This weekend was my 4th annual Steelman triathlon. This race is always a little extra special because my uncle has raced 3 out of 4 of them with me. Now, if you know anything about triathlons, you know that it’s almost impossible to really race with someone because of different wave starts, and some smaller races start the men first, and then the women, but it doesn’t matter, he’s out on the course with me, and that’s an awesome feeling!
The Steelman was actually my first official sprint distance triathlon, and my hunger for the sport only grew from there. I remember setting up my transition area that morning, looking around at all the fancy bikes with blacked out wheels, crazy handle bars, water bottles hidden in bike frames, and wondering what people needed with all that stuff. I had brand new smooth tires on my Trek mountain bike, and I was ready to go! Well, you know the sound that race cars make as they go around the track? Yea, that’s about all I heard as all those little fancy bikes blew past me. It was at that moment I realized there was a bigger science behind this sport, and I wanted to know more. Three bikes later, my brand new, well new to my 2013 racing season, trek speed concept 7.8 made its debut on the Steelman’s “rolling hills” bike course. I call him Ralph. We were amazing together! (haha, that just sounds funny)
Disclaimer: I am not paid/endorsed/sponsored by Trek in any way to mention their bikes. Approximately 5 years ago I walked into my local bike shop looking for a mountain bike for some single track riding, and they sold me a trek. I fell in love with it. Not only the look of the trek, but the components. It’s what I know, so the 3 bikes after that first 1 I bought were all not only from the same bike shop, but they were also all Trek’s. I’m loyal to what I know, as long as it’s quality.
Sunday was a fantastic day for a triathlon. Calm morning, sun was out, humidity was low, and the energy was all around. My normal cheering squad was out in full force which included my mom, son, sister, and nephew. My aunt was also there cheering, because as I said before, my uncle raced as well. We both made it through the race mildly unscathed, and are already making plans for next year. My uncle’s goal was to come in under 2 hours, which he succeeded at. My goal was to try to PR by shaving a little bit of time off each sport, which I also succeeded at. I PR’d by 2 mins. I was also 5th in my age group, and 18th out of 254 women total.
It’s crazy to look at the progress I’ve made over the last 4 years of racing. I have all of my racing bibs in a photo album that also lists my results from each race, whether it was a triathlon, 5K, 10K, half marathon, etc… I leave the book sitting out on my end table at home so whenever I need that extra nudge off the couch to workout, or a subtle reminder that I am making progress even though I have a bad workout, it’s right in front of me.
Next year’s Steelman triathlon will most likely be a recovery race for me, seeing that it will be 2 weeks after Lake Placid. I initially wasn’t sure if it would be possible to race or not, but to my surprise, there were multiple athletes walking around race morning with their Ironman Lake Placid finisher t-shirts on. I smiled a bit inside reminding myself that if all goes to plan, that will be me next year!