Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Countdown to Ironman, Week 9: Albany Sprint Triathlon

How do I do this again?? The first race of the season is always a rust-blower, but this year it definitely felt more awkward than usual, owing to last summer's broken arm and lack of a triathlon season. I had to scramble to assemble all of my triathlon gear from wherever it had gotten to in the last two years.

Thankfully, like riding a bike, it all comes back the second you start setting up your transition area. It didn't hurt that we had one of the first truly glorious days of the year with sunshine and warm temperatures beaming down on us. Several of my Aquaducks teammates did the race, and it was nice to ride up to Albany with friends and encourage each other.

I decided to ride my new bike (of course!) even though I'm still messing around with the fit. That turned out to be a great decision as I got to see how really fast she is! This was my fastest bike split in years, turning a 34:08 for the 12.5 miles, or a bit over 21 mph. I didn't get my swim split until the end of transition, but it totaled 13:20, so I'm guessing somewhere in the 11:30 range. And my run was a disappointing 27:30, but then given my lack of running over the last six weeks, I guess that's to be expected.

All in all, a 1:16:22 was my 2nd fastest Sprint Tri finish in the last 10 years, and good enough for 2nd in age group and 4th overall. Even better, all of the Aquaducks did amazing, turning in strong times and in almost every case an Age Group placing! Most inspiring to me was one of our swimmers, who not only beat everyone in her own age group (60 - 65, which I could not believe as she looks so much younger) but also beat everyone in the 50 - 54 and 55 - 59 groups as well.

One thing I absolutely loved about this race was just how pretty the course was. The bike went out through the countryside around Albany, and it was like a series of postcards: Red barn with brown calves blinking in the morning sunshine. An old windmill turning beside an oak tree in a pasture. White sheep and lambs in an impossibly green field. A tree bloomed out all in pink. Although I was working hard on the bike, I could still take in these beautiful sights along the way and my heart just sang through the course. The run course went through a park and on a bike path, with only one section on a road with traffic. Thankfully, the day did not feel as hot as I feared it might (after all of our cool weather) and the sun felt good as I ran.

Next week: building up the bike and run mileage as we hit the homestretch toward IMCdA!


Jen Small said...

Congrats!!! way to rock that bike :)

Trail Smitten Mom said...

Impressive! Way to go. Nice to meet you in real life!

Robin said...

Thanks Leah, it was great to meet you and your family!

Robin said...

Thanks Jen, it was so much fun to ride!

Real Food Runner said...