“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” – Author Unknown
This quote’s meaning goes beyond the words. Sunday I raced a Sprint Triathlon (the Cayuga Lake Triathlon). This race means so much to me, not just because it’s local, but because the other athletes, volunteers, community etc all come together and are unbelievably supportive. It’s an atmosphere like no other. I highly recommend it. It was also the first triathlon I did 3 years ago.
The Cayuga Lake Sprint Triathlon first came on my radar as I work at a local run/tri shop here in Ithaca. Ultimately, after getting my 3rd tibial stress fracture I wanted to do something during the summer, and was encouraged to sign up. Unbeknownst to me it would clearly impact me in ways I never thought possible. The race you ask? I was 3rd in my AG, I did the swim by breaststroke, my only goal for the bike was to not fall on my face when I clipped/unclipped my pedals (I didn’t), and I just wanted to run fast. Needless to say I finished in 1:31:30, which I thought wasn’t to shabby.
This year was a little different. I knew I wanted to do CLT again because the atmosphere, most of the Ithaca tri community does the race, but it’s also a fun, relaxed, amazing event. Coming off my big build for IMMT I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but I was going to give it my all.
Pre Race: Easy peasy, woke up, ate and we were on our way. Transition was set up quickly and before I knew it I was relaxed, bumping into friends, catching up with my mom and just waiting for the sprint waves to start. I cheered Doug on (he was in the first wave) and did a little warm up and just waited some more.
Swim – 750M – 16:32 (actual swim w/o run to transition). I was really looking forward to this swim. I wasn’t nervous at all and was pretty excited to swim in the open water (sometimes I still get anxious). Before I knew it we were able to go into the corral and waited to go down to the water. At this point, the waves were a LOT stronger and bigger than when Doug went off, but for some reason it didn’t bother me, until we started. Once led to the water, waited a little more and really felt the power of the waves. Before I knew it the horn blew and I just tried to get out hard, like we practiced at camp. Reminded myself that the only race goal was to ask myself if I could go harder, if I could I needed to go harder. Unfortunately, about halfway to the turn around, I was having trouble breathing and was utterly exhausted. I had to slow myself down and focus on getting O2 in. Started a little side stroke to calm the breathing down (definitely frustrated by that), tried to swim again, failed, side stroke again. I followed this until the turn around – thinking thank gosh I chose the sprint – then I really got into a good rhythm on the way back. I just kept pushing myself harder as I felt I had to really make up a lot of time. The swim on the way back went FAST. I kinda liked it! Finally I hit the beach and just moved to transition. I just wanted to get moving on the bike.
Bike – 14mi – 40:36. I was SO happy to be on my bike. I love biking along the lake and have done this many many times. Once you leave transition you cross a bridge and climb for a while (like 3 miles?) and I just pushed, HARD. My legs were tired and cranky but I just kept fighting. I started to feel it but had some vocal encouragement to keep me honest just when I needed it (Thanks Joe!!). Once up and close to the turn around I kept note of who was in front of me.
After the turn around my legs start yelling more, but Doug told me to go ‘all out’ and so I was going too. I prayed my legs would be there when I got off the bike. I felt like I flew downhill back to transition and was sad to get off Timmy. I really wanted to keep riding!
Run – 5k – 20:58. Praying my legs would move, I was off. As I left I saw Doug run into the finish chute winning the race, which was fun. I kept moving as much as I could. My legs were not happy with me but hey – it was only 3 miles. Passed the first mile marker and used my mantra from the marathon – you can do anything for 15 minutes – and kept moving. I love this part of the race, you take the trail from the main part of the park and head to the turn around at the base of the falls. It’s shaded, cool, and absolutely beautiful! Who CAN’T smile at that view.
Before I knew it I was turning back around. Pushing myself, rather nauseous at this point (probably because I drank half the lake) but I just wanted to get back to transition and the finish line. Running back from the falls was fun because I was able to see so many friends! Before I knew it, I was back headed toward the finish line and was done! All I could think about was how SHORT it felt. Now it was time to wait and see how the other waves would go.
I ended up getting finishing 2nd overall and joined the top three women in being in top 10 of the Race. Definitely cool in my book! Also my Coeur teammate Jenelle was 3rd overall, it was awesome to share the podium with her!
Now, time to make sure I’m dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s. Some race specific stuff this week and then heading on up to IMMT! The countdown is on with T-12 days to go! A big shoutout to all my friends and family for their constant and consistent support and encouragement, I couldn’t do this without all of you! ❤ Also a big shoutout to Coeur Sports, Oiselle, Osmo Nutrition, My Chiro, Sarah and of course the Finger Lakes Running and Tri co!
PS: I don’t always train, here’s some fun pictures of adventures prior to CLT! 🙂