Westchester Triathlon

2.bike2runWell, I did it! I finished the Westchester Triathlon in 2 hours, 43 minutes and set a personal record in the process! This time bests by 2 hour 55 minute time at St. Anthony’s by 12 minutes, but what’s even better is that this time I completed the .9 mile swim in 29 minutes! That’s a 9 minute improvement! I feel validated in my swim training strategy, which was simply to focus on form instead of worrying about getting fast. Well, the practice on form translated into less effort and SPEED. I was consistent about sighting and swam pretty much in a straight line. I emerged from the water ready for the bike ride.

I felt good during the first transition. I had rehearsed coming up out of the water, through the swim finish and finding my bike–which paid off as well. There were lots of bikes still on the rack (a motivating sign!) I found mind and carefully jogged through the extended transition area. Now, the bike ride–took us through some seriously wealthy parts of Westchester. I felt pretty good going up hills and of course, even better going down. I paced myself and was happy to see that I finished the bike in 1:16–despite the fact that it wasn’t a flat course, like St. Anthony’s, I managed to average 19.5 MPH. Back into transition and ready for the run.

By this point, I’d been racing for just under 2 hours. I had a bit of side stitch coming into the second transition–it sort of feels like someone’s affixed a clamp to your lowest rib and has tightened. I thought if I just kept running that things would get better. After mile 3, the pain had subsided. More of gorgeous Rye. I was clicking off the splits on my watch. Miles 1, 2 and 3 were about 8 minutes, 30 seconds. Where was mile 4? Did I miss mile 4? Those mile markers are serious helpers during a race–how far have I gone? How much further do I have to go? The burning question inside: will I make it? will I be able to break my earlier record? I asked fellow runners for help–turns out I had missed the marker at the water stop. Phew. Only a few more minutes to mile 5, then mile 6. And then a sprint to the finish! Not much left in the legs, but enough.

A jogger in Prospect Park wears a tee-shirt that says, “the athlete is the mind.” It couldn’t be more true–you’re not really racing against others–you’re racing against yourself, fighting back the demons that tell you to stop. The reward lies at the finish line and the satisfaction that comes with acheiving more than you thought possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *