Ok, sorry for the corny title, but I had to do it (never again. promise.)
As you can probably infer from my amazing, exciting, witty, “punny” title, I completed my FIRST TRIATHLON EVER today!
I’ve had the idea of triathlon in the back of my mind for 0ver a year but never had the time, willingness, etc. to actually train for and compete in a triathlon. When I first started cycling and joined a racing club, my high school soccer coach asked, “can you swim?”, subsequently predicting that I would eventually compete in triathlons. Today, her prediction came true.
Because the race had an 8 AM start, and because the instructions in the race packet said so, I planned on getting to the site at 6:30 AM. The race coordinators said to get there early, and they weren’t joking. I rolled in around 6:45 AM thinking I was doing well, but as I drove past the bike racks, they were rapidly filling up.
In a panicky furry, I spun my car into a parking spot, hopped out, grabbed my bike and snagged the first open spot I saw on the rack. With my heart rate settling back to normal, I walked (trying to look like I knew what I was doing) back to register and finish setting up my stuff.
Fast forward through my measly warm-up (need to work on getting in a better one!) and I was at the start of the swim. At this point, I was thinking three things:
1.) Why did I sign up for this?
2.) I really wish I had a wetsuit like EVERY OTHER PERSON HERE.
3.) I hope I don’t drown.
And we were off.
Despite the fact that had read plenty of books and articles mandating practice swims in open water, this was my first “real” open water swim. Yes, I knowingly went against all rational advice I have every received.
1.) I drank A LOT of salt water.
2.) I got kicked and hit by a lot of people and I kicked and hit a lot of people, but I knew it was going to happen, so it didn’t have any adverse effects on my performance.
3.) My goggles fogged
4.) I had a hard time catching my breath. Luckily, despite my not-so-great swimming abilities, I’m pretty comfortable in the water, so I wasn’t scared. Its just an observation.
5.) Swimming is not my strong point. I was glad to get it out of the way, but it seemed so freaking long! I was really happy when it was over.
6.) Next time…wetsuit.
T-1 wasn’t bad. I had my shoes open (I might try having them already clipped in next time), threw on a jersey, helmet, socks and I was good to go!
1.) My strongest event! I made up a lot of time and was able to pass a lot of people.
2.) I’d like to see if aero bars make a big difference. I don’t have them now, but I’m considering getting some.
3.) I’ve ridden the route many times before, so I was really comfortable.
T-2, again, OK. Got off the bike, took off helmet and put on sneaks (which were already untied) and went.
1.) It was sunny and hot by this time and I was definitely feeling it.
2.) My legs, surprisingly, felt great going from bike to run! Usually they feel super heavy but I think the adrenaline dampened the pain a bit.
3.) I pretty much just had to push myself through the run and kept giving myself pep-talks and motivating myself by challenging myself to pass runners ahead of me.
Overall it was really exciting! My family came to cheer me on and I was so happy and felt really accomplished after finishing. It felt so different from the bike races I’m used to doing, but it was awesome! I see more triathlon in my future. I ended up winning my age group and placed 20th of the women. I had a goal time of 1:30:00 and ended up finishing the 1/2 mile swim, 14.4 mile bike and 3.1 mile run in 1:23:19.
I’ll discuss how I trained in a future post!