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
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!
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.
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.
- 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
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.