Trek Women
August 13, 2007

NJ State Tri Recap

Finally!  The promised recap of the NJ State Triathlon.  After a few days of soupy humidity laden weather (seriously, it was like trying to run inside a full water bottle), the humidity and temps broke and race morning was crisp and cool (everything feels cool at 4:15 AM).

I was up at 4:15 and had the coffee pot brewing - can't race without the java.  I got my standard pre-race food - almond butter and jelly on whole wheat made, grabbed my water bottles, loaded the car and was off by 5 AM.

I got to the race site at Mercer County Park around 5:20 and was by far not the first one there.  This was my first coed race and two distances were being raced (sprint and Olympic).  I had scoped out the transition area the day before and my bike rack was perfectly between two trees.  I wanted to get there early to get the end spot on the rack.  Got body marked (oh the permanent marker high!) and headed in for set-up.  Brendan's 6th birthday party had been Saturday (hmmmm....cake as prerace nutrition. . . ) so I had taken his "Happy Birthday" balloon to tie to the bike rack for easy spotting when coming into transition.  I also tied my yellow Survivor buff to the side of the rack.  Quick Aside:  The yellow Survivor buff was given to me by a friend's 8-year old son the first time I was going through chemo.  It was perfect and symbolic to me in so many ways.  Yellow to remind me to LiveStrong, Survivor because I am one, and the perfect soft cover for my bald head.  Thanks Liam!

I then had more than an hour and half to kill.  Ate my sandwich, milled about and hung out with Team Survivors triathlon coach, Tom Battaglia.  Tom was racing the Olympic distance as part of his training for the Florida Ironman on November 3rd.  You go Tom!

The Swim:  500 meters, lake swim.  The water temp. was 80 degrees - hurray!  I figured it would be easier to get warmed up and into a rhythm with such warm water.  The first two waves were men and then we were the first women's wave.  You could start waist deep standing or go out a little farther and be treading water.  I opted to go as deep as I could but still be standing so I could get a push off.  The whistle blew and we were off.  Got into a rhythm and then was pleasantly surprised to pass a few of the men from the first two waves.  The course was an easy triangle so only one buoy to worry about and then into shore. 

The bike: 13.5 miles.  Got into transition and quickly changed.  I wasn't nearly as disoriented as I had been in the race two weeks ago.  Got out on the bike and I was off.  The not closed course turned out to actually be a lane coned off and there were great West Windsor police and even Team Survivor volunteers to point the way.  At the first turn though a truck did get irritated and ended up running over one of the cones.  As he was passing me I saw the cone spinning dangerously under his car.  Just as I passed, the cone shot out into my lane behind my bike.  Phew!  I was able to pass a number of guys on the course which was kind of fun.  There was even a time when I was doing 26 MPH - that didn't last long. There was one section when a guy pulled ahead of me and then blew his nose.  Think about the wind on that one folks - I was sure glad I had sunglasses on.  As I came to the end of the bike course the distance between the flag wavers for slowing down and the line where you had to be dismounted was very short.  A line of three of us were doing fine and dismounting when someone came flying in and dismounted with his cleat into the back of my ankle (He did apologize :))

The run:  5K - Got my shoes on quickly and out on the course.  The first tenth of a mile was tricky because it was on some bumpy grass before you got to the pavement.  My calves were tight but not as bad as two weeks ago.  The run was mostly shaded but was rolling ups and downs.  I was able to settle in and even able to pick it up a little in the second part.  I am happy to report that hydrating much more the few days before the race helped immensely.  No bonk!  My friend Carla came to cheer and take pictures.  With her cheering I was able to sprint in the last section.

I felt so good after (hurray for good hydration) that I was able to go watch Tom come in on the bike and complete his run.

Overall time: (500 m swim, 13.5 mi bike, 5K run)  1:27:17

Swim: 10:10, T1: 1:56, Bike: 43:06 (avg 18.4 MPH), T2: 0:56, Run: 31:10 (10:03/mile)

I was 338 out of 759 sprinters (men and women) and 17th in my age group (30-34).

Things to work on:  Bike speed, bike pedal stroke so that my calves don't cramp in the run, biking hills, run speed.

Great race, great day!

Swim, bike, run, repeat. . . .

-Jen

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