FLAT and FAST run course. Oh hellz yeah - sign me up.
That may or may not have been a tipping factor in squeezing in just one more sprint triathlon in my 2014 race calendar. ;)
The Max Performance Triathlon Buzzard's Bay Sprint Triathlon on September 14 was a late add to the race calendar and I am glad I did.
I was supposed to have my first Max Performance Triathlon race experience in August at The Sharon Sprint Triathlon, but had to back out due to injury. Boo!
Race director Tim then offered me a complimentary spot at Buzzard's Bay Tri and I jumped at the chance.
(Note: While I did receive free entry in to the race, all thoughts are my own. Ain't nobody got time for lyin'!)
With the race occurring one week following my first half ironman (Pumpkinman), I was nervous about signing up for the Sprint Tri (since I wasn't sure I would survive the half), but decided to bite the bullet anyway.
The wife and I were able to sleep in until 5am since the race started at 9am. ;) Woo extra hour of sleep compared to the prior Sunday. :P
We loaded up the car and were on the road by 6 since the directions said it would take about 75 minutes to drive to the race.
Since it was 6am on a Sunday, we missed any sort of traffic and had an easy trip towards the Cape. :)
The beach was windy when we arrived. Sunny, but windy. All I could think about was the upcoming battle: the wind vs. me on my bike. I was sending out "tailwind" vibes ... hint: it didn't work. ;)
After checking out the beach, we headed to packet pick-up.
Since I am usually a slacker when it comes to checking out a race course in advance (I know! I know! Must change that), I took the time to check out the swim, bike and run courses on the large board inside the packet pick-up tent. Nothing as nerve-wracking as the previous week so I was happy about that.
The Buzzard's Bay Sprint Tri consisted of a 1/3 mile ocean swim, 14-mile bike and 5k run.
Once we got my packet (Go Bib #81), it was time to make our way over to transition. As we walked, I quipped to the wife how shocked I was that this was my 3rd triathlon of the year and 5th overall. I never thought I would do one let alone more than one. Pretty proud moment for me.
Until I was in transition listening to the athletes around me rattle off their Ironman totals and their times at the previous week's Pumpkinman Half Ironman. Oy! I didn't belong there. I wanted to run away and just drive home. But I quickly gave myself a mental slap to the face. Time and pace didn't matter. I belonged there because I wanted to be there.
With transition ready and plenty of time before the 9am kickoff, the wife and I headed back to the beach. I also wanted to get into the water and feel it out. I hadn't done an ocean swim in ages.
But first we take a selfie.
As we walked towards the water, we saw all of these rocks aka ouch on the poor feetsies.
I knew it would be a painful walk in and out of the swim course. I had a little chat with my feet and told them to DIG DEEP and not feel the pain. Umm not sure if my feet heard me or not, but I was going with it.
Right before the race meeting I put my pair of Oofos sandals down by the swim finish as there was a 1/4 mile run from there to the transition area (again found out about that morning of). Had I known earlier I would've brought a second pair of sneakers.
Note to self: always bring two pairs of sneakers to a tri. Just. In. Case.
The Max Performance group did a great job organizing the swimming waves. Volunteers each held up a cap color on a sign and we group together in a big 2-by-2 line. It really made it organized at the Start. The first group went off at 9 and my wave would be following at 9:04am.
We walked into the starting area 2-by-2 so the timing company could keep count of the number of athletes that entered the water.
The race started with us in the water edge up to our ankles. The countdown commenced and we were off.
Swim - 1/3 mile
The director, Tim, had changed the swim course (reversed it) so that we were swimming with the current (thanks Tim!). It was GREAT being back in the water. Swimming is one of my favorite parts so I was sad that it was only 1/3 mile. ;)
We made two right turns while out in the water. I made sure to hug towards the buoys, which kept me out of the way of many of the other swimmers.
I learned during Pumpkinman that I need to keep the top of my wetsuit un-velcroed. So instead of dealing with wetsuit/breathing issues this race, I got into my groove faster and felt stronger.
I took the second and final right, sighted the shore and gave it everything I had as there was another yellow capped swimmer right on my tail. Hello competitive side.
Once I could touch the bottom with my fingers, I stood up and started running towards the timing mat. The timing mat was up on the beach a ways, which meant running over some of the rocks. Thankfully there was some mesh covering a little of the path, but overall it still slowed me down coming out of the water.
There was a small kiddie pool where the beach met the asphalt so I made sure to wash my feet off before slipping on my sandals.
Why can't wetsuits be a little more flattering?
Thanks to the wife for catching this beauty.
Total Time: 10:16 Pace: 1:45/100 yds Overall Place: 62/294 Division: 3/21
I would call this more of a shuffle than a run. I did my best to just keep jogging forward, while not slipping in my sandals. I am so thankful I had them with me otherwise the 1/4 stretch would've been MUCH more painful.
I did my best to wiggle my wetsuit down and remove swim cap/goggles while on the move. Hello multi-tasking.
Total Time: 3:05.5 Overall Place: 138/425 Division: 7/27
I had a little problem getting my wetsuit off and wasn't sure if it was nerves or just my brain moving two steps ahead of my body. Either way I took a breath and worked on completing one step at a time.
Wetsuit off. Feet dried. Socks/bike shoes on. Shirt changed. Bike helmet on. Race belt attached. Portion of KIND Bar eaten.
I was sad to realize I left my Sparkle Athletic skirt at home. I felt naked without it.
Total Time: 2:09.6
Bike - 14 miles
Well bike we meet again.
I knew I wouldn't have sparkle skirt compliments on this race to entertain me while people passed me. Instead I focused on thanking every single volunteer I would encounter the rest of the race.
It was a great way to pass the time and put a smile on someone else's face.
I wish I was the type of person to post PROOF photos in a recap because my official race photos from the bike are hilarious. I am smiling like I have loved biking my entire life. Haha. Okay it entertains me more than anyone else.
The bike course was really beautiful. It was another instance where I wished triathlons allowed you to have your phone on you because I wanted to snap pics left and right. It was a picturesque New England day/scene and I wanted to capture it to share with all of you. Oh well. Luckily I still have them locked in my memory.
I can certainly tell you 14 miles on the bike passes quicker than 56. :P The final couple miles were directly into the wind. I felt like I was biking in place. I was wondering if I would actually make it back to transition. It wasn't something I had really practiced.
I just kept trying to keep the legs moving as best I could.
Seeing runners coming towards me gave me hope that I would make it back to transition.
And I did.
I really tried to focus on shifting during the ride. I am still learning when to use low gear, what to do while climbing, etc. At least I can take every ride as a learning experience. Like don't forget your fuel in transition. I was supposed to take the rest of the KIND bar on the bike with me, but left it on my towel.
Total Time: 45:51 Pace:18.3 mphOverall Place: 164/294 Division: 6/21
Since I needed more fuel, I took another piece of the KIND bar and a swig of water before heading out on the run.
Having everything already on from the ride meant I simply had to switch out bike shoes for running shoes.
Total Time: 1:30.6
Run - 3.1 miles
Hello my love. My legs were feeling a little shaky coming out of transition. I had done a 5-mile trail run the prior day and tweaked my right hamstring so this race I would be battling two sore hamstrings. Umm yay!
But I knew I could push through for a 5k ... especially a flat one!
The wind I experienced on the bike was still there on the run. Thanks for sticking around wind.
I wasn't sure what my legs would have in them, but decided to give it all I had since I would have some rest days coming up. :)
The course was beautiful as you weaved around the quant beach town by the water. There weren't too many spectators around so all I could focus on was my breathing and the breathing of the folks around me.
I am still getting used to the multi sport feature on my watch so I spent some time trying to figure out what my pace was. At least I like math. (multi sport - something I need to work on in BRICK workouts in the future)
But we passed Mile 1 and I saw a sub 8-min/mile pace and was ecstatic. There are some days I can in tune with my body and can feel my pace and other days where I can't. This was the latter. So I trusted the Garmin and pushed on.
I briefly slowed at the halfway point to take in some Gatorade. The run on the asphalt along the beach offered no shade and the sun was out in full force. Just after the water stop you headed out on an out-and-back portion of the run, which allowed for some smiles and head nods to other runners.
I also like seeing what triathlon teams people are part of because it is all new to me. I wished I had more friends on the course as I witnessed the guy in front of my high-fiving and cheering on all of these folks he knew.
We did the turn around on the out-and-back portion and I may have told the volunteers, who were both glued to their cell phones, to liven up for the runners. I know I needed some extra encouragement. I made sure to say it as nicely as possible. :)
Home stretch time. A time again when I wish I had my phone out so I could selfie or chat with you all.
But I pushed on to the final mile. It was a straight shot to the Finish Line. We passed through a wind tunnel with mobile homes on either side. Folks were sitting out and cheering for us. I loved that.
I decided it was time to start focusing on the people around me and try to pick some of them off. Yes mental games I play with myself when I just want to sit down and have a beer with the spectators.
There were a couple of girls in my sight that I really wanted to pass.
I dug deep and pushed forward.
And you know what - it worked!!
I managed to pass two of them and caught up to another girl right at the Finish Line. More on THAT girl in a moment.
I was wicked happy to pass the Finish of my 5th triathlon and collect my Buzzard's Bay water bottle full of water!
Total Time: 24:10 Pace: 7:48 min/mile Overall Place: 100/294 Division: 3/21
Official Time: 1:27:01.3
Awesome experience! I had a great time and was really happy with my results.
I found out I missed out on 3rd place in my division by 0:0:0.1. Yes a fraction of a second away from the podium.
3rd in division: 1:27:01.2 Me: 1:27:01.3
OUCH! And the girl who came in 3rd in the division was the one I caught on the run at the Finish Line. It was like a real life photo finish. :P
Since I am never usually close to placing, it was a tough defeat. But I am still happy with my time.
Big thanks to my wife for taking all these photos and keeping everyone up to speed on the race through her #wifetweets.
It was also a pleasure seeing friends at the race:
Christine from Tedy's Team, who took 2nd female overall
John, who might be one of the most inspiring people I know
Before heading home, I cashed in my ticket for free BBQ.
I chose to split a pulled pork sandwich with the wife. Aren't I nice? ;)
I wish we could've stayed for awards and raffle, but I had to get home to pick my parents up from the airport.
Overall Tim and the crew at Max Performance Triathlon put on a great race. Lots of volunteers along the course. I do wish there were additional folks at the water stop since it ended up being used by the runners twice during the course and extra hands would've been helpful.
The swag was a tech shirt, little towel that could be used in transition and a water bottle. I do wish there was a pint glass or a medal involved. The screen printing on the tech shirt didn't seem to be done too well.
Also no beer or low-fat chocolate milk at the end. You know I like both at the end of a race. :P
But I would definitely sign up for one of these races again and recommend them to fellow Boston area friends.
What is a deal breaker for you between signing up for a race or not?