Two days from my first Ironman, it seems fitting to dedicate a post to my very first triathlon. Pablo and I were a few weeks away from our 300-mile Climate Ride cycling adventure from NYC to DC, so we decided to challenge ourselves to something new: a 250 Yard Swim, 9 Mile Bike and 5K Run at the UNC Wellness Super Sprint Triathlon in Chapel Hill, NC.
I don’t remember the details of the race, but I remember being both excited to become a triathlete and scared about tackling a swim, followed by a bike and then run. Not much has changed related to my emotions between now and then, but the distances sure have changed!
The Swim: I definitely went to the pool at least once a week to practice , but remember Pablo barely swam given his swimming background. I have no idea what my technique was back then, but my most formal training was the basic swimming certificate every 6 years old goes for in Curacao. The day of I was a bit worried about 250 yards (oh how far I’ve come) but I knew I’d be okay. Pablo underestimated his time significantly and passed a bunch of people in the swim coming out of the water in 3:38 and even I passed a few coming out of the water in 5:18, which put my time at 2:19/100m which is exactly the pace I am aiming to hit for the 2.4 mile distance.
The Bike: I was in and out of T1 in 2:32 and headed out for the 9 mile bike. I don’t remember the course except that it was rolling hills and I rode in my bathing suit and bike shorts (I had no idea what a tri kit was!) I finished the bike in 36:03 which was an average of 15mph, which again is the exact same pace I’m hoping to maintain for 112 miles on Sunday!
T2 was fun because you actually had to walk quit a bit some of it on grass and I remember deciding to just pick up the bike and run. There’s a little video of me in T2 and I looked pretty efficient: rack bike, gloves off, shoes on, helmet off, run.
Run: The run was in the same neighborhood as the bike and also had some hills. I remember feeling tired, but I finished the 5K in 32:08 for a total time of 1:17:23 and an average run pace of 10:20. This is the one pace I won’t be able to keep at Louisville. While my 5K pace has dropped quite a bit, my 42K pace is much slower and I am totally okay with that!
Despite having lots of fun at the sprint, Pablo and I didn’t get back into triathlons until 2013 when we moved to the DC area. I had no idea back in 2009 that 5 years later triathlon would become a predominant part of my life and that I would be on my way to tackling an Ironman…I don’t even think I knew what and Ironman was!