Monday, April 10, 2017

First TRI of 2017 - Traditions Sprint TRI

Time for a little swim, bike & run report.  Yep I do a tad more than just run.  I did my first sprint TRI in 2011.  Sunfish was the race.  It's a fun one but tough.  Mainly because it's in the middle of the summer in south Mississippi!  I also did TRI4Life in 2011.  I don't really count that one as much because the water was so swallow you could walk the entire distance... which I basically did. :<>) 

I didn't do another TRI until  2015.  I had neck surgery in 2012 and didn't swim, bike or run for a good while.  It took me a couple of years to get back to wanting to do another one.  Well, I think one of my friends named Serina probably talked me into doing Sunfish again is really what happen. LOL  She's good at that.  Since then I've been pretty active doing a couple sprint TRIs for the past 2 years.  It mainly started as practice so I could get ready for the half ironman last year.  Now it's becoming something I'm enjoying.  I believe this was my 7th Sprint TRI.  Maybe that's why it was my best so far.  My favorite number is 7. :>)  

I was a tad nervous all week and tried to hide it.  I kept telling myself not to focus on time.  This was going to be open water practice! The swim is my hardest part.  I love swimming in the pool for training, but something happens when you put me in open water.  I get real nervous.  

Race morning began early for me!  I had decided to not try to get a room at the coast and just drive down for the race which meant getting up at 3:45 am and leaving the house no later than 4:15 am.  I had to get there by 6:30 am to pick up my packet and get my bike set up in transition before they closed the transition area.  It was 42 degrees outside.  I was so glad they had sent an email saying the swim was going to be wetsuit legal!  I could put that thing on and stay warm while waiting to start. LOL  Some people did practice swim about 30 minutes before the race started.  I wanted to, but didn't want to get in and then freeze while waiting till my turn to start.  Here's a shot of some doing the practice swim.  You can see the buoys out in the water.  Love the calmness of the lake!

Soon all the racers started lining up to start.  They limit the race to 300 people from what I've read. 

I was standing alone until I heard some of my friends that I rode bikes with in Wiggins last year.  I was excited to be in line with them to start the swim.  We all chatted a few minutes.  I was so glad to see them.  My cousin was supposed to be at the race, but she texted me earlier and said she didn't sleep much and made the decision to not travel to the race.  Soon I was standing at the water waiting for them to tell me to go.  I jumped in and kept telling myself... go slow... pace yourself... take a deep breath, dig deep and steady rhythm.  I was shocked but I was staying right up with most of the Wiggins group in the water.  The water was cool but felt great once you got started.  

About half way into the swim someone tried to swim over me! This caused me to swallow a huge mouth of water.  I thought I was going to choke.  My body was trying to panic, but my head reminded me to just stay calm... cough the water up.. and take a deep breath and start again.  When I reached the bank and looked at my watch as I crossed the mat coming out of the water I was shocked! My best swim time ever! 13 minutes may not be fast for many, but for me that's awesome!  Especially when I first started out only being able to swim anywhere from 20-16 minutes in races.  I was all smiles.  It feels good to know all that training in the pool was making a difference.  Now to get into transition and get on that bike ASAP is what I was thinking.  LOL  A picture of the transition area where we hang our bikes. 

Once out on the bike I had forgotten that the course had lots of rolling hills! However, I looked down and I was averaging anywhere from 17-18 mph.   I felt great.  Some days you just feel like racing.  Soon Nova passed me on the bike.  She laughed and told me it was better at that time for her to weigh more than me because she could beat me down the hills, but I would soon pass her going up the hill.  It's awesome to have friends during the race that you can talk to even if it's just for a minute.  We encourage each other! Nova and I were back and forth passing each other the entire time on the bike and rolled into transition at the same time.  Here's a picture of me and Nova after the race.  I thanked her for pushing me.  I had the best bike time for a TRI! I averaged over 17 mph! Whoop Whoop.  This also is a big accomplishment for me! When I did my first TRI in 2011 my average was 14.5 mph.  

By this time I'm feeling real good and thinking I may just PR, however I'm dreading the run.  If you remember from my Rise and Shine half race post, my foot/ankle had gotten run over by the stroller we were pushing.  I had not been able to run all week because my ankle felt like I had rolled my foot.  It was very painful.  I knew I was going to have to walk some during the run so I tried to hurry out of transition as soon as I got my bike racked.  

I ran / walked off and on and tried not to look at my watch.  I kept telling myself that it didn't matter if I did PR because I had the best swim and bike time.  I was surprised even with a long run time that when I crossed that finish line...guess what??  I did have a PR! Whoop Whoop 

I will say that Traditions has the BEST after party! Tons of food! Really good food! Everyone brings chairs and hangs out for awhile.  I had not planned to hang around so I grabbed some food and went to see if they had posted any race times.  I knew I probably didn't win anything (there is some FAST people in the TRI world), but I wanted to see where I ended up.  There were no times posted and as I was walking back to see if we could get our bikes out of transition and load them I heard a man making an announcement, so I stopped to listen.

Well this is what he said..... someone had tripped a wire at the swim start and for about 190 people they didn't have a swim start time.  He said they had a list of race numbers without times so to come see him and check to see if your number was one of the numbers.  He said he was going to ask everyone to turn in times from their watches if they had a watch.  Boy you should of heard the chatter around me.  People were saying... oh boy... this going to be interesting... wonder if everyone will be honest with their times.  

I walked on over to check my number and yep.. you got it.. my number was one of the ones that they didn't have a swim start time. :(  I did show him my watch and went ahead back to car to get my bike.  I figured it was going to take awhile for them to figure out all that mess and I had things to do at home after a 2 hour drive to get back home.  I grabbed a quick selfie since I was feeling so good about my swim time. :>) 

I had to wait a few minutes before they would let me get my bike out of transition because people were still racing so I snapped a shot of my car waiting on the bike... :>) 

Even with the slow run time, I feel good about my progress and my results for the day.  As I told one of my friends who recently had surgery, do not give up! It may take awhile to come back, but you can do it! I'm living proof! Back in 2012 when I had my neck surgery I was scared to death to ride my bike.  I was scared I'd hurt myself.  Now look at me! If I can do can you! Sometimes training gets boring and seems so endless, but I promise you if you put in the work... you will see results.  I still have tons of work to do and lots of places I could improve.  I am a work in progress.  

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the pink shirts! The run-n-tri group did great!

Later than night I saw a post on FB saying they didn't give out awards.  I guess they were still trying to figure the times out.  

I'm so thankful that God was with me every step of the way! "All who look to him will be radiant!" Psalm 34:5
And thanks to my friends that I knew were praying for me! I could feel your prayers!  I LOVE you guys! 

Until next time... happy training to you! Easter is coming up.  I pray you are all thinking  about what Easter means.  As for me, it means I have life after death.  Jesus paid the price for ME. Oh how I love him. :>) 


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