Sunday, May 4, 2014

Esprit de She Race Recap!!

Today was the 'women's only', Esprit de She triathlon, and it was absolutely AMAZING! Last year was their first year with the race and I had signed up for it, but the night before the race I got super sick and wasn't able to do it. So I was beyond excited to do it this year!
Since I was registered for last years inaugural race, I was considered a "Founding Finish" and holy cow does that mean VIP!! Not only did we get a free tank top in the mail months before the race, but at packet pick-up, we had our own 'line' to get our stuff from- which meant NO waiting! We also got customized race bibs with our names on it- very cool!

I met up with Maria and when I went into the transition area to drop off my bike she told me "Founding Finishers" had their own racks! Say what?! Seriously, unbelievable! I was able to get a spot right next to Maria and there were a total of FOUR bikes on our rack.
The Sign said '16 bikes per rack', but it wasn't even close to that! 
After packet pick-up and headed home and 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' made me the BEST pre-race dinner! It was my usual pasta with broccoli and chicken, but he actually did more than just throw too much garlic, salt, and peper on it, like I do- and it tasted amazing!

Since the race started at 6:30am we woke up bright and early and headed down to Tempe Town Lake. (I switched out my typical bagel with peanut butter for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and it really made a difference! I definitely think I'll be sticking with this from now on. I felt great the entire race and never felt hungry or out of energy!)
Once we got down there, I set up my transition area hung out with Maria before the start. We found 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' and some friends too! For some reason I was SO nervous getting into the water for this race- like Ironman nervous.

Since we were doing the Olympic distance, we were the first wave to go off. We got into the water (which felt great!) and made our way to the start line. Still ridiculously nervous. Out of no where the horn sounded and we all took off. I started somewhere in the middle, but found myself towards the front of the pack that I had to use the lead boat to sight off of. Which was a new experience for me. Usually, there are so many other swimmers I just follow the crowd and use the buoys to sight.
I had the swim of my life- literally! I've never had a better swim-- ever! I was gliding through the water, felt like I holding a good pace, stayed focused, and swam so straight I touched every buoy. Since the Olympic distance started first, on our way back we merged with the sprint and super-sprint girls. Things got a little hectic at this point with us racing to the finish- and I felt bad for the beginners who were floating on their backs trying to calm down or the girls holding onto the buoys trying to catch their breath. (But again, it was all women and I, luckily, had ZERO contact with anyone. If they heard or saw someone coming behind them- they would move over a little bit (I did this too, to avoid contact). If two girls bumped into each other- they both moved away. It was awesome!)

I finished the swim feeling on-top-of-the-world, and quickly exited the water, got my wet suit stripped off, and ran into transition. Along the way I passed some friends who were cheering and heard 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' loudly yelling "GO BABE!!" Cutest thing ever! :)
One of the best wet suit strippers I've ever had! He definitely knew what he was doing and was REALLY fast!
As I was finishing up in transition I went to put on my helmet and heard the 'click' for the chin strap... but I stil felt 2 (individual) straps hanging down? I looked at what was going on and my helmet strap broke!! I had to spend another 20 seconds fixing it, but I got it fixed and quickly headed off on the bike. I was continuously pushing the pace and it felt good. There were a few hills (ahem, Curry Hill!) and those were brutal! I felt like I was going so slow I was going to stop pedaling and tip over!

The bike course was two loops and it turned into a ghost town after the first loop and losing all the sprint athletes. I ate a few Honey Stinger chews along the way and drank both my bottles of water. Coming into transition off the bike I felt better than I ever have and ready for the run.

I quickly racked my bike (which was a piece of cake with all the room I had!) and grabbed a water bottle and took off on the run. I ran passed some friends cheering and it really helped. At this point, the sun was out and it was hot. Everyone looked miserable on the run, I cheered for most of the girls I passed hoping it would make the run more enjoyable for them and for me.

It was an out and back course that we did twice (for the Olympic distance) and after finishing that first loop I thought there was no way I was going to be able to finish another. Physically, I felt fine but I could feel my shoulders getting sunburned and the heat was quickly draining my energy and my pace slowed.
It was nice to see Maria twice throughout the run and towards the end of the second loop I saw 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter'--made my day!! He had just finished his 13 miles run (while I was on the bike) and still ran with me, asking me how I felt and telling me I was almost done. (He really is the BEST cheerleader ever!!) As we were coming up to the finish, he told me to finish strong (but not that fast because he needed time to get to the finish line- haha!!)
I'm so lucky to have him out there! 
When I came up to the finish, they were holding finisher tape and I was really confused. I knew there was no way I won so I tried to go around the tape thinking it was for someone else (maybe someone winning their Age Group?) and they wouldn't let me pass so I had to run through it. (I later found out that they did it for everyone who finished- pretty cool! I wish I would have known and not been so awkward!)
From Instragram: TeamSprinklesAndGlitter
My offical time was 3:16, which is in no way a PR for me- which I was pretty disappointed with after the amazing swim and bike I had. But I found 'Mr. Sprinkles and Glitter' and we cheered on Maria as she finished. (She did awesome and PR'd!!) After we took a few photos, we got all of our stuff together and headed home.

***Since Esprit de She is an all girls triathlon and there are SO many first timers or beginners, the atmosphere is so much different than most races. In transition you will see everything from Wal-Mart mountain bikes to bikes worth 10k. Everyone participating is there is so supportive and encouraging- as I passed people (or got passed) it seemed like everyone was saying 'good job girl!' or 'you look great, keep going!' and it was a really cool experience. I will definitely be back every year for this race!!

*Have you ever done an all-girls race or event? 

*Do you cheer/support people while you're racing?


  1. I'm sorry you were disappointed with your time but the race sounds pretty great overall. I love the enthusiasm and encouragement that it sounds like it had for everyone racing!

    Congrats on your race!

  2. Thank you!! It is definitely one of those races that you leave still feeling great! It's so well organized and they all really go out of their way to support, encourage, and make sure everyone is having a good time. It's a great race!