Yesterday was the Waterfront at Pu’uloa Sprint Triathlon, my third triathlon ever and the first one since the Ko’Olina Triathlon in October. Five months ago was the last time I did this and though I wasn’t nervous in the weeks and days leading up to the race, I definitely was the night before. I had a hard time getting to sleep and was worried about what what I would have for breakfast and transitions and the swim in the actual ocean instead of the protected coves in Ko’Olina.
It turns out, though, that running was the least of my worries. I felt comfortable in the ocean swim for the first time ever. I was, admittedly, slow. I stayed at the back of the pack and didn’t try to push myself out in the front or middle of the group for fear that I would tire myself out early and be the only one in the race to have to raise a hand for help. Being pulled out of the water by life guards wasn’t exactly how I wanted to start the race. So slow and steady wins the race was my motto for the morning. I pushed harder on the way back to the shore and when I came out of the water I felt good.
Swim Time: 15:09.
Coming out of the water I was feeling good, but when I got to my bike I was totally disoriented. I had set out my gear to be available as I needed it, and yet I was fumbling for the things I needed. I nearly dropped my bike as I struggled to get my race number and helmet and completely forgot to grab my glasses. With all the fumbling around I didn’t have time to put my gloves one and decided instead to shove them in my jersey pockets and see how the ride would go without them.
Transition 1 time: 1:49
The roads were on this route were awful. One small stretch had been repaved recently, but the rest of it was riddled with pot holes and generally just broken down pavement. And the wind. Oh, god was it windy. I struggled, I admit. I’ve focused so much on my swimming and running that I’ve mostly neglected my biking, and I could definitely tell.
Bike Time: 42:46
Wind was at its worst the last stretch of the bike route and by the time I got into the transition area my legs were feeling rubbery. Wes (who had done the bike portion on a relay team) and the swimmer on his relay team were waiting for me at T2 and cheered me through my last change.
T2 Time: :50
My legs were stiff from the bike ride and I was thinking about all those times I could have gone on a bike ride but focused on the swimming instead and cursed that choice! I was slow going and by mile 2.5 I had been passed by three women but I couldn’t find the push to pass them with another 1.2 miles left in the race. So, again, slow and steady. I focused on my breathing and my form and tried to just keep running. Wes found me with a half a mile left to go and got me to speed up. I kept one woman from passing me and at the last corner to the finish line and I sprinted and passed another woman – the same woman who passed me 2 miles earlier, and yes, it felt good.
Run Time: 36.56 (3.7 miles)
Total time: 1:37:29, which was over ten minutes faster than my last triathlon. I was faster in the swim and only slightly slower in the run (the distances were slightly different so I haven’t had a chance to compare them equally). I was even slower on the bike, but I felt worse, which I think caused my run to suffer.
My next race is the Honolulu Triathlon (Olympic distance) in May and I’m going to make an effort to work on my biking as much as I have swimming.