New Jersey State Sprint Triathlon, 7/23/11
I was glad that I registered for this triathlon since the one the week before became an aquathlon. I couldn't wait to test out my new Trek Speed Concept!!
This was a huge sprint, over 1700 athletes. Matt and I went down the day before for packet pickup. We toured around the race setup and felt the water. Warm again. Mid 80s!
Race day we got there early because I wanted a decent spot in transition for my bike and I got it. I set up my bike and run gear and was able to relax for awhile before heading to the swim start. Matt and I did our normal swim warmup and I felt extremely comfortable. Only downside, it was going to be over 100 degrees! I got to see Matt off for his swim start and I had about another 10 minutes before I started.
I started the swim in the front, as always. This swim was a lot more organized than the swim the week earlier. It was a straight shot, a 90 degree turn and a straight shot into the swim finish. My swim could have been faster, but I was third girl out of the water in my age group, I was happy with that.
The run into transition from the swim finish was longer than what I have done. Since there were so many people the transition area was huge! I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to find my bike. But I found it. I was able to throw on my bike shoes, helmet, glasses, grab my bike and get out of transition quickly!
Then it started to hurt. A 5k run in 100 degree heat after going hard on the bike, not fun! I have never taken so much water and ice at water stops on a 5k. Every stop I took something. I shoved a bag of ice down my tri suit, had an ice cold cloth in my tri suit and grabbed water and Heed at every station. I pushed the run until I started to feel that I was going into a cold sweat. It was at that point I knew I couldn't push myself any harder. Little did I know I was winning my age group going into the run. With a tenth of a mile to go I was passed by a girl in my age group. I remember not thinking anything of it because I didn't know where I was in my age group at that point. I finished as strong as I could, considering.
I probably drank 5 + bottles of water after the finish. We waited around for the results to be posted. Of course there was a mad dash for the result board. Matt pushed himself in there and told me that I placed 2nd in my age group. I started to cry. I couldn't believe it. Then he told me that I missed 1st place by 20 seconds! I guess that's what you get for putting it all out there on the bike and trying to run in 100 degree heat. But I was thrilled with a 2nd place finish and even more thrilled in knowing that I qualified for age group nationals!!
This race was awesome. We plan on doing it again next year. It is a whole weekend event, there is a sprint triathlon on Saturday and an olympic distance on Sunday. Next year we plan on making a weekend of it and doing both!!
For those of you wondering, I am not going to compete at Age Group Nationals this year. It is a goal of mine for next year. If I qualify next year I will be attending. I have not trained for an olympic distance race yet and it would be too much to compile into a short period of time. Plus I'm sure those girls are fast, I need to make sure that I can hang! =)