Disclaimer: I’m an ambassador for the Esprit de She races. I received a complimentary entry for the Sprint triathlon for my 2014 Ambassadorship, but my opinions are my own.
The Esprit de She Sprint Triathlon was my big race for 2015. I love to document everything, so I’m splitting this up into a separate posts. If you’re coming over from the PreRace post, it’s time to leave transition and head to the swim start.
Laurel (an MRTT friend) and I headed towards the Sprint group and chatted with other ladies in our wave. One gal mentioned that she would sing the last song she heard while she did her strokes. It just happened to be Push It. Now “Push it real good” was playing in my head, and that was totally fine with me. I saw @jasenguy and wished I saw @teamsprinklesandglitter before the race to wish her good luck! I also saw Coach Sarah from WannaTri and she snapped this wetsuit picture. I love how I’ve immediately reverted back to my high school dance line pose.
The race was pushed back so it didn’t start until after 6:45. Laurel and I watched the International distance gals jump in the water and line up for their start. Once the horn went off, I squealed with excitement. As my wave approached the swim start, Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon started playing.
OMG! It’s my new favorite song (because of this video floating around FB):
Of course, I started dancing and I had the song in my head as we jumped into the water. This set the tone for the rest of the day. We jumped in, and I made sure not to jump down but to jump out. I had to wait a second because the gal in front of me jumped down and I didn’t want to land on top of her.
Laurel and I were within eye sight range once we started towards the starting line. My wetsuit helped me stay afloat without expending too much energy. We collected towards the middle of the pack and we even had to try to move back since the front line was crossing the starting buoys. As we were trying to push back, the horn went off and it was our turn to start. I waited until the line in front of me cleared and then it was time to go. I put my head down, floated and started my swim. I was pretty excited and I remember thinking, “This is awesome! I’m swimming!” But once I looked up, I realized that I was heading towards the wall and away from the pack. I focused on breathing on my left side so I could get closer to the buoys. By this time, I realized that I lost Laurel and I was on my own in the crowd. I kept the buoys and the bridge in my sights and kept swimming.
Before I knew it, I was passing the red buoys (the turn around for super sprint) and just as I was passing the Mill Ave bridge, I took a breath on my right side and I saw the duathletes start their run. It was a pretty awesome sight to see the waves of ladies start their run. For a moment, I was swimming alongside of them. I didn’t want to start drifting back towards the wall, so I started breathing to the left to spot the buoys. After I passed the bridges, I came across a panicked swimmer. She was a little stressed and needed some attention, so I waved called the kayaks over. She seemed to be calming down and by this time another swimmer stopped with her, so I kept on going.
Before I managed to make the turn for the Sprint distance, I was passed by Red caps!! These were the ladies in the wave just behind me. They were very speedy. I didn’t do the backstroke turn at the buoys, I managed to angle my way over without any issues. As I was swimming toward the final turn, I realized that I just swam 750 yards without freaking out! I was elated as I approached the stairs. Last year, I was floundering and I needed the kayak all the way to the end. This year, the wetsuit helped me manage my anxiety and I was able to swim all the way!
The wetsuit strippers were so helpful in taking off the wetsuit. Thank you volunteers!!
Transition 1: As I was running into the transition area, I realized that I didn’t hit the lap button on my watch, so I went ahead and triggered the T1. I rinsed my feet off and I put on my old running shoes for the bike section. I sat down to do this, which was a little of a mistake. It took a little while for me to get up and get going again.
I ran my BFF out of transition and approached the mount line. As I glanced at my watch, I realized that it was already in T2. I must have hit the trigger as I was getting my equipment set. I stopped the triathlon setting and started a brick workout to record the rest of the race. Of course, I was careful to still be focused on the road.
The first half of the bike ride was the same as last year’s super sprint distance. I remembered the hills and the turns. It was nice to be able to see a lot of friendly faces along the course. I made sure to cheer everyone on we passed each other at several sections of the race. There was a bike crash along the course, and thankfully it looked like everyone was okay.
I was pretty pumped when I got to the super sprint turnaround and started a new segment. There were a lot of hills in the second half!! I was definitely passed by along the course and I also did some passing. I need to work on my road handling, as I took some of the turns a little too fast. Thankfully, I never lost control but I got scared a couple of times.
The U-turn to go back to the start was pretty tight and the top of Curry Hill was not fun. It’s not fun to run that section of Curry Hill, much less tackle it on the bike. I think that I did fairly well managing my gearing during the ride. I still need a ton of practice, but I was pretty happy with the experience on the whole. Drinking on the bike is a whole other experience! I saw a gal lose a water bottle and I almost lost mine.
As I approached T2, I was halfway looking out for the family, but I knew it would be a long shot that they would make it by then.
Transition 2: It was great to be off the bike and I was dancing to my favorite song (yes, “Shut up and dance” was playing again!) while I racked my BFF and switched my shoes. Again, I sat down to put my socks and shoes on. It’s so hard to get up once you’re down! I grabbed my visor, my hydration bottle and started chewing a Honey Stinger orange blossom gel to get my run started.
It was hot!! We were paying for the late start with high temperatures at the start of the run. I did my best run as much as I could. I was just too beat. When I was on the bike, I remember thinking to myself, “I could do the International Distance next year.” As I started my run, I remember thinking to myself, “No way am I doing the International Distance, it’s too hot!” I was thankful that we’d see the aid stations more than once along the out and back course. I poured water on my head at almost all the water stops. Thank you to all the volunteers who offered to splash me with water!
I had to run/walk the 5k, it was so hard. I finished most of my Skratch hydration before I hit the turn around. I stopped to refill my bottle with water at the next aid station. The small hills of the Tempe Beach park were getting to me and I had to keep reminding myself that it was a 5k and I was almost done. There were a couple of ladies who would joke and say “You’re not allowed to pass me” as runners approached them. It was hot, but most everyone was in good spirits. Again, I was pretty happy to be approaching the finish line instead of heading out to do another loop.
I made the turn towards the finish line and I was thrilled to see my family waiting and cheering for me. Since there was a break in the finishers, I grabbed the kiddos and we all ran together towards the finish line. It was the best feeling I’ve ever experienced. I was absolutely thrilled to have them by my side.
I was so proud of my race and thrilled to have experienced the finish with kiddos. It’s something that we’ll never forget!
Thank you to Athlinks for providing race pictures free of charge.