Stamford KIC It Triathlon Recap

On Sunday, I completed my second Olympic-distance swim-bike-run event, the Stamford KIC It Triathlon.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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I couldn’t help it, though—I was having so much fun!

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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.

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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.)

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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!

26 responses to “Stamford KIC It Triathlon Recap

  1. Great race, love the smiles in all the pictures. Congratulations on the finish!

  2. WOO HOO! Awesome smiley pics and awesome race girlie!

  3. Great accomplishment and really solid times across all legs (even the bike). It sounds like you’ve got a pretty good idea where your tempo / cruise pace is for each and how it feels. Now time to find how much above tempo you can go and still cross the finish line! I only hope someday I can keep up…

    • carriestevens

      Yep, now that I have a few Olympic distances under my belt, I know what “comfortable” feels like–so it’s time to push and embrace the pain! 😉

  4. Nice race, lady! Can you offer lessons on taking good bike photos? I’ve never gotten one decent one.

    • carriestevens

      That smile is 100 percent due to my teammate. As I approached him on the bike, he started cheering–and yelling some of our inside jokes. Also, I was more than ready to get out of the saddle and run. 😉

  5. You are so smiley!! Love it!!! Cannot wait to see what you pull out for NYC. Love reading your recaps as you figure out what you can do this summer 🙂

  6. Awesome job Carrie! you looks like you were having SO much fun! I loved your pictures. That’s exactly what it’s all about too 🙂 I wish my race pictures turned out that well hehe

    • carriestevens

      I have to give my teammates credit for the pictures. One of them was on photo duty, and several were cheering like crazy–how could I *not* smile? 🙂

  7. Great race! You look so happy in those pictures 🙂

  8. Congrats!!! Great pics 🙂
    I do agree with you coach’s saying, but sometimes we have races where we move through the motions to simply become more comfortable (for transitions and all the extra crazies involved in traiathalons!). This wasn’t an A race for you was it? If not, I wouldn’t sweat the unsettledness. Just go with it and be confident that you have another experience and another cute little trophy under your (fuel) belt 🙂 … gah i’m so corny.

    • carriestevens

      That makes a lot of sense, Beka. No, this wasn’t an “A” race for me. NYC might be, but my main goal race is the one in August. Stamford was a great experience, and like you wrote, I learned a lot. Onto the next one!

  9. I’m so glad you had calm conditions for the swim! We haven’t really had that yet, at least not at Keuka, so I’m hoping it will be calm for Musselman.

    I love the photos of you smiling!

    • carriestevens

      Keeping my fingers crossed for you! Even though you’ll be able to easily handle any swim conditions, it would be nice to conserve as much energy as possible and come out of the water feeling strong. I can’t believe we’re both racing next week! 😀

  10. Congrats on another great race! You seriously have the best race photos! Mine always look like I’m dying. ha! Best feeling in the world is totally “chicking” guys on the race course! 🙂

    • carriestevens

      Clearly I’m having way too much fun! And yeah, I “chicked” a lot of guys during the run. 😉

  11. AMAZING job, Carrie! You are such a champ! I’m exhausted just reading the recap 😛

    I can understand how you’d be bummed about finishing with “gas in the tank,” but you still totally kicked ass! Maybe that just means you’ll have a little extra umph for the next race 🙂

    • carriestevens

      Thanks, Alex! And yeah, now I have a good idea of what “comfortable” feels like–which means I can push more and embrace the pain next weekend!

  12. Congrats! Great pics and it certainly does look like you were having fun!

  13. Nice work! P.S. In the run photos, your legs look JACKED. You are all muscle!

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