After a rough night’s sleep filled with vivid dreams of my bike handlebars falling off during transition, I awoke at 4 am to head down to Cherry Creek Reservoir for my first triathlon, Athleta Iron Girl. After warming up on the course for all three disciplines, I was ready to race. I was in the fifth and final wave of the race, which meant I had to swim through a lot of people to complete my 750m swim. Despite the water being a little bit of an obstacle course, I managed to throw down a sub-9 minute split (fastest of the field) before beginning an uphill run of 200-300m into T1 before heading out on the bike.
It is no secret that biking is my weakness. I definitely owe a huge thank you to everyone who has helped me and believed in my ability to pick up cycling. If not for these people, I wouldn’t have had the huge step I had today on the bike. A mere two months ago I could barely mount the bike. Today I had the 30th fastest bike split (out of 482) and averaged 19.4mph. I completed the 12 mile bike in just over 37 minutes. While this is by no means phenomenal, it is a huge step in the right direction. I have never felt as encouraged about my cycling as I did when looking at today’s split. I was amazed to find myself passing people on the bike and I found myself hungry to pass more. This is not to say there weren’t some low points on the bike. At the beginning of the leg, I almost took out a cone while trying to pass someone on a downhill. I was also far too cautious around the corners. I came away from this race with a better grasp of what I need to work on skill-wise, and with faith that I will also become a stronger cyclist. When this happens, watch out.
Running off the bike is still pretty new to me. I’ve done a couple of training runs off the bike, but not enough to prepare me for how wobbly my legs felt on the first half mile or so of the run. I was able to build into my run and complete the 5k in 18:09 (fastest split of the field) – not too bad of a time at altitude after swimming and biking! I was so happy to cross the finish line and finally be able to call myself a triathlete! I’ve already signed up for my next race and I am excited to stand on the start line a little wiser as a result of today’s race. A special thank you to my personal photographer (who also happens to be my Dad) for the photos below.