Recap – Islandman Triathlon

I love triathlons for the sole fact that you get to execute three activities within one event.  Islandman Triathlon was a few weeks ago in Avalon, NJ.  Honestly, I had no true training plan…I had done a handful of swims and bike rides as well as ran at least once a week since signing up in February (I was going to CrossFit at least 2-3x a week).  I know, not the normal mentality of someone who committed to a race.

The week leading up to the event I panicked and rented a wetsuit.  Mostly because all my friends had one and I think they psyched me out a bit.  With rush delivery, the suit came Thursday night.  Holy crap those things are not easy to get on!  I got a workout just trying to get that thing on.  Also, if that is how spanks feels, god bless the ladies that wear them because that wet suit was really snug!


We are fortunate enough to have friends that let us crash at their place in Cape May.  It was about 30 minutes from the race, but hey, FREE weekend at the shore!  Instead of the usual carb loading pre race dinner, I cooked for all of us – Gwyneth Paltrow’s Zuni Sheet Pan Chicken with a salad (quinoa, beets, beet greens, kale, chickpeas, blueberries, and EVOO/spices).  There may have also been a couple glasses of wine.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to bed as early as I would’ve liked before a race.

I woke up at 4:50am, walked and fed the dog (so he wouldn’t wake up the rest of the house being impatient), kicked the husband, Zach, out of bed so he could get ready while I got my stuff together.  On our way out, I grabbed the breakfast I had prepped for us the previous day – hard boiled eggs, sweet potato, and avocado.

As we are walking to the transition area with all my stuff, I yelled out that I couldn’t remember if I had packed my socks.  I thought I must be losing it because I had laid out everything on the bed and then threw it into my bag.  We set up all my stuff: put the bike on the rack, laid out my running and biking shoes, the towel to dry off my feet from the swim/beach, water/snacks BUT where the F were my socks AND TIMING CHIP?!?! Yup, left them back in Cape May….so Zach went back to get them – it was like 6:30am at this point.


At 7:05am we gathered on the beach for them to make the executive decision that the swim was going to be cancelled and replaced with a half mile run plus a quarter mile run to the transition.  I was bummed that I wasn’t going to be able to use the wetsuit I rented for the ocean swim, I was looking forward to testing it out and get a feel for it.  However, I was (1) happy that we were going to be safe and didn’t need to worry about drowning in the “angry” ocean (a storm was rolling in), (2) knew my time would be better without the swim, and (3) SOOOO HAPPY to not have to wrestle in and out of that wetsuit which would’ve killed my transition time (which would put me further behind my friends, duh)!

The race started. For some reason my age group is last, WTF is up with that?! I could see the dark clouds coming in from the south and knew the storm was going to hit us during the race and thought there was a chance the triathlon was going to be called.  I looked up to the transition area, Zach couldn’t be found – oh well, I’m not going to have an official time for this race…

And we are off, running on the beach.  FUCK ME, running on the beach in sneakers is difficult.  I was terrified of rolling my ankles so I slowed down trying to avoid it.  The rain started and was coming down fairly hard after the turnaround back to the start line and up to the transition.  By the look of the clouds, I was waiting for the lightening.

I saw zach as I approached the transition area and got my socks, but he had dropped the timing chip somewhere on the walk over.  Welp, guess I won’t have a time AND I’m going to have to pay for the chip…this race is going just spectacular.

While eating a coconut fat ball, I put my socks and biking shoes on, took a swig of water, and grabbed my bike and helmet.  All I had to do was 3 laps around Avalon in the rain, 12 miles.  Fortunately, it was a small race so the roads weren’t crowded.  The first lap it drizzled but eventually stopped.  There weren’t many turns, we were biking a rectangular course.  I find it extremely uncomfortable sitting on a bike, it just hurts my crotch, and no I wasn’t wearing biking/tri shorts. I was wearing running shorts because that’s just how I do it.  During lap 2 my thighs started chaffing from the seat (that made showering a lot of fun later).  I made the turn to the final stretch of my third lap and instantly heard my best friend cheering for me, guess she made it after all (she had texted me right before the race saying it was pouring in Cape May, so I had basically written her off).  They were having everyone get off their bikes before entering the transition area….I definitely scared everyone around me as I tried to unclick my shoes and get off the bike….I still have no idea how to get off my bike!  Whatever, I didn’t fall, that’s all that matters.


I racked my bike, threw another coconut fat ball into mouth, ripped my shoes and socks off, threw my water bottle at my best friend to bring to the finish line, and I was off running back to the beach.  After running 3/4 of a mile on the beach in sneakers, there was no way I was doing that again – barefoot it was.  I settled into a nice rhythm on the 5K and mostly ran on the part of the beach where the water crashed which kept me cool.  On the final lap, I must have zoned out, all I saw was a cone and went to turn around.  The ladies there started yelling at me asking if I was doing the kid race.  Why would they ask me that, I know people think I look young, but come on?!?!  Well turns out that was the turnaround for the kid tri that was being kicked off at 9am.  What an idiot, there were plenty of others still running, I have no idea what I was thinking!  Anyway, I turned back around to go find the right turnaround for the adult tri.  As I was coming up to the finish line, I zoned out again and just booked it through to the end where my friends were hanging waiting for the last one to finish at 1:23:24.


What is up next? Not sure, but leaving my options open and not committing to any triathlons yet.  But there are three I’m eyeing up this summer.

Times according to my Garmin:

  • Run: ¾ mile in 6:44
  • T1: 2:05
  • Bike: 12 miles in 45:53
  • T2: 2:04
  • Run: 5K in 26:37

My support team