Triathlon by the Numbers


It probably all started – fear, doubt, uncertainty, second guessing – with IM70.3 Cozumel DNF last September. I was wondering if I was really meant to do this or even if I needed to do this despite how much I used to love it.


Then I fell and injured my foot. 2 xrays, 3 doctors, and 4 races where I just – IMHO – just sucked and the doubt increased/fun decreased exponentially.


I got pretty sick and some girl part issues (I ain’t discussing it here, but if you want to know details then hit me up off line) and I was pretty much ready to hang this game up.


But I’m not a quitter. Never have been. Never will be. I had to figure it out. I got myself a coach. Local pro, Suzy Serpico and her husband Danny (swim nazi extraordinaire) took me under their wing and have me well on my way back to my mojo.


After two weeks of following the training plan, I had what I considered a great race at the Maryland Women’s Sprint Duathlon last weekend. It got me to thinking…I’ve only been looking at one race at a time and/or compared a race to the previous time I did it. The question was “Have I been making any improvements over these past 3 years?” I wanted to see if all this doubt was justified. We all end up with injuries/setbacks sometime in this adventure of Triathlon and athletics. Does it mean that I’m not getting better, not improving?


Let’s look at the numbers:


Olympic Distance:

                           Nations                        Nations                       TriRock Philly

                        Sept  2010                    Sept  2011                     June  2013

Swim 1.5K         59.10 – 3.36/100m         no swim                 39.58 – 2.26/100m

Bike 24.85mi    2:17:20 – 10.8mph       1:38:19 – 15.2mph      1:58:03 – 12.6mph

Run 10k/6.2mi    1:31:56 – 14.48pace   1:22:41 – 13.18pace   1:41:51 – 16.83pace


What did I take from this? HEY! I’m getting better on the swim AND the bike. Nation’s is a flat course vs TriRock Philly which is wicked hilly so I am confident that I am getting much better on the bike as well, but, of course, need some work on those GOSH FORSAKEN HILLS. I was even getting better on the 10k after the bike until the foot injury set back.


How bout that? All is not lost.


Sprint Distance:

    Philly Tri –June’11     MusselMan –July’11      IronGirl-Aug’11       Philly Tri-June’12

     850m/17.7mi/5k      750m/16.2mi/5k         998m/17.5mi/5k       850/17.7/5k

S      37:20 –4:12/100     23:48 –2:34/100        34:15 –3:08/100      27:23 – 2:57/100

B     1:05:59 –14.3mph  1:07:06 – 14.5mph     1:30:26 – 11.6mph   1:06:43–14.1mph

R       32:28 – 12:42            41:00 – 13:12             48:07 – 15:27           42:16 – 13:36


What did I learn here? First, any swimmer can have a bad swim and panic. I did just that at the PhillyTri in June 2011. A month later, I was back on my game and got it done. Second, when the hills are not that bad, I am pretty consistent on the bike. HILL WORK!! Lastly, I am pretty consistent on a run that is essentially flat. Throw in a hill and I’m a mess. HILL WORK/HILL REPEATS!!


Taking a look at it another way:

                     Swim                    Bike                      Run

Sept’10      3:36/100m             10.8mph                14:48

June’11      4:12/100m             14.3mph                12:42

July ‘11      2:34/100m             14.5mph                13:12

Aug ‘11      3:08/100m             11.6mph                15:27             HILL HELL (B&R)

Sept’11                                   15.2mph                13:18

June’12      2:57/100m             14.1mph                13:36

June’13      2:26/100m             12.6mph                16:83      HillHell-Bike/Foot-Run


The message is clear – KEEP AT IT. Listen to my coach. Don’t shy away from the hills. Bike and Run Hill Repeats. Maybe even throw in a few run clinics.


…and this is all to compete against ME! To be the best ME in the sport I love. I know there are probably a bunch of my fellow Triathletes/Duathletes training buddies that are way faster and even place in their age group. There is always something to shoot for, but I do this for me and improving and getting better over time compared to my previous performances is satisfaction enough for me.


I don’t know if this analysis is helpful to anyone else that might be struggling with doubt, uncertainty or even the losing of their joy.  If you are thinking that all the work is for naught, check your numbers. It might just be better than you think – for you!