Staten Island Triathlon Race Recap

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! The weather was incredible all weekend in NYC – we finally are having the summer days that I dream of – sunny, warm days and cool, breezy nights. PERFECTION.

So, I signed up for a local sprint triathlon early last week. My intention was to race it if my body felt recovered, complete it if I wanted to, and skip it if my heart wasn’t in it.  I was {this} close to skipping it.  My oldest son and I went to his first minor league baseball game (the Staten Island Yankees) with my mom, dad, sister and her family. The stadium is on the northern edge of Staten Island which gives you these amazing views of NYC’s skyline – all while you are taking in a baseball game!

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We had a blast. My son watched a bit of the game, walked around with me for a while, and enjoyed some baseball stadium food (fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, ice cream).

There was an amazing fireworks display post-game followed by the opportunity for all the little ones to run the bases!

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bases

The only downside to the evening was how late we made it home. We took public transportation to the game (traffic can be horrific) and getting home was just a long process (we sat on the train for almost 30 minutes before it left the station). Long story short, my son and I didn’t get back to our house until just before midnight.

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Monkeying around on the train at 10pm! HA

I was in bed by 12:30am but then up at 2am to feed my youngest…so when the alarm went off at 5:30am, I had thoughts of just skipping the race.  But, I knew I would regret it, so I got up and made my way over to the race (15-20 min away from where I live) by 7am.

Everything about the race was easy. Parked in a large parking lot coupe of hundred yards from the transition area.  No line to pick up bib/timing chip. No line to use the bathroom. All reasons why I love small, local races.

The race was a 400m swim in the ocean, 12 mile FLAT bike (3x 4-mile loops), and 3 mile FLAT run along the water (had one small incline).  The bike course was where I logged many, many bike miles while I was training for Placid. And the run was where I used to run every day before we moved last year.

We were broken into 4 waves (every 100 bib numbers) which began every 3 minutes. I was in the 3rd wave. The swim was not fun. The water was really choppy and it was chaotic.  Lots of people floating, treading water and doing a myriad of different strokes to get through the swim.  I think I was hit almost as many times for the 400m swim on Sunday than I was for the 2.4 mile swim during the Ironman. I was out of the water in 12:56. Much slower than I thought I would be.

After I left transition, I hit “lap” on my watch to begin the bike time and realized something was up with my Garmin. It was showing total time but not displaying distance or pace. I played around with it for a few seconds and couldn’t figure out what was wrong (I think it lost signal while I was in the ocean). So I biked / ran the rest of the race blind which I did not like. :/

For the first time in a triathlon, I actually felt fast on the bike. I spent most of the bike weaving in and out of other bikers. I passed a lot and only got passed a handful of times by male bikers.  There was a bit of a headwind in one direction but thankfully, it was not nearly as bad as it could have been.  34:43 for the 12 miles: 20.7 mph – by far, the fastest I have ever rode 12 miles. I think fresh, rested legs + lack of hills made for a faster than expected bike time!

I started the run and my legs felt like lead. It was frustrating to not know how fast (or slow) I was running. But in some ways, it was kind of freeing. I knew I wanted to start slow and finish fast and strong so I didn’t push it too hard early on.  The course was an out and back (with no mile markers) so the only time gauge I had was at the turnaround point which I hit in 10:46 (7:10 pace).  I had a time goal of 21 in my head (7 min/mile) so I knew I would have to negative split to hit my goal.  But, I also knew that I felt strong and now had the wind at my back.  I didn’t know what place I was in since there were people who started 3 and 6 minutes after me but I didn’t see that many females on the way back in. I ran the 2nd half in 9:53 (6:35 pace). I was tired but it was that good kind of tired. The kind where you feel strong and are pushing hard. It felt amazing. Run time: 20:39 (6:53 pace)

Total Time: 1:11:18
1st in Age Group
1st Staten Island female
5th Overall Female

Full results can be found here.

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Facts

1. Priority shift. This was not a goal race for me, so family life and fun activities came first this weekend.  I would have missed the race over having my son miss out on a good time Saturday night.  Staying at the game, eating stadium food and carrying him around the stadium during the game trumped being rested for Sunday’s race, let alone even doing it. My family took a backseat for months during Ironman training.  My racing and training come second now.

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So excited for his first baseball game!

2. Uncertainty. I had never raced a sprint before, so I was a bit unsure about nutrition before and during.  I ate a cliff bar (and drank a cup of coffee) on my way to the race, had a powergel right before the swim start and didn’t need anything until post-race.  I sipped Cytomax from my aero bottle during the bike, but other than that, did not feel I needed any additional calories.  I had a cliff bar and energy blasts on my bike and a gel and blasts at transition (for the run) in case I needed it. Probably overkill, but. I figured I’d rather have too much lying around then not enough.

3. First non-wetsuit swim. I put on my big girl pants and made the decision to swim without my safety blanket – my wetsuit.  I knew that the small time advantage a wetsuit would give me for a 400m swim would be evened out in the time it would take me to take off said wetsuit in transition. It was NICE to come out out of the water and not have to fumble with a wetsuit or worry about how long it would take me to get it off. But man, it was a little nerve wracking to enter the water in just my MooMotion kit.

4. I need a swim coach. Okay, so this is not a new truth, but it was further reinforced this weekend. My swim times seem to be getting worse (if that’s possible?).  Granted, I haven’t swam since the Ironman two weeks ago, I was swimming sans wetsuit and the water was incredibly choppy so I knew my swim pace would be slow, but it was pretty bad.  12:56 to be exact.  For 1/4 of a mile.  UGH. The first two females were at 9:30 and 9:31 -so I was almost 3 1/2 min slower . Wanna know why this both makes me sad and happy? I finished only 2:30 behind the 1st place, 1:45 behind the 2nd place and 25 seconds behind the 3rd place female. If I can improve my swim time even by a minute or two, I’m on the podium.

5. I’m getting faster. Transitions were FAST. 2 minutes for T1 (which included a short run from the beach into the transition area), 58 seconds for T2. What a difference from my transition fiasco during my first triathlon in June! =) I am faster on the bike than I think I am. I had one of the fastest female bike times of the day (top 6 or 7 maybe). The bike felt hard, but it was a comfortable hard.  I felt good on the run so I think I paced myself correctly on the bike.

6. Short races hurt, too. It’s a different kind of hurt than I have been doing.  Ironman and half Ironman races are more of the kill you slowly pain. You never come close to being totally out of breath because your focus is more on pacing and going the distance (at least it was for me for each of my firsts).  Sprints hurt. Mentally, I found the race not nearly as taxing, but physically, I had to leave my comfort zone on the bike and run.

7. I will always be nervous before a race. Regardless of expectations, goals or how well prepared I think I am for a race, I will always be nervous in the moments leading up to the gun going off.  Other than the run, I didn’t have expectations for Sunday’s triathlon, yet as I was standing in the waiting area on the beach, my heart rate was out of control from the nerves. It’s a mix of nerves, excitement, anticipating, worry…and I love it.  The moment the race starts, the nerves become adrenaline and fuel. 

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Did you race this weekend? 

Do you prefer short or long races? I’ve always been a fan of the longer ones (marathon, half-marathon, Ironman), but have been LOVING small, local short races lately!

I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}.

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    25 thoughts on “Staten Island Triathlon Race Recap

    1. Awesome!! congrats!!!

      I raced in my 1st triathlon this weekend. It was a pool Tri (300m/8mi bike/5k)…something to get me prepared for my 1st open water Triathlon in 4 weeks (.5mi swim/16 mi bike/5k). It was just an awesome experience. Was kinda suprised to PR my 5k time by 1:40…TOTALLY didn’t expect that!

      • Congratulations on your 1st Tri!!! I think you can definitely have a fast 5k run time if you pace accordingly on the bike – your legs are used to spinning so fast that running fast feels easy and slow!! Good luck with your first open water tri – so awesome! =)
        nycrunningmama recently posted..Staten Island Triathlon Race RecapMy Profile

      • Oh and thanks BTW for teaching how to use the muti sport feature on my garmin…I have the 910xt also. I couldn’t figure out out to twitch between modes…then once I did it was reading Kilometers…the only distance I can convert is a 5k…so I too was racing blind. lol After my first split I just focused on my seconds on my pace and made sure it didn’t decrease. lol

    2. Great job NYCRunningMama!

      I raced in my second Half Marathon this weekend, with a 1:56:35 time. Not quite as fast as I wanted, but still a PR! I’m beginning to see that no matter how I do, every race is an opportunity to learn something new and better myself from it!
      Kate recently posted..Grand Mesa Ultra MarathonMy Profile

    3. Way to rock that race! The best races Always end up to be the ones we don’t give too many thoughts about… tFor instance, look at you! You didn’t even know if you were going to race this one and then you came in first! Congrats! Btw, it looks like an Amazing race. I used to live in Staten Island when I first moved to NYC and I used to hate it so much that I never bothered to take a look around it. Now I really regret doing so and that’s why I’m looking forward to the SI Half in October-hopefully the course will give me the chance to explore SI a bit!
      MartinaNYC recently posted..Running summer streets and eating around-my weekend recapMy Profile

    4. I prefer racing longer distances, but I think I’m better at shorter distances. I always vow I’ll spend a year just focusing on racing shorter distances, but I always end up getting tempted by the longer ones 😛
      Super impressive race, especially considering your lack of sleep!
      Andrea @ The Fit Scoop recently posted..Prenatal Exercise ModificationsMy Profile

      • You sound JUST like me. I think I do better at the shorter ones too…but I like the pain of a longer race more than the pain of shorter ones. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around training for a 5 or 10k…so I sign up for marathons and run the shorter distances as training/for fun. =)
        nycrunningmama recently posted..Staten Island Triathlon Race RecapMy Profile

    5. I am so glad to hear your explanation of the hurt of a sprint. I felt that hurt at my sprint a few weeks ago because I was killing myself to go as fast as I could, and it scared the life out of me to think I was going to have that kind of hurt for 6+ hours for a half Ironman. I’m glad it’s a different, more kill you slowly kind of hurt.

      I race in the same kit!!

      And thanks for all the encouragement you’ve posted since your Ironman! I signed up for my first Half Ironman!!!!
      meghan @ little girl in the big world recently posted..Weekly Workouts + Weekend RecapMy Profile

      • Oh girl, I was near tears after the Olympic and Half IM I did in June. I was exhausted after both and wondered I would go twice and 4x the distance. But you go a bit slower so it doesn’t feel as bad. Trust your training. You’ll be ready =)
        SO excited for your half IM!!! YAY!
        nycrunningmama recently posted..Staten Island Triathlon Race RecapMy Profile

    6. It’s so funny to me that you’ve never done a sprint triathlon- you just went for the full on real thing! Love it! As far as swim coach- if you love doing tri’s it would definitely be worth taking some lessons. I follow a few runners turned triathletes on DM and the ones who have hired a swim coach (even for just a few lessons) have really improved their swim times.

      I’m like you- it doesn’t matter the race or distance I get SO NERVOUS. Before the one mile race I did this summer I was a MESS! Even though I told myself it would be over in just over 5 minutes I might as well have been lining up for Boston. Seriously. All nerves.

      Anyway, congrats on such a great race! I think you definitely have a bright future in tri’s of all distances!!
      Tia @ Arkansas Runner Mom recently posted..Running to Improve VS. Just RunningMy Profile

    7. Woot! Congrats on a great showing! That had to have felt sooo good! Great job finding the perfect balance to pull it off, too. Keep plugging away at the swimming–do you have any master’s groups you can join? Makes so much difference!

      I used to love coming off long training and then doing a sprint–it always equaled great results. It’s interesting that that is true in tris but not so much the marathon to shorter distance running races (at least for me).
      misszippy1 recently posted..Back, recharged and (not) ready to rollMy Profile

    8. That is totally amazing! I am in awe! Congrats!!! I know what you mean they are different kind of hurts… I think I like the longer better but do more short ones..

    9. You mentioned you like smaller races; I take part in Parkrun which is free a timed 5k run for all ages every Saturday morning. I live in the UK but they have some in America and are always looking for new location suggestions. I don’t work for Parkrun but thought it might be something that interests you. There website is http://www.parkrun.us/