Race report for 2019 YWCA Women’s Sprint Triathlon for a 2x cancer survivor who still has type 1 diabetes

AMAZING!!! What a fantastic race report I have for you about the Minneapolis YWCA Women’s Sprint Triathlon that I did on Sunday, August 11, 2019.

I have been reading Let Your Mind Run, A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory by Deena Kastor and Michelle Hamilton. Turns out, everything that Deena and Michelle describe in terms of the power of visualization and deeply held beliefs, DOES play into athletic performance.

During the swim and run, my two harder sports, I kept imagining Deena talking to me. I imagined her telling me that she too believed I was a capable athlete, and that I could achieve the goals that I set for myself for this race.

I highly recommend Let Your Mind Run. After you read this little race report, buy it from Amazon or get it from your library!!

Race Morning

I slept super well on Friday night, and on Saturday night before the race. As I told you in my blog before the race, I scheduled sleep high on my list of priorities. It paid off!

I woke up at 4:40AM on race day with lots of energy and enthusiasm! I ate a bowl of oatmeal with protein powder, chia seeds, walnuts, blueberries and raspberries. Then I took sweet pup Sam out for a walk. Then I got my bike from the basement and with my triathlon gear backpack, I rode my bike over to Brooke’s house where Team Looking Sharp met up to ride to Lake Nokomis. My blood sugar hovered around 140 to 160 mg/DL which given how much exercise was in my near future, I was quite happy with!

Team Looking Sharp heading into the swim!

The Swim

I had SO MANY mantras ready for the swim. I got kicked more than 5 times last year, which totally rattled me. I wanted to be super calm and steady. I even called on my Guardian Angels and Guides to protect me during the swim. I realized that for 2020, when I do this race, I need to go to the front of the wave. I race in the Buddy Wave and many in this wave are not good front crawl swimmers and they are doing the breaststroke and other strokes and that’s why all the kicking happened last year.

This year, I swam wide and avoided getting kicked! YES! I thought about Deena and I kept telling myself I was an athlete and that I had trained and I could swim fast. My goal was to do the swim in 12 minutes or less, and my official time was 11:51.

The Bike

I love this bike! Thanks Don M for making this bike come into my life!

Last year, in 2018, I had a bad low blood sugar while I was riding and as a result, the ride took me longer than expected. This year, I paid close attention to my blood sugar, thank goodness for my Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor that sends my blood sugar every five minutes to my pump and my watch.

I also paid close attention to my bike computer, noting constantly how fast I was going. I successfully averaged 15.4 miles per hour for the entire 1 hour and 31 seconds that the 15.5 miles took me! I drank 40 grams of Skratch Labs hydration mix in my water bottle, plus I ate 24 grams of carbs in a Honey Stinger gu while I was riding. My blood sugar stayed between 120 and about 185 mg/DL for the entire bike and run.

The Run

Thank goodness for my run mantras! I kept repeating in my head, “I am a runner. I like running. I am an athlete.” Even when I took walk breaks when my heart rate got too high, I repeated this mantra chant. My goal was to finish the run/walk in less than 40 minutes, and YES, I did it!!! My pace was 12:41 and I did the 3.1 miles in 39:17.

As I ran, I smiled at everyone and I felt waves of love and joy as I was out there. I felt so much gratitude for the cool, overcast weather and for the excellent YWCA organization of such an excellent triathlon!!

Post Race

Thank you everyone for all the support and encouragement! My new housemate Karen came out to see the race and she’s now considering doing the triathlon with us next year! Plus she snapped some of these photos of me in action on the course! 

What’s next…

About 10 of us from Team Looking Sharp, the team Jenny and Brooke started a few years ago to do the Minneapolis YWCA Sprint triathlon, want to up things a bit and do an Olympic/International distance triathlon in summer 2020! I’m finally ready to go for it. As I mentioned last week, I haven’t done a longer than a Sprint triathlon since I did the Half Ironman in October 2009.

Lots has happened in my life since 2009. Namely, a second round of breast cancer, two suicide attempts, closing the company I started, going bankrupt in part as a result, and becoming almost entirely estranged from my biological family.

Thankfully, I am resilient. I have found my way back.  And there is another Olympic distance triathlon in my future!!

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