Yesterday I tackled the Sylvan Beach Tri over in La Porte. I’ve done this race once before two years ago — but that time I did the duathlon, not the tri. The old distances were somewhere between sprint and olympic distance but this year, they revamped the race to be more in line with most sprint distance races. The old was a 1000 yard swim, 18 mile bike and 5 mile run; the new was a 500 yard swim, 15 mile bike and 3 mile run. Even with the new, shorter distances I suspected that I would be pushing the limit of what I can really handle right now given that I’m not training whatsoever — and my results confirm that! There’s no way I could have managed a longer race now that the heat of summer has arrived.
500 yd swim – 12:28
T1 – 1:27
15 mile bike – 53:01
T2 – 1:29
3 mile run – 37:57
Total – 1:46:22
The race was at Sylvan Beach Park, which has a little man-made “beach” on the shore of Galveston Bay. The swim course was a three sides of a rectangle — we started on the beach and ran into the water, swam out ~200 yards, across ~100 yards, and then another ~200 yards back in to shore. The water was a little choppy, and we had to deal with incoming swells on the way out. I was in the third and final wave with all women, plus Clydesdales and relays and even though this is a fairly small race, it was hard to escape from the crowd. On top of that, my right goggle kept filling up with water. It wasn’t the greatest swim, but I made it through in decent time and headed up to transition. T1 was standard. I walked most of the way from the swim exit to my rack because I needed to catch my breath from the swim! But soon enough I was on my way.
I had a great bike at TriGirl last month — I felt fantastic, nothing hurt, and I just sailed through that short course. Unfortunately I was unable to repeat that yesterday! My neck started to ache before I’d even hit the 5-mile mark and my entire upper body felt tense. By mile 8, I had started checking my watch every few minutes to gauge my progress and by mile 12, I was ready to be done. I slowed to a crawl on the cruel bridge climb around mile 13 and was quite relieved to arrive back in transition soon after. In T2, I went down the wrong side of the bike rack and instead of just running around to the other side, I decided to just rack my bike from the wrong side. I started to put it in one way, then realized I was doing it wrong and turned it around. THEN after racking it, I realized I’d been right the first time and now my bike was racked in the wrong direction. I decided I didn’t care, grabbed my shoes, and started the run.
I felt about as good as could possibly be expected when I started the run — which is to say that I was already tired but determined to just make it to the finish line. My goal had been to average 12:00 miles but I realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t going to happen. It was too hot, and I was already too tired from the swim and bike. So I ran when I could and took several walk breaks. The first 2 miles weren’t completely awful, but mile 3 was downright pathetic. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that Jose and Emma were waiting near the finish — I’m smiling in the photo above only because I’d just run past them!
All in all, it was a nice morning, but clearly I am not in any kind of shape to do anything longer than this for a good while. There aren’t many races in July but there are several to choose from in August. It would be fun to do the August TriGirl (standard sprint distance as opposed to May’s super sprint) but I think I’ll probably target the sprint distance at Clear Lake (500m swim, 14 mile bike, 2 mile run). It’s too close to home to pass up in favor of anything else.