St Croix Valley Sprint Triathlon Race Report

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Henry's asleep in his bunny swing, so I'm going to try to make this quick before he wakes up again. My first week back was a very tiring one. Henry has decided that he doesn't love eating at daycare and would rather get up a few extra times during the night to make up for all of those lost feedings. We've been up 3-5 times most nights this week. Thank God it was only a 4 day week. I guess this week will be the real test. Speaking of Henry, as if I don't talk about him enough around here lately, I think his demeanor is getting better. This is giving me hope that he's a 3 month colicky baby and not a 6 month colicky baby. I really can't thank you all enough for the massive amount of support, suggestions, thoughts, and prayers you've offered me the last few months. I REALLY needed it, and you came through. We still haven't figured out his intestinal issues other than the fact that he most likely has allergic proctocolitis. I went off dairy again this week, but I'm not convinced it's dairy. Next on the list is soy and then eggs, so if it doesn't get better, that's where we're headed. After the LC told us that it was ridiculous to be cutting out so many foods and that she didn't think it was an allergy, she called back 4 days later to say that she thinks it's most likely an allergy. Thankfully, most kids grow out of it around 12-18 months or even earlier, but I still want to nip it now so his poor insides aren't so irritated.

OK - enough about that. You came here for a race report. This was the first postpartum race I'd done. We've gone to cheer on Steve at a couple of them this summer, but this was my turn. We layed out and packed as much stuff as we could the night before. I made a list of everything we needed to grab the morning of - diaper bag, my tri bag, my breast pump for the car ride, our baby, etc. The BOB and my bike were already packed up. Henry woke up twice during the night, including one feeding that lasted an ENTIRE hour. He's never eaten that much in his life. Guess he thought he was gearing up for a race, too! Our alarm went off, and we quickly busied ourselves packing up and heading out the door. The goal was to leave around 6 so we could be there by 6:30 (transition closed at 7:15). As I was pumping on the way there, I realized that the bottle I had grabbed to put the pumped milk in had somehow not made it into the car. That's when Steve and I realized that we had managed to forget the diaper bag, too. Great. Mom of the year right here. We keep a small diaper bag in the bob, so I wasn't worried about diapers, but I felt sick knowing that I was about to leave Steve with 10 ounces of milk, a hungry baby, and no way to combine the two. We made plans for him to go to a local 24 hour Wal-Mart while I was on the bike if needed.

When we got to the park, we unloaded the car and stopped at a picnic table so I could try to feed H a little before I needed to race. He halfheartedly ate and then proceeded to throw up most of what he ate. Double great.

Emergency feeding time...

I picked up my race packet and headed into transition with baby in tow. It didn't take me long to set everything up, don my wetsuit, and stop for these photos:

Posing with Henry before the Start

Henry giving me a pep talk before the race

The swim:
I've never done a sprint tri. The shortest distance I've ever done was an oly. This was the first swim I've done where I didn't look up and think, "Holy cow, that's a really long way to swim." I said a quick prayer of thanks before my start. I really do havw a lot to be thankful for. Soon it was go time! I sighted OK, felt OK, and was out of the 1/3 mile swim in 12:14 - not great by normal standards, but I've only been in the water twice since I was 16 weeks pregnant.

All smiles coming out of the water

This took me way longer than it should have. I fumbled all over with my wetsuit, my shoes, and with the decision on weather to grab my mini bike pump. I was out in 2:16.

The bike:
I've long touted this race as a great beginner race. I did their oly a couple of years ago, and it's my PR. The sprint distances aren't intimidating, and you can stand up during almost any given part of the swim. Plus, it's at the end of the summer, allowing plenty of time to train. Steve did this race a few years ago, and it's a good thing I walked through the course with him the night before or I would have been surprise by the GIANT hill on the bike. This ride? Not beginner friendly. It's slightly uphill for the first 3 miles of the out and back and then gets really nasty. I haven't reviewed my power data yet, but at one point, I looked down at my Powertap to see I was on a 7% grade hill. People were walking. I was in my granny gear and still thought I would lose my cookies. I was WORKING! My speed was pitiful. I was so glad to hit the top (and the turn around) but then quickly became nervous on whether I would do OK handling my new bike on a descent that big. I did have to break pretty hard on one curve that they had warned us about, but otherwise I did OK. I went back and forth with Katie, a local triathlete/runner that we know. I smiled and told her she'd be getting me on the run. I finished the 10 mile bike in 38:12 - a 15.7 mph average. I have to admit that I'm disappointed with this average, but looking at the winners, all times were slow on the bike. You just never make up that speed once you've lost it on the uphill, and like I said in my last post, you can't be too hard on yourself when it's only the 4th time you've been on your bike in over 3 months. I could hear Steve cheering me on as I came into transition.

Coming in off the bike

Much smoother this time. I was in and out in 1:36.

The run:
I've been lamenting for weeks about how slow my running is coming along. The endurance has come back, but my speed just hasn't budged. I had done a 5 miler a few days prior where I averaged 11 minute miles, and I was ecstatic to see an entire minute drop from my usual min/mile pace. I was thinking that 10:30s -11:00s would be a realistic goal given my recent training times, but my body had other ideas. I took off out of T2 with a pace that I thought was comfortably fast.

Starting my run

I was relieved to discover that once I was running, barfing seemed much less inevitable. I talked with a local mom (I think her name was Tiffany) on my way to mile 1. She recognized me from my blog and offered me encouragement that cranky babies don't always stay that way. I was shocked when I hit my watch at mile 1 and saw a 9:24. I wondered if I could maintain that kind of pace. At mile 2, my watch read 9:03. Awesome. I was feeling great. I was pushing for two reasons: 1. I was racing and 2. There was a good chance that Steve had a very hungry Cranky Hank waiting for me at the finish line. I was cheering people on as I was passing them and cheering racers who were still heading toward the turnaround. I was still feeling good at mile 3 - 8:45.

Still feeling good on the run

When I passed Steve and Henry as I was running toward the finish line, I shrugged and told Steve I had no idea where this run speed came from, and that's when he snapped this priceless photo:

WHERE did this run come from?

Heading toward the finish

I had 8:53 as my last split for a total run time of 36:13 - just over 9:03 min/mile average.

I got a little teary at the finish line. I had so much fun and was so happy to be back. Total time: 1:30:29 - 4/11 in my AG and 32/89 women.

All packed up and ready for some FOOD!

I found Steve and was relieved to find that Henry had slept through most of the race - disaster averted. He actually slept through me packing up my stuff and eating the DELICIOUS post race luau pork sandwiches that they were serving.

Henry was still asleep as we loaded up the car

He made it all the way home before waking up and being ravenously hungry.

I would love to do this race again. First of all, it would serve as a good measure of improvement, but it really is a fun race. Although I've never been a lover of sprint races, I think I could really get used to doing a few of these. It's a great way for me to learn to push my limits.

One year ago today, I was smashing my PR at Rev3 Cedar Point half. Last week, I did my first postpartum sprint. It's amazing how much has changed in the past year, and I'm excited to see how the next year unfolds.

Next up on my racing calendar is the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. I felt awesome on my 18 miler yesterday and was relieved to discover that my times are coming down a bit. There were several local running groups doing 20 milers on my usual route, and it was fun to be part of that excitement. I'll hopefully get in a 20 miler next weekend and will then be headed for taper town. It's been my dream ever since signing up this year to put a sign on the BOB that says "I did this last year." You know I'll be stopping for baby kisses on my way to the finish line.


Tiffany Mattes

You remembered my name! It was nice to meet you and good luck with your future races and Cranky Hanky!


Hey Tiffany - thanks for stopping by again! It was great meeting you out there. See you at the races!


You rock, Pharmie! I was happy to be doing a 5K at 12 weeks pp, you're a rock star!


Way to go!!!

Rural Girl

You look so cute and Henry is getting so BIG!!!!


Congrats on your first pp tri! Very impressed with your speedy run...that had to feel good. It was a pleasure walking with you a couple weeks ago. I hope Hank is sleeping a little better. You've probably tried everything, including this, but thought I'd mention it anyway...have you tried different styles of burping? Mayson was also really colicky after feedings (and still is sometimes), and I found that she takes to being burped while held upright (forarm under her butt) with her tummy facing me/face up at my shoulder. She hates being burped and usually spits up a ton when I burp her sitting on my lap.

Enjoy your TCM taper...I'll be doing the 10-mile and will look for you on Summit :)


congratulations! love the photos!


Congrats Pharmie! What a successful day in so many ways!) Looks like all you got your run groove back by getting back in the game. Woot woot for you!

Heidi Austin, PT, DPT

congrats on your PR!


You are awesome... that's all! :)