Fit Nation: No wipeouts, no rescues
June 17th, 2011
10:15 AM ET

Fit Nation: No wipeouts, no rescues

June 12th was the Naperville Women's Sprint Triatholon. This was going to be a warmup for the Nautica New York City Triathlon on August 7.

For the past four months, I've been training and learning all that goes into triathlon. Transitions, clip on shoes, changing tubes, fastest way to get in and out of a wetsuit, were all buzz words and now the time had come to actually execute!

The Sherox women's tri was a sprint distance and I was going to be doing the swim and bike portion of the race and Rosie from my run club, would be doing the run portion.

The day before I'd gone for packet pickup and sat through two hours of course talk and that really helped me get centered and get into race mode. There were at least 1,500 women registered for the race and a lot of them were first timers. I totally felt like I was in the right place. The night before I started laying out all my tri gear. I'd never had to pack all my race stuff in one bag before so it took me a while to get everything packed. I wore my timing chip, my race bracelet and my watch to bed– I didn't want to forget them in haste the next morning.

I woke up at 4 a.m. feeling queasy... race nervousness? I felt better after my cup of tea and some eggs. Transition area was going to be open at 5 am and I wanted to get there as soon as I could. I was there by 5:15am primarily so I could get close parking. I got my bike and walked a few hundred yards to the transition area. I was in wave 3 and got a great spot just 10 feet away from bike mount. I setup my transition area and was chatting with the women next to me. One of them was looking for a tampon– ugh– my worst nightmare.  I didn't have one but took a mental note to keep one handy in my Tri bag. With 1,500 women there, I think she eventually found one.

6:15 am to 6:45am was swim warm-up.  I put on my wetsuit and started swimming a lap.  It was terrible.  I couldn't get my rhythm going but at least I warmed up. It was time to get in line for the race start. The first wave featured the elites, the second wave were the survivors of ovarian cancer and the third wave was the relay. I saw a teenage girl who was in the survivor wave and it was a revelation as I wasn't aware that ovarian cancer struck teenagers! But there was no time to ponder, as wave three was called.

This race had "swim angels" – master swimmers who volunteer to swim along your side if you want. Georgia was my swim angel. We let the other women get a head start and then I started swimming. Only once did I have to hang off the ropes when I swallowed water and couldn't recover.

Also, the lanes had a shallow end, and you get to walk part of the course- that was helpful. The swim course was done in 20 minutes and onto the bike.

Once I got out of my wetsuit, I jumped on the bike and away I went. It was two loops around and I watched someone crash up ahead of me who was taken in an ambulance. Other than that, for the most part, the bicycling was uneventful. When I got down from the bike, my race partner was waiting and I handed her the timing chip and then I made my way to the race finish line to wait for her. She did the 5k in about 30 minutes.

I was quite happy with how the race went. My only goals for the race were not to be rescued from the swim, not to have a wipeout on the bike, and no hiccups during transition– so, I think I achieved all of that!

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. TriHardNinaLove

    Kas, what a great experience and write-up!!! I'm jealous that you have already had that much fun and experience, but soon we will ALL have fun racing together in NYC! Way to go!!! 🙂

    June 17, 2011 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. alex@wickers

    Your triathlon experience was extremely motivating to hear about and addressed difficulties I hadn't previously considered. To tackle these struggles the right apparel seems to make all the difference. I recommend the moisture wicking t-shirts and boxers from http://www.wickers.com. These apparel solutions are definitely worth checking out.

    June 17, 2011 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Dave C

    Nice job! It's great that you were able to attain your goals.


    June 17, 2011 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. HealthyMom

    Well done!
    Have you ever tried snacking on Gudernoobs?
    Check them out at http://www.woohoofoods.com

    June 18, 2011 at 09:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. The_Mick

    I can appreciate being happy with goals of self-preservation! I just starting riding a bike (just for exercise) in the past month. I got a mountain bike and even with the wider tires its a rush to go 20 mph downhill when you haven't been on a bicycle in decades. My primary goal is also not to wipeout and especially not to run into other cyclists, joggers, skaters, etc. on the paved trails I've been using.

    June 18, 2011 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. angie

    Its very appreciate-able and encouraging for women that you have done. i think every woman should be confident and hard working like you

    June 18, 2011 at 10:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Eggs?

    I cannot believe you ate eggs before a high endurance race. They are extremely hard to digest, full of fat, high in protein – all things you want to minimize before cardio stress. All I can say is that if eggs don't make you sick you're not pushing yourself much. At 180 beats per minute a heart does not need to waste energy trying to digest eggs! Most people eat breakfast because they are not eating complex carbs all the time and their blood sugar is falling in the morning. With complex carbs you have huge reserves of energy and are usually at your peak 18 hours AFTER your last meal and your energy usually doesn't wane til about 24 hours after your last meal. That is if you're not eating processed foods (garbage). So I would encourage all you breakfast eaters that work out in the morning to try slashing processed foods (refined carbs like pasta (non-whole wheat), multi-grain bread (whose main ingredient is unbleached wheat flour which is useless white flour), gravies made out of white flour and baked goods which almost always use white flour (because its easier to work with for the baker). Have nothing to eat and consume nothing but room temperature water (NEVER chill water!). You will see huge gains in your endurance and will enjoy pushing yourself so much more.
    If your waistline has changed from age 20 – something ain't right. Lean forever. There is no point in carrying around excess baggage. Wanna sprint with your grand kids? Do the above. 🙂

    June 18, 2011 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Phantom Fan

    I took part in a team triathalon once, I was supposed to be the back up cyclist. I figured since I was just the back up cyclist what I ate for breakfast wouldn't matter....wrong! The primary cyclist didn't show up and I had to race my portion with a belly full of oatmeal. About half way through I thought I was going puke. The feeling quickly subsided and I finished my part with the knowledge to never eat oatmeal right before a race even if you are the back up racer.

    June 20, 2011 at 04:31 | Report abuse | Reply

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