I signed up for the Mighty Mujer Tri because it is a super sprint and early in the year – a great kickoff to the upcoming race season. The race would consist of a 300 m swim, 15k bike ride and a 2 mile run. All of these distances were completely doable but the hang up? The course is hilly!!!! Here’s how it all broke down for me:
Swim: This was my first real swim competition (I did a tri back in September but due to a gas leak, the pool was shut down mid race!!!) so I was nervous – would I be able to pass people, would they be able to get around me, would the swim set the tone for the whole race? To compete, we had to get our swim time certified at certain pools in the city. I was aiming for a sub 10 minute time and was happily surprised when I certified at 7:03. What?! I knew I had fallen in love with swimming and worked hard but didn’t think I’d surpass my expectations. Come race day, I lined up with all of the other women in the order of our swim times. Unfortunately, the swim was set up so that for 5 laps you had to swim down one side and up the other, only allowing for passing in the middle of a normal size lane. No bueno, my friends. Most of the women around me said this was the first tri and after seeing so many women almost (and a few that actually did) run into each other, everyone was petrified. I heard so many saying they wouldn’t want to push themselves in the swim for fear of getting hurt. This portion of the race was the only thing I heard negative comments about and I agree. I don’t know how to correct this for future races, maybe allowing more time in between swimmers? I know that I ended up swimming 20 seconds slower than I had at my cert. a month before due in part to getting stuck behind another swimmer with no room to swim in the middle because of oncoming swimmers and because I had a brief freak out in the water for my first couple of laps.
Bike: I’m really glad that I incorporated bricks into my training and followed the hubs advice for setting up my transition area. I was able to take in my favorite watermelon flavored Chomps, drink water and grab my gear with ease. I took a second to shake off the not so great swim so I could just focus on the next step. This course was tough! You can check out the bike profile here.One of the things that helped me keep moving was the cheering volunteers and spectators – including my own family! I cannot thank everyone enough for the support, it really made a difference! I was aiming for a time of 1:15:00 but managed to pull it in under 50 minutes. Yahoo!
Run: The run consisted of 2 laps around Memorial Park, it was hilly but not nearly as much as the bike course. Brick training bike/run was the easiest for me; lo and behold this was also the easiest portion of the race for me. I had one of those moments where things just clicked. I was moving my tired legs as fast as they’d go but I felt like I was just on a cloud. I was aiming for 20 minutes but ended up at 21, fair enough.
Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of me competing but maybe when the race website uploads some I’ll share.
I had never thought about signing up for an all-women’s event and after I did, I kind of worried that it would feel like everyone had their group of friends and I was the loner or it would be catty. But it was not like that in the least bit. There were some groups of friends, mother/daughter/sister teams, etc. but there were also a lot of people like me – nervously excited to take on the new challenge of a tri. It was a bunch of athletes competing with and supporting fellow athletes. Along the bike and run, I would pass someone and they’d say something like “go for it! You can do it!”, it was so kind I thought it was only right to say the same to those passing me.
And you have to enjoy a race that gives out wine glasses in lieu of a medal, right?
Bottom Line: Would I do this race again? Maybe. I really dread that swimming situation but the event itself was very organized, fun and a challenge.
What is your favorite or least favorite race? Anyone competing in a tri this summer?