I completed my first triathlon.
On Saturday I picked up my race package, checked into my hotel & decided to ride my bike through the run portion of the race. For some reason I recall someone saying it was flat. I found out differently. I rode my bike downhill, down through the trail to the pond (that we had to loop 2x) then back up to the transition area. Well needless to say I was surprised that it was hilly (not steep hills. Just a steady never ending incline). I was then to scared to check out the bike route. I thought I'd leave that for a surprise (I'm nervous enough). Soooo glad I waited for the surprise. I'll explain that later.
Race Day. I woke up at 4:00am, then 4:30, 5:00, 5:30 finally at 6 I got up, had a bath, got ready for the race & checked out. I got to the race early. There was some people racking their bikes, so I followed suit. Set up my transition area & chatted with other racers. It turned out there was 60 people doing the whole triathlon & 30 teams. I felt alittle better when I chatted with other newbies & a few that have raced before. The newbies were just as nervous as me & the seasoned were very supportive.
SWIM 750m - They started with the slowest swimmers & worked the way down to the fastest. I was in the second wave. It put me at ease watching the first wave of swimmers as they were giving it their all. It also gave me a chance to chat with the 3 other swimmers that were going to be swimming in the same lane as me.
So I'm told to start...I start my watch & jumped in. I just swam my heart out. I did get passed by the other lady. When she front crawled she'd stay ahead, when she breast stroked I was right behind her. A few times I actually had to stand up & walk when I was in the shallow end & bring my legs down in the deep end to slow down. But I was okay with this...I'm in it for the fun of it. I did try to do the front crawl a few times, but it wasn't happening. I just felt so uncoordinated so I stuck with my dog paddle. I finished all 15 laps & I was feeling pretty good. I had no issues getting out of the pool. I was happy my leg held out & I didn't have to roll out.
T1 - I had a few issues. I didn't really rehearse my transitions much (I said I was going to & it never happened). I went to put my shirt on & it got stuck under both my armpits & up my back. After struggling with it, I stopped took a breath & tried again. Success. Got my helmet on, bike off the rack & started walking away & realized I forgot to put my camel back on ( thankfully it was only 5 feet away). Went back grabbed it then took off.
Bike 20km - Sooooooooo. Turns out it was downhill (once again, not steep hills. Just a steady decline) for pretty much 9km (which was fun) then uphill(steepest) for 1km, then turn around & go 1km downhill & 9km uphill (not so much fun). For the most part it was ok. I decided to just go at a steady decent pace. I didn't feel like pushing it tooo hard (I still had to run after all). So I took in the scenery as I pedaled back (even took a few pictures as I rode. Yes I had my camera in my bag. I know I'm a nerd) & kept thinking I can't believe I'm really doing this. It was nice on the bike route..the volunteers were so encouraging & there was families parked along the route cheering everyone on. My favorite was an elderly couple sitting on lawn chairs, by themselves, in the middle of nowhere, cheering. Something about them made me smile. Still does. I got passed a few times on the bike, mostly by what I'd call the elite crew. But that's ok...some said good job, keep it up. It was encouraging.
Bike ride is almost done..I ride into the park path & I see my friend taking pictures & hear my name & cheering behind her. I was alittle confused as I had no idea who these kids were. Turns out they were cheering everyone on & my friend gave them my name & they cheered me in. It was awesome.
T2 - Went really good with the exception of having issues getting my bike on the rack. For the record...It was high & I was at an akward angle (that's my excuse). There was a girl standing there & she said 'I wish I could help you but I can't'. Told her it was alright. Then she said shocked 'Your doing the whole thing by yourself?' I replied Yes. She said she couldn't do it (which was surprising cause she looks in WAY better shape than me). I finally got my bike racked (after the 4rd attempt of lifting it). I even remembered to take my helmet off & grab my visor before I left. WooHoo!!
Run 5m - By now I'm getting tired & it's stinking hot out (+23*C & not a cloud in the sky. I'm so not use to this weather as it was wintery a few weeks ago & raining ever since). So I power walked for a few minutes then started running. My 10&1's went out the window immediately!! I was able to run 7 minutes once, then it became 2&1's, 1&1's then I ran what I could (even if it was only 30 seconds) & power walk the rest. I started to feel like I did at my first HM (which isn't good). The only difference was I learned my lesson from the HM, I had a hat on & I drank lots of water even if I wasn't feeling thirsty. I passed a lady walking at the pond & joked with her about what I'd give for a cloud to appear. We laughed. By now I really don't care about my time..I just want to finish. I'm off the path & walking up the sidewalk & I see the best thing ever...a sprinkler!! That's right a sprinkler aimed at the sidewalk. As I'm walking up a guy stops & says he doesn't want to get wet. Just as I get there the sprinkler moved directions.. I said (okay, more like yelled, but not on purpose) 'WHERE ARE YOU GOING!! COME BACK!!' And chased it down & stood under it. After a few seconds I looked up & realized people ahead of me had turned around & where watching me, laughing (this is when I realized I must have yelled my comment).
There was a guy that left at the same time as me (for the run portion) & we leap frogged for the whole thing (he was also one of them that was looking back & laughing at me in the sprinkler). Anyway, I was a block and a bit from the finish line, I was walking & heard someone yell "Hey you can't do that!' Then I heard it again...I turned & asked if he was talking to me. He said 'Yup, if you walk your going to give me ideas...so you can't do that' I laughed & he said 'come on, we're almost there'. What's a girl to do..so I started to run. I realized if I hurried I could finish in under 1:55 (my first goal was to just finish, my second goal was to finish in under 2 hours). I surprisingly had a little juice at the end to sprint. I crossed the finish line & turned my watch off at 1:54.15. I DID IT. I FINISHED!! I'm so proud of myself.
Unfortunately my happiness was short lived (for a while). They didn't put the results up at the race site. They told us we could see them online later. Okay. I figured it would be close to my watch so whatever. Well I got home (3hours later) & looked. I was upset when I saw the results. 2:04:19. WTH?? That's a difference of 10 minutes & 4 seconds!! So I looked at the breakdowns, the swim & bike time were close to what I had, but the run time was off by alot. I told my friend, she looked at her pictures & she got a shot of me getting into the pool & after I crossed the finish line & her time on the camera matches my watch.
I could see if the chip time was off by a few minutes, but 10. That's alittle much. SO all night I was thinking about it & was upset. What do I tell people when they ask for my time? How do I know what I need to get for a PB? (All silly reasons to be upset, I know).
Today I sent an email to the organizer (we emailed & chatted a few times over the months & she was great) so I wanted to thank her for putting this on, tell her that the volunteers rocked & how I couldn't wait to do this next year. I also asked her if there was any issues with times & told her about my difference. (For the record, I planned on emailing her to Thank You before I saw my time. So I didn't just email to ask about the time issue). She replied yes there is issues & they are working on them. After I received that email I realized...it doesn't matter what the chip time or my watch says. I finished & that's all that matters.
How is my body feeling today? It's sore (more than when I completed both of my HM's). It's mostly my quads that are sore. A friend asked me to go for a bike ride after work. I said sure maybe it will help loosen up my legs. Well...45kms & way to many hills later! I'm hoping I can walk tomorrow. Oh well...I need to start training for my next adventure.