sunnies