Sunday July 29th, Pgh triathlon race! I enjoy this race because a. its right in our backyard, b. this was my very first Olympic distance last year! I was itching to race again, being that my last race in Muncie, IN turned into a shortened distance due to the heat. Unfortunately, the weather was crappy this weekend. Rain, rain and more rain! Boooo! Matt was signed up to race the sprint distance on Saturday but opted out due to excessive raw sewage in the water from all the rain, I don’t blame him! Sunday wasn’t so bad and I decided to take the plunge into the good ol river water. I didn’t carry any nerves going into this race! My strategy was to race hard; in fact, for the first time, I didn’t bother keeping track of my heart rate.Sunday we arrived to transition area, picked up timing chip, set up bike/gear and was ready to roll. No rain in the forecast, in fact the sun was coming up! Yipeee!! It was a strange feeling though having Matty watch me race for the first time. Either we are both racing together or it’s me watching him, but never this way around. AND I was excited that my dad, sister and fiancé also came out to support me! They hardly make any races, mostly because of them being so far away and would need to take off work, soooooooo this was such a treat! I was heading to get in line for the bathroom, when suddenly they announced that apparently the water temp was 78 degrees!!!!! It had cooled off from the rain sooooo it was wetsuit legal!! CRAZY! If this was any other race, I would have brought it, but I thought nahh, it will be in the low 80’s. Lesson learned, bring your wetsuit to EVERY race regardless of whether or not you think it’s needed. Matt even volunteered to run back to the house to grab it, but I didn’t think he would have had enough time. So I just stuck with wearing my speedsuit instead. Darn it! It would have saved me an extra 2-3 mins easily, especially since I am not a strong swimmer.
Swim: I prayed against any bacteria, infections, diseases before I entered that water, LOL! It was so gross. All the females started at once so it seemed crowded to me. I was stuck right smack dab in the middle too, so I ended up getting slapped, kicked, and punched, more than any race so far starting out. My goal was to try and get out of that mess asap! I swam so hard and eventually got away and was able to get in a rhythm. I hit lots of debris and tried so hard not to take in any water, but failed. There was a nice current on the last half of the swim in which I took advantage of. I was so happy to have exited that water! My time was 25:56 with a 6 min improvement from LY’s swim.
T1: Transition was a muddy mess and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to clip my shoes into my pedals from all the mud. It felt like a slow transition, 1:42 mins. I still need to work on this! It’s basically FREE TIME!!! Next goal is to try and get under 1:15 min. I can do it!!Bike: It was sooo sooo nice not having the mix of both the sprint and int’l distances together. There was so much more room to bike and I didn’t feel so overly crowded. I recommend doing this again next year! The course takes you through the HOV lane right in Pgh, it was a double loop so we had to climb the hill twice, but it’s always nice flying on the way back down. Not much to report here; finished the bike in 1:11:26, another 7 min improvement from LY’s bike!
T2: I managed to make it out of transition in 1:26. I still think I can be faster!! Again, more practice=free time! Poor “Feltsie” was a muddy mess!! Oh well! Onto the run!!Run: I could hear my family cheering sooo loudly! It was awesome! Matty was taking so many pics and it was so much fun to have them there to support me! I took off and immediately felt my legs. My first mile clocked in at 7:10, and felt effortless. I picked up a few seconds with mile 2 at 6:57, and then 7:03, 7:05, 7:08 and finally 7:06! I felt great and was pretty sure I could have pushed it even more on the run. I’m finding that with becoming a better cyclist has helped improve my running BIG time! I managed to finish the run with a time of 44:07, 7:05 avg pace. I improved my run time by 2 mins and 30 seconds! I was happy tri-athlete!! Final time was 2:24:39, good for 2nd in AG and 9th female OA. I was excited to have improved in all 3 events AND my family was there to experience it with me.
It’s such a great feeling to keep improving at each race! My confidence from LY has grown leaps and bounds and I truly never thought I would enjoy racing this sport as much as I do now. I have ALWAYS loved running for years and never thought I would get into the “triathlon” world until I met my husband. He turned my world upside down when he introduced this new “sport” to me last year. He believed that with practice, time and patience, I could get good at this sport. He purchased two bikes for me, all of my gear, a coach, taught me how everything he knew about the sport and encouraged me to go and race my heart out. My 3rd triathlon race EVER was a full Ironman, IMFlorida. My very 1st tri race was the Edinboro sprint LY, and 2nd was Eagleman. If you would have asked me a year and a half ago if I would be racing this kind of distance, I would have laughed. I truly believe that you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to! All it takes is willingness to step out, time, patience, dedication, practice and confidence to go after whatever you want to do in life! I also believe that it’s even easier with God at the center of it all! HE gives us the desires of our hearts and we can do ALL things, when we give HIM all the glory!