Rocketchix Triathlon Recap
Workout: Swim 350 meters/ 10:21 minutes Bike 11.3 miles/ 45:38 minutes Run 2 miles/ 16:20 minutes
Rocketchix is a women’s only triathlon series in Baton Rouge. They do a shorter triathlon in April (250/6/1.5) and this course in the summer. In the fall they are organizing a long course triathlon the River Roux which will be both a men’s and women’s race in New Roads, Louisiana.
Mo and I came up the night before and spent the night in a hotel so that I could pick up my packet and not feel rushed in the morning. I had a couple of questions in mind when booking a hotel.
- How late can I check out? I wanted to make sure I could get back and shower without rushing.
- Can I get a room on the first floor? It’s already awkward wheeling a bike into a hotel, let alone onto an elevator.
Next time I am adding one more question to my list:
3. Do you have a pageant happening in your hotel? This apparently means there will be lots of families, crying babies, and general insanity. Lesson learned.
Despite the literal pageantry going on around us we had a pretty smooth Triathlon Eve and after pumping my tires, packing my bags meticulously, and setting the alarm, we went to sleep while watching the Opening Ceremonies. I made it to G in the alphabet before drifting off. Mo made it to Paul McCartney.
Mo got up and helped me load my bike back into the car. And then he went back to this:
I packed two bags, one for the transition area and one for post race. Since athletes are not allowed back into the transition area after the race until the last athlete finishes the bike portion, I knew I had be strategic about what ended up in each bag. I ended up zipping my car key into my running shorts pocket since I they wouldn’t be getting wet in the swim and then I could get back in the car after I finished. Mo got there after transition closed so I couldn’t go back in and get the key for him to hold on to.
Of course, this means I am hoping not to be the last athlete onto the run.
In transition I had: a bright yellow towel, a green towel to dry off with, a water bottle in the bike cage, a water bottle on the ground, socks, running shoes, shorts, singlet with number pinned to it, ear drying solution, peanut butter gu, helmet and random plastic bag. Oh, and my bike.
For the swim, athletes self seed. So I was guessing I would finish close to 8 minutes and I got to the end of the line for that minute group. Each minute group was brought into the LSU Natatorium while the other athletes waited outside. I was really nervous for the swim since that was the part I felt the least prepared for. My goal was to just not stop.
I managed to not stop the whole time! It was tough and my time was not under 8 minutes, but I only got passed twice and I passed one person, so I consider that a success. Mo took a video of me running in my swimsuit to the transition area, which you will not have to see.
T1 took waaaaay too long. The next time I do a triathlon I am going to do a couple of different things to cut down on this. I need to get some tri shorts to wear so that I don’t have to worry about pulling shorts on after the swim. And, I need to get used to running without socks, because pulling socks on wet feet is no fun. My first transition was 4:30 minutes so there is a lot of room for improvement.
I really surprised myself on the bike course. I took half a gu in transition which helped pull me through the first few miles of the race, but I pushed it on the bike. It made me realize how much I have been coasting during our training rides. I didn’t stop pedaling for the entire course and ended up finishing in 45:38. Compared to the other athletes, this was slow, which just tells me that if I start training on the bike more seriously, I can improve a lot.
About 9 miles into the bike, I took the other half of the gu so that I would have enough energy on the run. I got the water bottle in and out of the cage without stopping pedaling. Success.
I did feel really good going into the run. My T2 time was 1:01, which is the advantage of biking in running shoes. All of those bike/run bricks paid off because my legs felt great coming off the bike.
The course was short, but it was a little weird because a lot of it went down sidewalk, so it was very narrow for passing people, especially because it was out and back on the same sidewalk. I had no idea how fast I was going but I tried to conserve my energy until I saw the 1 mile mark. After that I pushed harder. There were a lot of athletes who passed me on the bike that I was able to pass on the run. There were also a lot of athletes walking parts of the run course, so I was pleased that I still felt so good at this point in the race.
When I saw the results, I was pretty excited by a couple of things. My initial goal was to finish in 1:20. I ended up finishing in 1:17:51. Although I had a good bike, and I swam the entire 350 meters without stopping, I know there is a lot of room for improvement in those two areas. However, out of the 274 women in the Road Bike Sprint, I was 20th overall for the run! That was big stuff for me.
Overall… I am happy. The race was well organized, fun, and supportive. I am planning on doing it next year too. As to how it affects my overall training and goals: I don’t love swimming, but I am liking biking, so I am going to keep biking throughout the year as cross training, and next summer, I’ll pick up swimming again to train for this. Hopefully being a novice at only one of the three sports will mean that I can give swimming a lot of attention and maybe even start to like it more. Once GatorTrax is over next week, I am going to switch gears from being a multi-sport athlete to being a distance runner who cross trains on the bike.
Happy Sunday everyone! Anybody got any good workout plans or races that you did this weekend?