With Giant Acorn complete, my 2015 triathlon season is complete. I can’t believe this was my third year of triathlon. I still feel like such a beginner.
In 2013, I did two triathlons, plus one indoor triathlon (which I don’t really count). It was definitely a whirlwind.
In 2014, I doubled that and did four triathlons, greatly improved my finish time for IronGirl Columbia and found myself on the podium at Dragonfly Heart.
In 2015, I did six triathlons, improved my finish at Giant Acorn, and found myself on the podium twice. I also raced on Team Coeur, and it was such fun to be on this team. I have some incredibly impressive teammates.
I feel like I should continue the trend and do 8 triathlons in 2016, but it’s really going to depend on scheduling. I want my racing to be about quality, not quantity. Will I be on the podium three times? Probably not. Ideally, I’ll continue to lose weight and find myself no longer eligible for Athena, because man, it would be nice to have less weight to haul up those hills. But we’ll see what happens.
I started the season with the Kinetic Sprint. I wasn’t really ready to start the racing season and while my body did just fine, my mind wasn’t into it yet.
After that, I jumped right into Challenge Williamsburg Oly. This was really my “big” race for the year. It was my second oly, and I had big goals. Huge goals. And then the weather pushed back. It was so very hot, but rather than lament the heat, I just decided to laugh my way through it. It was a good lesson to learn and something I tried to stick with through the rest of the season. And I had a surprise podium finish!
Next up, Colonial Beach Sprint. When Liz convinced me to sign up for a triathlon in July, I figured it would be a hot slog. Oh, how wrong I was. It was cold and so very rainy. And we had an absolute blast. It would have been easy to be frustrated with the conditions, but instead we just laughed it off and it may have been the most fun I had while racing all season.
Then back to the Fort Ritchie Sprint. I wanted to do better than the previous year. And I did, but it wasn’t the race I wanted. I’m used to battling my heart rate issues, but this was the first time that I really felt affected by my condition, as I had to get off my bike for a hill once my HR was in the 190’s. I was angry at the situation and frustrated that it was due to a last minute course change (not the director’s fault – it was the safest option). But still, I managed to finish 5 miles faster, and with walking a chunk of the bike, that’s a pretty good thing.
Later that month was IronGirl Columbia. This was my third time back, and it was very different than what I was used to. It’s a huge race, and in previous years, we were a very early start wave. This time, I was in a fairly late wave, which meant I got to watch a lot of racers start. That was a lot of fun, but it also meant way too much time on my feet before the race. My own fault. I had a good race, not as good as the previous year, but given the temperature and my own pre-race mistakes, I’ll take it.
Then one more race, Giant Acorn Oly. Another repeat, so I had some concrete goals. First off, don’t get a flat tire during the race. But I had a general idea of how much time I had lost with that flat tire, so I wanted to do better. I wanted to do better than I had at Challenge Williamsburg. The two races aren’t really comparable – the distances are the same, but the courses are very different, plus Williamsburg was kind of like the surface of the sun when I raced there. But I pushed myself and had a phenomenal race. I have been focusing on proper fueling over the past month and I think it might be paying off.
All in all, it was a really good season for me. I really focused on putting in the training and it definitely paid off.
I have some pretty big goals for 2016, but I’m not sure I’m ready to make a big pronouncement just yet. Over the winter, I really need to work on my cycling. I think my trainer and I are going to become very good friends this winter. I also need to get more comfortable on my tri bike so I can start racing in aero. (I also need to find money to kit out said bike, which currently has no hydration system. I wonder how Santa feels about bringing triathlon gear.)
I’m super glad that I got into triathlon. I have made SO many friends through racing. I’ve started taking better care of myself, and I’ve made my training a priority. Even though I may not have lost a bunch of weight (yet?) I know that I’m in even better shape than I was when I was only running. If you’re thinking about getting into triathlon (or duathlon or even aquavelo racing), I highly recommend it.