A couple of weeks ago I completed the Solana Beach Sprint Triathlon for the second year in a row and saw a HUGE improvement over last year! It makes me smile to see how far I’ve come. 🙂 🙂 Last year this was my first sprint triathlon EVER, so this was officially my 1 year triathlon anniversary. I definitely felt WAY more confident on the swim and bike, and even managed a sneak faster run in there too. I also had a bike that fits me!
The morning started off with an early wakeup call and a stop at 711 for coffee. This was my first time having coffee before a race. It’s not a normal thing for me, but I’m tempted to make it a regular thing because I heart coffee.
We then road our bikes to the start (about 4 miles away) and spent some time setting up our transition area. This was my first race post-Ironman, and it’s amazing how different a sprint is. Yes, I know it’s obviously, but you hardly have anything to set up, and you don’t have to worry about nutrition! I spent a lot of time chatting with people before the race because I ran out of things to do. I was more excited than nervous for once.
Solana Beach Sprint Triathlon consists of the following distances:
- 1/4 Mile Ocean Entry Swim at Fletcher Cove
- 9 Mile Bike on Highway 101 (with a few sharp U-turns)
- 3 Mile Run on Highway 101
This is considered a beginner friendly race, which is why I decided to do it last year. (Around this time, Team WODS was also formed!) This year I was able to be more competitive but also relax and have more fun since I wasn’t afraid of the ocean or of crashing my bike with my clip in pedals. I cried the first time I did an ocean swim last year….Yes, that was just last year!
Coach Trevor had 2 goals for me at this race: (I chose to sign-up for this race for fun, so he incorporated it into my Ironman training schedule.)
- Swim hard without a wetsuit
- Get through T1 fast
I think I succeeded in both goals!
This was my first time doing an ocean swim without a wetsuit, so that was the #1 thing I was nervous about. #2 was the knee pain I had been having. Ultimately, I decided it would be worth it to attempt a non-wetsuit swim in this environment since I have to do that anyway for Ironman Cozumel, and practice makes perfect. The main difference is that will be about 2,600 of my closest friends and 2.4 miles versus 60 triathletes and 1/4 mile, but who’s counting?
I continued to push myself hard through the entire race because my knee never started hurting (yay!), and I’m very competitive. (I can’t help it.) I had fun counting off the number of women I passed from my age group (25-29). The only time a girl ever passed me after the swim was when she was going to finish her run. I followed her until she went to the finish line and I started loop 2. I think she placed top 3 in my age group. While I’m a much faster and more confident swimmer than last year, I’m still not “fast” by any means, and I am probably below average in the triathlon world. Therefore, I made up my time a little bit on the bike, and even more so on the run.
Another fun personal success was that Jeremy didn’t pass me this year. His wave started 10 minutes behind me, and last year he passed me towards the end of the run. I finished about 100 yards ahead of him today. Close call! We both improved from last year.
I definitely recommend this triathlon for all ability levels. I had fun both times and I plan to do it again next year! It’s a great local race.