My sisters and I did the Cap Tex Tri over Memorial Day weekend, and holy smokes…it was SO much fun! Like, way more fun than I even thought it would be. I figured I would share some photos and a Cap Tex Tri 2022 recap with y’all, because it has been a HOT SECOND since I competed in a race of any kind!
This was my first triathlon as an adult. Technically I’ve done one tri before – it was a Danskin sprint tri with my mom. I was 14-years-old! I remember training exactly zero, wearing a swimsuit the entire time (and throwing on a pair of those Soffe cheer shorts over my swimsuits for the bike and run – please tell me you remember those shorts) and not owning a very good pair of running shoes. I borrowed a bike from a friend, had NO clue how to clip in/out or shift gears, and my chain fell off when I was shifting gears on a steep turn. (Thankfully there was someone nearby who helped me put it back on so I could finish the tri.) I didn’t train for that race as a kid, but I still remember having fun. Because when you’re 14 you can just show up to races and have fun and your body doesn’t seem to mind at all..
Fast forward seventeen years later (!!) and I got to try out another triathlon!
My mom has been doing triathlons for about 17 years now. She’s so good at it! She even qualified for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship this year, so she’ll be competing in that in October. Legit.
So my sisters and I have been “in” triathlon world for a while. We all love being active and working on fitness, and I’d say that all of us enjoy all three triathlon sports: swimming, biking, and running.
When Cara and Kylee started talking about doing the Cap Tex Tri, I knew I wanted to join them.
^ This pic is a throw back to 2019. I was 4 months pregnant with Milo, and my little sister Kylee was visiting me for the weekend. We decided to kick off Memorial Day with a walk down to the lake, and we stopped at the triathlon finish line to spectate the finishers. I started crying!
It was a combo of pregnancy hormones and the sheer adrenaline and endorphins that I get in a race environment. I told Ky that I wanted to do the 2020 Cap Tex Tri.
Well, we all know what was going on in May 2020… So that tri didn’t happen.
And then in May 2021 I was pregnant again.
And so finally (finally!) in May 2022 it was my time to race!
I signed up for the Cap Tex Trip in early 2022. They offer three different distances: the Rookie (300 meter swim, 12.3 mile bike, 2 mile run), the Sprint (730 m swim, 12.3 mile bike, 5k run), and the Olympic (1500 m swim, 24.3 mile bike, 10k run). Cara, Kylee, and I all decided that the sprint distance sounded fun.
My approach for the training process was just to have fun. Like I mentioned, I looove the race environment! I’m not in the greatest athletic shape of my life right now after the past few years of asking my body to make babies, but I still love the energy of the starting line, the crowds, the music along the way, the volunteers passing out water and cheering on the runners, and the FINISH LINE!! It just makes me want to cry thinking about it all!
So I made it my goal to do 4 X 30 minute workouts per week for the 8 weeks leading up to the triathlon. If I’m being realistic, I did 2 or 3 workouts each week. Honestly, workouts feel tricky right now because I’m still breastfeeding Dayton. His morning feed is the biggest one, which means I wake up and my chest is all swollen with milk that needs to come out. It’s not comfortable, so I prefer to feed him before my workout.
But working out after the boys are awake isn’t very much fun because I’m constantly hopping on and off the peloton to deal with something…
So sometimes I’ll just try to workout before I nurse Dayton. And sometimes I’ll pump super early in the morning before a workout. Anyway, all this to say that it was not a very strict or intense training schedule.
Here was my training schedule for the Cap Tex Trip:
SWIMMING: I was a college swimmer, but I hadn’t put on a cap and goggles since my final Conference meet during my senior year. For the life of me, I can’t remember a single time I’ve done a swim workout in the last 10 years! I mean, after 15 years of competitive swimming, I was just sooo burned out.
But for my Cap Tex training, I wanted to hop in the water and at least swim a few laps. So I bought a new cap and did two swim workouts. I know…not awesome.
But swimming is the portion of the tri where I feel most confident. I looove the water (even the cold Lady Bird Lake water!) and I feel confident in my stroke and my form. So this part didn’t stress me out too much.
BIKING: I mostly cycled on the Peloton, because it’s so much more time efficient to do a ride at home rather than loading my bike in the car and going somewhere around Austin. The Peloton has been sooo much fun. We’ve had it for about 6 months now, and it’s really helped me build up my cardio in strength for this postpartum journey.
I got on my bike once, just to make sure I remembered how to ride. Ha! It felt fine.
RUNNING: This was honestly the part that made me most nervous, because I haven’t run in a very long time. I did a marathon in 2014 and a half marathon in 2018, and then I basically haven’t run since then. I started suuuuper slow and easy. I would run a 1/2 mile and then walk a 1/2 mile. I gradually worked my way up to 3 miles, which I did the week before the triathlon.
^ On Sunday, the day before the race, we went to the expo to check in. My name was on the veeerrrryyy edge of the sign!
My cutie sister all checked in and ready to go. Super Coffee was one of the sponsors, and since we went at the end of the day they were basically throwing entire cases of coffee into participant’s arms. Caffeine for days!
With triathlons, you check in the day before the race and bring your bike to the transition area. And then security stays with it overnight before the race. You have to do this because it would be wayyy too bonkers to have hundreds of people trying to load their bikes on the bike racks right before the race starts.
I was getting my bike in the car to take it downtown, and I noticed it had a flat tire. 🙁 I am not a great biker and I know nothing about changing a flat, so I kind of stressed about it on the drive downtown and hoped I could find someone to help me fix it.
Well, the awesome folks at Bicycle House (a new bike shop in Austin) had a booth set up and were doing bike tune-ups. They not only put a new bicycle tire, pumped my tires, and checked my gears, but they also did it all for free! They were seriously the friendliest, kindest guys making sure that hundreds of bikes were all set for the race in the morning. So if you need a great bike shop in North Austin, check out Bicycle House.
We found our age group (my sisters and I are all in the same bracket – the 30-39 women’s sprint group) and left our bikes.
Awww! I love my sisters so much!
My parents showed up, too! They drove Kylee’s bike down from Dallas and met us downtown.
We were all so giddy and excited!
Downtown looked especially cool with all the bikes lined up in front of it.
So we got all our stuff ready to go on Sunday, enjoyed a family meal at my house, and went to bed early in anticipation of our early wakeup time.
^ Up at 5:15 am for the triathlon! I’ve woken early for soooo many swim meets and running races in my life, and I still get those nervous butterflies in my stomach! I ate an English muffin with peanut butter and honey, some coffee, and drank some water.
^ I usually nurse Dayton at 7:00, so I had to pump around 6:00 so Nate could bottle feed him later. And then we loaded up in the car and drove downtown!
Yay! Heading to the race!
Memorial Day 2022 was beautiful.
The transition area closes early, because everyone has to be out of the way for the athletes who finish the swim first and come running through to grab their bikes for the second portion of the race. So we were there pretty early to lay out all of our stuff. (And let me tell ya – from a first time triathlete’s perspective, there is SO MUCH STUFF.)
Cara getting ready to go!
I mean, I don’t really know what I’m doing and I still feel like I had so much STUFF. Since a triathlon is three sports, there’s just a lot of necessary gear.
They had pump up music on the speakers, everyone was high-fiving each other, and there was such an electric energy in the air!!
My mom got there early to drop us off and watch the start of the swim, so she snapped all the pics you’ll see next.
^ That’s me giving the race volunteer a high five. The swimmers start in waves, based on gender and age group. This is so everyone doesn’t start at once and swim on top of each other. I jumped in the water just after 8 am. It was 73 degrees and felt soooo refreshing.
The swim went well. We swam in the portion of Lady Bird Lake that’s on the west side of the South First Street bridge. I know the temperature of this water well (it’s just a tad warmer than Barton Springs), and although my arms aren’t in great shape right now, I’ve always had a strong kick and I was able to rely on my legs for the 750 meter. I ended the swim portion in 50th place overall.
^ Running out of the water toward the transition area to get on my bike!
^ I went from 50th overall to 249th after the bike. Ha! I have lots of room for improvement in this leg. The bike course went up and down Congress, and then out and back on Cesar Chavez toward Austin High School. It was a 6 mile loop that I went around twice. Although I’m not very fast on a bike, I really had so much fun on this portion.
I was amazed at how fast people went on the bike! I would be biking along, feeling pretty ok about my pace, and then I’d hear this jet engine of a sound from behind me and a cyclist would absolutely SPEED past me on the left. They. Go. So. Fast.
^ The 5k run felt better than I anticipated! I’ve been running a 10 or 10:30 pace on my runs in the neighborhood, and my 5k race pace ended up being 8:35. I’m telling you – the crowd’s energy paired with race day adrenaline makes all the difference!
^ I got to run past this little cutie at mile 2!
Nate got the boys up and brought them downtown for the run portion. It was so much fun to have them there!
^ I finished 10th in my age group and 44th among all the women. So it wasn’t an award-winning race by any means, but it was fast enough to give me the itch to start training a bit harder and see what I might be capable of in the future.
The ending was HOT. My face was bright red! I finished sometime around 10:00 am, and by then the sun was up and the humidity was pretty high.
BUT it was just all so much fun.
Milo’s a pretty good race spectator, as long as he has some snacks.
Dayton was overdue for a nap by the time I finished, so I gave him a few quick squeezes and got a pic before he headed back home with Nate.
^ I’m pretty sure Milo is asking me for more potato chips in this picture.
And there we are! My sister Courtney was visiting for the weekend too, and she was so sweet to get up with her newborn and cheer us on for a few hours before rushing off to the airport. My brother Will was there as well, and one of Kylee’s good friends came out to cheer her on. The race environment is full of the kindest people! I honestly felt the good vibes from this race for about 48 straight hours after I crossed the finish line. I just couldn’t wipe the smile off my face!
The point of this race was to dip my toes back in the water of racing. It’s a part of me that’s been dormant for the past four years while I’ve been pretty much pregnant and breastfeeding nonstop, and I wanted to see if I still love it as much as I use to.
Short answer: YES!
The Cap Tex Tri showed me that I still looooove training, racing, competing, cheering, strategizing, researching gear, and pushing my body to the next level. I will 100% FOR SURE be doing this race again in the future.
If you’ve thought of doing a triathlon but you’re not sure where to start, the rookie distance is a nice and manageable way to try it out! And if you have a bit of experience in one or two of the sports (that’s me) but you still want something manageable, I loved the sprint distance. I will definitely be doing the olympic distance at some point in the future.
Oh, and there’s a relay, too! So you can sign up with two of your buddies and everyone does their favorite sport.
Ok, that’s my recap for ya. Hope it was fun to read! Sharing this kind of reminded me of sharing a travel recap after a few years of no traveling; it’s just like saying hello to an old friend. Xx.