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Tri-ing It Out

6 Jun

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.

Swim

Lining up for the swim: men in green, women in red

 

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.

5..4…3…2..1…go.

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.

Swim2

Waiting our turn

 

THE SWIM:

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!

DSC02627

THE BIKE:

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.

Tattooed leg

My sweet Tattoo

 

THE RUN:

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.

Results

Checking out the Results

 

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!

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