This past Saturday I competed in my first sprint triathlon.  As far as races go, I think this one was a little cushy.  A cushy triathlon?  Isn’t that a little oxymoronic?  Perhaps.  But I call it cushy for a few reasons:

1) It was indoors. We swam in a pool instead of a river or lake. Rather than transitioning on the dirty, syringe-laden sandy banks of the Schuylkill River, we changed in the locker room. We had 5 minutes in between each leg.  Sadly, I did not have time to blow dry my hair.

2) It was a shorter distance than most of the official races. This race was a 500 meter swim, 10 mile bike, and a 2 mile run. The summer triathlons in Philly will be 750 meter swim, 15.5 mile bike and 5K run (3.1 miles).

3) It was a small race. A total of 35 participants spread across 4 heats so no one was swimming on top of me, cutting me off on the road, (hard to do on a stationary bike, although there was one ultra-competitive chick who I swore would have checked me if given the chance) or crowding my run.

4) They put your race number on your hand instead of your arm. Truth be told, having that black grease paint on my arm was the only reason I agreed to do this race in the first place. I have fantasized about being one of those women for some time now. But quitting before the race started because the officials weren’t in sync with my costume requirements seemed a bit prissy.

All that said, this race was no cake walk.  In fact I can’t recall a single moment during the entire three parts when the voice inside my head said, “Gee wilikers, this is really fun!”   Mostly the voice just kept saying, “Don’t you dare stop!”  “Push harder”  “Go faster” and “Almost there”.  It wasn’t lost on me that in another situation, these instructions would indeed be fun, a thought which allowed me to crack a smile or two during the race.

This was a competition amongst friends. Dave competed in the heat before mine (and kicked some major ass), along with several other women who are very much of the same mind set as I am, i.e. life needs to get better, not worse, as you get older.  Jenny, Mo and Liz – you all inspire me to be a better person and totally whip your collective asses next time.

Next time, BTW,  will be in August when I compete in the SheRox.  Thank you, Liz for the gentle push to register.  While I had my doubts as to whether I really wanted to sign up for another go, I have come to the conclusion that triathlons are a lot like childbirth.  You quickly forget about the pain and only remember what you take away from it – in this case a huge helping of self esteem.

Now all I need is a bike.  A minor detail.

2009 Healthplex Indoor Sprint Triathlon Photos

Pre Race with my Posse


Pretending that I know what I am doing (I’m really just copying whatever Liz does.) 


I think I look pretty in this one.


I am thinking about oatmeal here.


Mo, Liz and I — glad that it’s over…


…and ready for more, right Mo?


My Results:  Goal was under 60 minutes.

  • 500 meter Swim 10:03
  • 10 mile bike: 29:46
  • 2 mile run: 19:48
  • Total: 59:37
  • Finished 6th among all women entered. (even the young ones!)
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