June 9, 2013

Race Recap: Esprit de She Sprint Triathlon

This morning I finished my third triathlon, the Esprit de She sprint tri in Naperville, IL.  The race was, in a word, awesome.  I am SO glad I took the scary plunge into triathlons last year, because they are a BLAST. If you have ever done a triathlon, you know that there is a lot of gear involved.  This is what my dining room table looked like the week leading up to the race:
 And that was only the beginning!  I feel like there are so many random little things to bring for before, during, and after the race, but I finished getting everything organized last night (and miraculously didn't forget anything!).  Race morning came with an early wakeup call at 4:10am.  Yuck.  I seriously felt like I was the ONLY car on the expressway as I made the 45 minute drive to Naperville.  I made it to the race site early enough to get a great parking spot and a prime spot in transition:
I was super pumped to get a spot on the end--these are the first to go because it makes it way easier to spot your bike and you have a little more room to spread out when you're in transition.  WIN.
What I was most worried about leading up to the race was the water temperature on the swim.  I have a hard time catching my breath when swimming in really cold water, and I already get super anxious swimming in groups!  The water ended up warming up to a brisk 70 degrees, which was better than the 68 it was leading up to the race.  Not exactly bath water...
The swim ended up going really well, aside from a rocky start.  I made it out to the first buoy without hyperventilating although I definitely wasn't in a rhythm.  I reeeally wanted to take a minute and catch my breath hanging onto a buoy or something, but I knew that if I did it would be even harder to get moving again.  I just kept swimming and telling myself to breeeathe, and before I knew it I was almost done.
1/2 mi Swim Time: 15:52
I ran into transition, found my bike with no problem, and got starting preparing for the bike leg.  Towel off, socks on, shoes on, helmet and sunglasses, Off!
T1: 2:56 (2 minutes faster than last year!)

When I was almost out of the transition area, I realized I'd forgotten my Gu Chomps, the only fuel I'd planned on taking in during the race besides sports drink.  Whoops!  I decided not to waste precious seconds going back for them, and figured I'd make sure to drink a ton of sports drink on the bike to hopefully make up for the lack of calories.  Oh well!

The bike leg went GREAT!  I was a little worried this leg a few weeks back because I'd been so undertrained on my bike, but after really focusing getting in some cycling miles the last two weeks, I was totally prepared.  I passed a lot of people, drank a lot, and just really enjoyed these miles.  The sun was out full-force, and it felt so good to dry off after that chilly swim.
14.2 mi Bike Time: 50:24

After the bike, I raced back into transition (on jello-like legs...), grabbed those Chomps, my hat, and my IT band straps, and got moving.  T-2: 1:57
The run was quiet.  It started in a pretty park on a winding path, but moved quickly out into residential streets.  In other words, the scenery was kind of boring.  I was feeling pretty good though--my legs quickly regained their non-jello normalness, thank goodness--although I had no idea how fast I was going.  I kind of was just ready for the race to be over by that point!
The last half mile or so was a killer.  I knew I was running fast, and I was dying for a walk break towards the end, but I kept repeating "PUSH!" in my head.  (I truly could only form monosyllabic mantras by this point!  #exhausted!)  It worked!
Final Race Time: 1:40:44. 45/100 in age group--I'll take it!
I then proceeded to collapse on the grass and refuse to move.  Oh except to get stretched out by the PTs and get the best chair massage of my life.  Esprit de She knows how to put on a post-race!  They even had people doing mini-manicures!  After getting back to my car, I had one thing on my mind:
Overall thoughts:  This race was awesome.  I went into it hoping to improve on my time from SheRox (on the same course) last year, and I did by almost 5 minutes.  Success!  I sped up my swim, run, and transitions, but most importantly, I enjoyed the race.  If you are thinking about doing a triathlon, I would totally recommend Esprit de She--it was well organized and just a fantastic celebration of women in sports.  Oh and did I mention that the race top is HANDS DOWN the best top I've ever gotten from a race?  Check out this cool cycling tank!
And now, with that race behind me, I am ready to focus my efforts back on running.  Marathon training starts TOMORROW!!!  (Although I think I might take a rest day for Day 1...I think I've earned it!)


  1. Congrats! This makes me want to do a triathlon! (though I think I ought to get my 5K under my belt before trying anything bigger... and learn to swim).

    This is the strangest thing that I thought of... how do triathletes avoid getting sunburned? Given that the sunscreen would probably come off after swimming, but no time to reapply it.

    1. I just put waterproof sunscreen on before the swim and hope for the best. You could put it on in transition I guess, but that would take so much extra time!

  2. Also, if you ever want practice with cold water, go to Tadoussac, Quebec. The water there never gets above 40˚F. I'm not kidding.

  3. Sounds like it went so well! Love hearing the excitement in your voice. And yes take tomorrow off.

  4. Congrats on a good race and yay for improving your time from last year.
    Cold water is always hard to get used to it takes me a solid 10 minutes to get my breathing down in races. There is always so much commotion and adrenaline pumping from the start of the race!

  5. That is awesome! This post is very motivational. I am training for a half right now, but I ultimately want to run a full marathon next year and a triathlon sometime in the future! You make them sound so exciting. :)

    -Janelle at Wild Blue Yonder

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog, Janelle! Good luck with your training!

    2. Thanks for the great detail, pictures and commentary - your blog is great! I am training for my first triathlaon - the Espirit de She in Naperville next month - and your posts were very helpful and inspiring!


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