Triathlon #4

I did another sprint triathlon just two weeks after my last one. And guess what? Tim did this one, too!

I did the Tour de Kirkwood sprint triathlon for the first time two years ago, and since I wasn’t able to do it last year I wanted to be sure to do it this year. It’s meant more as a participation event so it’s great for beginners. They don’t give out awards or prizes and don’t announce people’s name when crossing the finish line like at most other races. You can still look up how you rank against everyone online though. And even though it’s meant as a beginner’s event, it’s a bit challenging with hills on the bike AND run portion. This shorter race gives me another chance to run through the motions for transitions—especially since I may (or may not) do an Olympic distance next summer.

These two beautiful photos are provided by the event’s photographer…watermark and all.

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The swim was 400m in a 25m pool, so we had to swim down and back in one lane before moving onto the next lane. I personally don’t care for pool swims—people are so close together and it can easily get congested. However, it’s a security blanket (in a sense) for the “non-fish” people who may need to hang onto the side for a second longer.

The bike portion was 10 miles with hills. There’s one road that’s almost a fake flat, aaaaand then you quickly realize that it’s not. Oh hey long hill! The two five mile loops allow you to see a small portion of Kirkwood, which is full of cute homes.

And lastly, the run! After leaving the transition area we did two loops through the park, complete with more hills. I once again ran slower than my normal pace during this race. I went out and ran at an 8:15 pace no problem this morning, but during the race I was hovering right around a 9 minute pace. Which, by the way, is a totally fine pace…I would just prefer that I was able to be more consistent with my running. Practice. Practice. Practice.

I’m super proud of Tim for taking on this race. He hates swimming, so he didn’t swim once to prepare. He did bike and run though! Since he doesn’t care for the swimming, he said he would just do duathlons in the future.

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Next up for Tim: Pedal the Cause 50 mile bike ride and next up for me: GO! St. Louis Halloween Half Marathon

—m.

Triathlon #3

This past weekend, I raced in the New Town Triathlon for the second year in a row. It’s a challenging race (and one of the more competitive tris in the St. Louis area) but I’ve had fun doing it the last two summers. My only goal this year was to finish better than last year. I ended up shaving about six minutes off my time this years, so I consider that a success!

The New Town Tri is just shy of Olympic distance with a .62 mile open water swim, 20 mile bike ride and a 4 mile run. The swim course changed this year, which I heard a lot of the participants talking about while we waited to enter the lake. Both last year and this year’s swim portion was the same distance, but this year’s swim course was longer.  So either last year’s was shorter than .62 miles or this years was longer than that. Either way, it was longer and my time only differed by 27 seconds from last year.

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I’m not very good about practicing the transitions, but I do run through them in my head. I definitely improved my times this year and cut my transition times almost in half! Last year, I spent 0:05:23 (5 minutes and 53 seconds) between the two transitions and this year I was able to cut that time down to 0:03:21. Obviously, there is still TONS of time that I could cut out. Prime example as to why I should practice those.

One thing I did practice and sort-of nail down was dismounting from the bike when coming in for the second transition. I’m really happy with how I did on the bike this year. It’s the worst leg of the race for me, but I also have the chance to see the most improvement here. I’m not a strong cyclist, but I was able to increase my speed and cut down my time by 5 minutes from last year. It may not seem that impressive, but I consider that a huge win to me. Oh, and I did successfully dismount from the bike without eating it. Woohoo!

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As for the run…enter some slight disappointment here. I consider the run portion my strongest of the three, but I ran slower this year. Perhaps I went overboard on the bike? I would prefer to not think that. Maybe I’ll blame the fact that it was probably over 80 degree with 99% humidity by that point. In all realty, I didn’t run that much slower than last year. I finished that portion just 1 minute behind last year’s time so it’s not the end of the world. (But it kind of is)

Official time: 2 hours and 7 minutes. Goal for next year: Under two hours.

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I’m doing another sprint tri in two weeks and Tim will be joining me. It’s more of a fun one and doesn’t give out prizes, but it gives me another opportunity to practice and go through the motions.

—m.

Pre-Race Jitters

NewTownTri2

My triathlon is Sunday morning and the pre-race jitters have already set in. Instead of focusing on the progress I’ve made during my training over the last 8ish weeks, all I can think about is what I should have done more of—more swimming, biked longer, practiced transitions.

I did this triathlon last summer, so at least I’m more familiar with the event overall. I haven’t invested in a wetsuit, so I’m keeping my fingers cross about the water temperature. And that I don’t eat it when dismounting from the bike. That would be embarrassing. And probably painful.

But it’s not like I’m a pro. I do it for the challenge. And because it’s fun.

“because it’s fun.”  Said like 2 people ever.

(Trying to pump myself up here.)

—m.

Drooling Over: Engraved Rolling Pins

As if my love of cutting and serving boards isn’t enough, I’ve found a line of rolling pins I love. I don’t bake many things that require the use of a rolling pin, but if I did, I would for sure use one of these engraved rolling pis. I mean, who wouldn’t want their pie crusts or cookies to have designs in them?! The best part? You can order a customized pin!

RollingPins Valek Rolling Pins Etsy Store