It was a whirl-wind weekend and I am just not getting a chance to sit down and collect my thoughts…I can’t believe it is Tuesday already! Sandwiched between working Friday night and last night, I spent the rest of the weekend at home spending QT (quality time) with my Dad before competing in the Salem Sprint Tri Sunday and then driving to Richmond Sunday.
The main event of the weekend was the second annual Salem Sprint Triathlon on Sunday morning. It’s on home turf for me and I enjoyed participating last year solo. It’s a short sprint with a 300m pool swim, 15K bike, and 5K run.
This year, my Dad was free for the weekend so we signed up and came out to support the local YMCA. It was a gorgeous morning, perfect for a tri. We had picked up our packets the day before so all we had to do was set up our transition area (bib number, sneakers, helmet, socks, sunglasses…check!) and got our timing chip and body marking. One of my favorite parts of a triathlon is getting body marked…it makes me feel like an athlete. You get your bib number on both arms and legs and on your back calf they mark your age group or tri category. They use the age you’ll be at the end of the year so I was marked 26 (gah, I don’t want to be 26 yet!).
I normally don’t warm up too much before the event starts because by the time you actually start the race, you’ll be cool again. However, last year I got panicky in the tight pool swim so I decided to do a few laps to calm my nerves. It helped! but then I was freezing as I had to go back outside for the pre-race overview and national anthem. You win some, you lose some.
Back to the pool the athletes went for an 8 AM start. In open-water triathlons you start in ‘waves’ according to division, age group, and gender. So big groups of swimmers start every 4 minutes. In a pool swim, swimmers start every 10 seconds according to a swim time you give during registration. Since last year I freaked a bit and had to stop at the end of the pool to let people pass, I entered a slower time. I was glad I did.
The race started promptly at 8AM with the first swimmer in the pool. I can’t imagine being first, so much pressure! I was 94 (per my bib number) and didn’t start swimming till 8:19 and 30 seconds. The 19 minutes passed quickly and gave me time to calm my nerves a bit. In the pool I went and the 300m flew by. Thankfully no swimmers passed me during the swim and I had a decent distance from the others swimmers before and after me so I felt comfortable the whole time. Overall swim time 6 minutes 07 seconds.
Racing out from the pool to the transition area is always a relief. I like the swim but it makes me the most anxious! I put on my socks/sneaks, shirt, sunglasses, helmet, and was on the bike! It was the same course as last year and my Dad and I had ridden it Saturday so I felt confident during the race. Most sprint triathlons have a bike of 20K (about 15 miles) but this was only 15K (12 miles) so it went quickly. Overall bike time 31 minutes 05 seconds.
Back in the transition area for the last bit, my favorite and somehow least favorite part, the run! The run is where I am most comfortable and strongest but it also requires that one last push and can seem grueling. Thankfully the race directors redid the run route from last year, which was unnecessarily hilly to the extreme, and made it a nice 2 loop course. Overall run time 23 minutes 39 seconds.
Per usual, it was a rush crossing that finish line!
I finished the race in 1 hr 2 minutes 56 seconds, about 3 minutes quicker than last year.
My Dad had one heck of a race between a slow swim time (way slower than he should have entered) and a flat tire which he had to change before the bike ride! He also hasn’t really run in about 4 years due to multiple knee surgeries but his doctor gave him the go ahead to start running a few weeks ago. Nothing like a 5K at the end of a tri to test out your running abilities. Due to his later swim start, I got to go out and cheer him on as he finished his run and crossed the finish line!
We stuck around to talk with friends and wait for the awards ceremony. I met up with local triathlete and blogger Cortney…she finished first out of all women with a time of 51 minutes 46 seconds!
My Dad and I also snapped some post-race pics.
I ended up finishing 7th in overall women and first in my age group. I finished first in my age group last year and I’ll admit there was a (big) part of me wanting to hold onto the title!
A great part of the event is how well-organized it was with great volunteers. There were lots of younger athletes out so there is a huge family crowd to cheer you on the whole way.
Thanks again Salem Sprint, I’ll be back next year!
Unfortunately the race festivities ended early as I showered and headed out to Richmond for the night to stay with friends Amanda and Ryan. Good news…I think I have an apartment for my dietetic internship! Hoorah!
In the meantime, it’s back to waitressing, blogging, exercising, and all that jazz. I’ll be back sooner than later!
What did you do this weekend?! I feel so out of touch!