Home » Races and Reports » Philadelphia Women’s Race Report

Philadelphia Women’s Race Report

Wake up call…4am!


Distances: 1.9 mile run, 17.5 mile bike, 3.1 mile run

Same story as last year.  Due to rain the night before which left the river riddled with debris and a heavy current (and probably due to high alert after the death at Philly Tri two weeks prior) the race was changed from a triathlon to a duathlon.


Kept it simple.  I packed the night before so all I had to do when I got up is shower, pull my hair back, eat and go.  5am and we were off…coffee is a must!  Drive over was uneventful; got there early enough to get good parking, made our way down the hill to the park and got situated.  I got my transition all set up while my mom went off to take photos.  While I was racking I saw many of my teammates.  A lot of us were in the same row, which we named the “bitch rack” after not one, but two girls came up and made comments about how some people were racked.  Seriously…this isn’t Kona!  Anyway, my bike was being funny and making a weird noise, so my friend Kate checked it out for me- even though it turned out nothing was wrong it gave me major peace of mind and I know it made a difference in my race.  Right before the start, I got really nervous and for reasons I still cannot figure out, I started to break down a little.  Found my mom, had a little cry, got a pep talk from her and was good to go!  Thank goodness for moms ♥


Run: 18:54- 9:57 avg. 533/680

Went out in our “swim” waves…I was in the fourth wave so we only had to wait 15 minutes to start!  First run was good…I went out WAY too fast though and by the turn-around I had to slow it down just a bit.  Ran the entire thing…no walking…felt strong.  Good run.

What I would do differently: Seriously, I need to learn how to pace myself. 

T1: 2:15

I got in and I got out.  Put on my helmet…ate some clif bloks and was on my way!

Bike: 1:09:55- 14.9mph avg. 600/680

 Once I reached the street I ran up with my bike a little to avoid being in anyone’s way.  I mounted and started off.  I was in a group with a few girls I could tell were apprehensive like me and we were all just taking our time.  Then some asshole yells out “hey shleps…make a decision” to which all of us were like “whoa!”  As it turns out, shlep yeller actually sucked on the bike and I never saw her again once I got going.  UGH!  Anyway, the bike was really good for me.  At times, going downhill, I had myself at 21mph which is HUGE for me.  I was making an effort not to dip below 14mph they entire way; the only time I struggled with keeping pace was going up the bridge…holy tough on my quads! 

My second loop was about 2 minutes faster than my first loop but for the most part I felt consistent.  In every race I have done thus far in which the bike course loops, I get faster which each loop.  I’ll take it! 

In the end, I was so overjoyed at how well I did…I made it through the whole bike going faster than I ever did for that many miles before, was able to drink from my water bottle a number of times, take a GU while riding and I dismounted without problems.  If you take away the time it took me to mount and then run in from the dismount, I know I averaged over 15mph.  And while I understand how slow that is for most…for me…it was like being the fastest biker ever!  At first I was bummed because I didn’t actually realize how well I was doing.  This girl…me…I biked faster than 80 other people!

What I would do differently:  I still have to work on dismounting.  I did okay, as in…I did not fall, but I still need to practice.  It totally slowed down my time on the bike. 

T2: 2:30

Legs were dead- moving as fast as I could but felt like I was in slow motion.  I saw my mom and called her over to the transition fence- she told me how well I was doing and I was kind of shocked, but it helped me because it got me moving again!  Ate a GU, drank down some water and got out!

Run: 38:58- 12:34 avg. 589/680

 So…do I even need to say anything here?  The run friggen sucked!  I had a cramp in my calf and could hardly walk let alone run.  I walked the entire first mile!  The whole thing.  Over 15 minutes of walking in the first mile.  I was really upset and starting to break down inside…I started running tree to tree, pole to pole…whatever kept me moving forward.  It was hot, I was hurting and I wanted to be done!  Then, just after the turnaround, the coolest thing ever happened: someone recognized me from my blog!!!!!  All the sudden I hear “Hey Jill, I read your blog, go Jill” and I was like “heeeeeyyyy” but I didn’t really catch the face.  The whole way back to the finish I kept wondering who it was and it kept me motivated to get my butt across the finish line.  With one mile left to go, I knew a PR was possible and I just gave it my all.  As I came through the shoot my mom was yelling “gun it, goooo, push” and I was trying to hard and I felt like I wasn’t even moving and I was pushing and I just could not sprint!  My legs would not have it!  I still made it across with a PR though which was AWESOME obviously!!!!

What I would do different:  You know, the calf thing was kind of out of my control.  I do plan to wear my compression socks during my next race though and see if that helps with the cramping.

Post Race: 

Immediately went looking for the massage tent, only to find out it was a “team only” thing…what?!?!?!….so then I made my way to the med tent where the nicest man ever massaged out my cramped up pissed off calf.  Ahhh…much better!  When that was done, I went and found my mom! Hugs!!!  Then over to the TT Tent where we had sooooo many goodies.  Lots of fruit and cookies and drinks and etc.  I ate a ridiculous amount of food! At one point this girl comes up to me and introduces me as the girl from the run who reads my blog.  Her name is Jen.  She doesn’t have a blog but has been reading mine almost from the beginning.  Seriously, how awesome is that?!?!?  She went on to say a bunch of nice things about me and my blog which really went even further in making my day!  (Shout out to you Jen- YOU ARE AWESOME!)  After some photos and transition clean-up I called it a day.  Packed it in and headed home, where my mom and I proceeded to go to breakfast and I housed an egg sandwhich and mound of potatoes in less than five minutes!  And then it was time for a nap- ahhh 🙂

Overall:  2:12:30; 592/680

This is the first race, other than some 5k’s, where I was actually able to compare from a previous year.  The night before the race I looked at my race report from last year and it reminded me of a few things I wanted to do differently.  I wanted faster transitions, a better bike and I wanted to do better with my nutrition.  I accomplished all of that!  Last year both of my run’s were faster but this year I did SO MUCH better on the bike and kicked ass in my transitions as well.  The end result was a 2:30 PR!  Honestly, I expected more of myself (when don’t I?) but with that said I am so very proud of that PR.  That isn’t just any PR…that is a sentiment to all the work I put into getting better after injury.  And I have come so far on the bike; I feel like that alone is reason to celebrate!  At the end of the day, I left everything I had on that course.  It might not have been exactly what I wanted, but I can walk away saying I gave it my best. 


Eaarrrrllly! TT girls 🙂

Yeah, I totally did not wear the tri suit! Annnnd my eyes are shut!

Kate and I- teammates and friends 🙂

See the circle?  That’s my visor- at the start line; my mom edited so you can see me 🙂

One run done…booking through transition!

Coming in from the bike!

In T2- trying to be fast!

Headed to the finish!!!

Sign for this years Tri’s; my cousin Allie made it

My biggest fan ♥

OneLittleTriGirl did the DU!


32 thoughts on “Philadelphia Women’s Race Report

  1. You did great!!! 15mph would be a lot for me, too! I can’t believe the asshat that yelled at you guys. Why can’t people be more supportive?!

    Great job!

    • You know- in some races, I expect that behavior. I am fairly new and I really try hard not to be in anyone’s way. But in this race, which is designed for women who are new racers, I would expect better.

  2. Wow, you did great.
    Your bike performance should be a big confidence booster, considering you had pre-race concerns about your bike. Great MPH.
    (Dismount tip, I take my left leg off the bike way EARLY before dismounting.)

    Don’t worry about that 2nd run, your body/calves wanted to swim the first heat, not run it.

    And I’m totally digging your stop-sign hat in that 2nd photo :p

    • Thanks Mike- I am so afraid I will fall though if I try to jump off and run! I think I need to practice near a foam pit!

  3. Great job Jill! Congrats on your new PR!

    I can sympathize with the mini break down pre-race. No matter how many times I do this (tri or race of any kind) or how prepared I am, I always get a little nervous before a race. It is worse with tris before I suck at swimming and don’t care that much for lakes.

    Glad you met all your goals. We are about the same speed and 15 mph average is great for me too. I couldn’t even manage that on my last tri — you know the one after which we broke up. Ha ha!

    Keep up the great work!

    • Can you believe I STILL cannot figure out the intense debate?!?! Hopefully this works for now! I really like the idea of replying to comments as it really means a lot to me when someone goes above an beyond to write something nice 🙂

      Pre-race break downs are probably a fact of my life!

  4. Way to go on getting a PR after a rough time with injury! You did amazing and you are so inspirational! And I love that you got recognized from the blog, that’s so fun!

  5. Congrats to you Jill! Awesome job! I love all of the great pictures:) I really think that I could do a duathlon with a little training!

    Oh, and way to go on the PR too!

  6. Aww Jill, thanks so much for the shout-out, that is very nice of you. I kept my eye out for you just in case our paths crossed, and by the end of the race I just didn’t think it was going to happen. Turns out it couldn’t have happened at a better time for me. It gave me that last boost to finish up the race, and took my mind off the fact that my legs were entirely cramped up. Oh, and the heat was lovely. Anyway, I think we were meant to meet at this race. Our times (mine were 18:55 1:05:03 36:48) are almost identical! I was bummed that the swim was canceled because that is my strongest leg. But I am also happy I was challenged with the DU, even if I did fall apart a little on the 5k. You did amazing girl, and I am so glad I was able to meet you! I am sure our paths with cross again soon. Keep up the good work, and BE PROUD. You kicked butt out there!!

    • OMG- we were SO CLOSE the entire time! The swim is my best leg too and I count on it- so a DU was not something I was looking forward too, especially two years in a row!

      Our paths with for sure cross again!

  7. Woohooooo!! So very happy, and PROUD, of you girl!! I’ve only done a handful of tri’s, and I totally suck at them, so when I hear about people that do them, I have nothing but admiration! I could hear how emotional the race was for you in every word, I know it meant a lot to you. The PR is the best, the icing on the proverbial cake – yummy :). Congratulations!!!!!!!

  8. Awesome report, great race and result for you.
    The best goal is to keep improving and it looks like that you’re doing that so well done!!!!

    And – Happy (belated) birthday for the other day

  9. What a great race report! Congrats, and way to go on that PR too!! I bet you feel like a million bucks. 🙂

    Happy belated birthday!

  10. Awesome job on the race – I loved your race report. It is always shocking to me to see that people act like such assholes . . . I just don’t get it.

  11. Congrats on the PR! You’ve come a long way since your injury. I hope you stay healthy so you can continue to race this summer. 🙂 (and so you can come meet me at the Baltimore Marathon)

  12. Loved all the pics! You are so happy and bubbly 🙂 Congrats on your race! Can’t believe about the bike-schlep, how rude. At least she ate your dust!

  13. No matter what hits you on race day you always manage to pull it together and rock it to the finish!
    That is sooo cool that you have a real blog stalker!
    No really way cool!

  14. Yay for you on your PR! You are amazing, coming back after your hip injuries. And what fun to meet a blog reader to help you through the tough part.
    You inspire so many of us and help us keep going, I’m surprised you don’t meet readers at every race!

    • Aw thanks Diane- you have been following me from the beginning and I feel like you really do know how far I have come!

  15. Great job on the DU!! You did great! I can’t imagine doing that or even a TRI! I think when racing, seeing improvement from a previous year is really one of the best things! And you did that! Congrats!

  16. sorry the run wasn’t what you hoped for. did you have enough salt in you leading up to the race and during it? it’s so hot the heat just sucks the life out of us.

    • I didn’t feel dehydrated- and even though it was hot, I have ran in worse…I think my calves just weren’t responding. I am going to run with my compression socks next time and see how I feel.

  17. Congrats on the PR!

    That is SO cool that someone recognized you from your blog! That would definitely give me a boost.

    I thought about you this Friday as I got my bike up to 20 mph. I averaged about 13 mph, which I thought was good for a mountain bike.

    I cannot believe the weird yelling woman in the bike portion. Something similar happened to me and two friends as we were running this weekend. They were running and I was next to them on the bike. I saw two bikers coming so I got over in the grass and they moved closer to the edge, but the bikers yelled at us “HELLO?!?! LOOK OUT!” We were like… “what?” People…

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