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Yesterday was the Swimming Hole Triathlon. I set it as a goal early in the year, lost over 20 lbs while training, and sometime along the way decided I wanted to compete in, and not just complete, this race. All of those efforts paid off, and to cut to the chase, I won my age category, came in 7th for women, and 27th overall. To say I feel good about how it went would be a huge understatement — I am ecstatic!

I spent all day Saturday hydrating, carb-loading, and indulging in some salty snacks. I’ve read that helps you retain all that water you are taking in to try to stay hydrated. I made a list and packed all my gear into Daddo’s van. I can’t remember feeling this prepared for something since having my hospital bag packed when we were expecting our first baby!

On Sunday, I got up really early. I hate to feel rushed on a race day, especially for something with as many moving parts as a triathlon. The weather was shaping up to be perfect, which was a huge relief. I made my way to the pre-race meeting…

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And staged my gear…

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Got my numbers…

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And made sure my bike was all set.

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Then it was time to begin. I love this triathlon because the swim is done in a pool, in heats, and then everyone heads out to ride, starting based on their swim time. For a newbie triathlete, all the pressure of the swim-bike transition is gone. The Swimming Hole pool is really nice:

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I am a middle-of-the-pack swimmer at best, so I was assigned to the middle heat. I swam a 10:17 500m, which is about what I expected. I changed into my bike gear and lined up waiting for my time to come up on the clock. I had been struggling with how hard to push it on the bike. It is my strongest discipline, but I didn’t want to leave myself completely unable to run after. I was still considering this with Nana showed up with the kiddos! I didn’t know if they would make it, but I am really glad they did…

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In the end, I hammered on the bike. The course is pretty forgiving, with just one biggish hill. I rode 13.7 miles in just under 42 minutes, averaging almost 20 mph! I started the run and knew pretty much immediately that the bike-run brick workouts I had done paid off. Getting off a bike and running always feels sort of awful, but it is definitely less awful when you know what to expect. Anyway, according to MapMyRun, I ran the 5k (not including the transition time) in 26:03, averaging 8:32 per mile. For someone who struggled with 12 minute miles in January, suffice it to say, that feels amazing (even if it doesn’t look amazing – haha!)

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I even won a prize! Which Lovely H immediately absconded with… you can see her eyeing it in the background already. She needed a new backpack anyway, so it’s a win-win for us both!

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Well that’s about it. Thanks for letting me crow — we all deserve a little success now and then, even if it is just an age-group win in a small-town triathlon. I’ll take it!

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