Brrrr! I just finished up my first little sprint tri of the season - the Cure Autism Now Triathlon in Bethesda, Maryland - and I had a lot of fun, even though I FROZE! It didn't get over 60*F!
I feel good about my effort and paces, and my supplies and organization. I majorly screwed up my timing, though - and ended up (I think) swimming 12 or 13 laps instead of 10, because I missed a few lap counter hits on my watch and I was relying on it instead of counting laps in my head! DUH! I'll have to check the official times when they're posted. But it doesn't really matter, this was just a practice tri for me (and for most participants) to start the season anyways.
Swim (supposed to be 500 yards) felt reasonably good - especially since it was in a toasty warm pool and we had all been waiting to go in at 7AM in 45*F with teeth chattering! My hands finally warmed up after about 5 laps. I think my overall pace was about 2:30/100 yards, which is fast for me (all open turns in a 25yd pool). I was hyperventilating a little (with no warmup at all) and just kept working on relaxing while having to take one breath per stroke, but I was still able to maintain a freestyle stroke the whole time (instead of bailing out to breaststroke as I have in the past). It was the honor system for participants to count their own laps - so I was extra-honorable. ;) The swim time counted all the way from entering the pool area to exiting, and they forbade running in the pool area, so the reported times will be a bit generous for everyone.
T1 was slow - 6:23 by my watch, but I didn't rush because transition times weren't being officially counted anyway. No errors, and no, I didn't take a nap - just used a little extra time to dry off a little, get my bike shoes on, pull on armwarmers (GLAD I brought those at the last minute!), helmet, and sunglasses; and get the bike out of the crowded transition area safely.
The bike leg went well! 3 hilly laps around the National Institutes of Health campus for 10 miles. Actually my bike computer read 10.5 miles, but that's okay. My overall pace was something like 15.3 mph, and I got over 33 mph on the Big Screaming Downhill we repeated three times (as fast as I dared, with a sharp turn at the bottom). Wheeee! We paid for it with long slow climbs the rest of the way around each lap.
T2 was slow again (I missed the exact time), switching to running shoes, and politely-as-I-could informing some guy who showed up late that he had taken my bike rack spot (fairly obvious, since he hung his bike right above my gear that was all laid out on a towel).
I'm not sure of my time on the run (2.5 miles), since I didn't get a T2 split, but I think my pace was between 11 and 12 min/mile. My hips felt stiff and my stride felt short and choppy, so it wasn't exactly a "sprint", but I maintained a reasonable jog most of the way through a hilly residential neighborhood.
Final time on my watch was 1:35:19, a little over my original goal of 90 minutes, but considering my crazy swim issues and casually-slow transitions, I'm happy with that.
As soon as I got back from the run, I had to immediately bundle up again in a sweatshirt and polartec shirt, and didn't really warm up again until I got in my hot bathtub at home! Now I'm ready for that nap! Those 4AM wakeup alarms come early!
It was a GREAT rehearsal and confidence-builder for the next two bigger triathlons that I have coming up in May and June - an Olympic distance and a Half Ironman distance. I felt a little dumb when I looked at my splits on my watch and realized what happened to my swim, but I think it's kind of funny, too. I needed a little longer swim workout, anyway, and I won't have to worry about counting laps in my upcoming open water swims! Live and learn!