The weather has been crazy this year. Just when it starts to warm up, another cold front comes through and plunges us back into what is normally winter weather for us. Also, the triathlon I was most looking forward to this year was moved up 3 months. An April triathlon in Texas has a pretty good chance for decent weather, so I didn't think to worry about that aspect.
Until the week of the tri when I was looking at the forecast and realized that my first triathlon of the year was going to be 55, rainy and windy. I really hate being cold, but in an effort to be more serious about my training, I had stopped skipping workouts due to weather. I think knowing what to expect helped, but man, was it cold.
I learned quite a few tricks that I think could be helpful though, so here goes the race report:
I did see a couple of people fall on the bike. A few tips there: don't ride on the paint lines, they're slippery when wet; don't brake and turn at the same time, slow down first; and avoid any puddles you can't see the bottom of, they can hide deep pot holes. Just a general biking in a triathlon tip: pay attention to where the dismount line is and respect it. Heck, even slow down a bit before you get to it. I keep seeing people race right up to and even over the dismount line, then try to hop off their bikes and they end up totally eating it. Taking a few seconds to slow down, get off the bike and THEN start running is not going to make or break the race for most people.
I ended up doing the bike in 46:47, which was 2 seconds slower than last year. I did catch myself thinking about halfway through, "wait, I'm not racing, why am I not racing?" so I think I could have done better, but I also had about a 10mph headwind and light rain most of the way when last year was sunny and calm, so I figure the same time is really an improvement.
top 10 in age group goal though. I ended up in 16th place, 06:37 behind number 10. I still have that number 10 in mind, but I don't know if I'll reach it this year. I am definitely improving and I'm working towards longer distance goals. My next race has a 600m open water swim (my first wave start) and I'm doing an olympic distance training plan to prepare for that because I think the stronger base will help me out. Judging from past years' results, the field will be much more competitive than other races I've done though, so top 10 is a bit of a long shot there. I still have half-ironman in my sights, trying to decide if I could be ready for that next spring or I need to wait until 2016.
In the meantime, Sierra (who has been wanting to do a triathlon since last summer) joined a local kids' triathlon team. She's just getting started, but she's thrilled and can't wait until she's ready for her first race. We knew she was going to need work on swimming, but the coach let me know the things she does wrong are going to be pretty easy to fix. On running, she surprised me and kept pace with a 14 year old girl with a lot of tri experience during practice. She was one of the fastest kids out there. She hasn't had cycling practice yet, that will come up on Wednesday if the weather cooperates. Triathlon season is in full swing! Josh and I are also signed up for a half-marathon later in the year. Time to increase the grocery budget again, I think....
Have you done any cold and/or rainy triathlons? Any tips and tricks I missed that I need try out next time this happens?