Crystal River Sprint #1

28 05 2013

This weekend, I raced in my first triathlon of the 2013 season! I headed up to Crystal River, FL bright and early on Saturday for the first of a three-race sprint triathlon series put on by DRC sports. I did this same race last year, so I was anxious to see how my race would compare to last year’s.

I went up with my teammate Chris and the best cheerleader a girl could ask for, my boyfriend Bill.

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We got there about 15 minutes before transition opened and the moon was still shining bright.

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Our early arrival allowed us plenty of time to grab a prime spot on the rack, casually set up our gear, and get in a nice little warm up.

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In my opinion, the end of the rack is the best real estate- the bike is way easier to spot and grab off the rack.

It was a perfect morning for the race.  It was in the low 70s, the sun was shining, and there was a steady, cool breeze.

I headed over to the start line when my wave was on deck and got myself psyched up to go. I’ve been consistently training for awhile now, so I wanted to get a gauge on where I was speed-wise.

Swim, 1/4 mile:  6:26.5
The swim was a quarter mile box swim, sort of. You swim out almost 200 yards, past the first yellow buoy, to the second, orange buoy. Turn right at the orange buoy, swim parallel to the beach for maybe 25 yards, and then turn right again at the next orange buoy and swim all the way in. When the siren sounded, I quickly ran into the water and started dolphin diving when it was too deep for me to keep running. The ground underfoot was awfully mucky, so I only got in one or two dives before I started to swim. I was out in the lead, but by the time I got to the first buoy, I spotted another pink cap off to my right about 2 body lengths behind me. She had a strong stroke, so my goal was to fend her off as long as I could. When I made my right turn, the first thing I noticed was the sun, now directly in my eyes every time I breathed to my right. The next thing I noticed was that there were at least 5 other pink caps that were now seemingly ahead or even with me. How did this happen? I immediately assumed that there was some cutting going on, but I just threw my head down and kept swimming hard. I passed a few of the pink caps, but still spotted one just ahead of me as I neared the swim exit. The water is pretty shallow at this race, so we were still about 50-75 yards out when it was shallow enough to touch bottom. I dolphin dived a few more times and all of the sudden I felt a sharp pain in my right big toe. I knew I had stepped on something, I just didn’t know what. I kept moving and figured I’d figure it out later.

T1: 0:40

I quickly grabbed my helmet and threw my sunglasses on and ran out of transition. Last season, I had started mounting my bike with my shoes already clipped in. This season, I haven’t really set aside any time to practice transitions, so I was going at it cold. I got out of transition pretty quickly, but mounting my bike was a different story. I came to a complete stop before trying to get my left foot on top of the shoe, and then when I finally got on, my right foot slipped off. I quickly recovered but when I finally got my foot settled on top, I almost lost the shoe when I tried to put my foot inside. The shoe came unclipped for half a second-I was thankful to be holding the back of it! After this comedy of errors, I finally settled in and started to ride.

Bike, 15 miles: 44:19.6, avg 20.3 mph
The bike was a simple out and back on a flat course. Unfortunately, on the way out, there was a pesky little headwind. It wasn’t much, but it was definitely enough to be annoying. My goal was to not let my watch read slower than 3:00 pace- aka 20mph. I also wanted to let as few female racers pass me as possible. I was feeling pretty strong, passing a few people every now and then, but also getting passed by a few strong riders. Around mile 4ish, a woman passed me on the bike. I checked her leg: 39. Phew, not in my age group. Between miles 6 and 7, another female (27),  a 75 year old man and I started playing leap frog. The girl led into the turn, and as we came out, I powered ahead. However, less than a mile later, she passed me. We played this game for awhile, and I was afraid I was going to get a penalty for drafting. I just could not drop these two. Finally, with about 3 miles to go, I told myself I was NOT going to get beat by a 75 year old man. It was time to turn it on. I powered down the ever so slight downhill, and didn’t stop going hard until I was nearing transition. Neither the older man or  younger woman caught me! Score!

T2: 0:45
I dismounted and quickly found my spot on the rack. As I started to put on my right sock, I saw the dried blood. Yup, whatever I stepped on in the swim got me good. I ignored the urge to see how bad the cut was and threw on my shoes. Off for the run!

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Run 5K: 23:22.9, 7:47/mile
The one thing I remembered about this run was that it was HOT last year. The route was fully exposed and miserable on a ridiculously hot day. It too was a simple out and back. Thankfully, that cool breeze was still around and the sun wasn’t blazing yet. My quads were still a little sore from a track workout a few days prior, but the track had prepared my legs to race. I didn’t have a watch on, so I wasn’t sure what kind of pace I was running, so I just got into the zone and ran. My goal again was to not let any females pass me. I didn’t let any pass me, until about 2 miles in. A woman passed me with just about a mile to go. I kept her in my line of sight for as long as I could, but unfortunately I couldn’t stay with her. I powered through to the end and realized that I had finished 3 minutes faster than my time last year. Yeah!

Total time: 1:15:32.9

I was pretty happy with how my race went. I definitely would have liked to go a little faster on the bike, but all in all I can’t complain. Especially when the race ends with a podium finish 🙂

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First place in my age group baby! I’ve never done a series before, but maybe I’ll need to start so I can try to rack up some points!

Oh, and my toe has a nice little slice from some gulf-dwelling creature. Thankfully, it was a minor cut and it’s healing nicely.

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6 responses

28 05 2013
katsnf

Yay congrats Steph!

28 05 2013
sallaboutme

Way to go!

28 05 2013
meghan @ little girl in the big world

Congratulations Steph! Awesome job on all three legs! That run is especially great! Can’t wait to try my hand at one of these things!

29 05 2013
Melissa R.

Awesome girl! You killed it!

29 05 2013
beka @ rebecca roams

AWESOME times! Especially that speedy 5k 🙂

3 06 2013
SG

Wow! Congrats! That is so cool!

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