6:06 Faster Than Last Year

Yesterday was my first triathlon of the 2012 season, the Independence Triathlon organized by Piranha Sports. I am thrilled that I managed to complete the course not just 6:06 faster than last year, but also two minutes faster than my previously best time from 2010. That makes yesterday’s finish my fastest-ever on this particular course, and my fastest-ever in a sprint-distance triathlon.

It was, however, a strange day. For starters, it was the first triathlon I competed in alone. I usually compete with my sister, but she couldn’t make it this year, so I had nobody to judge myself against out there on the course. It was really just me against my own time from last year, and anyone with a sibling can understand that beating my previous time isn’t nearly as big of a motivator as beating my little sister.

I also had a dickens of a time getting started on the bicycle course this year. The start position at this particular triathlon is on a serious incline, one that gives plenty of riders trouble both coming and going. My first year at this triathlon, it took me four tries to get started. This year, it took me three tries to successfully mount the bike and go, including one try that knocked my chain loose. I guess that’s better than wiping out at the end on that same incline, as I saw one competitor do. I was frustrated, but at least I didn’t end up scraped or bruised.

Also weird is that while I improved substantially this year overall (6 minutes is a lifetime in a triathlon), I ended up placing farther back in the overall pack and in my division than I did with a slower time last year. I guess the rest of the field has been out there working to improve, too. No rest for the weary!

Yesterday’s race by the numbers:

1/4-mile swim, 10-mile bike, 2-mile run

My overall time: 1:25: 47

My overall finish: 287 out of 299

My finish among Athenas: 7 out of 8

Fastest speed I reached on my bicycle going down the big hills: 29 mph

Slowest speed I endured on my bicycle going up those same big hills: 4.5 mph

Number of times my feet felt numb: 1, during the first mile of the run (I think my bike shoes were too tight in the previous stretch)

Number of 26-year-olds whom I beat: 1, which feels great since I just turned 40

Number of weeks until the next event: 7. Tour de Long Valley 20-mile bike ride, here I come!

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