This was my comeback race to triathlon after a 2 1/2 year hiatus to bring my twins into the world. Superseal was my first triathlon back in 2011, so it was the perfect setting for a truly triumphant return to this sport I love so much!
The week leading up to the race was anything but perfect. Another cold blasted through our household and this time I fell victim too. We planned to leave for San Diego on Friday morning, but after yet another trip to urgent care on Thursday night we almost cancelled the trip. T & C went on another round of antibiotics and we decided to sleep on it and see how they were in the morning. Both improved after just one dose so we decided it was save to travel to San Diego. We left Santa Barbara around 4:00pm on Friday, arrived at the hotel in San Diego at 9:30pm, checked in and immediately went to bed.
Saturday morning everyone was up early and the boys were doing much better. We headed out to race check-in/packet pickup arriving just as it opened at 10:00am.
My mom and John met up with us. Aside from K, my mom is my biggest cheerleader. She has never missed any of my races in San Diego. I can never get her to look at the camera for pictures and this time was no different (haha). After collecting my bib we headed over to the San Diego Zoo to meet up with my brother, cousin and their families for a fun filled day.
I was hoping to get in a quick shake out run or ride later that afternoon, but it wasn’t in the cards. I had my usual pre-race pasta dinner and prepared my transition bag with all my race day essentials including: Foher Multisport kit, Nuun Energy and Altra running shoes to name a few.
Woke up at 4:30am. I ate a bagel with peanut butter and finished up last minute prep. K had the car packed and ready to go, so all we had to do was carry our sleepy boys to the car and set out for the quick drive over to Coronado. We literally got one of the last spots in the parking lot. I quickly set up my transition area and then headed out to the swim start to get a little warm up.
The swim is my weakest of the three events. I have been diligently working on my technique in the pool and I’m committed to improving my swim times, but since my last open water swim was over two years ago, I wasn’t expecting to set any new PR’s in the swim. I started on the far right in an effort to avoid being kicked in the face at the start. The first 200 meters or so I lifted my head up WAY too many times, like every couple strokes. Like I said it had been over two years since my last open water swim and of course the line on the bottom of the pool was not there. It took a few minutes to get my bearings, but after the turn around the second red buoy I finally started to really swim and passed at least five women and even a couple guys in the wave ahead of mine. I finished in the middle of the pack. Nothing to write home about, but happy I got through it okay.
According to my Garmin the course was longer than expected at 750 meters.
Swim time: (according to my Garmin – official results not posted on ironman.com at the time of this post): 16:02 – 2:01/100yds.
T1 was pretty smooth and there were still plenty of bikes on the rack. Yay for not having too many girls to chase down on the bike and run!
I only managed to get in a few rides on the road (rather than trainer) during this training cycle, so I was more nervous for the bike than usual. The second I got out of transition and onto my bike all those nerves disappeared. All I thought about was crushing it. The course was one flat loop. Again longer than expected at about 13 miles according to my Garmin. I passed a lot of girls and guys and felt fantastic the whole time! It wasn’t my fastest bike split, but I managed a 3+ minute improvement over my previous bike split on this course. I probably could have pushed it harder, but I was concerned with not overdoing it and leaving enough in the tank for the run.
Bike time: 43:55
Avg speed: 17.6 mph
T2 took a little longer than it should have. I didn’t drink enough on the bike (actually I drank nothing), so stopped long enough to make sure I hydrated properly prior to the run.
The run is my strongest event, so probably not surprising it’s my favorite part of the race. I spotted my family just after I exited transition up a mini hill to start the run. They had gathered a whole cheering squad for me and it was just the boost I needed to get going. The course is relatively flat, starting on a dirt trail that turns into the silver strand bike path. I was passing runners left and right and felt freaking fantastic. At around mile 2.5 I spotted a girl in my age group and picked up the pace easily passing her. I lost count of the number of people I passed and I was only passed by one other girl ( turns out she was doing the Olympic). When I was close to the finish line someone yelled out “she’s gaining on you” which was the last bit of motivation I needed to kick it into high gear and sprint to the finish. I ran negative splits which is something I’ve been working hard on.
Run time: 27:15
Distance: 3.4 miles
Avg pace: 7:59min/mile
Total time: 1:33:28 – 3rd place AG
It was a fantastic day and I couldn’t have asked for a better race for my comeback. Placing third in my age group was icing on the cake! It feels amazing to be back in the game. There were times I questioned whether it was possible to be as fit or fast as I was before getting pregnant and giving birth. And while my body has changed in many ways, becoming a mom has only made me stronger. I really hope to set a good example for my boys in this sport by showing them that dedication and putting in the work really does pay off (right here they were just ready to take a nap) :). I’m already looking forward to more triathlon races this summer and going for my first 70.3 in October, but first I have a marathon to crush!