On Sunday, I completed my second Olympic-distance swim-bike-run event, the Stamford KIC It Triathlon.
Located about an hour outside the city in Connecticut, this race was a ideal for NYC triathletes: close enough that staying overnight wasn’t required, but far enough away that it provided an escape from the concrete jungle. And in terms of my race calendar, it served as a perfect tune-up since it’s two weeks before the Aquaphor New York City Triathlon. In theory, I was “tuning up,” but in actuality, I’m still learning how much I can push on the swim and bike and still piece together a solid run. Overall, I pushed more than Montauk, but as you will see from the race pictures, I’m clearly not experiencing enough pain. I still had a good race, though!
Swim – 0.9 miles – 25:10
There’s no other way to describe the swim conditions without using the word perfect: calm water, reasonable temperatures (I didn’t hear the official reading, but it was definitely warmer than Montauk, so maybe 60-ish degrees Fahrenheit), and the sun even started to peek through the clouds. Basically, I really, really enjoyed the swim; it felt therapeutic. (And wow, I sound super Zen—ha!) So this probably means I didn’t push enough, right? Like Montauk, I exited the water feeling strong and wishing the course were longer.
Transition 1 (T1) – 2:36
One of my favorite moments during the race took place during T1. During the swim, I caught up to the wave that started before me, and not only did I pass guys in the water, but I also jogged by them on the way to our bikes. As I passed one guy, he yelled, “Oh s$#*!” and he tried to pick up the pace. All I could do was smile!
Bike – 24.8 miles/40-K – 1:25:38
Going into this race, I knew the bike would be difficult.
Not only would it be a longer ride than Montauk, but it was also very technical; there were downhills, there were a ton of “hot turns,” so truly capitalizing and picking up speed wasn’t going to happen. During the race itself, I questioned my judgment—‘why in the world am I doing this?’—but managed to get through it.
Approaching T2. Can you tell I’m pumped to run?
The fans and volunteers on the bike course were phenomenal. The volunteers wore hot pink shirts and alerted us well before every turn, and the fans cheered like crazy. My teammates were great too. I saw five of them on course, and even though four passed me, they were really encouraging.
Transition 2 – 1:13
T2 was a blur. It was actually a different location than T1, and I loved how each row of racks was numbered. When I dropped off my run gear, I memorized the number, so finding my spot during the race couldn’t have been easier.
Run – 6.2 miles/10-K – 50:23
The run was a flat, two-loop course that took us through part of downtown Stamford. Like Montauk, it took me about three miles to loosen up and become comfortable, and then I settled into a steady pace and put it on cruise control.
So remember my teammates who passed me during the bike? I caught up to and lapped them on the run. It was nice paying forward the encouragement and trying to pull them along. After the race, one of my teammates who was there cheering said it seemed like I was casually chatting with everyone. She was kinda right, ha!
I couldn’t help it, though—I was having so much fun!
I did buckle down and kick it into high gear near the end. I loved seeing my coach and teammates on the course, especially during the final 400m or so.
Official finishing time: 2:45:02—first in my age group! (Full disclosure: first of three. But I would’ve placed second in 25-29 and fourth in 30-34, both of which were bigger age groups.)
As you can tell from the pictures, I had a lot of fun during this race. However, I can’t ignore the fact that as I crossed the finish line I felt very unsettled. Yes, I had a good race, but could I have pushed harder? Absolutely. And the only thing worse than blowing up during an event is finishing with gas left in the tank. In the words of one of my coaches: “If you finish a race and don’t feel like you’re going to pass out or throw up, then you didn’t go hard enough.”
Oh, and speaking of my team, FTE had a great day—10 podium finishes!
Anyway, onto the next one—t-minus 10 days until NYC!