Santa Fe Triathlon 2013

A couple weekends ago Jaycob and I competed in the Santa Fe sprint triathlon.  This was my last race of the season and the one I was most looking forward to.  Before I talk about the race, here's an overview of the other races we did this season...

Atomic Man Duathlon:  This was our first event in April.  It was a small race, and although the ride was hilly I really enjoyed this course.  I was mostly just doing this one to finish and didn't really worry about my time.  I cramped up during the final run portion but overall did okay.  I placed first in my age group!  (I should mention that I was the only one in my age group...)  I competed in the short version of the race ("Little Boy") -- 4K run, 15K bike, 4K run.  Jaycob did the "Fat Man" course -- 10K run, 40K bike, 5K run.  I definitely want to do this one again next year and hope to do the long course.

Cochiti Triathlon:  This was an open water event (one of the few in New Mexico) -- 800 meter swim, 12 mile bike, 5K run.  I did not have a good race.  I really struggled to get my breathing under control during the swim and realized that this has been a chronic problem for me in all of my triathlons up until that point.  I considered quitting during the swim, but ended up sticking with it, which put me more than 10 minutes behind my goal time.  The bike ride began with a steep uphill followed by a bumpy few miles over the Cochiti dam.  This part was truly miserable, but the end of the ride was smooth and I ran fairly well.  Unfortunately I was last out of four in my age group because of my terrible swim, but it helped me realize what to focus on in training for the rest of the season.

(Jaycob did the La Tierra Torture mountain bike/trail run duathlon the following weekend.  My mountain bike experience usually consists of a lot of four-letter words, and I frequently tip over from riding too slowly.  Hence, I did not participate.)

Buffalo Thunder 5K:  This race was a training run for the Santa Fe tri.  I ran my fastest 5K up to that point at 26:42 and placed 2nd out of 16 in my age group!  Jaycob had a great race too and took the gold in his age group with a time of 21:18.  The main event of this race is the Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon, which attracts runners from all over the world.  It was really inspiring to watch the half marathoners cross the finish line.  I would love to progress with my running and be able to do the Half next year!

So now onto the Santa Fe Triathlon.  Jaycob and I both had excellent races and placed 1st in our age groups!  Here's the breakdown of the race:

5K run: (time: 26:06)  The running portion of the race begins at the Chavez Community Center and is downhill for the first mile.  The key for me is to not start too fast during the downhill and save some steam for the tail end.  I started off steady and was able to pass quite a few people during the uphill in the second half of the race.  I felt great with my breathing and focused on staying with a man who was slightly faster than my comfortable pace.  I was proud to achieve my best 5K time yet and beat my goal by almost a minute!

Me trying to stay with the fast dude.

Jaycob at the start of the race.

12 mile bike: (time: 40:48)  I really enjoyed the race course for the bike ride, which consists mostly of rolling hills and offers some scenic mountain views.  I was able to pass quite a few people during the ride and my competitive side came out as I focused on beating anyone who looked like they might be in my age group!  (I recently talked to a coworker of mine, who also competed in the Tri, about the idea of "When finishing is no longer enough."  I've reached a point with this race at which it's now a goal of mine to place, and not just to finish!)  I was about 2 minutes slower than my goal time on the ride, but was still very pleased with how I felt and the pace I was able to maintain.

400 meter swim: (time: 10:58)  After my disastrous swim in this race last year and in the open water Cochiti race, my primary goal for the swim was to maintain a steady stroke and keep breathing consistently.  I wanted to stay calm and not hyperventilate.  I started slowly in the pool and allowed a few men to pass me so I could have my own space, and I felt great!  By the last lap I was able to pick up the pace and pass two women right before the finish line.  I had hoped to finish the swim in under 10 minutes, but was very happy with the fact that I stayed relaxed.

Jaycob jumping out of the pool to run through the finish line.

I am now in the best shape I've been in for a few years and I feel great with my running!  I'm really happy with my 5K times, especially after YEARS of a 10 minutes/mile pace.  I haven't had knee pain in months (knock on wood) and have gained a lot of core strength for injury prevention through yoga.  I hope to maintain this level of fitness with snowshoeing and trail running through the winter and I look forward to next year's races!

Getting our First Place Medals!


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