Yesterday, I did the Fort Ritchie Sprint Triathlon. Spoiler alert: I finished!
This race was definitely one that I was worried about. The bike course was no joke. Lots and lots of hills.
We got to the race in the morning and started to setup transition. It was overcast, but we were all hoping the rain would hold off. It drizzled a bit, got a bit harder, but wasn’t terrible. And there was zero lightning. That was my biggest fear. This race also had a Du, with a 5k run replacing the swim. Even though I came to triathlon as a runner, the run is the part I hate the most. I don’t like 5ks in the first place, and so the idea of doing two made me want to cry.
The race had an in-water start (my favorite), and I felt pretty experienced. It was the same course that I did at the Swimfest in May, though there I did the 1500 swim. So I definitely felt confident in this course. A lot of people wore wetsuits, and that might have made me faster, but I never felt like I needed it. The water was around 74, but the air was much cooler so the water didn’t feel shockingly cold. I just did my thing and didn’t push. I was aiming for 20 minutes, hoping I would be under 22.
Swim: .46 miles – 19:28
Into T1. My spot was the furthest it could be from the swim entry, but since I’m too lazy to get pedicures, my feet are nice and prepared for running through a parking lot barefoot.
Onto the bike course. The part I dreaded the most.
This is the elevation profile.
I know what you’re thinking. That hill from just after mile 8 up to just before 14 looks awful.
That’s not the bad part. The worst part is that little hill right around mile 2. Not that the long uphill was all that fun – I just cranked along at 5-6 mph. Nothing speedy, but I just kept going The climb at 2 scared me though. I worried I would have to get off my bike and walk it. No shame in doing that, of course. But I just didn’t want to have to. I wanted to bike the whole thing.
And I did! Such a victory.
Unfortunately, the rain meant that I couldn’t fly down the course as much as I wanted, since I’m more cautious on wet pavement. But I still had a pretty great time. I was thinking that if I had a good day I could do it in 1:15. Given the rain, I’m really happy with how I ended up. Barely over my goal.
Bike: 15 miles – 1:15:43
And transition again. Didn’t grab my handheld water bottle when I headed back out, but I wasn’t too worried.
As I ran through to the run exit, I passed Jon and Bob in transition. They were also doing the sprint and they were already DONE! I gave them a look and then got some high fives. I figured they’d finish around an hour before I did, so I wasn’t all that surprised to see them, but it was still pretty funny.
And on to my most hated part of the race. I know what you’re thinking – if I was dreading the bike and I hate the run, why do I do it? Because I love the challenge. And I don’t really hate the run – I just like it the least. It doesn’t help that that’s the part where my body is the most exhausted.
I stuck with my 1:1 pattern, and thankfully, this time, my watch displayed my pace in miles instead of kilometers. My first mile was slow and a bit of a slog, but I definitely picked it up. In the beginning, my left calf was incredibly tight and I worried it wouldn’t loosen up, but around mile 3, it seemed to stretch out. Probably because of the giant uphill I ended up walking. I was hoping for under 45 minutes for this 5k, but knew it was very possible I would be over. Ultimately, I was pleased. A 13:30 pace is rocking for me!
Run: 3.1 miles – 41:49
Into the finish and I was done! 2:20:22. Certainly pleased! I was the second Athena to come in, but they were only awarding one medal in the category, so no extra bling for me. I was pretty eager to see her results though – I wanted to know if she was ahead the whole time or if she passed me somewhere. Basically, I wanted to know what leg I would have had to improve to win the category. Answer? All of them. She had a rocking race and while I could have feasibly caught her on the swim or bike, she rocked the run. I’m sure I’ll see her at another local race and I’ll have to introduce myself. It’s always awesome to meet other Athenas.
And now I am tired. Very, very tired. Now onto training for IronGirl Columbia and Giant Acorn Olympic. Oh, yes, and the half marathon I’m running this weekend.