Last Saturday I made the trip south to compete in the Singer Island sprint triathlon. The morning started early, 3:45 am to be exact! I hopped on I-95 and headed towards the Palm Beach/Riveria Beach area. Without any traffic, I got a nice parking spot in the business area where the race was being held. I got checked in, picked up my packet and grabbed my bike to rack it. The sun was just about peaking through the clouds but I could tell it was going to be a good day for racing. After all, the first song I heard come on the radio was the theme song by Kenny Loggins for Caddy Shack “I’m Alright”.
My friend Nicole who recently moved from Jacksonville to West Palm Beach first told me about this race the week of and we both decided to do it together. I met up with her and was happy to have a fellow triathlete friend there. By the way, she owns an awesome coaching group called Soul Sports. Hope you’ll check them out!
After a bathroom break, transition set up and some chit chat, we made our way down to the ocean and surveyed what we were getting ourselves into for the day.
The ocean that morning was choppy and for some reason, honestly can’t remember why, but I chose not to get in and do a warm up. The race had the usual pre-race announcements but no national anthem. We were both disappointed in this as its a mental cue that its race time and a nice tradition.
After the first two waves of men went off, all of the women lined up and at the word “go” we all took off. Just about 100 meters into the swim, my goggles started leaking. I had to flip over and readjust them but it allowed me to get a quick breather. I felt good swimming but as I turned at the first buoy, I knew breathing was going to be tough. I breath on my right side and of course we were headed North “with” the current. Since it was so choppy, I swallowed a lot of water. It was also hard to sight as with sprints there are typically only 2-3 buoys to see and with the up and down of the waves, you really had to just follow people.
Once my hands brushed sand, I stood up and looked at my watch – 13:00 UGH!
Once I reached the timing map, it was 13:59 (9/11 AG) .33 miles so a little longer than .25 miles but still. (2:14/100 yards = super slow)
Transitioned up the beach, through the crowd and to the bike rack. I got my helmet and shoes on quickly and headed out of T1.
Total time T1: 2:44 (1/11)
The bike headed north on some nicely paved roads. I was hitting good numbers and felt strong albeit playing catch up. I slowly picked off girls but knew by seeing some more on the turn around that I was going to have a hard time reaching the leaders. The bike headed back south so we could then go over the giant Singer Island bridge. I decided that since this was a sprint, I would climb out of the saddle go up the bridge and not worry about my legs. This technique worked well as I passed people “spinning” up the bridge. I was able to picked up great speed going down but on the first leg over the bridge you had to cut it short as you had to make an immediate turn around and go back over the bridge -NOT FAIR!!
On my second descent, some people were drifting way left and going rather slow for going down a big hill so I had to yell out “On Your Left!” so they would get the hell out of my way! There was no way I was going to be breaking during free speed time. After the bridge, things got confusing as there was standing traffic due to the race and I wasn’t sure where turn back into transition. Luckily, I found out where I was going, reached the dismount line and took off for the rack.
Total time: 30:30 (5/11)
T2: :53 (2/11) Im really good at transitioning!
As I headed out on the run, I was with several people. One girl just took off and I was unable to keep pace with her but I followed a guy up and over the bridge but eventually caught back up with him on the second descent. I was moving much faster and told him “Hey, you’ve been pulling me the whole bridge, come on you gotta run with me now.” Paul, the runner, said he had a side cramp but would stick with me as he was trying to catch his buddy up ahead of him.
Over and back of the bridge was 2 of the 3 miles for the run so we only had a mile left to wind through some residential area. We chit chatted and talked about triathlon and what not. We kept a good pace and I surprised myself by being able to speak during the run which has lead me to believe I didn’t push hard enough!
At one point, we came up on a guy and girl ahead of us and I pointed to her calf and smiled at Paul as she was in my age group. He told me to take off. He stayed right behind me for awhile but with a quarter mile left, he put on the afterburners to try to catch his friend and boy did he fly by!
Total time: 24:59 (4/11)
Race total: 1:13:05 (5/11) (20/83 women)
Overall, I was happy with the race as I wasn’t feeling sore or tired. I did actually come across the line and feel shaky somewhat until I got some food in me. Clearly, my swim is what held me back on this one. As I have reflected post race, I’ve determined that my form goes to shit during races and I literally try too hard to swim fast. I’m tired of my swim not holding up to my other legs so I’m working hard on improving several aspects and getting more time in the pool.
Nicole raced in the Athena group (she’s 6’1″!) and rocked it by placing first! I waited around with her for the awards ceremony and of course, her division was the very last one to be called and the whole crowd disappeared but it doesn’t diminish her result at all.
Although I did not win this past weekend, a friend of mine, Ken Duke won a little golf tournament called the Travelers Championship! Ken played well all four days and even had to play two play off holes to take the title. It was an exciting event to watch while also being such a nerve wracking day! Ken has been a golf pro since 1994 but his win this past Sunday was his first PGA TOUR victory. I couldn’t be happier for him and his family. Plus, he punched his ticket to The Masters! Congrats Ken!