Monday, August 2, 2010

Pittsburgh Triathlon!! A New PR!

This past Sunday included all of my favorite things, time spent with my #1 triathlon supporter, Kyle, racing, and seeing some people who started as my beginner triathlon group, but ended up as good friends, fulfill their goals and dreams. Pretty exciting if you ask me!!

As I said in my last blog, I really didn't think too long about jumping into this triathlon. I hadn't raced since late June and even though I wasn't really prepared the way I like to be before a race, I still really wanted to get a good hard day in and gain some fitness. The best part was, I didn't put any pressure on myself and just went out and raced, something I'm trying to practice from here forward.
Peter, our first beginner crossed the sprint triathlon finish line! Way to go Peter!

These are six of our seven members of the beginner triathlon group. Getting to know them has been very fun and just remembering what it was like to be in their shoes was a truly wonderful experience. I could feel their nervous excitement the morning of the race. They knew, and we knew, they were ready. After 12 weeks of training and five educational sessions on the nuances of triathlon, they were more than prepared to go out there and rock it! And rock it they did!! They all finished with flying colors, swimming, biking and running the whole way! So proud of them..
The transition was humming with around 1000 racers, the biggest year for the Pittsburgh Olympic and Sprint Triathlon yet!
It was non-wetsuit of course. However, I had my skinsuit ready, and I also got many looks and even a few people telling me "didn't you know this is not wetsuit legal?!" Yes, I know, this is not a wetsuit. I was not at all disgruntled at these comments.. I know people around here don't tend to know these things. I saw a few familiar faces of some other athletes in skinsuits so I knew I would have some good competition.
The race starts going upstream and then around the turn buoy for a downstream rest of the 1500 meters.
I've got my game face on in my pink cap! Ready to race!!
There goes the gun!
And we're off!
I was 18 coming out of the water (including anyone on a relay team) but I didn't let it get me down. I swam a 23:30 which isn't great, but isn't bad for me either. I was hoping for 22:00, but I'll get there (especially if I sight better, it was very confusing out there with some yellow fixtures bobbing and other things that really were hard to figure out!).I headed up the long transition ramp up a hill (covered with goose/duck poop I might add) and into T1.
Then it was one of my favorite things, going to catch the girls on the bike! This 25 mile course circles down into town twice so spectators can see you and then you head back up the 5 mile hill, again! I don't love this bike course, but it's ok. You hit about 9mph to 20mph on the way up, and then fly down the hill at 28-35mph!
It was great to be in the hometown with many of my friends around to cheer!
Unfortunately, I saw a crash on my way down from the second loop, so I yelled to the medics when I got back into the stadium loop. They already knew at that point, but I still felt better that I let them know. I also yelled to the people helping the accident victim letting them now help was on the way. I'm so thankful that other racers who saw it were there to help. Whoever you are, God Bless you, thank you for being the good Samaritans of our sport. Then, before I knew it, the bike was over and it was time to run. Bike time 1:06
Running it in!
Could you tell I was having fun here!!
Then it was time to run, I didn't put pressure on myself, and I just ran all 6.2 miles. I was feeling like my legs were pretty light and it wasn't hard to try and push the pace a little. Looking back, I didn't run as fast as I THOUGHT I did during the race, but I'm still happy with it. I was working hard and caught a girl about mile 2. I knew I had moved up quite a bit, but I had no idea where I was until I was at the turn around. Then I saw three girls coming the other way.. Just the ones I knew would be there! The "Philly" girls I call them!
I didn't catch any other girls, but I still tried to run it in hard. I had no idea about my time, but I felt I raced hard, and that was the goal.
In the end, I was 4th women overall, and 1st in the 30-34. It was great to get to represent a cause like Ballou Skies once again, and help tell Ryan's story one more time. Thank you Ryan, and the rest of my Ballou Skies Team, family, friends, fellow triathletes and sponsors like Super Donut, Top Gear, Powerbar and Findley Business Solutions for believing in me and helping me chase my dreams. I love you all!!

The best part was enjoying the race the entire way through and seeing some of my athletes while I was out there. Getting to encourage them while ON the course was really special. They did so well and I couldn't be more proud of all of them. Final time 2:14:08.
Angela was there after the race to say hello and tell me about her very first real sprint triathlon. Way go Angela.. you are a triathlete!!

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