Part 1 here (Jan – Apr). This is the uber awesome sprint triathlon + some section of the year. Let me tell you – after a triathlon a month, these things become routine (at least, the prep part). There were some triumphs and some disappointments, but each race definitely helped me refine my craft of racing. I also had some major mental gains here – I finally sub-10 min mile’d a run leg of a tri, and I went from some major bad ‘tude after a race that didn’t go my way to being able to shake off a bad race with no issues. And I even had a magical happy fun sparkly catching unicorns race too!
May 6 – Rookie Triathlon (300m swim, 11.2 mile bike, 2 mile run)
Time: 1:14:12 (course PR by 3 mins)/Zliten: 1:17:42 (huge, like 20 minute course PR for him) Race Report
Coolest thing about this race: first tri of the season, Zliten absolutely crushing his time last year, course PR for me by 3 mins in worse conditions.
Lessons learned from this race: transitions can help you PR – I took 3 mins off this race just by being better, carnage hill isn’t so bad if you’re ready for it (I was not and had to clip out and walk), racing flats are not so good on mud and sticks, and that tears are never allowed after a PR (especially in bad conditions), even if you’re feeling down on yourself. Get over whatever it is and move on. Also, OMG, you should have gotten yourself a visor years ago instead of lameing it up with crappy headbands.
Zliten notes from the race: This race got me all excited to be back in TRI season. It’s short enough to make me just want to do more, but long enough to know that its the first one of the season and I really have to keep working on my transitions. Although I did get a faster t2 than Quix. The atmosphere here is always amazing and I wish I could have every one I know come out to it. The Rookie is for everyone!
May 19 – Vern’s No Frills 5k
Time: 27:58/ Zliten 29:02 (PR) Race Report
Coolest thing about this race: best 5k I’ve run in a while, went sub-9 min miles, kept my head in it and a consistent pacing/effort strategy, and watched Zliten massively PR his 5k!
Lessons learned from this race: Catching my PR is going to take a significant amount of speedwork, of which I did next to none this year. Find a mantra that will keep you going in the middle (from about 1.75-2.5). Also, sadly, I didn’t document what I ate the night before, but DON’T EAT THAT (had some digestive issues that AM).
Zlitens thoughts from the race: Run faster, don’t puke, run faster, Breathe BREATHE BREATHE!!!! Don’t let Quix out of your sights, Run FASTER, no slowing down. Not until you cross the finish. Try to only look at your pace on the garmin, not your total time, Keep the pace in the 9’s!!!!
June 17 – Pflugerville Sprint Triathlon (500m swim, 14 mile bike, 5k run)
Time: 1:32:12 (course PR by 8 mins, pace PR for each leg)/Zliten: 1:33:28 (huge, like 30 min course PR for him) Race Report
Coolest thing about this race: Putting together a just about perfectly executed race on “home turf” (we train here almost every weekend) and solidly PRing each leg. Keeping my head in it the whole time and sticking with it. Oh yeah, and freezy pops at the end. Every race in summer should give you freezy pops. I chased the unicorn and caught it!
Lessons learned at this race: Don’t listen to the announcer. Hearing your husband finish as you are just hitting T2 and the sun is coming out and it’s getting HOT is demoralizing (though I suppose a bit motivating). Also, that you will catch your unicorns if you chase them long and hard enough. Also, do whatever you did the evening before and for warmup and junk because it obviously worked well!
Zlitens thoughts on this race: Pf is the “best” place to TRI if only because its where we train the most. I wish I could train out at this little lake every single run/bike/swim. It just feels like home. So much so I keep looking at houses near it. Not that we would leave North Austin, but sometimes I wonder… But back to the race. Had a great swim, a fast bike and my best 5k on a multisport ever. Once I finished I had about 30 minutes to wait for Quix, and made a friend named Brian. From then on out we ended up racing and training with Brian at least once or twice a month for the rest of the season. That made Pf even better. I can’t wait to do it again! I can’t wait to go out there and train there again! I can’t wait to just go out to the lake and paddle around or fish or anything. HEY QUIX lets go out to the lake please.
June 19 – Splash and Dash (750m swim, 3k run)
(pic not from this race but just go with it…)
Time: 38:12/Zliten: 39:23 Race Report
Coolest thing about this race: racing HARD after racing hard two days before was a challenge, but fun. Pushed myself pretty well on the swim – ~17 mins for a 750m. Figured out what it really meant to try to hop on feet. Also, pushed and pretty much replicated my Pf pace/intensity on the run.
Lessons learned at this race: Biking really helps to catch your breath, going directly from swimming to running and transitioning on a steep rocky hill is challenging. Running right by a fancy restaurant 3 times, with yummy smells coming from their patio, after work before eating dinner was not nice, but motivating.
Zlitens thoughts on this race: Well just a few days before was Pf and we rocked that. While setting up here we ran into Brian again and started talking, then into the water and out for a nice little………. swim. At this point I had not swam that distance much at all, so this was a bit challenging for me, that and its a mass open water start unlike most tri’s we have done where its has an age group water start. I got kicked, swam over, pushed down, knocked aside as the mens wave started, then just settled in the back and swam away. Then about half way in, I got kicked, swam over, pushed down, knocked aside as the women’s wave caught up and passed me. Then there was a little 3 loop run. Ugg as usual, Don’t puke don’t puke was the words in my head when we would pass the restaurant. I also learned here that I never want a all white tri singlet. Some poor lady in front of me I am sure was wearing hers as a back up suit, because it looked like a gel had exploded in the pocket in the back a few races before and stained it a nice yellow brown color.
Beer and hot dogs at the end were just kinda bleh, mostly because when I run I try to not puke. When I stop I still feel kinda gross when I really push it like I did at this race. The best part of the whole event though was as I was swimming the last dozen yards or so there were fish swimming right along under me and the sun was at just the right angle to make the water look crystal clear and shimmer off the fish.
July 15 – Couples Triathlon (800m swim, 11.2 mile bike, 5k run)
Time: 1:43:19 Race Report
Coolest thing about this race: I got to start and finish this race with my Zliten!
Lessons learned at this race: It is REALLY REALLY FREAKING HARD to race a full triathlon with someone else side by side. Also, no walking on a 5k run, no matter how many creative curse words come out of your mouth, how many twigs get in your shoe, and how awful the hill at the end is.
Zliten notes about this race: The swim wasn’t bad at all, we both just swam it. Apparently I swam it just a little harder than Quix thought I would since I exited the water about 3 seconds after she did. The venue for this swim is the same as the Rookie but compared to Pf, its just not as nice of a swim.
The Bike was ok, we both got out of T1 at about the same time and were going. Quix fell back a little due to clip issues (I am sure I will too this year) but we were back together before carnage! This is where she took off and as I got up out of the saddle, my foot slipped and I dropped on the bike. NO PROBLEM, without missing a beat I was back up on the bike and going up the hill before anyone noticed the fall. (Well some people did but not Quix or Brian so thats ok.)
I pulled into T2 a few seconds behind Quix and we dropped off the bikes, grabbed the run gear. I was starting to feel gross like usual at the beginning of the run, so I took it slower than Quix wanted, but I knew from looking at the map we had lots of gross trail to run on and some big hills. I wanted to pace myself better. It was getting very sunny and hot and about 1.5 miles in I slowed down a little bit again and Quix took off. I caught back up with her at the big downhill on the backside of the course, and passed on the uphill following. Then slowed down so we could finish it up together.
It was so much fun to get to race side by side, but if we ever do it again like that we need better signals for speeding up or slowing down together. Also we found that the results weren’t about finishing together just both finishing fast. I think next time we will probably have our own races, just start together.
July 17 – Splash and Dash (750m swim, 3k run)
(again, pic not from this race but please imagine it was since it was 2 days previous)
Time: 38:30/Zliten: 40:31 Race Report
Coolest thing about this race: Tired, crampy, bloating, hurting, had a bad day, miserable, in pain, and I only came in ~20 seconds slower than the month before (faster swim, slower run)
Lessons learned from this race: Sometimes you’re the windshield, and sometimes you’re the bug. All races end, you just have to get there.
Zliten notes from this race: I really didn’t do so great on this one. I had some bad leg cramps on the run and just finished. Nothing special here. Just glad it was over. I did get to work at like 5 or 6 am for this since we were working mandatory long hours at work that day. I had to get them in early..
August 5 – Jack’s Generic Triathlon (500m swim, 13 mile bike, 5k run)
Time: 1:43:19/Zliten: 1:38:17 Race Report
Coolest thing about this race: I didn’t die? Lunch and champagne after? The cooling soak after I got through the finish line? Pretty much nothing about the race at all… ok, the bike course was kinda fun, compared to the yucky water and the stupid hot no shade hilly run course.
Lessons learned from this race: DO NOT DO YOUR PEAK WEEK OF MILEAGE BEFORE A RACE. No matter how “B-” you think it is. Take a recovery week, then use the race to kick that peak week shizz off without going through a race with a bad attitude and feeling like a zombie.
Zliten notes from this race: We did too much the week before this. I was dead on my feet the day before the race and the morning of because of Over Training and a lack of sleep, I had to keep waking Quix up on the drive out there. Not good when your also tired and have to be on the road at 4:30am The race itself went really well for me. I felt for a bit like I was just going through the motions, but I guess that’s what happens when you train a good amount. I didn’t have to think about everything I just did it.
In the last quarter mile of the race Brian ran up behind me and said kick it up. So I did and sprinted as hard and fast as I could to the finish. I ran right through the finish line into the medical tent where I took an icepack and laid down. People rushed into the tent, and I assumed that they were one of those medical practitioners, who take up the course and get certified from places like https://www.vocationaltraininghq.com/.
So hot, so heart poundy. So good! I did great at this race. Once Quix crossed the line we went and waded in the lake for a bit to cool off. It was stupid hot… Then got all the gear packed up, Quix took a little nap in the car as I went and got us some ice cream, then we came home. This was also the night where I ended up fracturing my skull and getting my face all tore up from the ground.. No happy here but… hey I lived and am better now! *Quix note: Never beat me again… because you see what happens? Face to the curb…. *Additional Quix note: I promise I did not curb stomp Zliten. He did it to himself. 🙂
August 19 – America’s Finest Half Marathon
Time: 2:32 and change/Zliten: 2:39:45 Race Report
Coolest thing about this race: Running in my old stomping grounds! Started on the top of a mountain and ended up at the park by our old apartment!
Lessons learned in this race: For the love of jeebus – all summer distance races = camelback, unless you are CONFIDENT in the race organizers to have water stops in the right places (aka, Jack and Adams Tris, etc). Also, ’tis much better to bonk and walk than ruin your vacation finishing in the med tent. Still don’t regret that decision, even if I was on pace to be close to my half marathon PR for the first half of the race until I got dehydrated…
Zliten notes from this race: WooHoo San Diego!!! Got to spend time with my folks, you can see them in that picture up there. We got to run in places that I love. I did take my camel back and learned how to fill it fast at a water stop. There was some amazing support staff out there. Its a big busy city and I never felt in danger of getting run over on the major roads. I did have to stop at a trolly crossing near the end, and you know that’s ok, my legs wanted a break by then anyways.
What a summer! Lots of fun in the sun and becoming BFFs with Lake Pflugerville and ramping up the training hours – but things were about to get epic. Coming up, in the 3rd and final installment, we had Zliten’s first Olympic Tri, our first Half Ironman, and my first marathon. Stay tuned!