Well if you have been following along with my story you will remember that I participated in my first outdoor triathlon last weekend! YAY!
Overall a great race with a little bad, but I am super proud of myself. It was a super sprint tri with distances of .25 mile swim / 9 mile bike / 1.6 mile run – I finished in 1:11:17 with a placing of 4th in my age group (out of 7, but still 4th!) – If I would have been 5 minutes faster I could have gotten 3rd – and physically I COULD have gotten 3rd if it weren’t for some minor “first time tri” mishaps!
SWIM – Split 10:48
SO The swim was actually acceptable. I did NOT warm up in the water before the start and I SHOULD have. But I was busy chatting away with the hubby and the tri-peep who came out to watch me, so I neglected this very important race step.
This resulted in my pretty much not being able to swim for about the first 50 yards of the swim (halfway to the first buoy!) — On the way to the race my husband commented “I have not seen you swim yet!” and I quickly responded with “Well prepared to be amazed!” – Little did I know I would spend the majority of the beginning choking, gagging, not being able to put my face in the water, flapping about, etc.
I purposefully started at the back of the wave. My plan was to swim to the outside and then just go – being my first tri, I didn’t really want to get kicked or kick anyone, so I figured this was fine. As I was having a hard time getting going, I was slowly losing my wave. They were getting further and further away. My husband is standing on the dock like “hmmm, she is going to be the last one out of the water” and I am sure my tri peep was like “I swear she swam better than this last weekend”
After spending awhile panicking, I just stopped. Completely. Adjusted the neck of my wetsuit so it wasn’t choking me, took a few deep breaths, got in the right mindset, and then began again!
BEST THING I COULD HAVE DONE! And I should have done it a whole lot earlier then when I decided to. I immediately was able to get in the zone.
I have a swimming mantra and I was able to sync up with it and just GO. “Attack glide 1. Attack glide 2. Attack glide 3. Attack glide breath 4. REPEAT” – If you ever want to know what I am thinking when I swim – that is it 100%! If I am not thinking that, I am probably struggling. If I am gliding gracefully on the surface, I am thinking of nothing but my mantra, with an occasional “tighten abs”! (Still working on breathing to the left side which is why I have 4 strokes before a breath. In the next month or so I am going to work on switching because ultimately 3 strokes is probably PERFECT for my breathing, but at this point *shrug*)
So as my husband is watching me from the dock, he claims I was floundering about and he looked down at the camera for a second and back up… and I had just disappeared. Once I got my mantra flowing, I quickly caught up to my wave and passed a bunch of people, I ended up finishing pretty close to the middle of the pack on the swim. NOW I probably could have taken at least a minute off here if I wasn’t so silly. Next time!
BIKE – Split 40:51
So here is where it gets interesting. Being my first outdoor tri and all, I am pumped up!! Adrenaline is flowing through my veins and I could probably lift a car if I wanted to… what I couldn’t do was keep the chain on my bike on the first hill.
Switching gears to aggressively leading up to the hill resulted in my chain falling off. Boo! I pulled over, put it back on and just decided to walk to the top rather than starting on a hill. NOW this hill is not a giant or anything… it is probably only about 50 yards. So it wasn’t a long walk.
I get to the top and still I am PUMPED, tooo hyper!! I tried to manhandle my bike again and it kicked me off! Literally! I went to put my leg over to start going again, lost my balance, had too much force in the “up” leg and totally just flipped right over the bike, landing in a sticker bush (AKA Blackberry bush) with the bike flipped around on top of me!
NOW that wasn’t worst part. That would be the 20 or so people that immediately passed me with an “are you alright?” – Which I was, just slightly pink in the face from the blushing and all. Sticker bushes like to scratch, but at least it was a soft enough landing to not seriously hurt anything. NOW I was laying at a slight downhill angle with a bike on top of me. I had to get myself and the bike upright again with nothing but a sticker bush to get leverage on.
My tri peep tried to tell me I didn’t need my bike gloves but I like riding with them so I wore them anyway. I have never been so happy to have bike glove in my life!! Otherwise, my bare palm would have had to do some pushing and I would have ended up more banged up then I already was.
OK I am out of the sticker bush, I am ready to go! I put my leg over the bike successfully and then… you guessed it!! That manhandling of the bike caused my chain to fall off again! OKKKK!!! SO NOW I take my deep breath…I calm myself down… I start again – NO PROBLEMS! This was a two loop course, the second time through I got up the hill just fine and waved at the sticker bush as I passed.
The silliest thing is – I have only ever dropped my chain ONCE before this. Lol – oh well! SO lesson learned here is to relax on the bike and the swim!! Performance would be much better!
SO PHYSICALLY I was capable of getting 3rd in my age group because between the swim panic and the bike fiasco I easily lost 5 minutes. Although, clearly mentally I wasn’t.
RUN – Split 15:50
Run was PERFECT! And when I say perfect, I mean it. The breeze was nice, the course was flat, birds were chirping, etc. – Getting just off the bike and having legs that felt like lead, you have no idea how fast you are running. Since the course is so short and I don’t have a waterproof Garmin, I didn’t bring one. I just focused on my breathing.
I felt like I was running in slow motion. There were TONS of people slow jogging, walking/running, and just walking at this point in the game. I pasted a bunch of people here. Clearly this is still my strongest leg! 🙂 BUT I know how to run – I’ve practiced a lot!
I ended up finishing strong and managing under a 10 minute mile pace! Woot! I felt like I was going at a 12 minute mile pace, so I was pleasantly surprised!
My transitions were about 4 minutes total and I felt good about them.
Overall a very GREAT race! My confidence was a little shaken on the bike, but nothing a little more practice and common sense can’t fix! — And I got a medal! I love medals!
I have already picked out my triathlons for the rest of the summer. I am doing a full sprint on the July 21nd (Seafair, for any Seattleites!) – This will be a full sprint with distances of .5 mile swim / 12mile bike / 5k run – I think I am already more than ready physically. So now I just need to work a little bit on skill and technique! After my super sprint I felt like I could have kept going for another round… so I think I’ll be just fine in a full sprint.
Next year will be longer distances. This year I am just getting my “feet wet”!
I also have one planned for August and one in September. (Maybe TWO in September, if I can get better at biking hills before then)
Hopefully I will have some photos soon. My tri peep was going to give me all she took. The ones from the race photographers are plain awful so I will wait and see what she provides! Maybe you will see some action shots soon! 🙂
That’s all for tonight all – I’m beat! Have a great night and thank you all for your support! 🙂