I am now an official triathlete!! WHOO! HOOO! I really enjoyed the race and I am already trying to plan out what my next one will be. I didn't win any awards but I had a wonderful time and felt great which is really all that matters. Here's the run down of the event:
Pre-race: I was a nervous wreck. I woke up around 4am and couldn't get back to sleep. I packed everything the night before so I didn't have to worry about that. I couldn't even eat all of my breakfast because my stomach was doing back-flips. On the ride down there I was practically shaking and my heart was beating really fast. I'm not sure why I was so nervous, it isn't like I was trying to win a championship or anything.
Swim(750 meters): 20:19 - This was surprisingly my favorite part of the race. I find it funny that the part I was the most worried about turned out to be the part I felt the best in. Yes, the water was COLD but it didn't have that big of a negative affect. I will admit that when I arrived and saw where the buoys were that I was thinking there was no way I was going to be able to swim that far. I actually passed some people in the water which was a shock to me. I felt strong throughout the entire swim and tried to pick it up towards the end although I'm not sure how much that actually happened. I did an okay job at spotting but towards the end I veered to the left a little farther than I would have liked.
Bike (14.5 miles): 59:44 - The bike was the hardest part of the race for me. There weren't any super steep hills but there were some significant hills on the course that really slowed me down. I feel like I have the power in my legs I just need to learn how to optimize the use of the gears. Throughout the entire race I felt like I was never in the correct gear. The positive thing is that I actually went faster than I felt like I was going. Not to mention, for some reason I was sure that the bike portion was only 12 miles so figuring out that it was 14.5 miles after I finished made me feel better about the ride. I didn't pass anyone on the bike ride but I sure did get passed by a lot of other people, most of them were nice and had some encouraging words which made me feel a little better. The funny thing that happened while I was riding is that I was looking at the legs of the people that were passing me and seeing a number on the right calf. My first thought was, oh I must not be doing that bad if #64 is passing me, wow I don't remember passing him in the swim, I must have done better than I thought in the swim. It didn't take me long to remember that the number on the right calf is the age of the person and that I was getting passed by a bunch of "old" people, LOL.
Run(3.1 miles): 32:16 - I would have loved to be able to do the run in under 30 minutes but I told myself before the race that if I could do it in under 35 that I would be satisfied. The start of the run was brutal because it started up a pretty long hill. My calves were burning and I felt like I had a ton of bricks in my shoes. Once I made it up the hill I felt a lot better and definitely picked up the pace for mile 2 and 3. I did walk briskly at the water station because I was feeling kind of dehydrated. I did not drink nearly enough water during the transition periods or while on the bike. I think it was because I was still kind of nervous and my stomach was bothering me so I didn't want to push that. Next time I will make sure that I take in enough fluids. The race coordinators were kind enough to have the finish on a downhill so I made myself really push it and even got into a sprint race at the end with some guy, I guess he didn't want to get beat by a girl LOL!
Transitions: I was concerned about not knowing what to do on the transitions but when it came down to it I was very comfortable and things went well. I think this is mainly due to the transition clinic that Marisa held for us the week before and from all the great advice I got from my fellow competitors. I wasn't super fast at either of the transitions but they went smoothly and gave me a chance to gather myself before the next event.
Thoughts: I loved it! It was very difficult and I can't even imagine doing a longer one right now even though I do plan on it for the future. I know it will just take a lot of hard work and dedication. I'm thankful for all of my wonderful friends and family that were there to support me and to provide lots of advice and to calm me down. Three of my friends won awards: Marisa (2nd female overall), Paul (3rd Clydesdale), Susan (2nd Athena). I'm very proud of them.
My coworker Bryan and I started the race 15 seconds apart. It was nice having someone that I knew nearby. He put on this show the day before the race about how nervous he was going to be but he seemed pretty calm to me. We didn't exactly stay together during the race but I did see him during each part so that was nice. It is great to have a familiar face out there on the course. There were some other people from the running group and tri training group out there as well. I don't know what their individual goals were but they all looked strong to me when I saw them on the course so I hope that they were pleased with their results.
Bottom-line: I'm now hooked and will be looking for my next fix real soon, LOL.