Race Report: Santa Rosa Island Triathlon

Below is my race report from the Santa Rosa Island Triathlon on Saturday, October 1. It is a good practice to write a race report after a race to remember the things you did that worked and the things you would change for next time. It also helps to share the fun of the race with your friends, team, and coach.

Pre race prep: As we all know, I have been quite focused on running these past few weeks. As a result, I didn’t get in a whole lot of swimming or biking.  That being said I had some good weeks of training in August and sprinkled in some swim and bike workouts in September so I was confident I would be fine.  Plus, the focus of this race was the run and I didn’t want to push it too hard in the first two thirds of the race so I had enough energy left for the last third–the run!  The week of the race I had a good interval run on Tuesday morning, an easy run Wednesday afternoon, and took the day off Thursday (mainly because of a crazy day at work).  Friday did a practice swim on the race course and a 10 minute easy run on the treadmill.  Then the most important part–went out with friends for a great meal!

Race morning: I woke up early and finished packing up my transition bag.  I had set out a banana to eat, but just could get myself to eat it.  Instead, I had a peanut butter balance bar and water.  I also drank about half a bottle of coke before the race.  Got to the race site about 5:45 and it was already PACKED! 1200 people registered for this sprint distance race!!  I was able to get a good spot one in from the end of the rack on the side of the bike entrance.  I took my time setting up my area–honestly it had been so long since my last tri (April 2011 NOLA 70.3) that I couldn’t remember how I should set it up 😉  Tried a bit of a new set up with a long skinny towel instead of having it all bunched up at one end.  It was chilly–a front had moved in overnight and the wind was blowing, so I left my top on my bike wheel in case it was still cold when I got out of the water.  After leaving the transition area, I gathered under the FitBird tent and commiserated about the wind and chilly weather.  Finally someone mentioned we ought to make our way down to the beach, so we shed our layers and started walking down to the start. Andrea and I walked out into the water where we would be running out to check out where the drop offs where and when to start swimming and plan our strategy.

Swim: I was in a wave with Anne and Andrea so I stood behind them as they were in the front of the pack–in reality I wanted to draft off them as long as possible.  But that never happened.  Ran out several yards into the water and then started swimming, but the current was pushing me to the right of the buoy.  Had to fight a bit to get to the buoy and got there in the middle of the pack 😦  This made the turn a bit difficult but after the turn I found a space and found my grove. I was sighting every other breath and was able to stay on course 🙂 The water was a bit murkier than the day before, but I was able to see many jellyfish and then I began to feel the jellyfish 😦  The scene in Finding Nemo with the jellyfish kept playing thru my brain and then came the “just keep swimming” so I did–I never stopped just kept swimming and dodging the jellyfish!  The hardest part of this tri is the jog up the beach out of the water but this year I stayed on my toes and just kept moving 🙂

T1: Took my time in putting on socks and drying off a bit before getting on the bike.  Also put my race belt on to make T2 a little shorter.  Took a swig of water to wash out the salt water.  And then off to the exit and mount line.

Bike: Clipped in fast and got going out on the road.  Didn’t want to push too hard on the bike to save some for the run, but still managed to push it hard.  Right into the headwind 😦  The bike course gets pretty crowded 😦 and the officials are good about handing out penalties so I made sure to keep my distance around folks.  Kept my cadence high.  After the turnaround things got much better with the wind at my back 🙂  Still kept my cadence high.  On my way back in I started getting my head ready for the run…and then I saw the run turnaround and knew there was less than 1.5 miles on the bike so I took in some water and spun back to the bike entrance.  Gotta admit I do need to practice my dismount.

T2: Racked my bike and put on my fast kicks and headed out to the run exit!

Run: I was a little nervous as I was exiting because people seemed to zoom past me, but I held to the feel of my pace and just kept steady.  I looked down at my Garmin about a half mile into the run course and I saw that I was on target for my pacing–yay!  I had a plan to run the entire run but walk thru the water stations, but that didn’t happen. I got to the first water station and took a glass but never stopped running.  Just kinda forgot.  I did keep an eye on my Garmin to make sure I wasn’t slowing down, tracking not by pace but by time and distance.  My legs felt heavy (but not tight) the entire time but every so often I would run a short distance really bouncy up on my toes and that seemed to help keep everything moving well.  Then the second water station came and went and I didn’t stop there because I was a little worried if I stopped I would lose my momentum.  I kept checking my posture and when needed repositioned–especially my shoulders.  When I finally got back to the main street (about .5 miles from the finish) I tried to pick up the pace a little and when I got to the turn to the finish I lengthened my stride and picked up the pace even more.  Crossing the finish line after that run felt so good!

Overall: It was a good race.  Hard to compare to last year because of such differing conditions.  Goal of a faster run was accomplished and I really had a good time doing it!  Luckily, progress is addicting and I am looking forward to making some more!!!

  • Swim – 14:51 (600 meters)
  • T1 – 2:54
  • Bike- 1:08:01 (18 miles)
  • T2 – 2:11
  • Run – 38:43 (5K)
  • Total Time – 2:06:39