I competed in my 6th triathlon on Saturday, the Mach Tenn Triathlon in Tullahoma, hosted by Mach Tenn, who also puts on the Oak Barrel Half Marathon in Lynchburg. This triathlon is a sprint, which is the shortest of the four triathlon distances. It's a 0.6 mile swim (open water), 15 mile bike ride & 4 mile run.
0.6 mile swim: 23:49 (2:28/100m pace)
As anyone who knows me can attest, it's more likely for me to start speaking Parseltongue than to complete basic math. Thus, I had no idea how many meters 0.6 miles was (it's 965 meters). My typical masters swim is 1,800 - 3,000 yards, so I knew I could do it, I just didn't know how long it would take me. Turns out, 23 minutes.
The swim was a 6-second interval start, so you lined up by number & ran down the bank into the water & started swimming. I've only started like this once & it was on a slippery boat dock that you couldn't run down. This interval start on Saturday was some next level shit. Meg gave me the pro tip to do a high knee run & start swimming ASAP - that you'll swim faster than you'll run. I hope I did that. I don't remember. It's all an adrenaline haze.
I swam the course strong. I never panicked, had to stop or switch strokes. I swam freestyle the whole time, which is something. I wish I had pushed a little harder & swam faster, but this is my fastest swim time in a race thus far, so I'll take it. Thanks, NAC Masters!
T1 stands for "transition 1", which is the time it takes me from the end of the swim to the beginning of the bike. I had to get from the lake to my bike, put my shoes, helmet, sunglasses & Garmin on & walk/run my bike out of transition to the beginning of the bike course, clip-in & take off. I think I also did a full-body sunscreen spray. At least, I hope I did.
15 mile bike ride: 55:18 (16.3 mph pace)
Mach Tenn describes this bike course as a "loop around the lake with some rolling hills, but no hard climbs". THANK GOD Julie taught me how to climb last week because this whole course seemed like it was uphill.
Y'all, I kind of killed it on the bike. The fastest race I've done was at 14 mph. On Saturday, I rode at 16 mph. I don't know if 2 mph is a big deal, but it feels like a big deal. Also, this is the first race where people passing me on the bike course didn't seem to be concerned with my inevitable cardiac failure. First of all, hardly anyone even passed me, but the few men who did gave me a heartfelt, "Good job!", which I have NEVER gotten from a man during a race. HAM.
T2 stands for "transition 2", which is the time it takes me from the end of the bike to the beginning of the run. I had to clip-out, walk/run my bike back to the rack, switch shoes, grab my race belt & hat & run back out. I can usually do this in under a minute. I must have been off my T2 game on Saturday.
4 mile run: 45:02 (11:16/mile pace)
I've been practicing bricks (running immediately after riding) for weeks now, so I felt confident that my legs knew what to do, & they did. I've been running my bricks at a 10:00 mile pace. I ran this a little slower, but it was hillier & hotter than I'm used to. Also, I slowed down & drank water at all the water stops. My goal was to run this in 44 minutes, so I'll take 45:02. Here are my splits:
Mile 1: 11:11
Mile 2: 11:47
Mile 3: 12:36
Mile 4: 10:49
Total time: 2:08:51
People LOVE this race & I see why. It's a solid race. It's short enough to be easy, but long enough to feel legit. I'll totally do this again next year. I highly recommend doing a Mach Tenn race, primarily because they're local, but also because they have the best post-race food & beer. Pro tip: register early because like Oak Barrel, they cap the registration & it sells out.
I won 3rd place Athena in 30-39, which I thought meant I won 3rd Place Athena. Turns out, for the podium, they rank all ages of Athenas together & someone from another age group beat me by 34 seconds, knocking me down to 4th place overall. So I didn't get a prize. Sad face.
I'm a perfectionist, which means my brain hones in on where I could have done better, as opposed to where I did well. Over the past few days, I've been beating myself up a little over my swim time & my run time & the fact that I missed the podium by 34 seconds. But in re-reading the race recap I did for a triathlon from last summer, I read this:
"The two that beat me, beat me by 13 & 18 minutes, respectively. My swim was great, but they beat me on the bike & the run. If I can get up to 16 or 17 mph on the bike & closer to a 10-minute mile on the run, I'll be more aligned with my competition next year."
And now I'm crying. Oh, perspective, you win every time.
My next race is the Music City Triathlon on July 27. I'm doing the Olympic distance, which is a 1.5K swim, 40K ride & 10K run. It's the same distance as Tri Fall Creek Falls last year. After that, the big one - Ironman 70.3 Augusta. Lawd...
Full photostream on Flickr.