That Really Muddy Triathlon…Smithfield Sprint 2016

Welcome to my way overdue Smithfield Sprint Triathlon race report, otherwise known as my first mud run/triathlon experience! I wrote a few notes after the race so I wouldn’t forget some things, I’ve just been meaning to put the thoughts into sentence form and add pretty pictures to it….well today’s the day!

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I remember waking up and it wasn’t raining. I had my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t start or it would just lightly rain, but no such luck. It POURED. Thankfully, I finished before the thunderstorms started…

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pre-race and dry

I arrived to the race around 9-something to pick up my packet. I really liked that they allowed race morning packet pickup. I received my bib and bike numbers, the softest t-shirt ever and a pair of socks with pigs on them. Good swag.

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After getting my body markings, I went to transition (which was already a mud pit) to rack my bike and set up my gear….then the waiting started.

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I can’t exactly remember what time my race started, I’m pretty sure it was either just after 11:30am, meaning I got to sit around for a couple of hours while I waited for my start. I’m not one to sit around, so Tyler and I walked to a local coffee shop/bakery so he could get coffee, then hung out at the car for a bit before heading into the YMCA so I could line up.

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may or may not have bought this Boston cream muffin for post race noms…

The Swim:

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Oh the swim. I still have so much work to do on the swim. I have said it before and I’ll say it again: I really don’t like triathlons with pool swims. I get so flustered and nervous for who knows what reason. I remember I was calm before and during the open water swim during the Presque Isle Tri in 2014 (my first). Luckily, the rest of my races this year are all open water. I don’t have much to say about the swim during this particular race, it was a blur and I just remember being so happy it was over. 

300 meters – 7 minutes, 30 seconds.

T1- I took my time to make sure I had everything I needed/wanted on the bike-like going through a mental checklist. I didn’t really take the time to dry off because I knew I was going to get soaked on the ride (it was pouring rain at this point). I put my helmet and shoes on, took my bike off the rack and bolted for the bike exit.

1:58–pretty happy about this considering I thought I was taking my time. 

The Bike: 10 miles of rainy bliss.

As I exited transition and clipped into my bike I started hearing someone yelling “we need a medic” and saw a woman laying on the road with who had obviously crashed off her bike. Volunteers were surrounding her and she ended up being okay, but it definitely had me shaken up because I didn’t have much experience riding in the rain. I started out slow and built speed based on my comfort level. I was also a bit nauseous from swallowing chlorinated water so I held back until that passed (which, thankfully, it did). The course was relatively flat, and the hill I was so worried about ended up being teeny tiny (whew!). Before I knew it I was back on the stretch of road that took me back to the transition area and got really excited for the run.

10 miles – 37 minutes, 10 seconds

T2 hello, mud pit!

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By the time I got back from the bike transition was more like a mud run. The mud seeped through the bottom of my bike shoes. I took quite a bit longer during this transition because of the mud-I wanted to get between my toes clean!

3:43

The Run:

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how cute is this? The run course was marked by little pink hooves

I was so happy there was a huge puddle to run through once I got out of transition because my shoes were a muddy mess and I could feel some grittiness between my toes. My legs felt good and I was ready to run. I had a goal of sub-30 for the 5K and I could just feel it that I was going to hit that goal today. The funny thing about running in triathlon is that even though my legs feel like lead they are moving much faster than it feels. The second mile brought a couple of hills that were challenging but not horrible. Right before the turnaround a man passed me and I decided to keep pace with him.  Turns out he was an excellent pacer and it pushed me to pick up the pace (just a bit). I made the last turn onto the grassy finish area and sprinted to the finish. Tyler was at the finish line snapping pictures and I was greeted by volunteers yelling to “slow down!”and “be careful!” to the finishers because the finish area was a slippery mud pit.

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28 minutes, 10 seconds!! Super proud of this time!

I got my medal, met up with Tyler and headed straight to the food tent. Since the race started so late in the morning I was starving! My original plan was to take my bike and gear back to the car then go back into the YMCA to shower and enjoy my food outside, but as soon as I got back to the car it started to thunderstorm, whomp whomp. We decided to just head home and I completely pigged out in the car. BBQ, baked beans and cole slaw is my absolute favorite post race food.

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Final thoughts: I was so incredibly proud of my race. Even though it started rough with a bad swim and my transition times were slower due to the mud, I beat my goal time by 10 minutes, 50 seconds!

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4 comments

  1. Congratulations on beating your goal time!! You did so well! That’s a speedy bike leg, especially for rain. And a sub 30 run leg is mighty nice. Those pig hooves marking the run course are super cute….much better than the usual arrows. And why don’t more races have BBQ? Of course its the perfect post race meal. Way better than pizza.
    Thanks for sharing your race. I think you handled the mud with a good attitude. I would have been quite whiny. 🙂

    Like

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