I’m riding my “Tri High” from the Tri for the Cure in Scottsdale! This was a fun and challenging race, although I’m not so sure that it was perfect for beginners. It definitely was an accomplishment to finish!
I hit the expo and packet pick up later in the day on Saturday at The Villages in Gainey Ranch. There was a course briefing in the racquetball court and that’s where I realized we were going to swim in a 50m pool and there were hills!
Later that night, I prepped my gear for the race and tried to sleep! The 3:40 am wake up call came quick!
I met my MRTT girls to carpool for the race and we were off to Scottsdale! We had plenty of time to find parking (although on site parking did seem very scarce), had our tires checked and got everything set up.
A friend’s husband came to cheer her on and take pictures, so we had our own official race photographer! Thank you, Brad!!
We made the last minute changes to our transition area and I had a sweet potato squeezer and half a Honey Stinger chocolate waffle. After they closed the transition area (thank you to Karen for paying attention to that note!), we listened to announcements, we sang the National Anthem and we were able to watch Olympian Misty Hyman kick off the triathlon and swim an effortless 400m. Since each swimmer starts every 10 sec, I wasn’t set to start until after 7:45. I hit the restroom and walked around to keep warm and get my nervous energy out.
This race is so much fun because there’s so much camaraderie. I was chatting with first time triathletes and mamas who were racing for the first time since their babies were born. There was a great excitement in the air to get the race started. Before I knew it, it was my turn to get into the water! I was surprisingly calm once I got in and just worked on finding my rhythm. It was amazing to swim in a 50m pool. I was able to find a comfortable pace and I just kept moving forward. I took a few seconds rest at about the halfway mark. I was passed by some speedy swimmers, and I also had to fight my way to the end of the lane.
It wasn’t the most graceful of exits, but I was elated to be out of the water and headed to the bike!
I decided to wear my old shoes for the bike and use my slide on pedals. The bad part about that was I didn’t realized that I had tightened the strap on the left foot so I couldn’t slide my foot into the pedal. It wasn’t too bad, just a little annoying. Note to self: while prepping in transition make sure that the straps are loose or just the right size.
The hills were alive with the sound of bikers huffing and puffing or walking up hill. Seriously, this was a really challenging bike course for beginners. If I still had my borrowed hybrid bike, I wouldn’t have made it up the 3 hills. The road wasn’t smooth, so there were big ruts and holes to avoid along the route. There was a gal with a really nice tri bike set up who was trying to pass me on the hill and she was having a hard time of it.
I’m so glad that I practiced the hills before this race! Knowing how the gears worked made it easier to conserve energy and keep the momentum going. Once we completed the first three hills, we were rewarded with a flying downhill section and then we had to do another loop! The second time around, I knew what to expect so I tried really hard to keep it together. I made sure I smiled for the camera the second time around! I made sure that I was spinning my wheels so that my legs would be ready for the run.
Coming off the bike, I switched shoes and quickly put on my running gear. My legs felt like they weren’t moving and my watch wasn’t registering a pace, but I just kept moving forward. I kept an eye out for the MRTT ladies along the canal and I cheered them on from the other side. I carried my own hydration, so I didn’t have to stop for water. By the time I hit mile 2 my legs felt better, so I kicked it up a notch. I was feeling great and rode the endorphins all the way to the finish.
I saw the MRTT ladies at the finish line and we waited for the rest of the girls to finish and later had drinks to celebrate!
It turns out I ran my fastest race pace ever! 9:00min/mile — what?!?!
Photos from the race: I was smiling on the bike and the canal run!! http://www.tr-iag.com/triforthecureaz_2015?eq=1850
This was my first sprint distance tri and it’s not going to be my last!