Yesterday I did my second ever triathlon and first in 13 years. It was a women-only race in Sandy Hook, NJ. I had a great time and I’m looking forward to doing another. I was emailed my results yesterday and learned I came in 111 of 189 for my age group (40-44). Today I was able to get online and find more detailed results.
Overall Time: 1:32:27 Overall Place: 568 of 1191 / Swim: 11:11 Swim Rank: 416 / T1: 5:31 / Bike 37:47 Bike Rank: 496 / T2: 1:59 / Run: 35:36 Run Rank: 837
Meanwhile, I’ve had some time in the last 36 hours or so to think about what worked and what I’d do differently. Here are some lessons I learned:
1. Don’t make any changes of any kind to my bike close to the race. See my chiropractor before I see the bike fitter. When I bought my new (used) bike a few weeks ago, I knew I’d have to make some minor changes. Rather than waiting until after the race, I started making them right away. While I thought everything was dialed in, I now realize it wasn’t. I had a bit of knee pain by the end of the bike in my left knee. The back of that knee is now stiff and swollen. My chiropractor thinks I pulled my hamstring and that the seat was raised slightly high. Since I have an old hip injury that sometimes sneaks up on me, I probably should have seen my chiropractor and made sure my hips were aligned before making any changes to the bike. Lesson learned. In the meantime, it’s ice, elevation, arnica and rest.
2. A wet sports bra is not really a problem on a sunny day. In fact, it kept me cool for the run. Of course, if I could find one that fits and dries fast, I’d buy it. In the meantime, I’ll happily stick with what I’ve got. You can read about my tri-friendly sports bra quest here. And if you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments.
3. Bring a headlamp. It was very dark when we arrived and there were no lights in the parking lot. While there were spotlights set up at the transition area, a headlamp would have helped in the parking lot.
4. Bring something to mark my transition area. Lucky for me, a woman close to me had attached a toy windmill shaped like a large flower to the rack. I could see this from quite a distance and it made finding my bike much easier.
5. Pay attention to nutrition, hydration and rest after the race. This has nothing to do with the race itself. A sprint distance race isn’t going to wipe out my immune system. However, waking up at 4:30, for any reason, will do a number on me. Some people can get by on not much sleep. I’m not one of them. I get run down and I get sick. I woke up this morning with a fever, a sore throat, and a stuffy head. Not a great way to go into work and face 200 teenagers (34+ at a time) in the course of 7 hours.
6. Savor every moment. It went by fast. Really fast. But still, I savored every moment. While I was swimming I noticed the buoyancy of the saltwater and felt the smoothness of my stroke cut through the water. During the bike I admired breathtaking views of Sandy Hook bay to one side of me and the dunes and seagrass on the other side. During the run I spoke to some of the other women who were walking or run/walking with me. I cheered other women as they crossed the finish after me. I took pictures. I laughed. I had a great time. I think I see another one of these in my future.