Philly Women’s Tri: the final stretch

After the race, I scarfed down some of the best bread ever–cinnamon raisin walnut bread from Great Harvest Bread Co, one of the race sponsors–with some fruit and water. I collected my things and changed my dripping wet shirt, only to quickly soak another one.

Sign of great security in the bike area: as I walked my bike out, a volunteer checked my wristband and asked me to lift my sleeve to see if I was really an athlete or just some opportunist looking to grab some expensive bicycle swag.

Evan and I decided our priorities were:

1. Shower. Twice, if necessary. I decided on hot water to melt some of the sweat and grime off, followed by ice cold water to cool me off and reduce any post-race inflammation.

2. Lunch. I picked at a salad at the Bear Rock Cafe and ate the roll that came with it. Surprisingly, I wasn’t too hungry. Later, I realized I had probably 250-300 calories worth of bagel, a medium hard-boiled egg, a quart and a half of Powerade, 1 package of energy beans, a large slice of bread, a 1/4 of a chocolate chip cookie and a mid-shower icy cold Naked juice tropical smoothie for a total of about 1100 calories. The Powerade alone was more than 400 calories. Using an online calorie calculator, I burned 1500 -1900 calories.

3. Nap. After waking up at 3:30am and doing that race, I was exhausted but I only slept for about an hour before I started getting cramps in my shins and ankles. I woke up and decided on another hour of stretching.

My post-race treat: a Dairy Queen banana cream pie Blizzard. My favorite.

I was in bed by 9:30pm that night and slept until after 7am the next morning. The next day, I was still exhausted and my hamstrings were more sore than they’d ever been, but a day of stretching, a hot shower and another early bedtime took care of it. Hunger has been increased these past few days, but nothing has been intolerable. I’ve been staying under 1300 calories regardless.

Now… for the future:

I definitely want to do this race again and will train for it next year.

I may consider doing a fall triathlon, if I can find one, but I hear they typically involve ocean swimming, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to train for that.

My goal for my next Philly Women’s Tri:

  • an 18 minute swim or a 22 minute 1.9 mile run (that’s a 5.5mph run)
  • under an hour completion of the bike route (17mph or faster)
  • a 35 minute 5k (a little faster than 5mph)
  • transition times of 2 minutes or less each
  • Total race time: 2 hours or less

Anyone want to come along for the ride?

In the meantime, I’m spending the fall working on my running training, maintaining/improving my swimming and biking and studying triathalon training plans that are more appropriate for those looking to enhance performance. I no longer simply want to finish the race. I was to shatter my first time record and look good doing it.

Also, although I trained for the Breast Cancer 3-Day last year, I’ve never trained for a race. Moreso than the scale, which has a history of being fickle with me and responding more to diet than exercise, training for athletic events provides clear, measurable terms of success.

I loved training for the triathlon. I had a clear workout plan with lots of variety (spin class, outdoor bike ride, indoor treadmill runs, outdoor runs, endurance training in the pool, speed training in the pool, strength training and stretching). I think the variety helped me stay largely injury- and boredom-free.

So, I’m going to continue to participate in them. Obviously, another triathlon. Perhaps a 5k or more. And my next race will definitely be the Manchester Road Race, a hilly, 4.75 mile Thanksgiving Day event not far from my hometown.


One response to “Philly Women’s Tri: the final stretch

  1. I am in awe of you. What a nice way to wrap things up, although I’m surprised you could even move at all. That Blizzard was very well deserved. I’m glad you took some time to yourself the following day, because I know your body needed it.

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