Well, I did it. I competed in my first sprint triathlon. I finished, I am still alive and feeling good.
The morning started early, which was okay. I was ready to get it over with. The triathlon was 1 hour a way from where I live so Carl and I left the house at 5:45am. I was a nervous wreck. The only thing I had for breakfast was some Pepto Bismol. Once there, we set up our gear in the transition area.
And then, we put on our wetsuits.
(that is my friend Holly who trained with me)
Next stop was the table with the black marker.
I felt like a "real" athlete with my number on my arm...not so sure about having my age on my leg however.
At 8:45am all the other green caps and I dove in at the sound of the gun.
The swim leg was a ridiculous. There were so many people just sort of paddling along clogging up the course. After a few minutes of being rather polite, I decided to just push my way through. I couldn't really swim with my head in the water because it was too hard to navigate around people that way. I just did my best to motor through all the floundering peeps.
When I got back to transition I had to laugh about the chaos that I just escaped. My swim time was 7:46.
Then it was time to peel off the wetsuit and throw on a shirt, socks and shoes. (I wore my sports bra and shorts under the suit). I struggled with the wetsuit a bit. I forgot to unzip the ankles and my left leg got caught up on my timing bracelet. Real triathletes don't bother with socks, and their shoes are already clipped into their bike pedals. Clearly, I have some improving to do because my transition time was a little over 3 minutes!!
The bike ride was nice. It was at this point I decided to just relax and have fun. I still had the run ahead of me (my weakest and most challenging leg) so I knew I had to preserve myself somewhat. The bike ride which was 13 miles took me 50 minutes.
Back at transition again I had to really gear myself up to run. I didn't want to. There was some inner pep talking happening in this picture. This was a quick stop, just long enough to ditch my bike and helmet and grab my visor.
Then, like it or not, I was out for the run. My legs felt tired. It took me a while to switch gears. I ended up walking part of the run. At one point I even ducked into the port-a-potty to pee. Nothing like trying to jog with a full bladder.
I was pretty happy to have the finish in sight. The running was my weakest leg by far. This is where I will focus my training for next year. Yes, I do believe that I will do it again. Having an event to train for really helped me stay on track. There were mornings that I wouldn't have gotten out of bed to exercise had I not had a race to prepare for.
Besides, I'd like to relive this moment again. It was so good to overcome something that felt like was a real challenge. I was glad to have my husband cheering me along the way. He cut some of his travel plans short to be there for me.
And, had it not been for my training partner Holly (who finished 2nd overall in our division with a time of 1 hour and 21 minutes!!) I would have given up a long time ago. She made me keep at it. Three times a week she faithfully met me at the pool at 6am to swim. We did it Holly! We are triathletes. Here's hoping that number doesn't wash off anytime soon!