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Lessons Learned from my WORST race ever

Hi folks! Virginia here. Today I competed in the Lake Murray Sprint Triathlon. Going into this event, I was excited. I had missed my first triathlon of the season due to the flu, so this was to be my first event. HOWEVER…..the weather turned really bad this weekend, and I almost backed out.

This morning, at race time, it was in the 50s, pouring rain, and the water temp was hovering around 58-59 degrees. Honestly, if I could have gotten a refund, I would have bailed. But I couldn’t. …and I didn’t.

Today was, BY FAR, my slowest race ever. I performed worse than I ever have. My SLOWEST sprint, before this one, was about an hour and a half. This one was an hour and FORTY NINE minutes (granted the bike was a bit longer than a normal sprint at 16 miles). I expected to be slower due to the rain, longer bike course, and my bum knee, but I didn’t expect to be THAT slow. I didn’t expect to be LAST (7 out of 7) in my age group. UGH!

So, in my way, I have to look for my lessons learned from this. Here they are:


  1. Sit in the WARM car instead of standing in the cold rain after you set up (DUH). I talked to too many people and just got frigid to the bone. I should have quickly set up and waited in my car. My toes were literally numb before I ever entered the frigid water.
  2. Two swim caps might be good for warmth, but they will give you a headache, which will be made worse if someone kicks you in the head. Wear one.
  3. Enjoy the slow bike ride in the rain because riding fast is scary on slick roads…and I’m not going to do it!
  4. Find out where the turn arounds are on the run so you don’t go longer than you have to or your knee that hurts like a mother.
  5. In the pouring rain of T1, you will get wet, so don’t bother packing everything in a waterproof bag, it just makes it take longer.
  6. No matter how wet you are, you can be wetter.
  7. My knee is not getting better. It just hurts. It will hurt during Florida 70.3. It just will.

I am trying to get over the fact that I sucked so badly today, but I am not there yet. The ONE THING that I am very proud about is simply that I showed up. There were lots of people who didn’t, so I know I was faster than they were. I’m 2 weeks from my 70.3, and today showed me that I am not ready. My knee is really hurting, and my cycling is still so slow. BUT….ready of not…I’m going. I may crawl, I may walk, I may get pulled off of the course for being slow, but I will SHOW UP. I will SHOW UP. I will SHOW UP. That’s the biggest lesson I’ll take from today, sometimes you just have to savor in the victory that today you SHOWED UP!

One Comment

  • Jason Gibson

    May 5, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Virginia, First, I completely agree with your lessons learned, but especially #2 – Trying something new on race day is always risky (I tried it too & it hurt). This mornings race ranks near the top in difficulty of all the races I have done due to the weather conditions. You should definitely be proud for hanging in there to the finish despite the rain, wind and low temperature. Ice that knee and rest for a few days. If you are up to it, let’s try to get out on a cycling coaching ride before your 70.3. Well done today!


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