Monday, July 22, 2013

Race Recap – Cooper Sprint Triathlon

Saturday morning I woke up at 5 AM for my first ever triathlon. The transition area opened at 5:30 AM for set up and luckily it was only a quick 5-10 minute drive for Robert and I to get to the race. After getting ready, I ate a Clif bar and drank a water with Nuun, then we headed out and arrived around 5:45 AM. The transition area was already filled with people, and I set up my station. I loved that we had assigned bike racks based on our bib numbers! It made things very easy. In fact, the whole race was incredibly well-organized. While getting set up, I chatted with a few other newbies as well as a seasoned tri-athlete who gave me some advice to help me have a better race experience.

Transition areaDSC03007

Pre-race photos after being marked with my race # DSC03019 DSC03020

Instead of the usual tracking chip on the race bib, they had us put on ankle trackers that activated our timers, which I thought was pretty cool! About 5 minutes to race start, they had a few announcements and reminded us all about USAT rules and regulations; I had NO idea there were so many things that could get you time penalties or disqualifications!

Also, side note, while the race officials were speaking, a golden retriever went in to the pool for a nice swim! It was adorable and absolutely hilarious!




After standing in the race start line to get into the pool for about 45 minutes, my race began!

350 meter swim – Time: 8 min 55 sec: When I registered for this race, I had no idea how long it would take me to swim this distance, so when they asked for an estimate I put 20 minutes. I think I may have slightly underestimated myself, haha! The swim was more tiring than I expected (my triceps are still sore!), but I pushed myself as much as I could, and only had to pass two people. Nobody was swimming on top of each other while I was in the pool which was very nice, considering I could see how incredibly competitive it was for some of the starting athletes. The swim portion was definitely a success!




Heading from the end of the swim to T1DSC03098

Transition 1 (T1) – Time: 3 min 48 sec: When I got out of the pool, I felt slightly and temporarily dizzy (I blame it on the swim cap – they really compress to your head) but managed to run to my transition station and took a gel, put on my bike gear, and head out as fast as I could. One thing I learned here is if you minimize your transition time, it can REALLY help your overall time.



12 mile bike ride – Time: 51 min 43 sec: The bike portion of the race was a lot of fun! Despite some strong headwinds, I managed to get every mile under my expected 5 min/mile. I was so excited each time I looked down at my Garmin and saw that I was beating my own expectations! I also found out at mile 10 that riding a bike and taking a gel at the same time is not easy. Next time I will probably just wait until T2 to do that. I finished strong and headed to T2 to rack my bike!

Transition 2 (T2) – Time: 1 min 54 sec: This transition is theoretically very easy. All I had to do was rack my bike, remove my biking shorts and helmet, put on my hat, and GO. However, my legs felt like jell-o; I could barely tell that they were moving! I grabbed a cup of PowerAde on my way out to the 5K start hoping that my running legs would make their way back sooner rather than later.

DSC03136 DSC03149 DSC03153

5K run – Time: 27 min 15 sec: With my glutes feeling close to numb and my legs like rubber, I began running at what felt like a snail’s pace. All I could think was oh my gosh I did not know it was going to be like this, I was banking on the 5K to be my strongest leg of the race! Amidst these thoughts though, I fought through it and kept running, and when my Garmin beeped to show my first mile’s pace, I gasped and my jaw hit the ground; my first mile was a 9:30 pace! This gave me a HUGE surge of motivation and power! I eventually passed my cheer squad, and gave them a huge smile and a wave before finishing the race. I did not know my official Tri time, but I knew my 5K time and I was so proud and incredibly excited!



After the race, they served us a great breakfast; I ate a whole wheat pancake, some turkey bacon and an orange. Robert went off to check out finisher times and came back with great news, saying that not only had I beaten my hoped finishing time of 2 hrs, but I crushed it with a time of 1:33:37! They didn’t have medals at this race, but honestly that is ok with me; I did it for the experience and the fun, and I can honestly say that I will definitely be doing more triathlons in the future!

QOTD: So who is thinking about doing a triathlon now? :0)


  1. Whoohooo! Congrats on crushing your goal time!! It looks interesting (and HARD) but I'm still not convinced that I want to invest in a bike. I think that's my biggest drawback. I have a bike, but it's from walmart...not a "real" bike. LOL. I'm afraid of foot clips too. ;) You are a triathelete!!! WOOT!

    1. Oh my goodness, it was incredibly hard, especially transitioning from bike to run!

      Bikes can be so expensive. Luckily, the one I used was borrowed so I could get a feel for if I enjoyed the triathlons. Also, for sprint tri's I saw tooons of mountain bikes, so you would be good with whatever you had :) I think type of bike only matters when you get into the really long biking distances!

      Thanks for the congrats again!! :)

  2. Congrats! I'm still out for tri's. I'd need to get better at swimming and the last time I rode a bike, I was 12.

    1. Thanks Lesley!! Totally understand that :)

  3. You are so awesome Lauren! Do you think you will do another one? I am not a strong swimmer so I can't see myself doing a tri ( but then again a few years ago I never thought I would do a half marathon either, so never say never right? I could see where your legs would feel like jello after riding, but you made great time on your 5K in spite of that.
    O, and I bet that was cute seeing that retriever jump in the pool. Those dogs do love water. Where did it come from? You would think it would have been on a leash?

    1. Thanks ladies, I will most definitely be doing another one! You should give one a try sometime, you might be surprised at how much fun you have :)

      The golden retriever was a spectator's dog and it was absolutely hilarious seeing him get in the pool! I was surprised he could though considering he should have been on a leash (or maybe he pulled hard enough that his owner dropped the leash lol)

    2. Great job Lauren! This was my 2nd triathlon and I happen to be the owner of the golden. He escaped from my husband and was swimming in the pool before we could get to him! I came across your blog and thought it was great that you mentioned him. We were horrified that he got in the pool so I'm glad others thought it was funny! He can never resist water. Best of luck in your next race! Carrie and Jake the Golden.

    3. Hi there! So glad you found the blog :) No need to be horrified - myself and everyone around me was smiling and thought it was too cute!!

      Good luck on your future races as well!

  4. Lauren - what an awesome recap!! I love it and am thrilled for you. This kind of tri sounds like so much fun! Training question - did you train doing all 3 on your own at all to see what the transition would be like? How much do you swim now in your training? I'd love to do a tri now! I haven't swam in awhile and I wonder how I would do in the transitions. I think I could handle the bike and the running part.

    1. Hey Danielle!! Thanks! :)

      I actually trained for each sport individually - I never practiced my transitions... and I haven't swam that much since my apartment doesn't have a lap pool, but I swam enough for me to feel totally comfortable racing!

      I think you should definitely do a tri, you would have SO much fun!

  5. Sorry, I'm a little late to the party...a bit behind on my blog reading. But...I am SOOOOO excited for you! This is AWESOME! Congrats on your first tri, and for an AWESOME finishing time! You're totally inspiring me to quit being a baby and start training for a tri -- so, thank you! :-D

    1. Thanks Jennifer!! :0) I'm so excited for you to do one - it's seriously TONS of fun!!