Wednesday, June 24, 2015

2015 Ashland Lions Olympic Triathlon

I did it!  I completed my first ever olympic distance triathlon this past Sunday.  It was the Ashland Lions Olympic Triathlon.

Here are the distances:

1 mile swim
25.4 mile bike
6 mile run

This was also my first triathlon that included men.  Before this, I had only done two women-only sprint triathlons.  And this was my first triathlon in the rain - we had pretty awful weather.  It teemed while setting up my transition area and then during the entire race, we had light to moderate rain.

I'm pretty proud of my results.  There were 98 participants and only 36 women.  In my category (Female 40-44), there were 7 participants.

Category:  Female 40-44
Swim:  25:50 / Category 1 / Overall 14
Transition 1:  8:49 min
Bike:  1:35:53 / Category 3 / Overall 72
Transition 2:  3:21
Run:  55:00 / Category 3 / Overall 52

Total:  3:08:55 / Category 3 / Overall 53

I actually medaled by getting 3rd in my age group category.  I didn't expect that at all!

By getting 53rd overall, it means I finished in roughly the 50th percentile, which means I beat a lot of men!  And I was 14th overall in the swim, but only 4 of those who beat me were women.

As a former competitive swimmer from age 6 to 18, I'm not surprised by how well I did on the swim.  I knew that was going to be my best leg.  And as expected based on my earlier triathlons, my bike was my worst leg.  I actually completed the 25.4 mile ride in a personal best time (compared to my training rides), but it still only landed me 72nd overall.  And my run was decent, with a 52nd overall finish.

The run was the only thing I didn't feel completely trained for.  It was SO hilly.  At the beginning, I thought that maybe I ran the wrong way.  The initial hill was so bad that all I could think was "This is BRUTAL" or "Is this some sick joke?"  But I really didn't want to have to walk and so I kept slugging through.  The entire run course was either straight up or straight down.  There might have been a .25 mile stretch that was flat.  No joke.  So while I trained to run 6 miles after biking 25 miles, I was not prepared for such a hilly course.  My hamstrings were quite sore over the past 2 days.

My new goal is to get better on the bike.  It's the longest leg of the race and so there should be lots of room for improvement.  I either need to spin faster in the low gears that I use or I need to get comfortable in a higher gear.  The reason I like the bike leg the best is probably because I'm not working hard enough!

I would also like to improve my transition times.  They were pretty slow on this triathlon, but I also packed everything in bags (to prevent my items from being totally soggy when I initially put them on) and I changed my socks between biking and running.  The first transition on this triathlon (from swim to bike) was ridiculous.  We had to run up this steep muddy path with tons of rocks and roots and then up a huge field to get back to the transition area.  I actually put on sneakers after the swim to get back to the transition area.  So that wasn't the most ideal course.

I look forward to the next triathlon in August.  In the meantime, back to getting up at 5 am to train!