Sunday, July 29, 2012

MascomaMan Race Report - A TRIATHLON Race Report

Wow!  I have to say overall I had a great time in my first triathlon.  I made some pretty major mistakes but I am not worrying about it. I expect my first transition number to be pretty huge between two big errors and a long distance between the swim and bike.
Waiting for the first wave to go.  It was a nice lake,
clear and not weedy!

First I got up plenty early and checked all my lists and headed off to pick up my friend Sara who offered to go with me.  I got a little lost on the way to her house but shortly after we saw a mother deer and two fawns, one suckling.  A good sign as far as I'm concerned.  (On the way home I saw another mother and fawn)The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful but I did start to get very nervous once we got there.  Went to registration and guess what - my packet was missing?  They called someone who would be coming and would straighten it out.  It seemed to take forever and I explained to the girls (a college team of some sort running this) that I was pretty nervous and needed to get started getting ready. They told me what to do and Sara waited for my packet.  I barely had time to pee, it was not the relaxing before a race time I like.  Maybe less time to dwell on the swimming but I felt like it heightened my anxiety.
Struggling a little...

Wondering about going home.....

Putting on my wet suit I started to put the zipper in front.  My friend kindly asked me if that was the way it went. She was pretty savey all day for the whole tri thing.  I got in on although it seemed harder than the other day.  Then I waited.
Watching to see where the course is..a little tricky
without my glasses

Coming in........whew!

The Swim

It was finally time to get in the water (mixed feelings - did I want it to come quickly or take forever?). I overcame my shyness to ask the women near me for advice for someone  new.  I was feeling like bawling I was so scared.   Smart move of the day.  One woman reminded me to sight and to do the sidestroke if needed. I never ever practiced side stroke but did I do it today?  You betcha!  First I was amazed because I ran into the feet of people in front of me a few times.  Really? I'm keeping up for a minute or two?  At first I was doing the whole free style thing but I was definitely in a panic mode and went to breast stroke or side stroke frequently. I couldn't really see the two buoys they said we had to swim around. There were larger orange buoys in the water from the 70.3 and they certainly confused me.  I told one man he needed to turn as he was on his back headed out to the middle.  Look at me being helpful and not the only one having some trouble!! Should I be delighted at this?  Yes!  Most people went a ways ahead but I got to the first buoy and swam by it and tried to head to the next one. It was quite a distance away.  I did a lot of side stroke still. Glad I spent the time and money on those lessons!  When I would do the freestyle  I would sight and find myself going in the wrong direction so I would go back to side stroke. Plus I felt less like I would drown.  I got quite confused when I got past that second buoy. I knew I needed to head into the beach but it looked like the two women ahead of me were going around the large buoy to the left so I tried to do that too. Finally I yelled and asked someone and they said no, just come in. I was amazed at how hard it was to stand up.  But I did, got out of the water and it was time to run UP to the bike transition.


Running up to the transiton......

......just before I take a wrong turn.

Side note: As many told me I did not have time to worry about creepy things in the water. I may have spent 5 seconds on this but most of my worrying was just getting through the swim and on to the things I am better at.

Okay now two major rookie mistakes that will make a long T1 time even longer. But no worries. It happened, I moved on.  First I am "running" up the hill to the bikes when the fence ended and I veered off to the transition area. My friend, Sara, once again, came to my rescue and yelled at me to turn around and go all the way through the chute.  I should have know this but just wanted to get to my bike I guess.  So I get there and sit down to get the wet suit off.  I took off my chip to get off my wet suit leg (cue ominous music) (Most people did not wear wet suits.  I was So glad I did because I think my panic in the water would have been in major mode without it.  Also so glad I did those two open water swims as can't imagine how I would have felt without them.)Then I grab my bike and walk/run it through a long transition - I am at the back of the racks. I am just about to mount when a spectator asks me if I have a chip! Thank God he caught it but I definitely said, "Oh s**t! and headed back. The volunteer - confused- asked me what I was doing. I told her and asked her to hold my bike and went and got it, put it on and grabbed my bike as I went by her.  Then I did mount this time and I was on my way.
The chip is ON THE GROUND!  (Andrea look and see it before you leave!)

Still clueless that I am about to have to go back.  
Transition is pretty empty!

The Bike

I seriously loved the biking.  The only thing was the website said it was a 10.6 mile bike and it was 16.  Which is not a bad distance for me it just wasn't what was in my head.  I started out and was all alone.  (see debacle transition - last paragraph.) I think one person may have been behind me at that point.  It was a mile or so up the road that I passed a couple women.  Yay!  Then I was alone with no one in sight and I thought well this is how it's going to be.  I was a little bummed as it is hard to go faster with no one around you. Then I started up a hill and could see someone way in the distance.  Eventually I caught up and went by them and that seemed to be the theme of the bike ride. Spot someone in the distance and pass them going up hill! I was passing people!  Again and again.  I think I passed 10+ people on the bike and of course we all didn't start together!  As I went by more than one person on the hill they yelled:"You go girl"  I really had a nice clip going along.  I attribute this to riding with my friend, Cathy, who leaves me in the dust on hills!  But  we went up hill after hill after hill and we weren't turning around at 5 or 6 miles.  Finally I just stopped thinking about turning around and going up hill and just rode and tried to pass.  Finally we did turn around and the way back was much easier.  But I am not super fast on down hills and even use my brakes some.  I was wearing my brace and it was a reminder to ride smart.  I passed a couple more people in this section and then I was riding alongside many runners who were in the last section.
I got to transition and it was a bit demoralizing to have people all done!  I sat to change my shoes and had to do a little self convincing to get back up.  I put on some sunscreen and headed out. A much faster transition.
I think both of these are on the way in.

The Run

As I started running I did feel it was going to be pretty hard to run 3.1 miles. I did not save any on the bike but just pushed.  I started out though and this is where all my running helped. I sped up a little each mile and I feel muscle memory took over.  It was the old put one foot in front of the other and just do it. I did pass four or so people - two men and two women but neither one in my age group. (younger!)  I am not sure of my time yet but I think it was over 30 but not way over 30 and that is fine. I felt like I kept running well, never slowing down much and even picking it up some.  I told myself that 3.1 miles was not a big deal.  And it wasn't!  Before I knew it I was heading back into the chute and this time I could stop.
Headed out for the run, not thrilled but

Ended up doing just fine.

I was now a triathlete and feeling more than a little proud of myself. This is a goal I set last fall and I worked hard for it to happen.  It wasn't easy - at all - but I did it and I do think I can improve.  I will do it again so I can do that whole bike racing thing again.  What fun!  I want to improve on the swimming -not so much my time although that would be nice but my whole comfort. I want to do free style more. Even when I did it I forgot that whole side to side thing until almost the last time I attempted it.  And who knows if I kicked?  But thank goodness for that wet suit!  I am so glad I bought it - may be the best tri investment I made although I liked my shirt and shorts quite well too!  Now if they would just post the results. I am dying to see them.
Finisher Bottle!  I'm a triathlete!

The results are finally up and a bit confusing but I think I got them figured out.
Some thoughts:

  • Transitions matter a lot
  • Triathlon is a young person's sport - am I nuts to be just starting
  • A lot of people are good at 1 or 2 things and one thing is clearly harder
  • Some people are good at everything
  • It is hard to know how much effort to put forth to move up the results because you start at different times
So results:
0verall 106/134  Time: 1:53:35  This course is quite comparable to the Midd. one I have been practicing on.  Shorter swim 100 yards - longer bike 2 miles.  So I'm pleased with my time as I wanted to be under 2 hours.

Swimming: 13:44  128/134  I don't think anyone will be seeking me out for swim lessons but I thought I might be last so I'm celebrating! I had no idea what to expect.  Some of this is the run to the mat which was up a hill and then of course I went the wrong way so I'm okay with this.  If I hadn't made the direction goof I would have beat more people's swim times. 

T1 4:24 next to slowest, includes going back for chip - definitely cost me some places in results but I doubt if I'll do that again!

Biking 1:01:54 pace 15.51mph 100/134  Again I'm surprised at how many people just a little more push would have moved me in front of.  But I don't know if I had any more push!

T2 1:59 certainly better but could improve it

Running 31:34 10:11 pace 79/134 I was a bit surprised at this but pleased.  

Here are my goals from Friday's post.


I want to finish wanting to do another triathlon. Check

I want to have fun.  Check

I want to find out I can swim in a triathlon no matter my skill or lack thereof  Check

I want to learn more about how a tri works including the transitions.   Check (did lousy at it but man did I learn some things)

I'd love not to be last but if I am, I am.   Check
Here are my race time goals I emailed myself.
swim 15 minutes - less than
bike 40 minutes - way off but I thought the bike 10.6 (website) not 16 - actual
run 29 minutes - a couple of minutes over
T1 3 minutes - sadly over by a couple of minutes
T2 2 minutes - right on

I'll end with the loot I got.  I'm counting the swim cap we had to use and I WILL be using that at the pool.  


Kate Geisen said...

ANDREA!! "Triathlon is a young person's sport - am I nuts to be just starting?"

You finished ahead of 28 other people in your first triathlon with a couple mistakes in your first transition that slowed you down...after losing time to a broken wrist!!! You would be nuts to NOT keep going!

You did so well. I'm so pleased and happy for you, especially because I could hear the pride and joy in your words yesterday in your posts. So glad I've been along for the ride!

Ransick said...

What a fantastic tri! I'm really happy for you. You should really be proud of yourself and hopefully are still smiling at your accomplishment. Nothing can replace that feeling of being alive that comes along with racing. Enjoy it!

HappyTrails said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HappyTrails said...

Did the Bondi's give you an extra spring to your steps??? :-)

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Yay! You did so great on your first tri!!

How's the wrist feeling?

Darlene said...

Amazing! You did great!

Pahla said...

Well, I can't say it better than SuperKate did. You are meant to be a triathlete!! You are so inspiring and I love reading the happiness in your posts!

MCM Mama said...

Great job! No way are you too old - you did awesome on your first time. Just think how fast you'll be when you don't lose extra time in transisiton?!?

Average Woman Runner said...

Congratulations!!!! Sounds like a very successful first tri, indeed. You looked really strong in those run pics, despite being at the very end of the race.

Char said...

You are an amazing, incredible woman. You have such courage to give that a go - and you have the strength and fitness to do yourself proud. Congratulations.

Liz said...

What Char said. Totally amazing. I am bowled over by your grit and determination and completely inspired. You so rock - well done!!!

HappyTrails said...

We are so proud of and happy for you-we were jumping up and down in ecstatic glee for you! Glad you had such an awesome day. You should feel proud. And all those hills you climb on the bike? Keep doing them-they are your friends-as was evidenced during your race. Your run was good, too. Did you know you can have your eyeglass RX put in your swim goggles??? The race stuff is neat, too - neat logos. You did good!!! :-)

Johann said...

Wow, congratulations! You are really awesome! You did incredibly well in your first tri. Very proud of you! Enjoy the great feeling of being a triathlete.

Unknown said...

Congrats!! You did great! And now you ARE a triathlete!!!

Marlene said...

Yayyyy! Great big congratulations! So very happy for you. And no you are not crazy for starting at this age - better late than never, and I you should be proud. It will get easier!!

Kandi said...

Congrats!!! It sounds like you handled the random setbacks (wrong turns, forgetting chip) well and just kept going! Glad to see you remembered to take off your helmet before the run. ;)

Paul said...

Awesome! Congrats!
Practice makes perfect...when is the next? 8)

Fran said...

CONGRATULATIONS! YOU DID IT! (Not that I had any doubt about that).

Thanks for the great report, it was a pleasure to read it.

Teamarcia said...

Congrats A! You are my hero. Way to set a goal and go after it. Broken wrist and transition be damned. Very nicely done!
Old schmold.

Alisa said...

Congrats! They call transitions the 4th sport of triathlon, my times are always super slow. With practice you can get those down.

As for tri's being a young person sport, I disagree, I see lots of people in the 50-70 range here in the Northwest (often times passing me).

I agree with the bike, it's tough to push, I am just learning how to push on the bike myself.

Great job on the run, you really did well!

Jill said...

AJH, you ARE a triathlete - how exciting!!! I know you worked really hard for this and it paid off dearly! You far surpassed your goals (well, aside from T1 but that was a technical error :)). Age doesn't matter, you can start doing triathlons at any fact, now you can win more AG :). Nice job, sweetie - very proud of you!!


Lindsay said...

way to go andrea!!! you are so amazing. i am inspired! though, still not over my fear of OWSing, ha. i love that you got a finisher bottle for your first tri - useful memory! i am sure there are always things to 'tweak' when it comes to transitions but you handled them well!

Unknown said...

Very cool! You will always remember your first triathlon. Congrats! I have never worn a wetsuit (warm water here in Hawaii), but I would imagine that you might wear your chip under the wetsuit... maybe fold the leg up to expose it if needed. That way you won't have to take it off when removing the wetsuit. Heck, I started out of T2 with my helmet once. I realized it just before I got to the timing pad and had to throw it into the transition area!

Yes, triathlon may be a sport for the younger folks, but those of use who started doing triathlons in their 50's have fun. The cool part is that as we get older, there are fewer people in our age group. For instance, I took first place in my age group in the last triathlon I did... of course, I was the only one in my age group (55-59) Haha!

Laura said...

CONGRATS!!!! So awesome.

Mary said...

Andrea, loved the blog and pics! You are amazing! What a terrific accomplishment.......did we ever see you doing this 10 years ago ( am I right on the time?)
So proud of you!

Michael said...

I'm super behind on blogging and really had to dig to find this post :)

Congrats again on your first tri! Sounds like a few mistakes, but overall a pretty great first race!

Monica said...

Sorry I'm late getting to this...I want you to know how SUPER PROUD I am of you!!!! You are my hero!!!!

Congrats and keep on "Tri-ing"!!