After months of training with cycling, swimming and running faster than ever in my six year mother runner life, I was about as physically prepared as I could be for the Chaotic Coteeman Triathlon sprint on Saturday. Over the past few months, I have become faster on my bike, shaved minutes off my run, seconds off my swim and through the occasional brick work, I prepared my body for the exertion of the three legs. I even practiced my transitions.
Though I’ve competed in handful of sprint triathlons before (six actually), this year’s Chaotic Coteeman had me more anxious the ever. I even contemplated taking anxiety medication to cope. I put so much pressure on myself to work hard, train hard and then work even harder and train harder that it began to take a toll on my mental state. With hard work, my goal was simple. I just wanted to shave time off my overall finish time and place in the top five in my age group.
Proudly, I did not dope up before the event. I didn’t even drink a beer or a glass wine for fear of dehydrating myself. As much as I love the beach and the sun, I stayed indoors on Friday, avoided any strenuous activity and drank lots of water to retain my energy and water.
Saturday morning, though I was riddled with nerves, I shook off the nervousness and focused on what I need to do. If I didn’t have it in me, at least I looked the part in my new tri kit. I racked my bike and laid out my tri gear to make my transitions more efficient. I collected my chip and had my numbers marked on my body. Then, I took photos to take my mind off the task at hand.
At the start, we lined up according to our swim time outside the pool. I pushed my way to the front because I felt confident in my swim time. It’s just six laps and I aimed to finish under three minutes.
I started off strong in the swim and I passed people in the lanes. I was on target to finish under three. Then, some guy pushed me in the pool and threw me off my game. I lost my concentration and grabbed the wall to refocus myself. I pushed off the wall even stronger than the start and I passed the stupid pushing swimmer. I was a full lap ahead of him now. I passed Maribel in the pool and apparently stupid pushing swimmer grabbed her too, however, he hurt her and she lost her bearings in the water. The steps were in my sight and I jumped out and my sprinted back into transition with my sTRIder friends, Scott, Tara and Fro cheering for me.
Unlike my previous sprint triathlons, I didn’t waste time in transition. For the first time in my short triathlon life, I was totally on my game. I strapped on my helmet, slipped on my clip-ins and ran out of transition with my bike. Once out of transition, I jumped on my bike and clipped in with no issues, which is a huge accomplishment for me.
For the bike leg, we had to ride two 4.5 mile laps around New Port Richey, which is quite hilly. Thanks to cycling so many hills at Pura Cycling, I pushed through the hills effortlessly and for the first time in my triathlon life, I shouted the words, “On your left!” But I didn’t just say it once only to be passed shortly after by the same person. I shouted those words, “On your left!” again and again. I probably shouted those words about six times, one for every tri I’ve tried. Shouting “on your left” was such a validation for me. The top five in my age group was mine for the taking.
During that first lap, Melanie caught up with me and passed me, but I knew she would. Melanie is wicked strong and FAST! I spend most of my Thursday morning runs trying to catch her.
Second lap around, I was still flying by people. My legs were tiring but I pushed through the burn. Then, the traffic on the course became congested. The police officers prevented most of the cars from passing, however, when I rode through Grand Blvd and Main Street, I was hidden six cars deep at that intersection and the police officer didn’t see me. I hollered to get his attention and he immediately stopped the traffic from turning and passing through the intersection. A bit scary, but thankfully riding on the roads has made me a bit car savvy.
Once through the clusterfuck of cars, I sprinted back into the game. I quickly made up the time and was on the homestretch back. Heading into transition, I clipped out easily and with no issues. I hopped off and ran my bike back into transition.
Again, I wasted no time. I slipped out of my clips and threw on my running shoes. My hubby had added Lock Laces to my shoes and that definitely saved me time. I through off the helmet and ran out of transition.
With no Garmin to track my pace, I made the decision to run naked. I didn’t want to worry about my pace or track my pace. I just wanted to get out there and run. And I did.
Michelle eventually caught up with me on the run, which I knew she would. Despite her so called “granny riding”, she passed me. She is no granny.
After a hilly ride, the 3.1 mile course is no easy feat. The run is just as hilly, but thank goodness for water stations and the occasional shade. At each water station, I stopped to catch my breath and a drink. I even dumped some water on my head to stay cool. As I turned the corner after one water station, a volunteer hollered, “I planted this big oak tree just for you!” I jokingly hollered back, “You would have leveled the course if you really cared about us!”
One last hill back into transition and the finish line was in sight. I could hear the sTRIders cheering for me, so I pushed out a sprint to the finish line just because I could.
The clock read 1:11 and I knew I beat my time from last year’s Chaotic Coteeman (1:12:36). All that hard work had paid off and I got a little verklempt. I cried just a little.
Then, I saw the times posted with my name in fourth place in my age group. I met my goal. I made the top five and shaved 5 minutes off my overall time. Had stupid pushing swimmer not shoved me, I would have finished faster on my swim.
150 yard swim/9 mile bike/3.1 mile run
Div Place 4/8
Finish Time 1:07:11
Swim Rank 3 – Time 3:20
Transition 1 Time 2:10
Bike Rank 6 – Time 32:07
Transition 2 Time 1:21
Run Rank 4 – Time 28:16
All of the sTRIders killed it at the Chaotic Coteeman. The sTRIders dominated and represented.
The sTRIders won so many age group awards, including top overall female and male. Chrissy won third place again for her age group. Next year, she will be in my age group and will probably defend her title. Rut roh.
Yes, all this hard work is finally paying off and next year, one of those awards will be mine
if Chrissy doesn’t compete. I am getting faster and stronger and it feels awesome to be breaking away from the middle.
Caught in the middle
I cry is a little
When I think could let it go
Gave up on the riddle
I cry is a little
When I think could let it go, go, go, go
For Music Mondays, I’m now teaming up with my good friend and fellow Marathon Mama, Chrissy.