This is my updated post including official race photos.
That 4:30 alarm seemed awfully early when it went off this morning. Truth be told, I had been tossing and turning since 3:30 am. I NEVER sleep well before a race even with Benadryl. I snoozed once and was up by 4:39 (to be exact). Luckily I had packed my bag the night before so I was ready to go when Lindsay and her friend Shannon picked me up at 5:30 am.
We got to the venue, racked our bikes and set out all our transition items before the sun even came up.
The temperature was 42 degrees when we arrived and I have to admit I was intimidated by the water. I was so afraid of the cold and couldn’t settle my nerves. We walked down to the lake and I literally dipped just my finger in and was pleasantly shocked by how warm the water felt. I guess that it was better overall that the outside air temperature was low because the 68 degree water felt warm..
Even after feeling the water temperature, I was still so anxious over the swim. I was cursing myself for not having swam, I was questioning my abilities and I was doing everything I could to NOT psyche myself out. A lot of the time when I feel uneasy about something I picture myself carrying out the event. So as we were lining up to swim, I imagined myself making it. I’ll admit, it doesn’t help a LOT, but it does take the edge off.
Pretty soon it was no longer time to imagine but time to DO the swim. The water felt cool at first, but as I waded knee deep awaiting our “gun” I easily acclimated to the temperature. Pretty soon the announcer said, “15 seconds.” I looked over at Lindsay and asked, “15 seconds?” I was hoping he said 50. The countdown began and we were off.
I started swimming without thinking. Before I knew it my breathing was heavy and I was working hard. I realized I was going too fast and needed to pace myself to be able to make it. About half way there I was tired and I just wanted it to be over. By the time I hit the second buoy, I probably had less than 100 yards to go, so I just powered through praying I’d be able to finish. Of course I finished, but I was spent.
Thank God someone was there to help everyone out of the water because I was very wobbly. My legs felt like rubber and climbing the hill out of the lake seemed impossible. Finally, I made it to the top of the hill. My breathing was so heavy. Lindsay was all ready to get on her bike, but said she would wait for me. I encouraged her to go ahead, but she didn’t. I rushed as fast as I could, but the first transition still took over 3 minutes. Yikes.
It took me a long time to get my breathing under control. It felt like 4 miles before I was breathing normally and felt “good” again. The bike course, although short, was pretty hilly. I haven’t trained on hills AT ALL. I actually only did three 10 mile rides in preparation. My body wasn’t prepared for the hills. Luckily I am somewhat used to riding hills and I was able to tackle them better than I would have anticipated. Still, the ride was tough.
Right around the 8 or 9 mile mark my chained popped. I seem to pop my chain a lot and I’m not exactly sure why. I always try to make sure my back chain ring is in the middle before I shift the front chain. Anyway, I was able to put the chain back on in probably less than a minute, but I quickly realized how tired my legs felt when I tried to stand. How was I going to run?
Overall, I was happy with the bike. I would like to have averaged 15 mph and almost did that.
No matter how quickly I try to transition I just can’t move quickly. MUST.WORK.ON.TRANSITIONS! 2:09 to take off bike gear and put on my running shoes is too long. Lindsay and I came in on the bike together, but she had to use the restroom and told me to go ahead. Shannon was in the wave behind and she hadn’t caught up… YET.
I wasn’t more than a few tenths into the run and Lindsay and Shannon came up behind me. Soon Shannon pulled off and then Lindsay. My only goal was to keep Lindsay at the same distance ahead of me and not allow her to creep too far out. Not because I wanted to keep up with her per se, but because I wanted to push myself to a good pace.
My legs were EXTREMELY heavy and my ankles were KILLING me. The first mile felt like an eternity, but before I knew it we were rounding the last corner and headed for the finish line. I called out to Lindsay, maybe 20 yards ahead of me, to finish strong. She kicked it in, and I tried with all my might to kick it in too. My legs had NOTHING left.
I knew that I had run a good race because I had nothing left to give. I don’t feel like I could have done any better TODAY, in these conditions, with my current training. I’m ecstatic with my run time as all I wanted to do was maintain a sub 10:00 minute mile.
My overall finishing time was 1:17:31. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better first triathlon for the season. I definitely want to improve and obviously that is going to take practicing. Meaning, I need to swim and I need to do more brick workouts. All things considered, I am extremely satisfied. Another race under my belt and another day full of memories.
P.S. Congrats to Lindsay and Shannon on great races. Shannon actually came in 12th place in her age group! WTG ladies.