Saturday, August 6, 2011

Born to Tri Sprint Triathlon

Running Mama swims and bikes too!! This morning I competed in the Born to Tri sprint distance triathlon in Asbury Park, NJ. What an awesome experience! I am so glad that I decided to go out of my comfort zone for this race because I had a great time. It was challenging (the swim!) but I finished and I finished strong.

We left the house at 4am this morning to head down the shore for the race. I picked up my packet and headed to the transition area to set up my gear. The logistics of a triathlon was just one aspect that I was anxious about, since I have never seen how it is done.

Getting ready!

My biggest area of concern was, of course, the ocean swim. It was a 1/3 of a mile swim with an "in ocean" start, meaning we had to tread water for about 5 minutes before the gun went off. I did a lot of training in the pool for the swim, but open water is such a different ball game. Fortunately I attended a swim clinic a month ago in the ocean so I would know what to expect. That clinic was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I panicked at one point and needed help back to shore!

I gave myself a million pep talks leading up to today on not panicking in the water. My strategy was to slow down my stroke and take it nice and easy. I kept repeating to myself "slow is smooth, smooth is fast," which kept me focused. It seemed like it took forever to get to the first buey, but after that I got into a good rhythm. Before I knew it I was going around the last buey and heading towards the shore. I was so relieved when my feet finally hit the sand!

Getting into the ocean for the swim start

Waiting for the gun


Running towards the transition area!

Once I was on dry land, I felt great! Transition 1 went smoothly. I was told that packing my stuff in a bucket to use as a seat would be helpful, and it really was! I was happy to be able to sit and put my socks and shoes on. Then I hopped on my bike and started on the 12 mile bike route. It was a double loop and I felt good the whole time. I even passed a few bikers :)

Biking strong

Getting ready for the run at transition 2

After hopping off my bike and replacing my helmet with my hat, I started off on the run. This was the portion of the race that I was most comfortable with, but the beginning was challenging. My legs were definitely wobbly and my calves were cramping up a bit. I decided to slow down my pace to almost a shuffle, so that I didn't have to start walking but I wasn't pushing myself too hard. Slowly but surely my pace picked up and I felt good.

The run was beautiful. It started off through a few nice neighborhoods and finished on the boardwalk. We even ran through the old casino building and convention hall before heading back down the boards to the finish.

Heading to the finish!

I did it!!

Overall I was thrilled with the race, I do not think it could have gone any better for my first one. My final time was 1:40:15. Here are all my times:

Swim - 15:19

Bike - 46:48

Run- 34:24

This will not be my last triathlon. I am looking forward to improving my skills and getting back out there again soon! I will definitely do this race again next year, it was really fun, very "Jersey" which I love, and extremely well organized.


Kelly said...

Kelly, you are amazing!!!

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