For the past four months I dedicated the majority of my spare time to train for my first sprint triathlon. That’s right folks, swim – bike – run! I hadn’t hit up a pool to lap swim since my awkward middle school days, my bike’s main purpose was to commute to work and I believed running farther than 400 meters was long distance. The thought of biking and running in a soggy pair of shorts and sports bra definitely didn’t appeal to me, but for some reason, I really wanted to compete in a triathlon.
I signed up for the TriRock sprint triathlon in San Diego and devised a training plan. I surfed the web, read numerous articles, and plucked the best ideas (in my opinion) from various “beginner triathlete” training plans to create my own routine. But the greatest assets to my training regimen were my training buddies, Robin and Shannon. Robin has competed in triathlons with her family for years and her favorite leg of the race is the swim. She held my hand for my first open water swim in La Jolla Cove and spoke nothing but words of encouragement. Robin kept an eye on my orange swim cap the whole time and would patiently wait for me to catch my breath several times throughout the 800 meter challenge. Each open water swim with Robin and Shannon got better and better, and Robin’s nurturing ways and motivational pep talks made the once daunting swim seem like a conquerable feat!
Shannon and I would exchange workout ideas, articles to read and meet up for great brick workouts. What is a brick workout, you ask? A brick workout refers to the stacking of two triathlon disciplines consecutively to train the body to handle the aerobic, anaerobic and muscular demands of a triathlon. The “brick” part refers to the awesome brick-like feeling in your quads as you power from one discipline to the next!
We also chatted extensively about what to wear on race day – YES, it’s very important! You need to have the right gear to feel comfortable and to prevent annoying things like chaffing. Shannon experimented with the onesie trisuit and it was an epic fail for her. We both stuck with dry-fit, compression shorts, a good sports bra and a racing singlet. The two best triathlon gear investments of this season were: 1) My Xterra wetsuit; I knew I wouldn’t drown while donning this sleek, insulated floatation device and 2) My Moving Comfort Juno bra, which comes in a variety of colors and in actual bra sizes to tame your ta-tas with style!
Race Day: I Tri
Sunday, September 9th: Tri Rock: 500M swim – 14k bike – 5k run
Everything was so new and exciting to me; I walked around the transition area like a kid seeingDisneyland for the first time. I even saw Chris Paul, Olympic b-baller who now plays for the LA Clippers, walking around the race site! When it was time for my wave to get into the water, I was ready to rock! I had visualized my transitions and had confidence in my training. I completed my first sprint triathlon in 1:18:48, which ranked in the top 25% of female athletes – not too shabby for my first race. Exhausting and exhilarating, I caught the tri fever and already started to analyze areas I could improve on to shave minutes off my time.
“I Tri” was the slogan on the tee-shirt I bought at the TriRock expo to commemorate my first triathlon experience. I enjoyed this challenge so much, that Shannon, Robin and I decided to sign up for the SheRox race, which was only 6 weeks away…
Round 2: Wake Up & Be Awesome
Sunday, October 21st: SheRox: 800M swim – 20k bike – 5k run
This was my race day motto as weather conditions were less than ideal: dark, chilly and very wet, but this race was particularly special because Deryk and my mom would be cheering for me in the crowd! I could hear their voices as I ran up the ski ramp after my swim, as I turned the corner on my bike and headed back towards the transition area and as I hit the homestretch on the run to the finish line. I finished the race in 1:27:45 which ranked in the top third of female athletes in the sprint distance. I am most proud of my run: My 5k time was 23:52, a 7:27 mile average! Shortly after I crossed the finish line, I had three things on my mind:
- A warm shower
- Next race
Now it’s time to relax on training –not too much as I have a goal to compete in an Olympic distance triathlon next year (1500M swim – 40k bike – 10k run) – but I’d like to get back to my mat for some much needed yoga!
Tri a new challenge. Wake up and be awesome every day.
Peace. Love. Namaste.