Sunday, April 17, 2011

My First Triathlon!

Edited with official split times at the bottom!
Ever feel like you have so much to say, but no idea of where to start, or even how to start? That's how I've feeling presently about this race report.  Do I start with the fact that I did 1workout (a 4-mile run) the entire week prior to race day?  It seems weird and unfair to begin there, because when I crossed the finish line, I wasn't thinking about all the workouts I had missed in the 7 days prior.

I was proud.  I was excited.  I was tired.  I am ready for more.

Its hard to say that I really knew what to expect on the swim.  I haven't swam in a lake/river/pond/ocean in years, and I have never swam in any of them with the intention of getting somewhere fast.  Or at least as fast as possible.  I heard over the loud speaker that water temp this morning was near hot-tub temperatures, at a scalding 60*.  Who was super thankful for renting a wetsuit?  This girl right here.  I can honestly say there is no way  I would have been able to finish the swim without it.  The cold simply would have taken too much out of me.  But today the cold was only one of two major obstacles (other than the open water, 750 yards nonstop obstacle).  The other, and maybe more overwhelming, was wind.  Lots of wind.  Said wind made the sometimes glass-like lake, into a lake of moving crests and troughs.  One might describe the water as choppy, or white-capped.  Either way I found myself swimming toward a white pyramid-like buoy, that I could sometimes see, and sometimes could only see the oncoming wave, wondering what the eff have I gotten myself into???????  This is where I admit that I, for a moment, really didn't think I'd be able to finish the swim. 
Now bear with me, I decided this required a moment of play on Paint to give you an idea.  So for the first leg, we swam nearly directly into the wind and the waves.  This was exhausting and ridiculously overwhelming, I couldn't swim any stroke that resembled anything, except maybe sidestroke.  By the time I got around the first buoy I was ready to give up, or at least call over a kayak to rest, but I pressed on, and it got easier.  By the time I rounded the second buoy the final buoy and finish line were in site, did it matter that they looked miles away?  Not really, at least I was headed in that direction.  It was also around this time that I finally found a rhythm and felt like I was finally moving.  Getting out of the lake proved to be harder than I was expecting, when I tried to stand up and run out of the lake the water that was inside my wetsuit ran down the legs and slowly out the bottom, making my legs heavy, slow, and very clumsy.  It was awkward.  But I was done! Running up the beach I saw my parents for the one and only time the entire race... my words "That was the hardest thing I've ever done."  I'm pretty sure that is still true.

Other than trying to forget my helmet and glasses "404, YOUR HELMET!!!!!" (a very nice volunteer yelled at me before I got too far away from my transition area) the bike was actually awesome.  My arms were really tired from the swim, but my legs felt fresh and fast.  Probably too fast initially.  The bike was 2 6.5-mile laps, and I'd bet if I had splits for each of them, the first would be faster than the second, because I reined myself in.  If I had any hopes of finishing the run feeling good, I couldn't blow myself up on the bike, and my initial pace out of T1 was going to do just that.  The course was curvy with not a lot of flats, which is actually the kind of riding I prefer.  I passed several people on the bike, and I'll admit was good for morale.  :)  Coming into T2, I was feeling tired, but not blown up.

Whoa, Beki mentioned the run to me when she found out I as doing the same tri as she did last year.  And she wasn't kidding.  This run had a little bit of everything, including some billy-goat status mountain climbing, both up and down, that everyone I encountered, including yours truly, walked.  It was fairly crazy.  There was also some soft-pack beach running during which I seriously was beginning to wonder if Ashton was going to pop out and inform me I had been punked.  A swim, a bike, and then this was the 4-mile run they came up with?  In all fairness and honesty the run was beautiful, and I was thankful for the shade that running dirt trails through the forest offered, but it wasn't for the faint of heart.  Every runner I encountered, whether they were passing me or I was passing them, was super friendly with lots of "good jobs" and "keep it ups."  I found the speed in my legs to chick a few dudes in the last mile, which felt good. :)  And then there was the finish line.  I almost wanted the run to keep going, I was just getting back a rhythm after the hills, but the moment I crossed that line and allowed myself to walk, there was nothing but gratitude from my body, it was tired.

And I was a triathlete.

Final time: 1:48:xx 
Official time: 1:49::08
Swim: 20:28
Bike: 50:11
Run: 38.29

Overall I came in 203 of 388 (+5 who DQ'ed or DNF)
In my age group (24-29) I came in 10 or 25.  :)
The swim was my weakest sport by far, and the run might have been my strongest.  Back to the training I go.  Pool time tomorrow!


Kirsten said...

WTG!! I'm so proud of you!! What an adventure. But you did it!

Bari said...

You are amazing. I'm so proud of you!

Beki said...

I told you about the run! I felt the same way - are they effing kidding right now? Sand, mountain climbing & narrow trails? Lol

Great job girl! I'm super proud of you!

Brooke said...

well done!! :) that sounds like a kick ass race and you killed it! excellent job.

Bethers said...

Lady I'm so stinking proud of you! You Did IT! I'm so thrilled that you had such an amazing experience! !0+ years we have talked about you competing and look at what you accomplished, you can do anything! Love you.