Redemption at the Mach Tenn Triathlon

I just finished my second triathlon of the year, and once again, thanks to Egoscue I raced pain free. I’ll get to my race recap in a moment, but let me just say that if you are struggling with any type of pain and/or aren’t functioning at what you know to be your optimum level, email me ( or call me (615.771.8556). I’m more than willing to help.

Now back to the race. I was very hesitant about registering for the Mach Tenn Triathlon (MTT) this year. I had a less-than optimal experience last year, and I wasn’t excited about subjecting myself to this course again. The MTT is an open-water swim, and prior to last year’s swim, I hadn’t been in open water and instead did all my training in a pool. That turned out to be a bad decision. About 150 yards in to the 1050 yard swim, I panicked. And when I say “panicked,” I mean full-on freak out. I couldn’t catch my breath, and the reality that I couldn’t grab the side of the pool or push off when I got to the end of my lane had me seriously contemplating dropping out. I finished the bike and run ok, but it was mentally tough to come back from that swim and finish the rest of the race. 

Thankfully, this year was much different. With another open-water race and a couple other training sessions under my belt, I was confident that I’d do better. At no point during the swim did I think I’d drown, which was an upgrade from last year! The swim got a little congested on the back half of the course, and swimming into the sun made it tough to navigate, but I felt strong coming out of the water with a swim time of 19:42. To let you know how bad I struggled in 2011, my time was 23:18. Roughly three-and-a-half more minutes in the water last year compared to this year. (Notice how I’m smiling coming out of the water? That did NOT happen last year.)

The bike course was a 16-miler through rolling hills. There were a couple good climbs, but overall it was a consistent up-and-down course. Through the first 10 miles I was averaging 20 MPH. While I’m not a horrible cyclist, I’m definitely not a speed demon, either. Anything in the high teens is good for me, so I was really pleased with that pace. I slowed on the last six miles, however, and finished the 16-mile loop in a time of 51:11 (compared to 53:56 last year), which put me at an average speed of 18.8 MPH. I’ll take it.

The run is probably my strongest discipline. Throughout training I was running anywhere from two to four miles and maintaining a pace anywhere from sub-8:00 to 8:30. Again, I’m not a speed demon, but I knew that I could realistically be around and 8:00 pace coming off the bike. The four mile out-and-back course is definitely a challenging one. It’s essentially continually rolling hills with really no flat part to speak of, other than the turn-around point. I hit my stride early and was able to push myself a bit on the uphills. I felt like I settled into a really good rhythm and finished my run in a little more than 32:00 for an average per-mile pace of 8:05. Last year my pace was 8:55 per mile, so I was ecstatic that I shaved almost one minute off each mile.

My overall finish time was 1:46:53, shaving almost 10 minutes off of last year’s time of 1:56:40. This year’s race was, needless to say, much better than last year’s race for me. And, I had two of my best friend racing with me. When that happens, it’s always a good race.

QUESTION: What fitness/athletic goals will you accomplish this year?