Surprise, I did a triathlon this weekend! I had planned on Keystone being my last but I just couldn't stay away. When I found out that I was going to Florida after a week of being on vacation back in August I threw out the idea of doing another race. I didn't know how Keystone would go and I wanted another opportunity to race before the season's over. Between two weeks of traveling, racing the day after I got home and then going back to school I completely forgot about this race. To be 100% honest I didn't even know I was still doing it until it showed up on my schedule. Uhhh, sure! I'm not going to turn down another opportunity to race.
With a pretty busy first week back at school race day was here before I knew it. With the race being in Delaware I was able to stay at my apartment and drive up the morning of, but it did mean a 4:30 wake up call. I knew in order to get parking I needed to get to the park before 6:45 but somehow I missed the memo about transition closing at 7:00. By the time I got from my car, picked up my packet, got my chip, and was marked (all of which were required before entering the transition area), it was 6:50. Definitely the fastest I've ever set up my transition area.
The only thing that was a tad frustrating about this race was that the kids triathlon started at 7:15 (why transition closed so early) and then the first wave of the adult triathlon went off around 8:30. The kids triathlon and duathlon finished and the kids were given their awards all by 8:00. It was pretty cold out and I didn't love waiting around when we could have started earlier.
Swim (1/2 mile)
When I went down to look at the swim course I thought it looked quite a bit longer than the swim course at Keystone which was supposedly the same distance. The water temperature was a perfect 75 (wetsuit legal if you have one & warmer than the air temps so felt pretty warm). A lot of the swim was straight into the sun, so that sucked. It wasn't my best swim but wasn't my worst either.
I don't know whether the course really was long or not but it certainly felt long. I couldn't really settle in and had some trouble sighting with the sun. Luckily a half mile isn't too long any way you slice it and soon I was making the somewhat long run through the woods to transition. I looked at my watch before the swim started and after I got out and saw 12:XX so I'm not going by the official time since it included this run.
Swim: ~1:35 pace / 2nd female / 1st AG
Bike (19.5 miles)
Delaware is notoriously flat and going into this weekend I was pretty excited about doing a race that didn't involve even one decent climb. What I wasn't expecting was how quickly my legs would get tired. Even though climbing itself is harder, what goes up must come down. This is not the case when the whole course has a total elevation gain of only 125 ft. I kept finding myself wanting a downhill to coast to recover a bit.
The first few miles of the bike I felt like I was going too hard. I know it's a sprint so that's how you should feel but I felt like I was at that point where if I kept that pace I wouldn't survive the run. Surprisingly once I "eased up" I actually sped up. Funny how that works. The only thing I didn't like about the bike course was how much drafting I saw that was completely ignored by the marshals when they rode by. I don't care if you're going to draft but if you are doing it in plain sight of officials you should definitely be penalized. Rant over.
Back to the bike course. It was awesome. Once I got used to the whole no-coasting thing I started really enjoying myself. With the men's swim wave starting after the women I was passed by a lot of really fast guys who at times I thought were cars. That's how I know you're fast. I didn't know how fast I would be capable of riding on flat roads but was hoping for somewhere around 18.5. Luckily for me I'm not good at calculating bike paces in my head so I thought I was averaging near 18.5. If I knew I was holding over 19 mph I might have freaked myself out a bit.
Bike: 1:00:54 / 19.2 mph / 14th female / AG
Run (3.3 miles)
I could tell that I was using some different muscles, or the same muscles just in different ways, on the bike and wasn't sure how this would play out on the run. The course is advertised as being a mix of road, grass, and cross country. I would say it is more like mostly singletrack packed dirt trail, a good bit of grass and not much road. Good thing I decided to wear racing flats, right?
Since I decided not to wear my watch for the run my only goal was to pass as many people as possible. By the end I had passed 14 or 15 people and wasn't passed by anybody (insert thumbs-up emoji). I wouldn't exactly say I felt good during the run but I felt good enough. I don't really remember that much from the run except really wanting to be done with a little less than a mile to go. I also remember sprinting the last quarter mile to pass one last person and then tripping right in front of the finish line after I passed her, almost knocking her over. Oops. At least I got there first?
Run: 26:13 / 7:58 pace / 5th female / 2nd AG
After the race I hung out a bit waiting for the awards ceremony with Nikki. Saturday was the first time Nikki and I met in person yet it felt like we had known each other for years. Long story short Nikki swam for a college not too far from where I live in Pennsylvania and knows a lot of people I used to swim with. I'll let her tell you how her race went but all in all I think it was a pretty good day for everyone.
Finish Time: 1:43:27 / 6th female / 2nd AG
I know I said this after Keystone but now my triathlon season is officially over, which means it's marathon time! I've already been putting in some decent miles but am anxious to really get to work. Eight weeks until November 3. Let's go.
Disclaimer: Most of these pictures are from Keystone since I don't have any from Diamondman yet & I didn't want to just not put pictures. Once I get the correct photos this post will be updated