Sunday, September 2, 2012

SkinnyMan Sprint Triathlon Race Recap

I love triathlons, which is a good thing because we've committed ourselves to some lofty goals/races in the future!  Yesterday was so much fun and I can't wait until next year's tri season.

 Nothing better than that!

Let's start at the beginning.  Mike and I arrived in Skaneateles, New York around 6pm on Friday in order to pick up our packets for the race.  After that we checked into our hotel, about 15-20 minutes away from the race location, and I knew we were going to have a problem with the hotel right away.  Our room smelled like cigarette smoke, yuck!  I immediately went down and asked for a new room, to which I was told there weren't any and that no one would have been smoking in our room anyway.

We went to dinner and I hoped that the room would smell better when we got back.  Mike's parents came to watch us at the race so we visited in their room quickly before getting ready for the next day.  Their room smelled fine so I hoped ours would be better.  Not the case, it still smelled.  I went down again and this time a different employee gave me a new room. Unfortunately, this room already had someone in there (yep that was awkward)! He gave me another room key and this room smelled like smoke too.  I was going to give up but the employee said he could find us another room and this time it finally didn't smell!

We got ready for bed and set our alarm for 4:50am.

Race morning we woke up, got ready and drove to the race start.  On the way there I could hear a noise that slightly resembled a flat tire but I didn't think anything of it, although I did say I hoped we didn't have a flat.  As soon as we parked our car at the race the "check tire pressure" light came on and I knew something had happened.  I got out to check and there was a huge screw in my tire!  I could even hear the tire hissing.

 There are our bikes (orange and blue)

Ignoring the tire situation, we got all of our stuff and made our way to the transition area.  After staging our transition, getting our chip and body markings, we had some time to kill before the first wave.  We hit the port-a-potties and eventually we saw Mike's parents.  Mike was in the first wave so he was starting at 7:30am, and then my wave (the 4th) was supposed to go off around 9 minutes later.

 Ready to go!

We heard the national anthem and made our way to the start of our second triathlon.

Swim Leg (800 yards): Jamie - 14:31, Mike - 13:29

There were six waves total and we were both in the first waves for our gender (39 and under).  The start was a standing start and they had three waves in the water at the same time, so I was still out of the water when Mike's wave took off.  I could see him at the front of his wave and when he took off, my wave made its way into the water.

 Mike's wave's start

 That's me on the left turned in the opposite direction as everyone else!

We didn't wear wetsuits, again, and the water temperature was right around 70 degrees.  As each wave took off, around 3-4 minutes apart, my wave moved closer to the green buoys marking the start line.  Right before we took off the announcer announced that the lead male was finishing his swim and then said we had 45 seconds until our start.  I was pretty sure I could see Mike near the finish and then it was my turn!

I should have moved all the way to the front of my wave, I was probably 2-3 people back, because the first few minutes of the swim were really congested and I had to swim around slower swimmers.  I just focused on picking people off and getting to open water.  My wave passed the previous wave of swimmers (male 59 and up) before we even rounded the first corner. 

I felt better as we started to spread out a little bit and before I knew it I was heading into the last part of the swim.  We had been warned multiple times that there would be divers under the water for safety reasons and toward the end of the swim leg I saw one!

I finished swimming, got out of the water and ran up the stairs (as quickly as I could without falling/slipping) and made it into the transition area.

Transition 1: Jamie - 1:36, Mike - 1:56

I ran through the transition area and made my way to my bike, we had set up our stuff closer to the bike entrance/exit to limit the amount of time we would have to run with our bikes.

I threw my swim stuff on the ground, started my watch and put on my helmet.  Then I put on my watch and threw my socks and shoes on.  I grabbed my bike and I was on my way, I heard Mike's parents cheering for me but I was too focused on what I was doing to really acknowledge them.

Making my way out to the bike course

Bike Leg (11 miles): Jamie - 46:43, Mike - 38:17

Oh biking, this winter I am going to conquer you!  As soon as I got on my bike at the mount/dismount line I felt slightly winded, which is to be expected after the swim, but it took awhile to go away.  The first few miles of the bike had huge hills (Mike actually mapped out the course and it was pretty much the first half uphill and the second half downhill). 

Unlike our first triathlon, I actually passed people this time!  I passed two guys twice, we kept passing each other, and a few women.

Grinding up a hill

I felt really slow in the beginning and I liked that there were motivational messages on the uphill portions of the race.  One said, "just keep spinning" and another said, "the wheels on the bike go round and round".  Others just said things like, "you are almost there" and "don't waste the downhill".

Throughout the bike leg I made sure to drink some water and I think this helped me feel better toward the end of the leg, the extreme downhills didn't hurt either (Mike actually clocked his fastest mile at just over 22 mph)!

The bike leg had been reduced from 14 (which was then changed to 15) down to 11 miles because of construction.  I was slightly upset just because the race cost a lot of money but I was also happy because biking is our worst sport, for now.

I neared the mount/dismount line and ran into the transition area.

Transition 2: Jamie - 1:11, Mike - 1:05

I really thought my second transition was slower because as I approached my rack, I saw that someone else had put their bike there! I decided to just throw my bike in between two others because I didn't have time to do anything else.  I changed my watch to running, threw my helmet on the ground and put on my SPI-belt.

 After the bike leg

Mike did better this time on the second transition and remembered to put on his SPI-belt with his bib number, but he had his helmet on as he started to run to the exit.  He quickly turned around and put it at his transition area.  

Making my way out to the run

Run Leg (3 miles): Jamie - 27:56, Mike - 25:03

I had grabbed my energy gel but I quickly knew that I wasn't going to use it.  The first part of the run leg was uphill and it was starting to get hot out.  I wasn't sure if there were any water stops on the course, but I hoped that there were!

As I was starting my run, I saw Mike finishing!  I knew that he had done really well because he was ahead of me by quite a bit.

 Finishing strong!

The first mile of the run was slower than I would have liked at 9:30 pace, but I picked it up in the second mile with just under 9 minute pace.  The course was an out and back with a short loop in the middle.  There were two water stops on the course, luckily!

The short loop in the middle was downhill and then uphill back to the main road.  I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other.  As I approached the finish line I kicked it into gear, it didn't hurt that it was slightly downhill as well! There was an older man in front of me and I tried to pass him, but he just barely crossed the finish line in front of me.

 I'm floating!


Finishing Times: Jamie - 1:31:57, Mike: 1:19:50 

Overall, for not training for this triathlon we are really happy with how it went.  We know that we need to work on biking in general, but overall everything improved or was around the same as our first triathlon.

All done!

We finished out the day by getting my tire taken care of, luckily it was able to be patched and spending some time at the New York State Fair. 


  1. You're AMAZING! Maybe 2013 will be my year to try a tri!

  2. Wow, what a day!! So glad you got another room, but then the tire fiasco, crazy!
    Awesome job, congrats to both of you! That's great that they had divers, I hadn't thought about that aspect of the safety. And hills on the biking course would be tough! I was lucky that mine was flat, and I just focused on a quick cadence the whole way through. Way to go!

  3. Jamie you are looking smaller and stronger all the time. WOW!

    You did so terrific. I wish I could come cheer you on and ring some cow bell. Way to be lady!

  4. Nothing worse than a cigarette smelling room. So happy you got another one. Yuck! & great job to the both of you!!!

  5. You are amazing! And I have to say that cigarette smoke is the most disgusting smell now that I am a runner and healthy! Makes me sick!

  6. Great post and great pictures! Between the hotel room issue and the flat tire, it's great you stayed focused and didn't let either upset you. I had the same problem with the swim start--it seemed like a lot of slower swimmers positioned themselves at the front of the pack, and it was difficult finding open space. I loved the motivational chalk quotations on the road, too! I've done a few local races (Runapoolza 5-K and the Cazenovia Triathlon), and Fleet Feet Sports Learn to Run/Learn to Tri programs take care of these inspirational phrases. Congratulations on a great triathlon!

  7. Wow. So amazing. Really inspires me to want to try a tri (HA!). However, also very intimidating with all the transitions.

  8. Another amazing race for you guys! Congrats!! :)

  9. I miss new york state fair especially all the bunnies and fried everything. I also loved Skaneatles (sp?) when I went for one fourth of July weekend. The water is so clear!

    Great job!

  10. Very impressive job on your second triathlon! You guys both look really strong at the finish.