Race #2 was a virtual sprint triathlon, which was a 400 meter swim, 8 mile bike, & a 5k. I woke up about 5:30 am to head to Waterfront Park to do my virtual race. I honestly wasn't super excited about this race. My training hadn't gone great this week. My legs felt heavy most of the week, plus a failed attempt at a 5k pr was on my mind, but I said I would do it so I was going.
The whole drive I was thinking that this wasn't going to go well. I met two friends who were doing this at the same time I was. We set up our transitions, warmed up and it was time to start.
The water was a bit chilly but I started swimming and heading for our normal poles that are set up in our swim area to swim around. It was a bit rough going out until the turnaround. I turned around and found my groove. The swim felt very smooth the last 200 yds. I made it past the poles, around the pier, and soon enough my hand felt sand. I stood up and headed for transition. I looked at my watch....Ugggh it was a slow swim. I told myself to shake it off, put my bike helmet and sunglasses on, ran my bike to the trail, got in my shoes and I was off on the bike.
I took my time to catch my breath, get my legs under me and headed around the road on Lake Minneola. My legs felt fantastic. Seven and a half miles later, I saw Waterfront Park come back into view. The park had become busier since I left on the bike, and due to the number of people on the trail coming back I rode to where my transition was set up and took my shoes off instead of sliding out of them on the bike.
I put my running shoes on, grabbed my fuel belt, headphones & phone and was out of T2 in under a minute. Since it was a virtual race and not a USAT sanctioned race, I wanted music for my run. Running has never been my strong point in triathlon, but I am in the process of changing that. I got my music going, slipped my phone into my fuel belt pocket, and ran. Everything felt great. Just one foot in front of the other, I told myself. A few minutes later my watch beeped. I looked down, and was shocked to see I completed the first mile in 11:35. I went to fast I thought. This run is going to be a disaster. My body doesn't do this pace. I should have done 12:30.
STOP! I told the voice in my head. What's hurting? Legs or Lungs? I asked myself. Neither I'm fine. I headed until my watch hit 1.55 miles. Mile 2 had a little bit of elevation and was a little slower but still under 12. Could I average under a 12 minute mile? I took a deep breath. I knew I was going to have to dig the last mile, but I thought I could keep pace to stay under a 12 minute average. I didn't think it would be fast enough to pr my 5k like I had tried earlier this week.
I finished my run. It was tough. I caught my breath. My friend that coaches and trains with me asked about my run. I pulled up my triathlon data on my watch, looked down and was in shock. My watch read my 5k run time of 36:12. My previous 5k pr was 36:16. I couldn't believe it. I had set a goal to pr my 5k by May 16th and I did it that day.
From the first two virtual races, my biggest takeaway is still treat these like you're racing. Do your absolute best, and treat it as you have a timing chip around your ankle. You never know what you might do. Doing so well on my 5k, has definitely given me confidence whenever race season is able to start up. Keep training!