This was such and awesome day for me. I had some of my closest friends here with me to share in the special moment that was MY FIRST TRIATHLON. Ms.Amy was here, as was Chris and Troy and Annie and my Mother and Father in Law. Everyone was so UBER-SUPPORTIVE, I felt like a rock star. I don’t think I could have asked for a better first triathlon. I am such a lucky woman!All photos were taken by Roger, my Father in Law! Aren’t they great!?
I SURVIVED! I ACTUALLY MADE IT. I just wanted to get that out of the way for those of you that were wondering.
SHOCK and AWE: I got a great nights sleep last night at Roger and Marlas house in Loveland. I woke up feeling refreshed and REALLY STINKIN’ NERVOUS (like urp-up-my-banana nervous). Mostly nervous about the swim, I wasn’t sure I would live through it. We got to the race site in good time, the parking lot was filling up and all the good spots in transition were getting taken. Expensive bikes were everywhere, and I’ve never seen so many Zipp wheels in one place. Troy, Annie and I walked over to transition and set up all my stuff, then headed back to the port-a-poties. LOW AND BEHOLD on my our way there someone says “I know you”. It was Ms.Amy, one of my best friends standing right there in front of me. TOTAL SHOCK and SURPRISE. We are like 1.5 hours from home and she DROVE up to watch me do my first triathlon. I was just elated and jazzed and really happy to see her! AMY you ROCK! Amy helped me walk through my transition stuff, and the steps I would take to transfer from swim to bike and bike to run. Her support was so valuable. Soon enough it was time to put on the wet suit. Amy zipped me up and we walked to the start (first picture on left). Troys parents were also there (all photos from Roger...he is the BOMB photographer), and Chris also came out to cheer. Chris has been my most consistent non-family support, he’s been to TWO 1/2 marathons and now a tri of mine, and he cheers REALLY LOUD. I LOVE HIM!
THE SWIM: I didn’t get eaten by sharks, or killer frogs. I started to the left of the crowd (in WAVE 4...the last wave) and when the siren sounded I ran for about 10 steps, clumsily fell into the water and started swimming (thrashing about). The first stretch was SCARY. I ended up swimming completely through the bulk of the people and ending up on the right side of the pack which resulted in many kicks, elbows, etc., all b/c I was sort-of swimming off course. After rounding the first buoy I stuck next to a guy and made sure I stayed close to him b/c he was actually swimming straight. After the second buoy there were a few more kicks and thrashes. By the last two buoys I was getting tired and just trying to make it to the finish. I felt like none of my swimming skills came in handy, it was COMPLETE survival swimming most the time. There is a lot of work to be done on my swim, but I survived and I am proud of that. Also, my goggles were GREAT, and my wet-suit is really noticeable so my cheering section found me easily.
TRANSITION ONE: Out of the water, put goggles on head, through the sand, up a grassy hill, TONS OF CHEERING FROM THE CREW, unzip wet-suit back, pull wet-suit down to waist, off with goggles and cap, into transition area, locate bike, strip off wet-suit, throw goggles and cap on ground, put on bike shoes, turn towards bike, knock helmet/sunglasses/race belt onto the ground, pick up helmet and put on, pick up sunglasses and put on, attach race belt with number, grab Azure and run out of transition, TONS OF CHEERING FROM THE CREW.
THE BIKE: It starts with a short straight-away, and then directly into a rather large hill. Something I didn’t expect...I’m cold. I just left 68 degree water and I’m wet on a bike, therefore I’m cold, muscles and all. So that was a shock. The bike course was out and bike and I was able to stay on the Aerobars most the way. I got a new Aero-bottle drink system which was loaded up with HEED, and I sipped away on that...love it! The course was a bit hilly with some wild turns. Because I started in the last wave it was a bit odd. I felt like I was at the END of the race, and it was hard to be competitive. I would try to catch ladies in front of me, and I didn’t find a single one in my age group. So I just tried to continue with a strong effort, the best I had in me. The cheering squad found me once on the way back, which made me ride faster.
TRANSITION TWO: Pulling up to transition area, un-strap one shoe, kick out of pedal, dismount bike, run into transition , locate stuff, put Azure in bike rack, off with sunglasses, off with helmet, off with bike shoes, on with racing flats, fiddle with tongue of racing flat, run 1/2 way out of transition, stop and fiddle with tongue of racing flat again, run out of transition.
THE RUN Ahhh, my favorite part. I saw Marla with Annie right at the beginning of the run, big smiles all around. I passed through a tunnel and my cheering crew was there going crazy. I headed up into a huge hill on the golf course with their cheers pushing me to go faster. Up Up Up this hill. I was passing people who were walking up the hill. I am FLYING by people, going up hill. Down a hill, and up another equally larger hill. I am talking HUGE stinkin hills! More people are walking, I just kept trucking...actually FLYING...my racing flats are sooo light and fast. Down the hills I let myself completely go. I have this gut feeling that letting yourself go on the downhill helps your legs to recover from the bike...I don’t know, just a theory. After the hills we looped around the golf course and it looks like the course is about to go into the finish, but at the last minute it veers right and we have to do an out and back portion. I see several girls in my age group on the out and back and can tell that they aren’t catch-able...bummer. But the whole run I ran really strong and fast, and felt great from start to finish.
CELEBRATION The finish was great, my cheering section was going wild, I was continuing to pass people left and right and then it was all over. My first triathlon...OVER. I finished the run and I was hardly winded. I SERIOUSLY could have gone and done it again RIGHT THEN. I can tell that my endurance is BOMBER right now and it’s time to start working more seriously on speed. I’m not even breathing particularly heavy...I’m just...DONE...done with my first triathlon. After some chit-chat, and refueling, we headed back to the transition area, cleaned up, packed up, and headed to the big tent for the awards ceremony. It turns out that I did really good for my first triathlon. I actually had the second fastest run time for a woman!! I got third in my age category, and the woman that I had hired for a short time as a coach was there, and saw me and said good job. It felt good for her to see that I had continued on my own with my training, and that I am successful!
Here are the stats!! web-link: Pelican Fest Statistics
Final Time: 1:06:45 Rank in Age Group: 3 out of 10 Rank in Woman: 12 out of 108 Rank overall: 90 out of 288 Proud Moment: being the 2nd female in the run, only the winner was faster!
Swim Time/Rank (800 M): 14:18 / 151 Transition One: 1:23 Bike Time (10 Mile): 30.45 / 116 MPH: 18.5 Transition Two: 1:05 Run Time (5K...but I think it was short): 19:12 / 48 Min/Mile: 6:11 (but again, I think this is off)