Surprise! I raced my first in-person triathlon of the year, competing in the always amazing Tri In The Buff. I raced this a few years ago with my friend Karstin, and decided two weeks before race start to sign up!

Training for this sprint triathlon was a bit more laid back than typical for a few reasons. As I am gearing up for the September triathlon out on Cape Cod, I was already adding miles on the bike, swim, and run. When I took a look at my training calendar in Training Peaks, I saw I was already scheduled for a pretty decent brick session, so I figured hey might as well do the race. 

Ellie and I have really ramped up our weekend bike rides as well, venturing up to 30 miles a ride now, visiting Niagara Falls and every bike path in the area. It's been super nice training with her and seeing her grow in confidence on the bike as well. One of these days I bet she will sign up for her first triathlon and probably crush me in the process!

Actual race day was interesting. The weather was essentially perfect with cloudy skies and low 70 degrees. The water was a bit choppy, and I had an equipment malfunction at the start line... stupid swim cap .... but otherwise I couldn't have asked for a better race morning. The actual race starts as a beach start, and this year due to COVID  precautions we did a time trial start, where we would go in two at a time. Ellie got quite a bit of enjoyment watching all of us stumble into an extremely rocky swim start over the rocks and other debris in lake Erie. Overall though, the swim went extremely well for me this year, and I was out of the water in 3rd place for my age group.

Out of transition and out on the bike went alright, though honestly I was a little unhappy with my bike performance. I was hoping to eek out a faster time, but just didn't have great legs. In hindsight -- now that I've been to a professional bike fitter this week -- I have a lot of room to grow and change my positioning that might help me in the future. The ride though was otherwise uneventful.

The real test for me in triathlon is always feeling fresh on the run. My goal was to improve my run time this year and really go for it. I am super proud to say I ran the entire run segment, though my time was still slower than I'd hope for.... coming slowest in my age group which hurts the pride a bit.

Overall, I was incredibly happy with my race and I improved my overall time compared to previous years despite coming in with limited time to train. Although i didn't improve too much, I felt better overall and my swim felt much better and more confident.

I'm looking forward to getting in more training, and racing in September!